Disclaimer: All official Yu-Gi-Oh! GX characters & cards are property of VIZ, Shonen Jump, and Konami.
This fic is a joint project with two of my closest friends, Comic Master Alpha and Strawberry Bunny.
"Welcome to the future...a pity you're too late to stop it. No one can stop me now."
"It's Kel'aral," Mikey said as he stepped forward.
"The guy who attacked when we were visiting Industrial Illusions?" asked Max.
"It's not easy to forget a voice like that."
"So he's the cause of everything that's been happening in Ardent?" Mikomi inquired.
"No, what's happened to this land is clearly the work of the UnGod's influence," Zetsubou answered, "However, this Kel'aral no doubt acts as a catalyst to aid it."
"Then we must stop him at all costs." Saito stepped forward.
"Halt, young Kaiba," Kuraz cautioned, "No doubt he is waiting for us."
"Last time we encountered him, he had possession of your card," Mikey remembered as looked up at the Emperor of Light.
"It was not a pleasant experience," Kuraz uttered.
"Think he'll want it back?" Mikey asked.
"Likely. We must proceed with caution."
"The longer we wait, the more time he has to prepare a defense against us. We must move quickly," Saito said. He took a few steps forward and a bolt of energy suddenly shot out at him from one of the large crystals. He raised his arm to shield himself and the bolt struck his Duel Disk instead.
"Saito! You okay?" asked Sammie.
"Didn't even hit me," Saito assured her.
"I'll go first," Wes volunteered.
"No, I will," Zetsubou said, "I'm the most adept at close quarters combat." Everyone agreed and the assassin took the lead. They ascended to the first chamber which was occupied by many flame-wielding warriors including Evocator Chevalier, Prominent Knight, and Achacha Chanbara led by Phoenix Gearfried. Above their heads a giant, yet majestic, Fushi no Tori flew around the room in circles.
"Let me handle this," Reko volunteered.
"Not alone, you aren't." Nellie stepped forward. "That thing's a phoenix. That's my thing."
"You'll need strategy," said Wes, "I'll fight with you."
"No, as the White Vanguard, Saito's going to need your help," Reko replied.
"I'll stay then." Zetsubou spun his knives on his fingers.
"Not without me." Mikomi stepped up beside her brother.
"Then the rest of us will go on ahead," Saito said.
"Good luck you guys," Noah wished as he and the others left, going up the ramp and disappearing into one of the hallways.
"So how are we going to do this?" Reko asked.
"Mikomi and I will take the left, you and Nellie will take the right. We'll meet on the opposite platform and attack the phoenix together," said Zetsubou.
"Sounds like a plan." Reko, Mikomi, and Nellie readied their Duel Disks as Zetsubou activated his ring's power.
o o o
The hallway was covered in silver, but had the same pink, red, and purple gems and walls. The walk was short with a few guards on the way, but soon they reached a split in the path.
"We'll have to split up again," Max noted.
A loud mechanical roar seemed to come from down one hallway. Charlie turned to her fellow Duel Mercenaries. "This one is ours." Sako, Jaeger, and Victoria nodded and followed their leader, leaving behind the remaining eight.
"Let's go then," Saito instructed, prompting the others to follow.
o o o
The Duel Mercenaries followed the hallway and entered into a large violet room that seemed to be occupied by only a single entity, Fiendish Engine Ω.
"Just like old times, isn't it?" Sako asked.
"Just like old times," Charlie replied with a smirk.
"Not one to bring down the team, but how are we supposed to bring down that behemoth without my plane or Victoria's submarine?" asked Jaeger.
In response, Sako dipped his hand into Heward's Handy Haversack and produced a plethora of firearms.
"You mad bastard!" remarked Victoria, "Where did you get all this?"
Sako locked and loaded his sniper rifle. "I'll tell you after we make it out of this alive."
Everyone grabbed weapons and stood side by side. The Duel Guerilla, the Duel Sniper, the Duel Ace, and the Duel Submariner were back. They took aim and opened fire, which prompted Fiendish Engine Ω to turn on them.
"ALERT! YOU ARE MARKED FOR EXTERMINA-"
The mechanical beast didn't even get a chance to finish its sentence as bullets seemed to rain down on it. Several bursts all fired at its face as the unit seemed to fire move around in syncronicity. Every moment the beast thought it would get a moment to retaliate it was met with another burst of bullets. Jaeger and Victoria took aim at the eyes. Sako fired at the chest. Charlie? She had vanished into the shadows with an RPG and a few pounds of C4. Her troop knew what she was doing. She was going to call upon a sharpnel thunder.
o o o
The next chamber had the appearance of a shining observatory with gold and purple walls and a large holographic display of the solar system hovering overhead. Standing in the middle of the room was a creature Mikey hadn't seen in a long time.
"Cosmo Queen," he whispered.
"And she's not alone," Hayley noted. And indeed her words were true for Cosmo Queen was flanked by two Heralds of Creation.
"They must be there to heal her," Noah guessed.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" asked Gabe as he stepped forward. Max and Hayley joined him and soon so did Noah.
"The hallway goes upstairs," Max pointed out as he donned his mask.
"That's gotta be where the boss is," Hayley added as she put on her own.
"Be safe, guys," Mikey wished as he, Sammie, Saito, and Wes headed upstairs. The four who remained turned toward the spellcaster.
"Let's do this," Noah said as they approached. Cosmo Queen sensed their presence and turned around.
"Your soul belongs to the abyss!"
o o o
The final chamber was the largest they had ever seen. Kel'aral stood on a dais looking out a large pink window. Surrounding the raised platform were two enormous golden statues of himself.
"So, you made it all the way here," he noted.
"We're here to stop you, Kel'aral," Mikey declared.
"As I expected. However, do you truly have the power to stop me?" Kel'aral turned around and faced the four teenagers, "Especially when the legendary Crusaders of the Rose are without their vanguards?" He held out his hands and an invisible force suddenly pushed Sammie and Wes out of the room and a magical barrier sealed them off.
"Now you're all alone. Prepare you feel the power of Ardent at my fingertips." Kel'aral stepped forward and activated his Duel Disk. Mikey and Saito activated theirs in response.
"Royalty first!" Kel'aral drew his first card. "I set two facedowns and activate Dimensional Fissure. With this card activated, any monsters sent to the graveyard shall be banished instead." A rip in space appeared over the field. "Then I will summon D.D. Survivor." A cloaked wanderer appeared in front of him (ATK/1800 DEF/200). "That will be all."
"My turn!" Mikey was about to draw his card, but Saito stopped him.
"The next turn is mine."
"Who says you get to go next?" Mikey demanded.
"Because I'm a far superior Duelist than you."
"Have you forgotten the times I've completely obliterated you?"
"I have a new deck."
"And that's supposed to change anything?"
"You can be so stubborn, Saito!"
"And you sound like a nagging wife!"
"I do NOT sound like a nagging wife!"
"One of you just take a turn!" Kel'aral roared.
"Fine, we'll just settle this the old-fashioned way," Mikey declared.
"I couldn't agree more," Saito said.
"That's a first."
"Very well then."
"Rock, Paper, Scissors!"
"Paper beats rock!" Mikey announced.
"You have to win a duel against me for it to count as a victory," Saito responded.
"I'm drawing." Mikey drew his card. "Okay, this could very well deplete my whole hand right on the word go, but it's the best move I've got. I'll start by activating Constellar Star Chart. This lets me draw a card when I Special Summon a Constellar Xyz Summon for the first time each turn. Now I summon the Star of Taurus, Constellar Alderbaran!" A column of light descended from the heavens and the sign of Taurus appeared as the bull-like knight appeared (ATK/1300 DEF/800). "And when Constellar Alderbaran is Normal Summoned, I can Special Summon a level three Constellar monster from my hand. So here's the Star of Leo, Constellar Leonis! In defense mode!" Another light descended and the sign of Leo appeared as the lion-like warrior appeared and crouched down defensively (ATK/1000 DEF/1800).
"With Leonis on the field, I can Normal Summon another Constellar monster once per turn. So I summon the Star of Gemini, Constellar Pollux." A light and the sign of Gemini appeared, which allowed the dual knight to drop down (ATK/1700 DEF/600). "When Pollux is summoned, I can Normal Summon a Constellar monster. So I summon the Star of Capricorn, Constellar Algiedi." The sign of Capricorn appeared with the column of light and deposited the magical goat knight (ATK/1600 DEF/1400). "And when she's Normal Summoned, I can Special Summon one more level four Constellar monster. So I summon Constellar Kaust!" The sign of Sagittarius appeared as a light descended from the heavens and the centaur archer dropped down (ATK/1800 DEF/700).
"Now I'm going to use Kaust's effect. Twice per turn, he can raise or lower the level of a Constellar monster by one. I'm going to use that effect to increase Leonis and Alderbaran by one level each." As Mikey ended his sentence, the top light on Constellar Kaust's bow lit up and he pulled back his string, conjuring up two arrows of light, which he fired into Constellar Leonis and Constellar Alderbaran, raising their levels up to four. "Now I Overlay Constellar Leonis and constellar Alderbaran. I construct an Overlay Network with my two monsters." The two monsters transformed into streams of golden light and spiraled into a vortex that appeared. "Xyz Summon! Shine, Constellar Beehive!" Mikey's mechanical knight emerged from the vortex and stood proud with two orbs of light orbiting him (ATK/2400 DEF/800). The power of Constellar Star Chart activated and he drew another card.
"Now I Overlay Constellar Pollux and Constellar Algiedi. I construct another Overlay Network with my two monsters." Once again, the same holographic graphics overtook the field. "Xyz Summon! Rise, Constellar Omega!" The winged centaur appeared with two orbs of light orbiting his body (AT/2400 DEF/500).
"I'll set a card and end my turn," announced Mikey.
"You took your time," Saito muttered.
"Hey, it was a good move," Mikey pointed out.
Saito did have to confess to himself that it was a good move. He drew his card and looked at his hand. He stood there silent for a moment.
"What's wrong?" asked Mikey.
"This is my deck, but these aren't my cards," Saito replied. Indeed it seemed that every single one of his Dragunity cards had been replaced as if by magic. He wondered how it could have happened, but then he remembered the bolt that had struck his Duel Disk.
"Kuraz, what's going on?" Mikey whispered.
"It seems the Tower of Divinity has chosen to grant Saito a new power," Kuraz replied as he appeared beside Mikey in spirit form.
"Well the duel's already started, so I'll work with it." Saito placed a card on his Duel Disk. "Since you have monsters and I don't, I Special Summon Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit." A majestic gold and white dragon descended from the heavens and roared (ATK/2100 DEF/1400). "It can't attack on the turn it's summoned this way, which is why I now summon Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb." A glowing dragon man with orange armor appeared on the field and roared (ATK/1800 DEF/400). "Now I sacrifice Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb to Special Summon Hieratic Dragon of Su." The orange dragon disappeared and a blue dragon in golden armor took its place (ATK/2200 DEF/1000).
"Since Hieratic Dragon of Gebeb was tributed, I can Special Summon one Dragon-type Normal Monster from my hand, deck, or graveyard, but its attack and defense points will be reduced to zero. I will summon Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King from my deck." A large golden dragon egg appeared on the field (ATK/0 DEF/0).
"Now I'll activate Su's effect. By tributing a monster from my hand or field, I can destroy one Spell or Trap Card." Saito took Hieratic Dragon of Eset from his hand and Hieratic Dragon of Su opened its wings and began showering Kel'aral's backfield with light, destroying Dimensional Fissure and closing up the hole in space. "And since Hieratic Dragon of Eset was tributed, the effect of summoning a Normal Dragon-type takes place. I summon Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord from my deck." A golden sphere descended from the heavens and appeared on Saito's field (ATK/0 DEF/0).
"Now I Overlay Hieratic Dragon of Su with Hieratic Seal of the Dragon King. I construct an Overlay Network with my two monsters." Saito's two dragons were transformed into streams of golden light and spiraled into the vortex that opened up. "Xyz Summon! Descend from Heaven, Hieratic Dragon King of Atum!" A humanoid dark blue dragon emerged from the light clad in golden armor with two orbs of light orbiting its body as it roared (ATK/2400 DEF/2100).
"Hieratic Dragon King of Atum, attack!" ordered Saito. Hieratic Dargon King of Atum spread out his wings and absorbed light through them before rearing back his head and shooting a solid stream of sunlight.
"I activate Macro Cosmos!" Kel'aral revealed one of his facedowns, "Now everything that goes to the graveyard will be banished!" He watched as the attack struck D.D. Survivor and killed him.
"I set a card and then I'll activate Super Rejuvenation," Saito announced, "This card lets me draw one card on my End Phase for every Dragon that I tributed this turn. That being said, I end my turn now. Since I tributed two monsters, that means two cards." He took the top two cards off his deck and placed them in his hand.
"And on the End Phase, D.D. Survivor returns from the other dimension." The cloaked wanderer returned to the field as Kel'aral explained his monster's effect. "It's my turn now." The twisted prince drew his card. "I sacrifice D.D. Survivor to summon Mobius the Frost Monarch!" D.D. Survivor vanished and in his place a giant ice meteor fell and shattered, depositing Mobius the Frost Monarch with a black chain wrapped around his chest (ATK/2400 DEF/1000).
"Okay, that is definitely not supposed to be there," Mikey said making note of the chain.
"Now destroy those two set cards!" ordered Kel'aral. Mobius raised his arms and a rain of icicles came down and impaled Mikey's and Saito's facedown cards. "And now for my other facedown, Double Summon."
"Oh no, he's not going to do what I think he's doing, is he?" Mikey asked.
"The question is, which one?" replied Saito.
"I activate Soul Exchange," Kel'aral announced.
"Oh no he isn't," Mikey muttered.
"I'll sacrifice Constellar Beehive." Kel'aral's Spell Card took effect and Mikey's monster was swallowed up in light and banished along with all of its Overlay Units. "I summon Zaborg the Thunder Monarch!" A lightning bolt struck the floor and Zaborg the Thunder Monarch appeared, also with a black chain around his chest (ATK/2400 DEF/1000). "Now Zaborg, destroy Hieratic Dragon King of Atum!" Zaborg pointed his finger at the intended target and fired off a burst of lightning that surged through his body before finally destroying him.
"Now since I used Soul Exchange, I cannot conduct my Battle Phase. So I will end my turn and as a result, D.D. Survivor returns," announced Kel'aral. Following his statement, D.D. Survivor returned to the field.
"We've got a problem," said Mikey.
"Macro Monarchs are anti-meta and our decks are incredibly meta," Saito responded.
Mikey drew his card. "Let's hope we can make it work somehow. I summon the Star of Cancer, Constellar Acubens!" The sign of Cancer appeared and a light descended from above, depositing the crab-like mechanical warrior (ATK/800 DEF/2000). "And when he's Normal Summoned, all Constellars on the field gain five hundred attack points." Constellar Acubens opened his claws and showered the field with light, raising his own attack points to thirteen hundred, Constellar Kaust's to twenty-three hundred, and Constellar Omega's to twenty-nine hundred. "Now Kaust will increase his level and Acubens' by one." Constellar Kaust drew back his bowstring as the top light of his bow lit up and he fired arrows of light into Cosntellar Acubens and at his own feet, raising them both to level five.
"I Overlay Constellar Acubens and Constellar Kaust. I construct an Overlay Network with my two monsters. Xyz Summon! Descend, Constellar Pleiades!" From the vortex, a light emerged and from the radiance stepped out a Mikey's shining knight with two orbs of light orbiting his body (ATK/2500 DEF/1500). Constellar Star Chart activated and he drew his card. "And now I detach one of Pleiades' Overlay Units to bounce once card back to the hand." Constellar Pleiades absorbed one orb into his weapon and spun it around before pointing it at Macro Cosmos. He placed his blade against the floor and swept his weapon across, sending a strong energy wave that bounced the Trap Card back to Kel'aral's hand.
"Now your D.D. Survivor can't come back. Constellar Pleiades, attack D.D. Survivor!" The star knight rushed in and slashed the wanderer with his weapon.
"Constellar Omega, attack Mobius!" On Mikey's command, Constellar Omega galloped forward and trampled the Frost Monarch.
"I'm done," Mikey announced.
"And now it's my turn." Saito drew his card. "Well it looks like this duel's about to end sooner than we thought."
"Why do you say that?" asked Mikey.
"I play Ancient Rules," announced Saito, "This lets me Special Summon one level five or higher Normal Monster from my hand."
"You mean," Mikey began, "you're bringing out...?"
"Come forth, Blue-Eyes White Dragon!" In a shining burst of light, Saito's family signature monster rose up, a majestic white dragon with eyes like sapphires (ATK/3000 DEF/2500).
"So this is what it feels like to be on this end of a Blue-Eyes," Mikey thought aloud.
"Blue-Eyes White Dragon, destroy Zaborg the Thunder Monarch! Burst Stream of Destruction!" Saito's Blue-Eyes White Dragon opened its mouth and unleashed a powerful blast of energy that completely obliterated Zaborg the Thunder Monarch.
"Now Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit, attack directly!" ordered Saito. His other dragon flew in and absorbed sunlight through its wings before releasing a stream of light from its mouth directly at the prince.
"I set one card." Saito placed a card facedown on his backfield, "Your move. Good luck trying to recover."
"Ha. Do you honestly believe you've won simply that you've taken no damage and my Life Points are nearly depleted?" Kel'aral scoffed, "I am the master of the Tower of Divinity! It's power is mine alone to command! And I shall prove it!" He raised his hand with his only card left and a bolt of pink lightning struck him and suddenly added five cards to his hand.
"That's cheating!" Mikey yelled.
"There are no rules against using magic in a duel," Kel'aral declared as he conducted his Draw Phase, using the power of the Tower's magic to add a card to his hand. "And now I'm going to use that power. I begin with Fiend's Sanctuary to summon one Fiend Token." A creature made of mercury appeared as a level one Dark Fiend with zero attack and defense points. "Now I'll sacrifice it to summon Raiza the Storm Monarch!" The token disappeared and in its place rose a tornado which deposited the emperor of wind with a black chain around his chest (ATK/2400 DEF/1000). "Now blow that dragon back to his deck!" A strong wind erupted from Raiza and blasted Saito's Blue-Eyes White Dragon to the top of his deck.
"Now I play Double Summon and another Fiend's Sanctuary." Another Fiend Token appeared before Kel'aral and wiggled nervously. "Now I sacrifice it to summon Granmarg the Rock Monarch!" The token vanished and in its place the emperor of stone emerged from the ground, also with a black chain around his chest (ATK/2400 DEF/1000). "And with his effect, I'll destroy your set card." Granmarg punched the ground and a line of overturned earth shot forward and blasted Saito's facedown card. "Now I activate Monster Reborn and resurrect Zaborg the Thunder Monarch." Zaborg blasted up from his grave in a shower of lightning.
Kel'aral turned his gaze on Saito. "Granmarg, destroy Hieratic Seal of the Sun Dragon Overlord." The Rock Monarch pounded the ground and surrounded his fist with stone before launching it at the golden sphere and destroying it with one blow. "Now Zaborg, destroy Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit!" Zaborg summoned his staff and cast a powerful lightning spell that destroyed Hieratic Dragon of Tefnuit.
"Raiza, attack directly!" ordered Kel'aral. The Storm Monarch summoned his bow and pulled back the string. An arrow of wind appeared and he released it, sending into Saito.
"I'll set one card and end my turn," announced Kel'aral.
"We are SO screwed right now," Mikey said as he drew. "Constellar Pleiades, attack and destroy Granmarg!" Constellar Pleiades complied with his order and charged, slashing the Rock Monarch with his blade.
"Constellar Omega, attack Raiza!" Mikey's monster galloped forward and trampled over Raiza the Storm Monarch.
"That will be all," Mikey announced.
"Now it's my turn." Saito drew his card, which was the Blue-Eyes White Dragon that had been bounced back to his deck. Unfortunately, the other card he had gave him no way to summon it. There was nothing he could do.
"Don't feel bad," Kel'aral cackled as he held his arm up and the Tower of Divinity's magic placed six cards in his hand, "You will at least be remembered for dying while fighting." He drew his card. "I activate Macro Cosmos and use its effect to bring out Helios - The Primordial Sun!" A slim female mummy with a sun for a head appeared (ATK/? DEF/?). "And I'll sacrifice Helios to summon Thestalos the Firestorm Monarch!" Helios - The Primordial Sun disappeared and in her place the emperor of fire appeared in a burst of flame with a black chain around his chest (ATK/2400 DEF/1000). "Let him take care of that card for you." Thestalos snapped his fingers and a blast of flame sent Saito's Blue-Eyes White Dragon from his hand.
"Luckily for you, Thestalos' burn effect only works if the target is sent to the graveyard," said Kel'aral. "Next I will activate Magical Stone Excavation. By discarding two cards, I can add a Spell Card from my graveyard to my hand. I will discard D.D. Scout Plane and Necroface. And since they were banished instead, Necroface's effect activates, forcing all of us to banish the top five cards of our decks. Needless to say, Saito and Mikey were horrified to see some of the cards they had to remove from play.
"And the card I return to my hand is Monster Reborn, which I will use to resurrect Mobius." The Frost Monarch rejoined the field in an explosion of ice. "Mobius, attack." Mobius formed his Ice Lance and threw it at Saito.
"Thestalos, attack!" On Kel'aral's command, Thestalos summoned his hammer and slammed it against the floor to cause a fiery explosion to erupt toward Saito.
"Finish him, Zaborg!" Kel'aral ordered. Zaborg raised his staff and a bolt of lightning came striking down on Saito.
Saito was blown back from the blast and was slammed against the wall behind him.
"Saito!" Mikey turned to his duel partner.
"One down, one to go." Kel'aral laughed, "This power is incredible!"
"This isn't true power," Mikey said as he turned back to Kel'aral as the twisted prince set three cards.
"Oh I'm so terrified!" The man laughed, "My turn ends and as a result, D.D. Scout Plane returns." A spherical dimensional probe appeared beside the Monarchs on Kel'aral's field and beeped (ATK/800 DEF/1200).
Mikey drew his card. "First I'm going to use Pleiades' effect to bounce Macro Cosmos back."
"I don't think so," Kel'aral replied as he activated his set card, "Forbidden Chalice will negate it!" As Constellar Pleiades absorbed his final Overlay Unit, a chalice appeared and tried to force the nectar it held into his mouth.
"Your gift of four hundred attack points is appreciated, but not the effect-negation it comes with, which is why I'm detaching an Overlay Unit from Constellar Omega," announced Mikey, "This will protect all my face-up Constellars from all Spell and Trap effects!" Constellar Omega absorbed one orb as Mikey detached Constellar Pollux and an energy spread out from the centaur's wings and erected a barrier.
"And now, since they're unaffected by Spells and Traps, nothing's stopping me from attacking. Pleiades, attack!" Constellar Pleiades moved first and attacked D.D. Scout Plane.
"Now Omega, attack Mobius!" Constellar Omega galloped forth and tramped over Mobius the Frost Monarch.
"I'm setting two cards and performing a Chaos Xyz Summon with Constellar Pleiades!" announced Mikey. "Chaos Xyz Evolution! Right now, show yourself, Constellar Ptolemys Messier 7!" In one magnificent display of light, his white dragon emerged with wings of pure energy flapping in the air as it landed, replacing Constellar Pleiades. Only one orb of light orbited its body (ATK/2700 DEF/2000). Constellar Star Chart activated and he drew his card. "Your move."
"Allow me to begin by replenishing my hand on your End Phase as well as bring back my D.D. Scout Plane." Kel'aral held his hand up and once again it was replenished by the Tower of Divinity as his D.D. Scout Plane returned from the other dimension. Then on his Draw Phase he drew his card. "Your monster may be able to protect against Spells and Traps, but it won't work against Monster Effects. I sacrifice D.D. Scout Plane to summon Caius the Shadow Monarch!" The traitor king of darkness appeared on the field, also sporting a black chain around his chest (ATK/2400 DEF/1000). "Now banish Constellar Omega!" Caius created a ball of black energy and fired it at his target, sending Constellar Omega into a world beyond.
"Now I activate Lightning Vortex!" A torrent of lightning came crashing down and destroyed Mikey's remaining monster, leaving the boy exposed. "Now Thestalos, attack!" The Firestorm Monarch slammed his hammer down and blasted Mikey with fire.
"Zaborg, your turn!" Zaborg raised his staff and Mikey was struck by lightning.
"Caius, finish it," Kel'aral commanded. Caius summoned Blackmourne and held it out, creating a ball of black energy that exploded at Mikey.
"You're so close to defeat," Kel'aral cackled, "What will you do now?"
"You want to know?" Mikey's Rose Mark began to glow, "I'll show you." He drew his card. "I Special Summon the Star of Aquarius, Constellar Schet!" The sign of Aquarious appeared as a light descended from above and dropped down a small knight with a water urn twice the size of its body (ATK/100 DEF/1600). "Now I summon the Star of Aries, Constellar Sheratan." The sign of Aries appeared as a light descended from on high and deposited the ram-headed knight (ATK/700 DEF/1900). "And his summoning allows me to bring a Constellar monster to my hand. I bring Constellar Kaust. Now I activate a facedown, Photon Lead. This lets me Special Summon one level four or lower Light monster from my hand in attack mode. So here's Constellar Kaust!" The sign of Sagittarius appeared again and the light paved the way for Constellar Kaust to descend onto the field. "Kaust, level up Sheratan by one." Constellar Kaust lit up the top light of his bow and shot an arrow of light into his partner, raising Constellar Sheratan up to level four.
"Now I Overlay Constellar Kaust and Constellar Sheratan. I construct an Overlay Network with my two monsters. Xyz Summon! Shine, Constellar Beehive!" A second Constellar Beehive descended from above. "And now Constellar Star Chart lets me draw a card." Mikey drew his card and examined his hand, "Now I activate my other facedown, Double Summon. But before I continue, I play Heavy Storm." A powerful wind blew across the field and destroyed Kel'aral's backfield.
"Now I sacrifice Constellar Schet and summon Kuraz the Light Monarch!" The knight of Aquarius vanished and Mikey played his final card, summoning the golden emperor (ATK/2400 DEF/1000). "Destroy Thestalos and Zaborg!"
"I shall slay these imposters!" Kuraz drew Excalibur and a light shined from the flat of his blade and destroyed the two Monarchs, which prompted Kel'aral to draw two cards.
"Now I detach one of Beehive's Overlay Units to power him up." Mikey removed Constellar Sheratan and Constellar Beehive absorbed one of his orbs, increasing his attack power by one thousand to thirty-four hundred.
"Constellar Beehive, attack Caius the Shadow Monarch!" The honeycomb silos locked and loaded and unleashed four golden missiles into the air that soared back down and struck down the Dark Emperor.
Kel'aral stumbled back as the shields blocking the doors dropped, allowing Wes and Sammie to enter.
"It's over, Kel'aral," Mikey said. As the twisted prince stood back up, the others finally arrived.
"You took your time," said Saito.
"It took a while," answered Sako.
Everyone stood together facing Kel'aral. "Perhaps I underestimated you," the prince said, "I suppose that I shall need to cease playing nice." He raised his hand and suddenly Zaborg, Granmarg, Raiza, Thestalos, Mobius, and Caius all rose up around him, all with black chains binding their chests.
"Okay, seriously, what's up with those chains?" demanded Mikey.
"They represent the shackles that bind them to my will," Kel'aral explained, "What you see before you are not the original Monarchs, but merely avatars. But they still possess wills and must therefore be suppressed."
"That's horrible!" exclaimed Victoria.
"How did you do that?" asked Reko," You didn't...?"
As if to answer his question, a circular black pendant fell out from within Kel'aral's robes with a keyhole in the center. "My Wicked Seal grants me the power to generate and propagate bonds, both physical and spiritual."
"The hell is a Wicked Seal?" asked Gabe.
"The instrument of your demise!" Kel'aral's pendant started to pulse with a black aura. "Get them!" The chains seemed to tighten suddenly and the soulless avatars of the Monarchs charged.
"I almost can't bring myself to attack them," Mikey said worriedly.
"We aren't!" At the same time, Sammie, Sako, Noah, Mikomi, and Zetsubou summoned their monsters and launched their attacks at Caius.
"Was he really that bad?" asked Mikey.
"Pretty bad," answered Noah.
"They are nothing but shadows," Kuraz declared as he materialized into solid form before the group. He threw back his cape and drew Excalibur from its scabbard. "Attack!"
o o o
The battle outside had not died down one bit since it began. While everybody was engaged in combat against a Gene or an ninja, Great Shogun Shien was locked in combat against Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo. "Your clan was defeated by Terrans, Hanzo. You stand alone."
"I have my clan back! They are mine to command!" Hanzo cried as he pushed his opponent's katana away with his folded fuma shuriken. He leapt back and opened his weapon before throwing it. Shien tried to block, but the weapon flew past and cut through his armor.
"Your men are mindless puppets brought back from the dead!" the Great Shogun yelled as the shuriken returned to his opponent, "There are no warriors among them."
"Silence!" Hanzo prepared to deal a killing blow with his weapon, but suddenly Ninja Grandmaster Sasuke intervened and threw several kunai at him. Some buried themselves in the dark Grandmaster, while others missed as he retreated.
"Your assistance was not required," said Shien.
"Just take it," Sasuke replied.
"I will not be defeated!" Hanzo snarled as he removed each kunai from his body, but no blood spilled.
"Do you see it?" asked Sasuke.
"I do," answered Shien, "He does not bleed."
"Which can mean only one thing," Sasuke surmised, "Hanzo is also dead."
Meanwhile, Reka's Locomotion R-Genex ploughed through several Gene Erics and their monsters while Recca's Naturia Exterio unleashed powerful nature-based attacks ranging from vine whips storms of razor leaves to root spears and concentrated beams of sunlight. Jaden and Cassie were on its back with Recca using Elemental Hero Neos and Elemental Hero Terra Firma to fight.
"Something seems off," Jaden said.
"Whatever do you mean, hon?" asked Recca.
"Does it feel like we're missing someone to you?"
"How can you tell with all this, daddy?" asked Cassie.
"Yeah, I guess you're right," Jaden said. But he still couldn't shake the feeling.
o o o
Lightning, fire, wind, ice, darkness, and stone flew all across the room as the Monarch avatars heeded Kel'aral's orders to destroy the Rose Crusaders.
"We'll never get to him as long as these things keep us from reaching him!" Saito yelled as his Blue-Eyes White Dragon blasted back Zaborg.
"I have an idea!" Sammie drew a card from her deck, "Dark Hole!" A black hole opened up and the six soulless Monarch avatars were pulled in screaming in agony and fear as they disappeared into the abyss.
"What now, Kel'aral?" Zetsubou demanded.
"Without your Monarch avatars, what left do you have to hide behind?" added Wes.
"Alas, sometimes one must take matters into one's own hands." With nothing left to hide behind, Kel'aral stepped forward. Without warning, he raised his hand and a powerful blast of fire erupted forth and threw everyone back. With his opponents stunned, he raised his hands and absorbed as much magical energy from the tower as he could. In doing so, his body grew ten times in size and the window behind him shattered.
"I have not come this far to be stopped! The future I have planned will not be jeopardized! Now, you will taste true power!" With the Tower of Divinity's power coursing through his body, Kel'aral unleashed powerful spell after powerful spell.
"You just HAD to provoke him!" Charlie yelled as she took cover.
"How are we supposed to defeat him now?" Max asked.
"We beat his ass!" Sammie sent Black Luster Soldier forward and watched as he led the other monsters forward into battle.
"Let us see how you fare when your world is turned upside down." Kel'aral raised his hand and suddenly all the monsters were lifted into the air as if gravity had just been eliminated altogether.
"This is going to be a lot harder than we thought," Mikey thought out loud.
"It's a final boss, Mikey!" Noah said as he hid behind some fallen debris, "It's always hard."
"Well we need a plan," Mikey said, "Maybe if..." Before he could finish his thought, Charlie ran past him.
"GO!" Sako's voice rang clear as he, Jaeger, and Victoria opened fire. Their shots grabbed Kel'aral's attention and the dimensional prince turned around and cast his gravity lapse spell on the three of them.
"Having trouble staying grounded?" In response, Sako flipped himself around and fired. It didn't matter what the state of the battlefield was. He was a soldier and it was his duty to continue fighting regardless of circumstances. Kel'aral stepped back from the first few shots and then threw the Duel Sniper to the floor. "I've had enough of this!" His pendant pulsed with black magic and suddenly black chains appeared and ensnared everybody.
"I will destroy you all with my Wicked Seal's power. I will ensure there will be nothing left!" Kel'aral's voice rose higher as the Tower of Divinity started to glow, as if in response to his power. He clenched his hand into a fist and the chains started to grow tighter around their captives. "Now, you all die." As he was about to deal the killing blow, the Tower of Divinity's magic suddenly erupted and Kel'aral could feel the heat of a thousand suns coursing through his body. He screamed in pain as the chains released their hold and everybody got up.
"What's going on?" asked Mikey.
"It seems as if the Tower's power is rejecting Kel'aral," Kuraz responded as they watched the power drain out of Kel'aral and his body shrank back to normal size. There was a brief flash of an image of an old man with a long beard as the radiance faded.
"You have failed," Kuraz declared. Suddenly a tornado rose up from outside and Raiza flew in through the broken window.
"Brother! The battle is won!" Suddenly a large block of ice came crashing in and shattered, revealing Mobius.
"A light erupted from the Tower of Divinity and the Ninjas and the creatures were destroyed." A flash of fire rose up and Thestalos appeared.
"Victory is ours!" Granmarg suddenly rose out of the ground.
"We have won." A bolt of lightning struck the floor and deposited Zaborg.
"Kuraz, what news have you of this battle?" Mahad blinked into the chamber.
"It appears as though the culprit has been dealt with."
"Yes," Kuraz affirmed," Ardent has at last been restored.
"So that means we can go home now?" asked Mikomi.
"Almost," the Light Monarch replied, "First we must undo the atrocities that have been done upon your school." He, the other Monarchs, and Mahad raised their weapons up toward the ceiling. "Magic of the Divine, heed our words. Grant us the power to restore the lives of those lost." The crystals flashed and a brilliant golden light flooded the chamber for several seconds before once again fading away.
"Is that it?" asked Hayley.
"That is all," said Kuraz, "Once you have returned to your island, we shall use the Tower's power once again to send you back home."
"Kuraz..." Mikey stepped forward, "does this mean you'll be staying too?"
"As much as it would be my greatest desire to do so, Mikey, my place is with you," answered the Light Monarch. Mikey smiled. It was a bittersweet smile. He was happy that Kuraz would be staying with him, but it also knew it pained him to have to leave his home once again.
"Such a touching scene!" Kel'aral slowly rose back to his feet, causing everyone to turn, weapons drawn and pointed at him. "Do you really think you've won?"
"I think we have," was Gabe's answer, "You're pretty much fucked over."
"Ha! Fools! Everything you've done up until this point has been for a greater cause!"
"And what cause would that be?" inquired Sammie.
"Why, the UnGod's of course," a familiar voice said. From behind one corner stepped out a man in a purple business suit whom Saito recognized immediately.
"Good to see you again, young Mr. Kaiba," Roman greeted. The businessman from Duelist Kingdom and the invasion on Duel Academy stood beside Kel'aral with one hand behind his back. The other had the shirt cuff button undone, and the sleeve was rolled up slightly to expose a black bracelet on his arm.
"I can't say the pleasure is mine," replied Saito.
"He's not the only one." From the shadows, the dark clad figure of Kage seemed to emerge.
"Uncle Kage!" Mikey and Gabe realized together.
"You finally remember me, boys."
"And me," Sammie said.
"Ah, Sammie. It's good to see you again. You know you always were good to Mikey," said Kage as he stood with the other men, his tattoos seeming to move on their own.
"Shut it. The hell do you want?"
"Impatience will get you nowhere." This new voice belonged to a blind man with a band of black covering his eyes. He was accompanied by two hooded figures.
"I remember you," said Max, "You're that fortune teller we met two years ago!"
"My name is Omen and I foresee nothing but despair in your futures." Amidst his robes, the others could see a black-framed mirror hanging from around his neck. The other two figures - one seemingly big and grizzled and the other one short and feminine - stood behind the four, The big one seemed to be glowing black from their arm while the other seemed to be glowing black from their chest.
"What are you all doing here?" Sako demanded as he aimed with his sniper rifle.
"Merely bringing the seven of us back together," answered Roman.
"We are the seven heralds of the UnGod," Kage added, "When the time of His return is nearly at hand, we gather together to perform the final rituals in preparation for His return."
"Each one of us was bestowed with one of the seven Wicked Artifacts," Kel'aral continued, "The Wicked Seal was bestowed unto me."
"The Wicked Oracle, mine," Omen said as his mirror pulsed.
"The Wicked Manacle was given to me." Roman revealed his bracelet.
"I was granted the Wicked Rune." Now everyone could clearly see that Kage's tattoos were indeed moving on their own.
"And I'm assuming the two behind you have two more," Charlie said.
"But what about the last one?" asked Mikomi.
Zetsubou suddenly gasped. "The Wicked Archive!"
As if on cue, Kage pulled out the ancient black book. "He who possesses the Wicked Archive has been deemed by the UnGod to be the leader of His heralds."
"So where is he then?" asked Mikey.
"Hello Mikey." The brunet teen turned around and saw Coltyn entering the room.
"Coltyn, it's dangerous here," he warned.
"I know, but we've been in worse scrapes before, right?" asked the Ra Yellow.
"Not really, no," Mikey replied as he contemplated the other times they had been in bad situations.
"Well I guess not," Coltyn replied with a shrug, "Not you guys at least, anyway."
"What does he mean by that?" asked Gabe.
Coltyn walked past them and approached the group of six. "I guess I've hidden it for so long that you really don't see it at all. Let me put it to you another way." He reached over and took the Wicked Archive from Kage.
"You're smart, Mikey. I'm sure you figured it out."
"You're one of the UnGod's heralds?"
"And their leader." Coltyn chuckled lightly and it slowly transformed into a diabolical cackle.
"But... My grandmother never even sensed any evil in you!" Reko protested, "I mean sure you weren't chosen as a Crusader but-"
"You're right, she didn't choose me," Coltyn answered, "But the reason why she never sensed any evil in me? I had my memories and my true heart locked away. It was only recently, thanks to Kage, that I was able to regain them. Do you want to know where they were hidden?"
"Inside the eye of the priestess," Kage answered for him.
"Mika!" Mikey was horrified, "So that's why she-"
"Clever little ploy, wouldn't you say? But it was necessary to seal a part of myself away. I knew that if my will was strong enough, I could still make sure everything went according to plan even without my memories. And it worked. Everybody, whether knowingly or not, went along with my plans, completing the rituals necessary to resurrect the UnGod."
"All will be revealed in due time. But let me thank you personally, Mikey. Had you not come to Duel Academy, none of this would have been possible." Coltyn grinned as he raised his free hand and snapped his fingers. "Let's go, everyone."
Kel'aral cast a spell and opened a portal. The two hooded figures went in first followed by Omen, then Roman, Kage, and Kel'aral himself. Coltyn was the last to step through.
"See you again after Christmas break." And with those words, he stepped back through the portal and it closed.
Mikey dropped to his knees. "All this time...?"
"He was evil all along," Saito thought aloud, "We can't do anything about it for now. We better get back to the school so the Monarchs can perform the spell."
"He's right," said Wes, "We can worry about Coltyn later."
"That was so totally unfabulous!" Max exclaimed as they left. Sammie and Mikey were the last to go, mainly because the latter was still shocked about the recent revelation. The blonde came over and shook him back into reality.
"Let's go, Mikey. I know how broken up you are about this, but we have to go."
Slowly, Mikey nodded and he got up and followed.
o o o
The welcome back to Duel Academy was bittersweet. Everybody was glad to see that they had returned safely and that most of the people who were killed during the invasion were alive again. However, none of it felt at all joyous for Mikey, Sammie, Max, Gabe, Hayley, Nellie, Saito, Wes, Sako, Charlie, Jaeger, Victoria, Zetsubou, Mikomi, Reko, or Noah. Not even the people who had accompanied them on their quest knew about the startling revelation inside the Tower of Divinity. The Charmers had come along with them as well to see them off in the absence of the Monarchs. Many of them gasped when they saw the fallen corpse of Gogiga Gagagigo.
"Is that...?" Wynnda asked. Ariel nodded slowly.
"I'm so sorry," Aussa whispered.
Dharc and Lyna planted their staffs in the ground and uttered prayers in silence. As the remaining Charmers joined them, it was as if the gods had heard their words for suddenly a white light engulfed Gogiga Gagagigo.
"What's going on?" asked Ariel. The giant corpse suddenly shrank down to normal size and the light dispersed. The demonic lizard form of Gogiga Gagagigo was no more. Instead, a tall proud reptilian warrior stood clad in angelic armor with holy symbols tattooed all over his body.
"Gagagigo?" Ariel looked hopeful. The reptilian warrior looked down at her and suddenly pulled her into his arms. "IT IS YOU! I've missed you!" The purified Gagagigo the Risen grunted and hugged her tighter.
"Hey, this gives me an idea," Hitta piped up, "Does this mean that the other Regent Lords...?" As if on cue, a dimensional portal opened up and Bethany and Dark Lucius fell out. The latter was glowing and he let out a roar as he was engulfed in light and transformed back into his former human self, except now clad in white and blue. He had become Lightray Grepher.
o o o
Out in Paslie, the fallen body of The Atmopshere was engulfed in light and the enormous winged beast stood up and flew off, his heart purified once again.
o o o
In Hieratine, Amadis was kneeling beside the fallen form of Master Hyperion when suddenly a ray of light descended upon him and he groaned.
"Hyperion!" she gasped, "Are you alright?"
The Titan of Light slowly stood up and clutched his head. "Amadis... What has happened? I feel as if I have just awoken from a nightmare."
Tears were streaming from her eyes now as Amadis took Hyperion's hand in her arms. "Everything's going to be alright now, Hyperion.
o o o
In Orstrem, the ghost of Evil Hero Malicious Fiend appeared over the fires of the throne room in Thestalos' palace.
"You're finally free of the nightmare, Jaden," he whispered in an echo, "I have no more purpose for existence anymore." And with that, his spirit burned out like a candle.
o o o
Nothing in Karheim seemed to have changed, but with Caius gone the Blackwings were free to re-establish themselves and the mages of Endymion began to restore their order.
o o o
"You and your friends have done Ardent a great service, Mikey, and we are truly grateful," said Kuraz.
"We were happy to help, Kuraz," Mikey said.
With everyone settling in, the Monarchs in the Tower of Divinity channeled the tower's magical energies and used it to cast the spell. A light surrounded the entire island and the landmass vanished from Ardent.
o o o
Duel Academy reappeared in the human world just as it had vanished from it. The students and staff looked around and were making exclamations of being home.
Sammie approached Mikey as he looked out at sea. "Hey, you okay?"
"Yeah, kind of," Mikey replied, "It's great to be back, but you and I both know that we can't relax just yet."
Sammie nodded. "The UnGod."
"And Coltyn." Mikey still couldn't believe it, but he knew that he had to accepted it. "Now the true battle begins."
TO BE CONTINUED IN SEASON 4!