EDITOR'S NOTE: Good whatever-time-it-is. My name is the Man Called True, coauthor and friend of jkBAKURA, original author of "Yu-Gi-Oh: Lady of Dragons". My friend admits to his lack of proper grammar, spelling, what-have-you, and so I have decided to aid him. Forget the half-written mess of the original – this is a "polished" version, with my personal touches added. Now, let's begin, shall we?YU-GI-OH: LADY OF DRAGONS
"Where your talents and the needs of the world cross lies your calling."
Chapter One: Isis Kaiba
Child of the Light
"Come on, Daddy, can I go, please?"
Seto Kaiba's 8-year-old daughter was begging him to let her participate in the 16th Annual Battle City Tournament. After the boom in tourism after Kaiba threw the first one, the city of Domino had sponsored a new one ever since.
Kaiba thought hard about that week all the time, probably more than he should. Still, you couldn't just shake off what had happened to him.
His first duel with Yugi had been when he was only 15. He had a multimillion-dollar company to run, and a 9-year-old brother to care for. The only life he knew was to be the one in charge, the big cheese, the head honcho, but that day… it all changed.
Yugi Motoh… the name still haunted him to this day. A little runt, and a mediocre duelist at best, owned his rarest cards through the dumb luck that his grandfather owned the neighborhood game store, and had beaten Seto Kaiba at his own game. Kaiba's deck was perfect; there was only one possible way to win with the situation being as it was. The one thing that meant his defeat was the one thing Yugi not only owned, but also drew at the exact moment it was needed most.
It only grew worse from there. The eliminator using his stolen deck at Duelist Kingdom was also beaten. Each of his three Blue-Eyes White Dragons was used, and, although Kaiba had interfered slightly, Yugi crushed all three of them.
Then there was their rematch on the roof of Castle Pegasus. Even with his deck plagued with the Crush Card virus, even when facing the most fearsome card Seto Kaiba owned, Yugi still pushed him to the brink of defeat, literally.
Even after Kaiba had lost to Pegasus, a defeat he could live with considering that his opponent could see his every move, the same lowlife runt managed to defeat the one person he considered his superior, even when the man was cheating against him as well.
And then, when they dueled once more, Yugi had defeated him again. Not in some forced demand, but on his home field, in his own tournament, and with one of the most awesome forces in Duel Monsters if not the world, Obelisk the Tormentor.
His daughter interrupted his train of thought again. "I think I'm old enough now to duel on my own."
Kaiba couldn't help but smile. The girl wouldn't be too forceful, but she wasn't going to leave him alone any time soon. "OK Isis, I'll let you enter this year," he said.
Just then Ishizu came through the door. Although it seemed nonchalant, Kaiba knew better - she had been listening. She meant to try to talk to her husband alone, but Isis interrupted again.
"Can I use your dragons for the tournament, daddy?" the little girl asked.
Kaiba was speechless for a second. While it was true that the Blue-eyes White Dragons were his most prized possessions, he realized that he maybe was no longer meant to have them. He had known he had a superior rival for a long time now, and it was time to pass them on.
Still, being Kaiba, he wasn't going to just give them away. "I'll tell you what," he told her, "you get your deck, and if you can beat me, I'll give you the dragons."
"Cool, I'll be right back," Isis responded as she ran to her room to find her deck.
Now that they were alone, Ishizu stepped forward. "Are you sure this is what you want? You cherish your Blue-Eyes more than anything but your family."
"And it is within my family that those cards will stay isn't it, " Kaiba responded.
Ever since they had met, Ishizu seemed to be the only person who seemed to understand what Kaiba was feeling, possibly more than he did himself. Ishizu gave him something to care about other than the business and Mokuba.
And all other things aside, he had to admit, she was hot!
Ishizu continued, "Your heart and destiny live in those cards; you don't know what you may be doing." Ishizu knew that her husband had made up his mind, but she had a feeling that those three cards would begin something, a new struggle for the millennia, and a new challenge for all those involved in the ancient past.
Kaiba shrugged off his wife's words, just as she had expected, and opened the crystal box on the bookshelf that held his deck. It had been years since he had been involved in a public tournament, and not much less since he had dueled, period, but he couldn't force himself to get rid of his deck. Just too many memories, good and bad. It was as if by not caring, he would admit that Yugi was indeed his superior. He knew it, but he was not about to admit it to anyone, even himself.
Isis came bounding into the room at that moment, carrying her deck. Isis had a passion for the Light attribute. By looking through her deck you could tell where her parents had influenced her dueling style.
"You can start this one. Sweetie," Kaiba said. He watched as Isis drew her opening hand. He knew her deck better than she did, and had helped her devise her strategies (with a bit of Ishizu's ideas - the woman had a knack for finding combinations in the cards that most duelists would not even touch).
"I'll start off with Thunder Nyan Nyan in attack mode," Isis announced. (1900/800)
As Isis put her monster on the table, Kaiba noticed his daughter's little dueling habit once again. Isis always placed the card so that the top was facing her, upside down to most… in fact, all of the other duelists he knew. When he had asked her about it, she had simply said that it seemed threatening to her opponent. It was scarier to be staring down a monster with its eyes set on you rather than having it staring lovingly at its player.
Seto Kaiba quickly got back to his attention. For a four star monster, 1900 attack points is nothing to take lightly.
Ishizu smiled proudly at her daughter. Thunder Nyan Nyan was the rare in Isis's first-ever Duel Monsters pack, which she had received as a present on her fifth birthday. Ishizu had been secretly tutoring her about the game ever since she had started to read. Kaiba didn't want Isis to learn the game at the time; he was trying to put "Duel Monsters" behind him. Ishizu couldn't let that happen. Kaiba's family was connected to dueling; it was part of their destiny. When she opened her mother's present, five new packs of cards, Kaiba began to realize that she had an interest in the game, and he shouldn't try to take that away from her.
Meanwhile, Kaiba still had to make his first move, and he knew exactly what it would be.
"I'll play Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer in attack mode." (1800/700) While not strong enough to take down his daughter's monster, Kycoo wouldn't have to attack. Her Thunder Nyan Nyan had one fatal flaw. A smirk crept across his face as he took another card from his hand and played it just under his monster. "I'll also use Snatch Steal to take over of one monster that you control."
As Isis slid the card over to her father, Ishizu smiled at the sight of Kaiba's old dueling spirit returning. Neither of the two would be pulling any punches. It wasn't just because of the Blue-Eyes White Dragons on the line either; both of them were having fun.
"As I know you are aware," Kaiba continued, "Thunder Nyan Nyan draws its life force from the light. If there is another form of energy on your, or should I say my, field, it goes straight to the Graveyard." Kaiba gently placed his daughter's favorite card on her discard space on their playing mat. "Now I'll have Kycoo attack..."
Kaiba stopped. He couldn't say "…attack her directly". Even in a duel, he could not bring himself to harm Isis.
"Attack," he finished.
Ishizu once again marveled at how far Kaiba had come. Ten years ago this would have been as out of character as Kaiba could possibly go.
Isis quickly grabbed her fallen monster and set it aside. Kycoo the Ghost Destroyer's effect removed two monsters in the opposing Graveyard from play.
Kaiba was impressed; Isis knew her cards, and he didn't even have to remind her. He ended his turn by setting two cards facedown, leaving him with two left in his hand, and the duel continued.
Isis managed to keep her cool during her father's entire turn, no doubt a trait picked up from her mother. She carefully drew a sixth card into her hand. Calmly she held one of her cards between two fingers, plucked a card out of her hand, and moved her delicate fingers slightly, turning the card around. It was the Graceful Charity card, a card every duelist with half a brain knew all too well. Not even bothering to put it on a magic zone, Isis placed the card carefully on top of her Graveyard pile and drew three cards.
Kaiba studied her moves carefully. He could get a hint at how good her hand was by what cards she threw away. True, it would be an even better clue if Isis had a smaller hand size. To Kaiba's surprise, the cards she discarded were Soul of Purity and Light and Gradius' Option. Both of those cards had to be summoned in a special way, neither one of them could be resurrected from the Graveyard pile.
The answer became clear as Isis put her cards not on top of her Graceful Charity, but to the side next to her Thunder Nyan Nyan as she summoned Soul of Purity and Light from her hand. (2000/1800)
Kaiba was once again impressed - that was a move that he doubted he himself would have noticed. Rather than discard things that would be useful later, she discarded cards that would not be able to be retrieved, and thus not hurt when she removed them for the Soul's summoning requirement.
However, that was the sort of thing Trap cards were designed for.
"Sorry, sweetie," he told her, "I am activating my two facedown cards, Shrink and the Crush Card. First, Shrink cuts the attack power of my Ghost Destroyer in half; then I sacrifice it to the Crush Card to release the deadly deck destruction virus!"
The combo was always more fun to watch when it was played in holographic form, but the card had the same effect nonetheless. He watched as Isis sent her Soul and a Kaiser Seahorse from her hand to her discard pile.
Ishizu gave Kaiba a stern glance, even though he didn't notice it. She had been on the receiving end of that combo herself, during her first duel with Kaiba. She had been expecting it though, and Isis wasn't so lucky. Or was she? Ishizu snuck a quick peek at her daughter's hand. Oh, my… Seto's in for a bit of a shock, she thought.
Isis soon brought that fact to her father's attention at a large grin swept across her young face. "Whew… thanks for doing that, Daddy. Now I don't have any more traps to worry about, and you sacrificed your only monster, leaving your Life Points open. In case you forgot, the Soul of Purity and Light is a special summon, so I can still play a normal monster this turn, and I'll summon Gradius." (1200/800)
Kaiba's eyes widened as he gaped at his own foolishness. How could he have been so careless? True, he had destroyed her stronger monsters, but he had left his Life Points wide open to what she had left. His eyes widened further as she placed a Cyclon Laser on the space under her monster.
Isis added, "And I'll give it 300 extra attack points with this, and have Gradius attack your life points directly."
The young girl smiled a cross between sweetly and smugly behind her hand of two cards.
That quickly came down to one as Isis ended her turn by setting one card.
Kaiba drew his hand up to three and considered his options. He was holding one Blue-Eyes, which until he had two monsters was unplayable. He also had a Nobleman of Crossout, but Isis had no monsters facedown. The third, however, could turn this duel in his favor. It was taking more of a risk than he would have liked, but it was his best option at the moment.
"Okay," Kaiba admitted, "you caught me off guard, but I'm still in the lead."
"For now," Isis chimed in.
Kaiba was quickly returning to his old self. This wasn't his daughter anymore, just another opponent that needed to be taught a lesson. He missed the old days when he almost mechanically could pick out just what plays would do the most damage. He wasn't about to lose in his first duel in such a long time. It may be against his own daughter, but Seto Kaiba was still going to prove that he still had what it takes to be the best.
With newfound vigor Kaiba laid a card sideways on his left monster zone. "I'll end my turn by setting one monster in defense mode."
Isis was quick to counter, flipping over her down card. "I'll activate my facedown trap, Light of Intervention."
Kaiba smiled politely. "Isis, that still..."
"I know, I know, it doesn't keep you from setting that monster face down. I just felt like playing it."
Kaiba frowned. By keeping that card facedown it would have kept him guessing and hesitant. What was the point of activating it now?
Ishizu politely kept silent, still kneeling next to the table. Each duelist has their own style, she thought to herself, and sometimes there is no real explanation to their plays they make. That is part of the fun of dueling.
Kaiba had no reason to complain, however. Activating that trap any sooner would have ruined his plan, and besides, now he knew exactly what the card was.
Isis began her next turn by adding a second card to her hand. Kaiba still had another two turns to go before the "Crush Card" lost its potency. The card was apparently not a strong monster not to be affected. Still, it was unclear if it was a monster, or a potentially game-winning magic or trap card.
Kaiba didn't have to wait long for the answer. Isis revealed the Gradius' Option and summoned it next to her Gradius. She didn't have to explain that Option selects a Gradius on the field and copies its stats, making this one in particular a 1500/800.
She would do well with the Blue-Eyes in her deck, Kaiba thought to himself. With all those Special Summon monsters she could easily summon one in a single turn.
Isis wasn't finished yet though. "I'll have my Gradius attack your facedown monster," she commanded.
Kaiba flipped his monster over, still keeping it sideways. "Tough luck, Isis, you attacked the Ancient Lamp. (900/1400) The Ancient Lamp redirects any attack sent at it if it was attacked while in facedown defense mode. I'll target Gradius' Option."
With the attack powers being identical, the Option left no life point damage to Isis. If Kaiba could have taken out the "Gradius" itself, both would have been destroyed.
Isis knew her father's tactics well. Old duel stories had been told to her for years. She would definitely be a challenge.
Luckily, the lamp had one more trick up its nonexistent sleeve.
"Finally, when the 'Ancient Lamp' is summoned in any way, I can play one new monster." Kaiba searched his deck for a minute before finding the card he wanted. "It summons La Jinn the Mystical Genie of the Lamp."
Seeing that there was nothing more she could do, Isis ended her turn.
Kaiba took pleasure in drawing his next card, Graceful Charity. Thinking it couldn't hurt, he put it into play.
"I'll use Graceful Charity," he stated as he drew three new cards. In the draw he picked up Lord of Dragons, Z-Metal Tank, and Harpie's Feather Duster. He looked over his hand for a second. Nobleman of Crossout was useless: Isis's Light of Intervention prevented monsters from being set facedown. Since he had no other dragons, the Lord was also sent to the graveyard.
"Next, I'll tribute my two monsters for the Blue-Eyes White Dragon," he declared. Playing the card seemed empty without the holographic representation to back it up, but it was still satisfying to see his loyal beast under his control. "My Blue-Eyes White Dragon will now attack Gradius."
As Ishizu watched on, her daughter didn't look nervous. She looked exited, as if she knew that she would soon have the chance to use that dragon and its brothers herself.
Isis drew once again, and it was the second draw in a row that the still-lingering Crush Card had no effect. She quickly played the new card, the Pot of Greed.
Kaiba was slightly nervous now. The Crush Card only scanned the cards drawn during the draw phase.
Much to his discomfort, Isis cracked a smile, just before playing the Premature Burial card, restoring one of her monsters at the cost of 800 of her own Life Points.
Before Kaiba could think through the list of his daughter's fallen monsters, Isis picked up a Kaiser Seahorse and placed it on the field. As the Kaiser Seahorse counted as two tributes for a high-level Light monster, she was able to summon the most powerful monster she owned, the Wingweaver. (2750/2400)
"I'm sorry, Daddy," she said, slightly sarcastically, as she revealed the final card in her hand, the Shine Castle. The Wingweaver's attack power rose to 3450. Isis was taking great pride in being able to take down the Blue-Eyes… But something in her daddy's eyes prevented her from attacking right away.
Kaiba was staring blankly into space. The "Shine Castle" was all too familiar. It was one of the same cards Pegasus had used to take him out in that duel so long ago… the duel that almost lost him everything.
Getting back to his senses, Kaiba nodded his daughter to attack, costing him his dragon in the process.
Kaiba took his turn by simply putting his Z-Metal Tank face-up in defense mode. (1500/1300)
Isis was now reduced to playing off her deck. Kaiba secretly hoped that the card would be eradicated by the last traces of the Crush Card virus, but he had no such luck.
"All right daddy," Isis said, breaking his thought pattern, "I'm playing the Field Magic card, Luminous Spark, not only raising the attack power of my Wingweaver by five hundred points, (3950/2000) but the defense of your tank drops to nine hundred."
Kaiba was stunned. He had nothing left but the Harpie's Feather Duster. His tank was a goner, and unless he drew a monster, or a darn good magic or trap card, he was going to lose. And he couldn't let that happen, not to Isis, not to anyone.
"I'm having the Wingweaver attack your Z-Metal Tank," Isis said with a bit of glee in her voice.
Kaiba couldn't help but feel his spirit crack a bit. But feeling a calling that until now he had only felt during the final move when he had first faced his wife in a duel, fifteen years ago, he picked up what could have been his final card. Looking at it, his eyes went wide, and then his eyes and face sunk back into the Kaiba trademark smirk.
Ishizu didn't like the looks of this. As good as it was for Kaiba to have his old spirit back, she didn't want the duel to get out of hand.
Kaiba was still smiling as he slapped down the new monster on the field. "Now I'll summon Cyber-Stein in defense mode!" he gloated. (700/500) Isis cringed, Ishizu gasped, but Kaiba only laughed. "Cyber-Stein is made up of a small piece of every Duel Monster in existence. By using this card, I can channel that energy to summon any Fusion-Monster to the field. All I need is enough power to summon it, and I'll do this by giving up five thousand of my own Life Points!"
Kaiba quickly reached for his small fusion deck and slapped his prize monster on the field. "I summon the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon!" (5000/3400)
But Kaiba was not through by a long shot. "Next," he declared, "I'll weaken your fairy by playing the Harpie's Feather Duster, destroying all of the Magic cards on your side of the field."
As Isis sent her Castle, Spark, and Light of Intervention to the graveyard, there was a look of absolute confidence in her eyes. The feeling that only a losing but confident duelist can feel was sweeping through her.
Ishizu was getting more worried. Kaiba was losing it. All of the resentment and hate for Yugi was being released after years of hiding it. Kaiba was taking out these feelings on the wrong person, just because she was unlucky enough to be the first opponent had faced in such a long time. Whatever the outcome of this duel, Kaiba could end up worse off then when he started.
Kaiba was savoring the moment. Once again he was missing the holographic dueling arenas he had spent most of his life working on. A duel was a duel, though, and Isis's life points would decrease just the same. "Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon," Kaiba commanded, "Attack the Wingweaver! Neutron Blast!"
As Isis sent her fairy to the Graveyard; she looked deep into her father's eyes. Who she saw was no one she recognized. Like her father, this was no longer a friendly game between father and daughter. Isis saw only an opponent, whose one purpose in life was to lose to her.
With no hand left, Isis was forced to play off the top of her deck. Closing her eyes, she pictured the card she needed. Feeling that tingle as she drew it, she placed it on the field, before even looking at the picture. Finally peeking through her tightly shut eyelids, both she and her mother put on identical smiles of satisfaction. After all, her mother had given her the card.
"Swords of Revealing Light!" Isis proclaimed proudly.
Kaiba was fuming. Yugi, Ishizu, and now Isis - the Swords had always been a countdown to his destruction. This time, it would be different.
He drew his next card and looked at it proudly. Ring of Destruction was one of his personal favorite trap cards; it would be enough to stop anything that Isis through at him. Setting it, he nodded to his daughter to take her turn.
As the Sword's first turn passed, Isis silently mimicked her father by also setting her new draw.
Kaiba began his turn and stopped. Armed Ninja had the ability to destroy any magic card when it flipped face up. This could stop Isis's Swords one turn early, and wipe out the rest of her life points. Setting the new monster, he thought for a moment, before turning his dragon with the top towards himself.
Isis managed a giggle, but Ishizu was dead serious. He was about to set the greatest beast in Duel Monsters upon his own flesh and blood. This duel was not a good idea. If he was this bad now, what would Kaiba be like if the Blue-Eyes White Dragons were lost to him?
Isis took her turn by placing a monster in defense mode, and leaving it at that.
Kaiba's time had finally come. Isis expected her Swords of Revealing Light to hold him back for one more turn, but that would not be the case. Barely looking at the Flute of Summoning Dragons he was drawing, Kaiba declared his move. "I flip the Armed Ninja (300/300), destroying the Swords of Revealing Light, and I'll switch my Cyber-Stein to attack mode as well."
Pure determination was running through Isis's veins. This wasn't over yet.
Kaiba spoke up again. "With only 850 life points, my monsters can attack you directly after my dragon gets rid of that defense."
Sending it to the graveyard, Isis revealed the Magician of Faith, (300/400) retrieving her lost Luminous Spark in the process.
Kaiba was now fully confident. If that facedown card were a trap, she would have used it by now. This was the end. "Armed Ninja and Cyber-Stein," he bellowed, "attack directly and end the game!" While laughing over his impending victory, Kaiba failed to notice as his daughter cracked a smile.
"Not just yet daddy," she retorted, "I'm activating my facedown card, Waboku."
Ishizu and Kaiba both realized it at the same time - she only waited to spring the trap so that her magician could be flipped.
Kaiba was in shock as he looked down on his dueling field. Two of his monsters had less than one thousand attack points. And with that Luminous Spark back in her hand, all Isis had to do was draw a Light monster with 850 attack points to win the duel.
Ishizu was beaming at Isis as she drew her next card.
Isis's face fell. It wasn't the card she was hoping for. It was a long shot, but it could still win her the game, and the chance to use her daddy's Blue Eyes White Dragons. All Isis could do was hope. Swallowing tensely, Isis continued her turn. "First, I will replay the Luminous Spark field card," she declared.
A predictable move, Kaiba thought to himself, but let's see if the card she has drawn will save her.
Tense under pressure, Isis revealed the final card of the duel. "I summon… the Time Wizard in attack mode." (1000/0)
Kaiba gritted his teeth. After he'd lost the duel and his Egyptian God Card to Yugi, that dog Joey Wheeler had challenged him. After much taunting, he had agreed to duel Wheeler and prove that he may not be the champion, but he was still tough enough to handle a rookie like him. That match had also come down to the magical ability of the "Time Wizard." If not for Wheeler's own monster backfiring against him, Kaiba would have lost the duel and his spirit completely. However, under Battle City Rules, Wheeler's rarest monster now belonged to him. While it was not worth using himself, Isis, with her love of the Light attribute, saw it fit to use in her deck.
Kaiba's attention quickly returned to the duel at hand. His eyes wandered to the still-hidden Ring of Destruction. Isis's monster didn't have enough attack power to take him down outright, so her only option would be to use the Time Wizard's roulette ability and hope for the best… but there was another option. If Kaiba activated the Ring of Destruction now, he would still have fifty life points to spare while Isis would lose.
Of course! Kaiba thought. Why depend on a coin toss? I can win right here and now.
As his fingers reached under the cardstock, just a wrist flick away from victory, that feeling returned. Ishizu could sense it –it was the same powerful force that changed the future in that duel so long ago.
Kaiba's heart was softening, realizing all of the rage and pain that he had been setting on his daughter. The Blue-Eyes were calling to him again, begging him to make the right decision. The stakes of the duel returned to him: this was a duel for the Blue-Eyes. If destiny wanted him to possess them, he would find out now.
Isis took a Duel Monsters coin from her pocket and prepared to call it.
Ishizu held her breath, knowing that this coin toss could very well be the deciding point for the destiny of everyone in the room.
The metallic ring of the flipping coin was the only sound Kaiba concentrated on, dropping the dormant trap back to its original concealed position. A faint echo of Isis calling "Tails!" barely registered in his mind.
The clank of the coin seemed deafening, as it spun on edge, as if trying to judge who was the most worthy. Finally the ringing stopped, and only a blank edge was staring up at the family.
Kaiba sighed. Tails. She had won.
Not bothering to remove his monsters from the dueling field, or do the necessary life point reductions. Kaiba simply gave his daughter a hug.
"A promise is a promise sweetie," Kaiba said. "Take good care of them."
Isis searched her deck and pulled out the Waboku, Magician of Faith, Time Wizard, and Second Coin Toss to add the three dragons and a Polymerization to her deck.
After a long time of silence, Ishizu spoke up. "Isis, I know you love dueling, but it's time for bed. You need your energy if you are dueling in the tournament tomorrow."
"Alright already," Isis said, smiling uncontrollably. "'Night Mom, 'Night Dad, I love you."
After Isis was safely out of earshot, Ishizu tried to comfort Kaiba. "I know that was hard to do."
Kaiba just smiled and began chuckling to himself.
"What's so funny?" Ishizu questioned.
Kaiba just looked at his wife and answered. "Yugi's son is entering, too."
Coming next chapter: Not only has Yugi's son entered the tournament, but so has Joey's boy. The Battle City tournament begins, and the son of Joey Wheeler soon finds himself at war with a very militant man. Stick around for Chapter Two, "Musashi, Troop Commander"!