A Fan-Fiction by neomage
(DISCLAIMER: Yu-Gi-Oh! and all of the original characters in the show do not belong to me. They are the sole property of Kazuki Takahashi, Shonen Jump, Kids WB! and Cartoon Network. I do, however, own the new characters and several of the real-life cards (evil chuckle).)
Characters' First Appearance in Story
NAME: Yugi Muto
AGE: 20 (32 later on in story)
CLOTHES: Black leather jacket, pants and boots (think Battle City)
NAME: Seto Kaiba
AGE: 24 (36 later on in story)
CLOTHES: White trench-coat, black underclothes and boots (think Battle City)
TWELVE YEARS EARLIER, A.D. 2006
At the Duel Monsters World Championship Dome in illustrious Tokyo, Japan, spectators were cheering wildly as the two legendary duelists clashed against each other. Everyone who happened to be a fan of the game knew who these two were. Everyone knew their names, their cards, and what kind of strategies they used. And now, these two rivals were facing off against each other in a duel to end all duels.
Inside the dueling arena, the two duelists were oblivious to the cheers of their respective fans; their concentration was only on each other. One had brown hair, cold blue eyes, and was sporting a white jacket. The other, dressed fully in black, had red-and-black hair with yellow bangs over his brow. Both had looks to kill on their faces.
"This is it, now, Yugi," said the blue-eyed duelist. "After all these years, this one last duel will decide which of us is truly the better duelist."
"That it will, Kaiba," remarked the other duelist. "We've both fought many battles and come a long way in this tournament to be where we are now. Now, we can truly fight without holding anything back."
On the giant scoreboard far above the arena, the stats showed themselves clearly: Seto Kaiba was in the lead with 6400 life points. On his side of the field were Vorse Raider (ATK 1900, DEF 1200), Rare Metal Dragon (ATK 2400, DEF 1400) and Blue-Eyes White Dragon (ATK 3000, DEF 2500), all in Attack Mode, and he had one card face-down in his magic/trap card slot, besides having three cards in his hand. On the other hand, Yugi Muto had 3350 life points; on his field were three cards face-down in his magic/trap slot, and he also had Queen's Knight (ATK 1500, DEF 1600) in Defense Mode, and he also had four cards in his hand.
Yugi took his turn and drew a card, adding it to his hand. "Now, then," he announced, "I activate my face-down magic card, Monster Reborn, to return Sangan (ATK 1000, DEF 600) from the Graveyard!" One of his face-down cards flipped face-up, and from it materialized a small, ugly hairball with green arms and legs.
Kaiba laughed. "And just what is that supposed to do, Yugi – scare me?"
"Maybe it should, Kaiba," replied Yugi, smirking. "Because now I offer both of my monsters to summon my almighty Dark Magician (ATK 2500, DEF 2100)!" And as he played a card from his hand, both his Queen's Knight and Sangan disappeared, and in their place materialized a man dressed in purple robes, wielding a green staff.
Kaiba's eyes widened in astonishment. "Whoa! Not him!"
"Oh, yes, him!" Yugi smirked again. "And, in addition, Sangan's special effect when it goes to the Graveyard allows me to select any monster from my deck with an ATK of 1500 or less, and add it to my hand, after which I must shuffle my deck." He pulled his deck out of its slot on his Duel-Disk and thumbed through it carefully. "And I choose…the Magical Scientist (ATK 300, DEF 300)!" And he added it to his hand.
"Now," Yugi continued, activating the second of his face-down cards, "I activate the power of my face-down magic card, Dedication through Light and Darkness! This will allow me to offer my Dark Magician as a tribute to summon a more powerful monster from my deck – the Dark Magician of Chaos (ATK 2800, DEF 2600)! Come forth, my magician!"
As Kaiba's eyes widened even more at this sight, suddenly the Dark Magician disappeared, and in his place stood a sorcerer with a blue-and-red headdress and leather outfit, with a red-and-white staff. "This is impossible!" he exclaimed.
"Nothing's impossible, if you believe in the heart of the cards," Yugi responded calmly. "Now, as for my new magician's effect – his power is so great, it allows me to take back one magic card from my Graveyard and add it to my hand…and the card I choose is Double Spell!" And he retrieved the card from his Graveyard pile.
Kaiba's eyebrow twitched. "What're you gonna do with THAT card…?" He frowned more. "…unless…"
"That's right, Kaiba," said Yugi, playing the Double Spell magic card. "As you know, by discarding one magic card from my hand…" Here he took another card from his hand, the Card Destruction magic card, and sent it to the Graveyard. "…I can select one magic card from your Graveyard, and use it as my own card. And the card I choose is…Raigeki!"
As Kaiba looked, on, shocked, suddenly a magic card emerged from his Graveyard pile and flew into Yugi's hand. "Now, I activate Raigeki!" Yugi shouted. Immediately a huge shower of lightning bolts rained down, obliterating all of Kaiba's monsters. Kaiba instinctively shielded himself to protect against the power of the lightning; when he looked up again, all that remained of his monsters was black soot.
"NO! My monsters!" he yelled.
"And what's more, now, Kaiba," Yugi finished, "you've got nothing on your side of the field to protect you from my attack! Now, Dark Magician of Chaos, attack directly with your Chaos Scepter Blast!"
The Dark Chaos Mage then powered up his staff with energy and fired it off in a giant blast, directly at Kaiba. But the latter suddenly laughed. "Yugi! You forgot about my face-down card! Activate the trap, Waboku!"
The Dark Chaos Mage's attack hit Kaiba square in the stomach and felled him to the ground; however, to everyone's surprise, he stood up completely unharmed. "Waboku reduces any battle damage I get during this turn to zero," he explained. "Your attack has failed, Yugi!"
Yugi smiled a small, quiet smile. "I should've expected something like this from you, Kaiba," he remarked. "I guess I'll just have to do better next time."
Kaiba took his turn, drawing his card. As he looked at it, he chuckled, then started laughing outright. "Yugi! I hold in my hand the card that will seal your demise today!" he declared. "Now, I summon Cyber-Stein (ATK 700, DEF 500) in ATK Mode!" And as he played a card from his hand, a robotic Frankenstein emerged on the field.
Yugi, of course, was dumbfounded. "And how will that help, exactly?"
"Allow me to show you! Now, Cyber-Stein, activate your special ability!" And Kaiba laughed uproariously.
To Yugi's and everyone else's astonishment, Kaiba's life points dropped dramatically to 1400. "By paying 5000 of my life points, I can activate Cyber-Stein's effect," Kaiba explained. "Its effect allows me to Special Summon a monster from my Fusion deck to my side of the field. And I think you know which monster I'm going for…"
The truth hit Yugi like a brick to the head. "Oh, no!"
"Oh, yes! I summon my Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon (ATK 4500, DEF 3800)!" And as Kaiba held out both hands dramatically, a huge behemoth of a dragon, with three roaring heads, emerged behind him in a flash of light.
"Yes…the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon…has finally emerged," Kaiba continued. "However…" he chuckled evilly. "Do you really think that this is the monster I'm going to use to defeat you?"
Yugi's eyes widened in growing horror. "…no…not that…"
"Yes, THAT!" Kaiba cried. And he played another card from his hand. "I offer my Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon as a tribute to bring forth my ultimate creature – the mighty Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon (ATK 3000, DEF 2500)!"
The Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon's skin cracked in various places, light shining from within. Then suddenly it exploded outward, as a metallic, futuristic-looking dragon flew about the stadium, shining brightly. Yugi stared in awe as the Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon then came to land beside its master.
"You've faced my Shining Dragon before, so you know what it's capable of, Yugi," said Kaiba. "Its ATK is increased by 300 for every Dragon-type monster in my Graveyard. So, let's do some math…one Blue-Eyes White Dragon, one Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, one Rare Metal Dragon, one Masked Dragon (ATK 1400, DEF 1100), three Troop Dragons (ATK 700, DEF 800 each) and one Koumori Dragon (ATK 1500, DEF 1200) – that comes to a grand total of 5400 ATK points for the Shining Dragon! Well, what can I say, Yugi – you ain't got a chance!" And he laughed maniacally.
"This is bad…" Yugi grumbled. "Unless I can…" and he shot a quick look at his one remaining face-down card.
"Now, Shining Dragon, attack his Dark Magician of Chaos! Shining Neutron Blast!" Kaiba ordered. And the Shining Dragon charged up particle energy in its mouth to fire at Yugi's mage.
"Not quite, Kaiba!" Yugi exploded. "I activate my face-down trap card, Spellbinding Circle! This will paralyze your Shining Dragon and stop him from attacking!" And as he spoke a huge magical crest emerged underneath the dragon.
But then, the Shining Dragon fired a transparent blue beam from its mouth, engulfing the crest; and the trap disappeared as quickly as it had come. "What!" Yugi yelled out.
"Sorry, Yugi," Kaiba was the one smirking now, "but you forgot about my Shining Dragon's other effect – it allows me to choose which monster, magic or trap effects can or cannot be used against it. Now, Shining Dragon, use your Shining Neutron Blast!"
Again particle energy charged up inside the dragon's mouth, and this time it fired all of that energy straight at the Dark Chaos Mage, ripping him apart. Yugi screamed in pain as he felt his monster's destruction tell on his life points, reducing them to 750. Yugi almost fell down, but he managed to stay on his feet.
But Kaiba wasn't done. "Now, Cyber-Stein, it's your turn to attack!" And this monster fired a photon blast from its mechanized arm-cannon, this time hitting Yugi directly in the chest and sending him stumbling. He cringed in pain as smoke rose from his burnt chest.
"So much for you. Next turn, it ends," Kaiba declared huffily.
Painfully, Yugi got to his feet. His life points were down to 50, he had no more cards on the field, and now he only had four cards left in his hand. He then looked at his deck. This had been a long duel, and as a consequence he only had one card left in the deck slot. "Only one card left…" he moaned quietly.
Darkness seemed to surround Yugi as he considered the odds that were against him. All the odds are in Kaiba's favor now…can it truly be that, all this time, he was destined to be the stronger of the two of us…?
His thoughts became reflective. He remembered when, four years ago, he'd owned the power of the Millennium Puzzle; back then, he and the Puzzle's guardian spirit, a 3000-year-old pharaoh named Atem, had been joined together in one body, and Atem's ancient knowledge had helped Yugi to win many duels. But all that was before four years ago, when Yugi had successfully assembled all seven of the Millennium Items and aided Atem's spirit to depart to the afterlife, where it truly belonged. Now, was it beginning to look as though Yugi was nothing without Atem's guidance after all…?
"Don't give up, Yugi!"
Yugi's head shot up sharply as he heard this, coming from several fans in the stadium. And then the cheers became louder.
"Give it everything you've got, Yugi!"
"You can still win, Yugi!"
"We're all rooting for you, Yugi!"
Kaiba heard the cheering of Yugi's fans and was understandably annoyed. "Delusional idiots," he muttered.
But now Yugi was looking at his deck slot, a faint glitter of hope in his eyes. "Kaiba…"
"Huh?" Kaiba looked up and smirked again. "So, you're going to give up after all?"
Yugi held his head up, his eyes now blazing with newfound vigor. "Not in this life, Kaiba!" he snapped. "This duel is still on, and I still have one card left to play! And you're right…this next turn is the turn that will decide this match!" And with that, he drew his last remaining card.
As he looked at it, he chuckled. Then he started to laugh outright. "Kaiba…I'm going to defeat both you and your Shining Dragon!"
Seeing the determination on Yugi's face, Kaiba was dumbfounded. How can he look so confident in the face of defeat?
"Now, I summon the Magical Scientist!" Yugi declared, playing the card he'd taken earlier via Sangan's effect. A bald old man in a lab coat emerged on his side of the field, smirking.
Kaiba was even more dumbfounded. "What's that?"
"You'll soon see," Yugi assured him. He then played the second card from his hand. "Next, I play Dian Keto the Cure Master, to increase my life points by 1000!" And as he played the magic card, his life points increased to 1050.
But Yugi wasn't finished. "Next, I'll equip my Magical Scientist with the Axe of Despair, to boost his attacking power by 1000!" And he played another magic card, equipping it on the Magical Scientist to shoot his ATK to 1300.
"Big deal," Kaiba scoffed. "But that's not going to make a difference against me!"
"But I'm not done yet, Kaiba," Yugi reprimanded him. "Now, I'll use Magical Scientist's effect! Trust me, Kaiba – you're not the only one who can Special Summon Fusion monsters!"
Kaiba's eyes widened in alarm. "WHAT!"
Suddenly, much to everyone else's astonishment, Yugi's life points decreased back to 50. "By paying 1000 of my life points," he explained, "which is a far lesser cost than you paid for your monster, Kaiba, I can Special Summon one Fusion monster from my Fusion deck for this turn. But this one turn is all I'll need to bring forth my – Dark Flare Knight (ATK 2200, DEF 800)!" And as he finished speaking, a warrior wearing dark robes and carrying a huge black shield and a flaming saber appeared.
"Next," Yugi continued, playing another magic card on the field, "I play the magic of the Banner of Courage! This will increase the ATK of all the monsters on my side of the field by 200 points during the Battle Phase of this turn. Now, then…Magical Scientist, destroy Cyber-Stein!"
The Magical Scientist dashed forward, his ATK increased by Banner of Courage to 1500, and with one hefty stroke of the Axe of Despair the Cyber-Stein was cleaved in two, and Kaiba's life points dropped to 600. "That's the end of your first monster," declared Yugi. He then set his gaze on the Shining Dragon. "Now, all that's left is your dragon…"
But Kaiba laughed loudly. "Your Dark Flare Knight's far weaker than my Shining Dragon!" he pointed out. "There's no way you can win against 5400 ATK points!"
Kaiba was stunned by that. "You can't be seriously…!"
"Dark Flare Knight, attack!" Yugi ordered. And the Knight then charged into battle, its sword burning brightly. But the Shining Dragon countered with a blast of energy that totally decimated the Knight and created an explosion where he'd been standing.
"Too bad," Kaiba mused. "Yugi probably wanted to go out with a bang instead of just quietly giving up…HUH!"
Materializing in the smoke was another warrior; this one carrying a scythe in one hand. "Kaiba…meet the Mirage Knight (ATK 2800, DEF 2000)," Yugi's voice came through to Kaiba, and he saw his rival playing the very last card in his hand onto the Duel-Disk. "When Dark Flare Knight is destroyed as a result of battle, I suffer no damage…plus, when that Knight is destroyed in battle, I can summon his stronger form, the Mirage Knight, from my hand or deck."
"This can't be!" Kaiba yelled.
"And there's more," said Yugi, cutting Kaiba off. "When the Mirage Knight battles, it increases its ATK by an amount equal to its opponent's original ATK. Your Shining Dragon's original ATK was 3000, so add that to Mirage Knight's current 2800, add another 200 through the Banner of Courage's magic…and my Knight has a grand total of 6000 ATK points."
"No! That's enough to wipe out both my dragon and my life points…!" Kaiba said weakly.
"Now, Mirage Knight, finish it with your Final Scythe Slash!" Yugi ordered. And the Mirage Knight did just that: bright light energy emerged on the edge of its scythe as it slashed at the Shining Dragon, cutting it cleanly in two. The Shining Dragon howled as it disappeared, and Kaiba slumped to his knees as his last remaining life points dropped to 0.
There was complete silence in the stadium as the holographic projections slowly disappeared. Yugi broke it with four simple words.
"It's over. I win."
And then the loud cheering of every single spectator in the stadium almost drowned out the announcer's words: "Winner: Yugi Muto!"
HALF AN HOUR LATER
"Hmph." Kaiba couldn't help but smile. "I gotta say, Yugi…that was the closest battle we've ever fought in years."
The two were standing together at the airport terminal, where Yugi was to catch a plane to go back to Domino City. "Yeah, it was," Yugi agreed. He had the World Championship trophy safely tucked under one arm. "It was good that we could finally settle the eternal question like this, old friend."
"I'll say." Kaiba nodded. "So, now what will you do, now that you're World Champion?"
"I think I'll retire from it all," Yugi answered.
Kaiba was amazed, and with good reason. "Retire? You? You're not that old yet!"
"I know, but…" Yugi looked up through one of the overhead windows at the night sky, at the stars. "I have a wife and child waiting for me back in Domino City. I want to really be a husband and a father to them, and…as much as I hate to admit it, dueling won't allow me the time to do that. The same goes for you, I think…?"
Kaiba nodded, reluctantly. "Well…it was fun while it lasted, at least," he admitted. "I'll be back in Domino sooner than you know, so…see you around, Yugi."
Yugi nodded. "See you."
And the two rivals shook hands…for the first time in years.
neomage: Well, that's the first chapter, ladies and gents. My mental math sucks ass, but I tried the best I could, and will continue to do so for the duration of this story. So…R&R, please, and let me know what you all think! Any corrections and criticisms are welcome, as well as anything else, but just don't flame me…please?