A Yu-Gi-Oh GX fanfic by Copper Thrice.

I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh, GX or otherwise. Enjoy!

In a small town near the ocean, Jake Parion, was playing a game of Duel Monsters with his new duel disk. His opponent came from another town that had some strange traditions about dueling.

Jake was a slender boy of about fifteen. He played Duel Monsters a lot when he was younger, but not so much anymore. While sitting on a park bench, he was watching other kids dueling with their new duel disks. He remembered his friend, Ellie Watcher, who introduced him to Duel Monsters. She was his best friend for years and she usually beat him at the game, but that didn't keep him from playing.

She left a year ago to go to some place called Duel Academy. Jake didn't go, he stayed home instead. When he got up from the bench, his deck box fell out of his pocket. When he reached to pick it up, Mitch challenged him to a duel. He didn't think Jake was very experienced because he didn't carry a duel disk. That was a big mistake. Jake borrowed a kid's duel disk and, after he changed the wrist size on it, he began the duel.

J: 4000

M: 4000

Jake drew a card from his duel disk, "I'll start." Jake took a glance at his hand. With a smile, he played a spell in the spell/trap part of his duel disk. "I play Graceful Charity," Jake then reached for his deck.

"Wait," Mitch yelled across the field, "Aren't you going to yell out what it does?"

Jake blinked and put his arm at his side. "Why?" He asked

"It's common courtesy at Duel Academy to tell what a card does when you use it," Mitch continued.

"Don't you already know what it does though? It's not too rare a card." Jake asked with an aggravated look.

"Yeah, but its tradition! I do the same for you," Mitch yelled, "I don't much get it either, but that's the way it is. Now can we just continue?"

"Okay sure," said Jake reaching for his deck.

"Ahem," said Mitch.

"Oh, right. Graceful Charity allows me to draw three cards as long as I then discard two from my hand." Jake said as he drew his cards. He then smiled as he put two cards into the graveyard.

"What you smiling for? You just trashed a couple of cards." Mitch yelled.

"Yeesh, why are you on my case? I'm just tryin to play a stinkin card game here." Jake retorted. "Alright, now I play the spell Level Modulation. Hey, you, draw two cards." Jake then reached for the graveyard slot on his Duel disk.

"Ahem," Mitch said again.

"Huh, oh, yeah, forgot. Level Modulation allows you to draw two cards, but I get to special summon a monsters from my graveyard with "Level" in its name. The downside is that it can't attack or use they're abilities this turn. Got all that?" Jake said confidently. Mitch nodded and drew two cards from his deck.

Mitch smiled as he saw his new cards, but that faded as he saw the monster that Jake summoned to the field. A tall warrior with a pointed helmet and a double-bladed sword appeared in front of Jake.

"Meet Mystic Swordsman LV 4. (1900/1600)" Jake said, naming his. "Next, I place a card in face down defense mode and place two facedowns in the spell/trap area. In end my turn." Jake retained his grin from earlier. He had a plan.

"Finally," Mitch said drawing at the start of his turn. Mitch looked into his hand. "Hmmmm…" He thought. Then he grinned. "That kid got himself into a real mess when he let me draw two extra cards." He thought.

"Alright," Mitch proclaimed. "I activate Cost Down. This allows me to lower the levels of cards in my hand by two stars as long as I discard a card from my hand." Mitch sent a card from his hand to his graveyard. "Now, I summon Labyrinth Wall (0/3000) in face-up attack mode!" Stone walls materialized in front of Mitch.

"Why'd he do that?" Jake thought. The spectators were thinking the same.

"Now, I play the spell Magical Labyrinth! It allows me to sacrifice Labyrinth Wall to summon…" Mitch put his monster in the graveyard along with the spell. "Wall Shadow! (1600/3000)"

A wall with a green ghoul emerging from it appeared. Its six eyes looked menacing and so did its white claws.

"Now, I'll equip him with Fairy Meteor Crush," Mitch said as he played a spell, causing a card to matierailize in front of him. "And that allows him to deal damage if your monster is in defense mode and his attack points are higher! Now, attack his facedown monster!"

The green ghoul raised its clawed arm.

"I play Woboku," Jake said as one of the facedown images of a card lifted to show a trap. "Woboku allows me to negate all battle damage this turn. So my face-down monster is only flipped face-up."

The ghoul's claw swiped down onto the sideways monster card causing it to appear as a hologram of a round marshmallow with an upside-down face.

"What is that," Mitch said laughing, "It looks so pathetic, its hilarious that a duelist would put something like that in their deck."

"You may not be saying that after this," Jake said crossing his arms.

"Huh, why?" Mitch said confused.

"You see… When my Marshmallon (300/500) is flipped face-up due to an attack, you lose 1000 life points. Oh, and even if your attack did connect, my monster's other ability makes it so it cannot be destroyed." Jake shrugged, "I just didn't want to lose any life points, so I played Woboku."

"Aaaaagghhhhh," Mitch yelled as red, holographic flames engulfed him.

J: 4000

M: 3000

"Uhhhhmmm… Why are you yelling," Jake asked, confused as he was.

"Huh, it's tradition. A duelist acts like their pain when he gets hit with life point damage." Mitch said regaining his composure. "Some people like to add falling on their knees or jumping backwards while falling down."

"Man, that's stupid," Jake said with an incredulous look.

"It's tradition," Mitch retorted.

"Ah, screw tradition. Is it my turn yet?" Jake replied.

"Not quite. My Wall Shadow's ability allows him to switch to defense mode at the end of my turn." Mitch then looked at his cards. "Now I'll set a card facedown. It's your turn now."

"Okay, my turn." Jake said drawing a card. He looked over his hand and smiled. "This duel's over."

"Wha, no way." Mitch retorted.

"Way," Jake said playing a spell. "I sacrifice my Marshmallon to summon…" Jake said putting his petite monster in the graveyard. "To summon Armed Dragon LV 5! (2400/2000)" A red dragon with grey armor and a spiked club appeared where the marshmallow disappeared.

"Now, I'll use his special ability. If I discard a monster card from my hand with attack points greater than or equal to your monster's attack, then I can destroy it. I think I'll do just that." Jake discarded a copy of his Armed Dragon LV 5 and his dragon threw its club at the wall where the ghoul appeared out of. The wall shattered and disappeared. Now I'll attack you with both of my monsters directly!" Jake's monsters readied themselves. The dragon held up his club and the swordsman crouched with his double

Mitch grinned, "Heh, watch this. I activate my trap, Mirror Force! It destroys all attacking mon—" Mitch was interrupted when his now face-up trap shattered. "Wha-what just happened?!" Mitch looked at Jake's side of the field to see that Jake had activated his other Trap.

"Oh, sorry. I forgot to mention my Trap Jammer." Jake said as his trap disappeared.

"Oh, man…" Mitch said as the monsters continued their attack. In a flurry of motion and holographic dust, Mitch's LP dropped.

J: 4000

M: 0000

"Well, that's that," Jake said walking away from the defeated duelist. He then took off the duel disk and gave it back to the kid who he got it from.

"You're not half-bad, man," Mitch yelled at Jake. "You should go to Duel Academy, that's where all the real duels are at." Jake stopped in his tracks.

It's not like he didn't want to go to Duel Academy. His parents were okay with it, Duel Academy didn't charge much if you got in and it covered basic school material. It also gave out kick-butt scholarships. It's just…

When he tried to get into duel Academy, he'd failed the Duel Test.

Jake got home and turned on his computer. Ellie and he had sent each other e-mails while she went to Duel Academy. She had recently increased her rank from Ra Yellow to Obelisk Blue, the highest rank in Duel Academy. She was really happy about it. Jake was happy about that too, but he still wished that he had passed his test and gone too.

The strange thing was… She usually kept up with her e-mails. It had been a week since she had sent a new message. Jake had sent e-mails asking why, but he still didn't get an answer.

Jake checked his e-mail. Spam, spam, spam, nothing… "Weird," Jake thought. Then he just shrugged it off. She was probably really busy because of her new rank. Maybe she was having a blast… Jake thought sadly.

Jake went downstairs and turned on the TV. The news was on and they were talking about Duel Academy, so he sat down and watched.

The over-done news reporter was on. He was standing in front of a white… castle like building. Huh, when did that get to Duel Academy? Jake thought.

"Hello, and we're back. Something new is occurring at Duel Academy now. A new dorm has been erected. It's called The Society of Light. It's a very exclusive dorm for the best of the best here and, oh here are some of those duelists now." The man and his cameraman walked over to two girls wearing white uniforms and skirts with grey trim with their backs towards the camera.

"Excuse me, ladies, but can you—" The man said before one of the girls turned around. Jake gasped, it was Ellie. So… she was in that Society thing now, huh. He thought.

"If you excuse me, I have to go to class." Ellie said coldly before turning around and resuming her walk.

"Okay, well anyway—" The reporter said before Jake switched him off.

"Something's wrong," Jake thought, "She was never that cold, or serious about class and her eyes… Why were they grey? I've got to find out… but how?