Author's Note: I'm back, sorta.

Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage.

Chapter Ninety-Two: The Festival of Death Part Two

Yuuta blinked as he felt a warmth on the side of his face. Apparently Kai hadn't managed to completely get him out of harm's way. The tip of Reaper's scythe had just missed his left eye, cutting a small line above his cheek bone. 'Dammit, I didn't think it would come to this, at least, not so soon.'

"You wouldn't happen to have a plan to get us out of this mess, would you?" Kai questioned as Yuuta rose to his feet. "Because if you do, now would be a really good time to put it into action."

"I did have a plan in case something like this happened, but the timing is wrong." Yuuta replied as he dusted off his uniform, appearing remarkably calm despite the current situation. "The only way we're going to get out of this alive is if I can somehow contact the Special Airlift Group but with things the way they are now..."

"Its impossible." Kai concluded as he turned to look at his superior. "And I don't think-" He paused, his mind a whirlwind of thoughts. "Wait, what if we created a visual signal for the Special Airlift Group? Do you think that would work?"

Yuuta nodded his head. "I don't see why it wouldn't, but how do ya suggest we make one?"

Before Kai could give his reply Reaper appeared at his shoulder, aiming a swing to take off his head. Swiftly, he dropped down to the ground, his legs wide in a perfect split as the scythe whistled over his head with amazing speed. Leaning forward, he placed the palm of his hands onto the ground before pushing himself forward into a low dropkick, which his opponent easily sidestepped.

Now lying flat on his back, Kai wasted no time in rolling to the side as Reaper's scythe came down, digging its tip into the pavement where his neck had been. He quickly got to his feet as the deadly weapon was raked through the ground before being pulled upward, causing a mist of dirt to spring up in front of his face, blinding him.

Lifting her scythe, Reaper spun it above her head as she turned in a complete circle, striking downward. Having anticipated his opponent's next move Kai leaped back quickly as the tip whistled past his face. 'That was too close for comfort...'

"Hmm, the way you move is rather unique." Reaper complimented as she dislodged her scythe from the pavement with one sharp pull. "It makes me wonder...will your head roll in a unique way too?" She questioned with a giggle.

"So...about that signal?" Yuuta inquired as Kai edged towards him.

A bead of sweat dropped from the blue haired teen's brow as he kept his eyes on his opponent, hoping that she wouldn't make any further movements for the next few crucial seconds. "Yuuta, hand me your bracelet."

"Huh? Why?"

"There's no time for questions, just do it!" Kai shouted, his tone urgent. Normally Yuuta would never comply with an order from a subordinate but considering the situation they were currently in he couldn't help but make an exception and do as he was told.

Wasting no time Kai put the sleek bracelet on and extended his right hand as he pressed a button on the accessory, causing it to expand and unfold into a custom made duel disk. Quickly, he reached into one of the two deck boxes strapped to his hip and pulled out a card, slapping it onto his duel disk. "This is it! Double Mega Merge! Biometal FX!"

A pillar of scorching hot flames erupted from beneath Kai, engulfing him as it traveled upward through the night sky. "That's one hell of a signal." Yuuta commented as he peered up at the swirling column of flame.

Kai emerged from the fire as it began to die down, the predominantly red, black, and white armor of Biometal FX beginning to encase his body as he approached Reaper. Metallic red boots formed around his feet, reaching up to his knees as a red vest solidified over his chest. Two giant pronged arm cannons materialized on his wrists seconds later before a red and white helmet formed around his head with horn-like ornaments protruding from the back of it. "Hey Yuuta, do you think the Special Airlift Group saw my signal?"

"They would have to be blind not to have seen it."

"Good..." The armored teen trailed off as he made a mental note of how many members of Reaper's security detail had them surrounded. "Yuuta, you may want to take cover." Almost immediately after his warning raging flames erupted from the back of the two arm cannons attached to Kai's wrist, propelling him forward like a rocket.

With a mighty blow to the abdomen one of the members of the security detail fell, crumpling up at Kai's feet. He turned as the remaining members readied their guns. "Sorry, but I'm going to have to put you all to sleep now."

XXX

Hiro stared up at the ceiling, unable to fall asleep. "Rei?" He called out, wondering if she had fallen asleep yet.

"Yes?"

Well that was a surprise, he hadn't expected her to actually be awake. For the past few days she would usually be fast asleep hours before he himself could fall prey to it. "Oh...um..." he trailed off as he desperately tried to come up with something to say, "Do you...want anything for your birthday?"

Rei stared at him, although he was so busy staring at his ceiling that he was oblivious to it. "You want to give me something?"

"Huh?" Hiro frowned a little as he asked himself the same question. "Well, we're friends, right? Its only natural that I wouldn't mind giving you something for your birthday."

"I see. In that case, what do you want for your birthday?" She asked, genuinely curious.

"I don't know," he told her, a little surprised by her sudden question, "I asked you first though."

The two imprisoned duelists conversation was cut short by the sound of clanging cell gates and keys. A very good looking blonde man with long hair stepped into the cell, followed by a few men. Each one of them were dressed in the typical Supernatural Suppression Squad attire. "I hope you two found this level of the facility comfortable because we are here to escort you to one of its lower levels, level four to be more specific."

Hiro felt his heart sink a little.

XXXXX

The jet-like flames of Kai's arm cannons fizzled out as he took down the last of the security detail, his battle armor suffering only minimal damage from their firearms. Suddenly the red armor glowed a bright white before shattering into a million tiny pixels as Kai brought his attention to Reaper and Tabatha. "Now then, I guess you two are the only ones left."

Lightning crackled around him as the green armor of Biometal HX formed onto his body. The two green thrusters protruding from his back and the side of his helmet activated, propelling him forward as the double sabers in his grip ignited with purple plasma. Reaper easily blocked the blow. "Well, aren't you just full of surprises?"

Kai performed a back flip, landing a few feet away, surprised to see that Reaper's scythe was still intact. The woman in question took a defensive stance as she beckoned to the blue haired teen. "I wonder...will you be able to satisfy me?"

He couldn't help but frown as Reaper leered at him. A familiar ominous energy was emitting from the woman standing before him, causing him to hesitate. 'Its strange...what's this freezing sensation I'm getting in my arms and legs? He frowned as he readied himself. 'This feeling, it makes me wonder if I have any real chance in a head-to-head, one-on-one battle with her.'

Suddenly a hail of debris suddenly began to tear his environment apart, snapping him out of his thoughts. Reaper was using her scythe to cut out and launch large chunks of the floor toward him with rapid-fire swings! Smacking aside several large rocks Kai scanned the area. The torrent of debris produced a thick cloud of dirt, making it impossible to locate his opponent's whereabouts. 'Where is she?'

"Boo." A sense of fright shot through his spine upon hearing the feminine voice so close. He turned in its direction but the dust was too thick. The realization that he was nothing more than a sitting duck dawned on him just as a blade penetrated his armor, slicing through his side.

The following sensation was so abrupt that Kai couldn't even cry out in pain, the ensuing gasp escaping his throat soundless. The blade was unnaturally cold, but all he could feel was a searing, unbearable heat from the scythe that had pierced him. The body reacted before the mind, and even before he registered the pain he swung one of his blades in a horizontal swipe, hoping to score a hit in retaliation.

Unfortunately he hit nothing but air before the tip of Reaper's deadly weapon cut into his armor and shoulder, drawing blood. "Dammit!" Not wanting his opponent to gain a further advantage over him Kai swung his second blade in a downward arc, which produced a wide arc of lightning, hopefully the attack connected, or at the very least bought him enough time to think.

The unpleasant feeling he felt from his opponent was all around him now, filling him with self doubt. His thoughts, once clear, were now coming to him slowly as his knees began to buckled under the strange pressure bearing down on him. 'What's going on? Why do I feel this way all of a sudden?' It felt like he was being suffocated by a vast ocean that would never let him go.

'This isn't like me, I'm letting fear cloud my judgment.' Kai thought to himself as he willed his still body to move in an attempt to calm his frantic nerves. 'If I'm going to stand any chance of surviving long enough for back-up to arrive I can't stay on the defensive! I can't let this fear take hold of me!'

The jet like thrusters attached to his back ignited as he took to the sky. 'Right here, right now, I'm going to give this fight my all!' With the speed of a rocket he propelled himself downward, a spiral of wind encasing his body, quickening his already fast descent.

An eruption of wind fanned out from the resulting collision, dispersing the dense cloud of smoke and cutting swathes into the ground. Despite this, Reaper was instantly upon him, making a slashing motion with her scythe with the intent of removing Kai's right arm. The armored teen barely managed to deflect the attack with his blade, the action causing his wounded shoulder to burn with an even greater pain.

The cold look in Reaper's eyes made it clear that she was assure of her victory before the battle had even begun as Kai struggled to keep the blade of the scythe away from his flesh. It was quite clear to both combatants that he was quickly reaching his breaking point. "What's the matter? Are you...afraid?"

Scowling, Kai attempted to press the one advantage he had, the fact that he was armed with two weapons. Just as he was about to attack his opponent's right side she flicked her wrist, pushing him back slightly just in time for her to slam the haft of her weapon into the ground, its shaft blocking the blue haired teen's strike.

"That won't do. How do you expect to defeat me without a hint of killing intent?" She questioned as she pushed him away before swinging her scythe horizontally at Kai's neck. He spun to his right in response, getting his blade up. The scythe scraped upward and off the blade, over his head.

'I can't let her words throw me off, I have to stay focused.' Following this motion Kai spun back to his left, swinging hard. Reaper leaped back, avoiding the blow. Not wasting a single second she resumed her offensive, leaping forward with an overhead cleave. He dove to the side in response, rolling across the tiled floor before countering with an upward swing.

Once more Reaper leaped back, flipping through the air. "Honestly, I'm surprised that you're this resilient. I'm sure you've felt it from the moment we started fighting, the oppressive aura that causes you to doubt everything, to lose control of your thoughts."

"Well, that's the effect that I have on most people but you are doing a great job of resisting that with the strength of your will alone." She said with a smirk as she held her weapon of choice low to the ground. "You must have went through a terrible ordeal in order to resist giving in up to this point, but you won't be able to fight off the feeling for much longer. True fear is not an instinct human beings can ignore."

A bead of sweat rolled down Kai's face. 'What is she?' I couldn't really tell from before but her aura feels similar to Hayato's dark power...' The strange pressure emitting from Reaper's body intensified as she approached him in a nonchalant manner. 'This isn't good...just standing here like this is becoming difficult. I have to figure out how that power of hers work, otherwise there is no way I will be able to overcome it.' He thought to himself as he took a step back, he wasn't quite sure what the blue haired woman was up to but he wasn't going to let his guard down. "Are you trying to say that you're not human?"

"Hmm, I wonder about that..."

In response to her words he charged in and swung high. Reaper's scythe came up, turning the blow and then...

Kai staggered back, the armor around his right calf completely destroyed. "Argh!"

"That was rather sloppy of you." Reaper said with a giggle. "What's the point in charging in if you're just going to hesitate when you attack? If things keep going like this, you really will die." She grinned. "Of course, you already know that, right?"

'She...kicked through my armor?!' He shook his head. 'It doesn't matter. I won't let this stop me.' Kai charged in again, this time swinging his blade low. Reaper back stepped quickly, swinging out with her leg, her left heel striking his head, effectively crushing one of the thrusters on the side of his helmet.

He fell face first as Reaper held her scythe low. His vision blurred as fear once again began to creep through the cracks of his steel-like will. "What's the matter? Is this the extent of your ability?"

Kai struggled to get to his feet. He had managed to stave off the pain from the gash both across his left shoulder and right side due to adrenaline, but the devastating blow to the side of his helmet quickly put an end to that perk. His erratic heartbeat made it hard to hear what his opponent was saying and his hazy vision made it difficult to tell if he was being attacked or not. 'Dammit, I can't let it end like this! I've made promises to so many people and I intend to keep them!'

With that thought driving him the armored teen pushed himself to his feet and lunged at Reaper, swinging his sword wide. She turned it away with her scythe and Kai lashed out with a low kick of his own. Reaper back stepped again and swung her scythe upward, the tip grazing against his leg, temporarily depriving the muscles of their strength as pain replaced power.

Despite his newly gained wound, Kai ducked, anticipating the following kick that passed over his head harmlessly. Then, Reaper's foot stopped in mid-air, rose up about seven inches, and slammed down in quick succession, heel first onto the blue haired teen's head, knocking him face-down once more and sending spider web cracks throughout his helmet.

Breathless, there was little he could do to stop Reaper from smashing through his fractured helmet with the haft of her weapon. 'Dammit...' Kai pressed his hands hard against the floor in an attempt to push himself to his feet but he found that he didn't have enough strength in his arms to do so. Kai begrudgingly realized that he was no longer in any condition to fight.

In fact, he was fairly convinced that he and Yuuta were going to die here. He closed his eyes as fatigue began to take hold. He could see it now, the smiling faces of all the people he had bonded with up until now. Each one of them, from his late brother Tsukune to his best friend Sakura, were all smiling at him, as if they accepted the fact that he had failed to keep his promises to them. 'I see...I did my best...so its okay, right?'

Reaching down, Reaper grabbed him by his hair and pulled him up with one arm, placing the blade of her scythe near his throat. "It seems like you weren't able to satisfy me either. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted I suppose."

Yuuta could do nothing but watch as Tabatha's foot ground into his back, pinning him to the tiled floor. 'Kai, I'm sorry. This is all my fault.'

"Now, before I kill you, there's something I want to ask you." Reaper said with a sadistic grin on her face as she pressed the blade of her scythe to Kai's throat. "Tell me, are you...afraid?"

Kai looked down at the blade of the scythe, his mind a whirlwind of thought. Images of the times when he was the happiest flashed before his eyes, as if they were being reflected off of the blade of Reaper's scythe. Waking up early to watch reruns of Kamen Rider with his brother and father. Traveling from city to city with Kiyo. Attending junior high with Kazuki. Helping Hayato and the others to clear Hiro's name. Sparring with Sakura...

A small chuckle escaped the battered teen's lips. 'I finally get it. After all this time I finally get it.' Reaper blinked in confusion, it was clear that Kai's reaction wasn't something she had expected. "Yeah, I'm afraid. I have been since the very beginning."

"I see." Reaper frowned as those words left her lips. "That's too bad. You possessed a few of the qualities I have been searching for but like all the others you also fell short. Your heart has also been possessed by fear towards me."

Another chuckle escaped Kai's lips. "No...that's not it. You're not the one I'm afraid of." He looked at Yuuta via his peripheral vision and Reaper followed his gaze. Her frown deepened as confusion spread across her face. "Him? You're afraid of him...and not me? Really?"

"I'm afraid of not meeting his expectations...and he's not the only one." Kai began as Reaper listened to him intently. "My brother, my friends, Kiyo, they're all counting on me to be the hero I often boast to be. I've dedicated my entire life to fulfilling they're wishes, to making them happy. I thought I was okay with that being my only purpose...but fighting with you made me realize something."

"And what's that?" Reaper questioned as she slowly lowered her scythe, curious.

"Deep down, I still hate the idea of what a 'hero' is. Living only for the sake of others, shouldering heavy burdens, I can't stand it but..." he paused as a bright but determined smile spread across his face, "I made a promise...and I'm going to see it through to the very end, no matter how afraid I am of failing."

Reaper let go of Kai with a soft pink tinge to her cheeks, allowing him to fall to the floor as she turned her back to him. 'Just now...that smile. Have I found "it" already?' She shook her head. 'No, I shouldn't jump to that conclusion just yet, there's still one more requirement he hasn't shown me yet.'

"Tabatha."

The woman looked up from the man she currently had pinned to the ground. "Yes my lady?"

"Send some men to escort Trask and Lache here immediately." She commanded as she made her way back to her seat. "Oh, and send for some paramedics as well."

Not quite understanding the change in her ruler's demeanor or the reason behind her command Tabatha hesitantly nodded in compliance. "As you wish my lady. What would you have me do with these two?" She questioned as she watched Yuuta closely.

Reaper grinned as she leaned back in her scythe, her fingers idly tapping the shaft of her beloved weapon. "These two are going to play an important part in the grand finale of the festival so just leave them be for the moment. For now just focus on bringing the remaining players here."

XXXXX

Hiro was unceremoniously thrown into in a dark cell. His escorts quickly closed the cell door behind him, locked it, and then left. With a deep frown on his face Hiro calls out, "Rei?"

As he expected he doesn't receive an answer. 'Well, isn't this just great? We've been separated.' As his mismatched eyes slowly but surely began to adjust to the darkness of the room Hiro observed that they were three other cells in the room. Pushing himself off of the hard stone ground he made his way to the edge of the bordering cell. "Hello? Is anyone there?"

"Pipe down, brat." A hoarse voice whispers back. A tall, lanky figure makes his way to Hiro's cell and sits on the ground. The old man has a quizzical expression on his worn face as he stares at Hiro's form illuminated by the dim lights of the room. "My, you're a young one aren't ya?"

"Um, is this floor level four of the facility?"

The old man arched a brow. "Level four? Oh heaven's no." He answers. "This is the first level holding. There aren't many prisoners on this floor, just a few of the locals from Domino City who've committed severe crimes but aren't eligible to be shipped down lower."

Hiro did not like the sound of that. "How many floors are there? Are the prisoners more...ruthless on the way down?"

"There are four floors. And yes, supposedly. I'll most likely never get down that far...the only thing I am guilty of is using my powers to defend myself from a no good mugger. What's your name lad? I'm Aida."

"Hiro..." The white haired duelist answered. "Before I was sent here the guards told me that I was going to the fourth level so why am I here?"

Aida runs a hand through his messy gray hair before giving an answer to the teen's inquiry. "Someone will come for you soon I bet, your stay here will most likely be extremely short lived. Well, when you get to the fourth floor, if I were you, I'd do my best to not get mixed in with the...err...politics down there. You don't look like the type that would want to get mixed in with either faction."

"Wait. What do you mean politics?"

"Mmm...there are two factions down there. I'm afraid I don't know much about it aside from that..."

'Something tells me I'm going to get involved with these "so-called" politics whether I want to or not...' Hiro thought to himself before asking the old man another question. "Are these politics only active on the fourth floor?"

"Hmm...something like that." The old man answers with a nod of his head. "The influence reaches up to the second floor if I'm not mistaken and there are people part of each faction on the third floor, but there isn't much to it here. I mean, we hear about it of course, but..."

Aida trails off as the sound of a door shutting is heard and footsteps begin to descend down a flight of stairs. A short brunette woman stops in front of Hiro's cell. "Are you Hiro Katsuya? One of the duo that killed Mugen Taizo?"

"I didn't kill him!" Hiro shouted angrily.

The woman frowns and, to Hiro's surprise, walks through the bars of the cell as if they weren't there at all. Before he can recover from his shock the generously endowed woman drills him square in the nose, knocking him backward.

She follows through with a series of punches to his stomach, causing the white haired teen to cough up copious amounts of blood. Hiro doubles over from the pain but the woman stops him from falling with a right hook to the jaw, sending him flying across the cell. As he slides down the wall and onto the ground the woman scowls. "Use that tone of voice with me again and I won't hesitate to end your worthless life."

Hiro lets out a single laugh, blood following behind it. "If this is all just a bad dream I would really like to wake up from it now..."

The woman looks back at her handiwork one last time before walking to one of the guards. "Move his ass down to the fourth floor immediately." The two men snap a salute before barging into the cell and lifting the battered teen off the ground.

The world goes black as one of the guards places a brown bag over Hiro's head.

XXXXX

Reaper leaned into the lavish couch located in a spectator's booth that overlooked a grand Duel Monsters stadium, which was filled to the brim with the Airevtalian populace. Tabatha, who was standing by her side, shifted uncomfortably. "Do you really think that boy is the one?"

"I think so." The tyrannical ruler replied as she leaned into the palm of her hand. "But I still find it hard to believe that someone who fits all five of my requirements would show up so soon. That is why I feel this test is necessary."

"Oh, it seems the duel is about to start."

Kai staggered onto the field, the cheers from the watching audience giving him a piercing headache. Standing across from his was Junior Lieutenant Trask. "As I expected, nothing good can ever come of Airevtal associating itself with outsiders."

The blue haired duelist frowned but didn't respond, instead his attention was focused on a scaffolding at the far end of the stadium. Yuuta, along with the Supernatural Suppression Squad Airlift Group were kneeling atop the structure, several member's of Reaper's security detail standing over them with swords in their firm grips.

'No wonder they never showed up to help. Reaper had already captured them...' Kai returned his attention to Trask. Reaper had informed him beforehand that if he failed to demonstrate some unknown requirement she was expecting from him that his life, as well as the lives of his fellow SSS members, would come to an abrupt end.

He winced as he took a step forward. The paramedics hadn't done much other than stop the bleeding, so Kai wasn't exactly sure how much longer his battered body would hold out. 'Even so...I can't falter. As long as I can save them I don't really care what happens to my body.'

Trask activated his duel disk and drew five cards. "Well, what are you waiting for?" (T: 4000)

Taking a deep breath Kai steeled his resolve as he recalled the conclusion of his fight with Reaper. 'That's right, no matter what I did or how I acted throughout the years I had no actual desire to be a hero, but because of my desire to keep my promise to Tsukune and Kiyo I fooled myself in believing otherwise. I still don't know how to feel about that but...'

The cheers of the audience increased tenfold as Kai's duel disk activated. 'Now isn't the time to dwell on it.' (K: 4000) Noticing that his opponent had drawn five cards Kai swiftly drew six. "I'm not going to hold anything back. I'm going to crush you with my full strength."

"A meaningless boast."

Kai ignored him as he slapped a card onto his duel disk. "Pot of Greed lets me draw two cards." He quickly drew two more cards before slapping one of them onto his duel disk. "I summon Biometal X (1800/1500)!" X's signature blue armor encased the hero duelist's body. He flexed his arms as he felt a sudden surge of strength. "By discarding Biometal H (1600/1200), X's effect activates!" As quickly as it had formed the blue armor broke apart and Kai held his arms out as a veil of while light washed over his body.

"Biometal HX (2400/2000) is special summoned to the field!" The white light faded, revealing the predominantly purple armor Kai was now donned in. "HX's special ability forces you to discard your entire hand!"

Trask frowned as he was forced to discard the five cards in his hand. "Repayment of Losses activates..."

"The duel has only begun and yet he has already managed to gain a significant edge over his opponent..." Reaper murmured as Trask drew a card due to the effect of his discard spell card.

Tabatha nodded in agreement. "I must admit that that was a rather impressive move."

"By returning HX to my extra deck X returns to the field." Kai's armor shattered, replaced once more by X's blue armor, which promptly shatters as well. "I activate X's effect again! This time I'm discarding Biometal P (1600/1800) in order to summon Biometal PX (2600/1800)!"

Donned in purple armor Kai quickly launched a kunai that cut some of the bandages that hid Trask's scarred face. (T: 2800) "When Biometal PX is summoned it deals half of its attack points as direct damage to my opponent's life points." He explained as his armor shattered and X's armor returned.

"Now, one more time, Double Mega Merge!" This time a red and white armor encased Kai's body as his blue hair began to grow until it reached the back of his knees. "Biometal ZX (2800/2600) is summoned. I'll end my turn by setting the last three cards in my hand face-down."

Trask drew a card from his deck for the start of his turn and immediately played it upon seeing what it was. "I summon Psychic Armor Head (0/0)." A blue and silver helmet complete with a visor formed around the man's head. "Now that Psychic Armor Head is on my field I can activate the Armored Gravitation spell card."

Lightning crackled around Trask's side of the field as he began to explain the effect of his newly played card. "Armored Gravitation allows me to summon up to four level four or lower Armor monsters with different names from my deck." Four cards spat out of the deck slot of his duel disk. "My choices are Trap Buster (0/0), Buster Pyle (0/0), Over Boost (0/1000), and Active Guard (0/2500)."

One by one pieces of armor similar in style to Psychic Armor Head formed around the man's body. "For each Armor monster on my field Active Guard gains five hundred defense points." Trask informed his opponent as he flexed his metallic fist, the electricity emitting from his body creating grooves in the stadium floor. (0/5000)

"Now, Buster Pyle will attack!" Trask announced as he jumped forward, his fist drawn back. Kai crouched down as he approached, knowing full well what his opponent was up to. Just as Trask opponent was about to slammed his fist into the armored hero Kai jumped up at the last moment.

The scarred man's fist slammed into the stadium floor, creating a fist sized crater. Trask looked up, surprised etched on his features as Kai twisted his body, aiming a kick at his head. Brining his metallic arm up to block the blow Trask was pushed back by the force of his opponent's kick, causing Buster Pyle to shatter into a million pixels as a result."

"When Buster Pyle battles during my battle phase, battle damage received by this card is reduced to zero. The monster that fought this card is destroyed and five hundred points of damage is inflicted upon the opposing player." Trask informed his opponent as he unleashed a flurry of punches to emulate the card's effect. Kai expertly deflected the punches away from his body but despite this fact faint cracks began to appear in his armor.

Just when it looked like Kai's armor was going to be completely destroyed by the effect of Buster Pyle his set card flipped upward, revealing itself. "The quick-play spell card Unyielding Spirit prevents the destruction of my monster, which means I won't be taking any sort of damage from Buster Pyle's effect!"

Kai landed a powerful punch to Trask that sent him flying backward. "No matter, I've only just begun."

"That's where you're wrong." The blue haired duelist replied as he charged forward, the second of his set cards flipping over to reveal itself. "The trap card Bioshock activates whenever I successfully prevent the effect of a card from destroying a face-up Biometal monster on my field. Damage is inflicted to your life points equal to that monster's attack points, which means this duel is over!"

"I wouldn't be too sure about that." Trask replied as he adopted a defensive stance. "During my turn, at the cost of destroying it Active Guard can reduce any damage I would take to zero."

Despite his words Kai kicked through the man's guard, the remainder of his armor shattering like glass as his life points tricked down to zero. Trask stumbled back from the impact as his vision began to blur. "But...how?" (T: 0)

It was at this moment that he noticed that the last of Kai's set cards was now face-up. "The trap card Braveheart allows me to pay half of my life points in order to negate the activation of a monster's effect." (K: 2000)

The audience fell silent as the holograms faded away and Trask fell unconscious, it was clear that they hadn't expected such an outcome, not to mention the fact that one of their own had been bested so easily. Kai knelt down, clearly exhausted from expending so much energy while still suffering from his injuries during his fight with Reaper. 'Ugh, I think one of my wounds just opened up...'

"...He's exceptionally skilled." Tabatha said, her surprise evident.

"Yeah...but Trask was nothing more than a warm-up. If he truly is the one, then this next duel should prove it." Reaper said with a content smile as a group of paramedics removed Trask's unconscious form from the field.

"My apologies, but you don't have any time to rest." Kai looked up at the sound of the new voice. Standing before him was his next and last opponent, General Lache. Like Tabatha, he was dressed in the standard uniform of the Airevtalian army. His brown hair was cut short and his beard was well-trimmed, as one would expect of someone serving in the military. That aside, his green eyes were currently trained on the battered duelist kneeling before him. "If its all the same to you, I would like to get this over with as soon as possible."

Kai nodded his head in response to the man's words.

He couldn't agree more.

XXXXX

Author's Note: Yeah, not gonna lie, I have no idea when the next chapter will be up, but look forward to it, okay?

Card of this chapter:

Buster Pyle: Earth/Machine/Armor (4/0/0)

This card cannot be destroyed by battle. You take no Battle Damage from battles involving this card. If this card attacks an opponent's monster, destroy that monster after damage calculation, and inflict 500 damage to your opponent. (Only 1 Armor monster can attack per turn. If you control 2 or more Armor monsters, and 1 is selected as an attack target, you can change the target to another Armor monster you control.)

XXXXX

Kai: This guy may be an Armor duelist like Trask, but he's on a completely different level.

Lache: Indeed, I am his superior, so its only natural that there is no comparison between us.

The lives of Yuuta and the other SSS members hang in the balance as Kai faces off against the powerful General Lache. Despite his resolve, it soon becomes apparent that the hero duelist is quickly exceeding his limit. When the sun rises to welcome the new day, who shall be declared the victor? Next time, Yu-Gi-Oh GX The End of Eternity Chapter Ninety-Three! The Festival of Death Part Three!

Reaper: I'm looking forward to the conclusion, fufufu...