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.


EPISODE 4-03

Passing the Torch

"Dad, where are we going?" asked Cassie.

"We're meeting up with Jesse today," said Jaden as he and his daughter walked through the streets of downtown toward their determined destination. They stepped into a building and right inside the foyer was a woman behind a large wooden desk in front of an enormous sign that read "INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL DUELING CIRCUIT ASSOCIATION".

"And we're here at the IPDCA because?" Cassie continued to ask.

Jaden stepped up to the desk and the receptionist looked up at him. "Oh, hello Mr. Yuki."

"Hello Estelle," Jaden greeted.

"Your meeting with Mr. Anderson will be in duel arena eight."

"Thank you, Estelle." Jaden took Cassie by the hand and walked down the hallway, passing other duelists and employees of the IPDCA along the way.

"Hello Mr. Yuki."

"Hi Geraldine."

"Good morning, Jaden."

"Hi Shaniqua."

"Good to see you, Jaden."

"Same, Mutombo."

"Hi Jaden."

"Oh hi Mark."

The pair stopped at the elevators and Jaden pressed the button. The wait was only a few seconds and once the elevator arrived they rode it up several floors, eventually exiting out onto the sixth floor. Doors leading to various dueling arenas lined the walls and they walked until they reached the one marked number eight. Pushing the door open, Jaden stepped into the duel arena lounge area and saw Jesse sitting at a table with a blue-haired teenage boy next to him.

"Hey Jesse."

"Hey there, Jaden. And a fine hello to you too, little missy."

"Nice to see you again too, Mr. Anderson," Cassie greeted back.

"Hey hey hey, I told you. Call me Jesse."

"So what's going on?" Jaden asked as he took a seat, "Why'd you call me in today?"

Jesse sighed and looked at his hands on the table. "Jaden, I think it's time I retired from pro dueling."

Jaden was at a loss for words. This was the last thing he had ever expected his best friend to say. "Jesse. Why? You're the only other person in the world who loves dueling as much as me."

"I just don't think I'm cut out for it anymore," Jesse confessed, "We're getting old, Jaden. And with what the world is facing now, I don't think we'll be able to continue the fight for much longer."

"Who'll take over for you then if you're retiring?" asked Jaden.

"My son, Chrome," answered Jesse. He gestured to the teenage boy sitting next to him.

"He doesn't look all that tough," Cassie said.

"Believe me, little lady, he's up to the challenge," Jesse assured her.

"Doubt it. I bet he's never seen what we've had to go up against."

"No he hasn't, but he's ready for it."

"I can handle it," said Chrome.

"I don't think you can," said Cassie.

"Wanna find out?" Chrome asked.

Cassie looked at him and then nodded. "You and me."

Chrome nodded in agreement. "Let's go."

Both kids strapped on their Duel Disks and loaded up their decks as they entered the duel arena. "Let's duel!"

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 8000

Chrome: 8000

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"I'll go first." Chrome drew his first card. "I summon Crystal Beast Emerald Tortoise." An aged green turtle with large emerald crystals growing out of its shell appeared on the field (ATK/600 DEF/2000). "Then I'll set one card facedown. Your move."

Cassie drew her card. "Your mistake was leaving your monster in attack mode." She placed the card in her hand and took another one to play. "And I'll show you why. I activate Polymerization. And I'll fuse Elemental Hero Ocean and Elemental Hero Prisma to create Elemental Hero Absolute Zero!" A burst of snow erupted from the floor and Cassie's white armored hero appeared with his cape fluttering in the icy wind (ATK/2500 DEF/2000).

"Absolute Zero, attack! Freezing the Moment!" Elemental Hero Absolute Zero punched the ground and several ice spears shot up in a line toward Crystal Beast Emerald Tortoise.

"I activate Mirror Force!" Chrome revealed his facedown and a reflective barrier appeared in front of his monster, which absorbed the attack and then launched back a storm of icicles.

"And here comes Absolute Zero's effect! When he leaves the field, he destroys all your monsters." Elemental Hero Absolute Zero was impaled with icicles and his body exploded into a large shower of ice shards that rained down on Chrome's side of the field and destroyed Crystal Beast Emerald Tortoise.

"Each time a Crystal Beast is destroyed, instead of sending it to my graveyard I can place it in my backfield as a face-up Continuous Spell Card," announced Jesse's son as a large uncut emerald appeared in front of him.

"So now we're kinda back to where we started. Fine by me." Cassie took one of her cards and placed into one of her Duel Disk's backfield slots. "I'm gonna set a card. That's all."

"My turn." Chrome drew his next card. "I now summon Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus!" A white unicorn with wings embedded with large sapphires appeared and neighed. "ATK/1800 DEF/1200). "And when he's summoned, I can choose a Crystal Beast from my hand, deck, or graveyard and place it in my backfield. So I'm gonna choose Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle." A large uncut ruby appeared beside the emerald behind his monster. "Now I play Crystal Beacon. If I have two or more Crystal Beasts in my spell and trap zones, I can summon another Crystal Beast from my deck. And I pick Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth." A big grey mammoth with four large curved tusks and an amber embedded in its forehead appeared beside Sapphire Pegasus (ATK/1700 DEF/1600).

"Amber Mammoth, attack Cassie directly with Amber Stomp!" Amber Mammoth trumpeted and charged across the field to Cassie and stood up on his hind legs before stomping down on her with his front legs.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 6300

Chrome: 8000

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"Sapphire Pegasus, it's your turn! Sapphire Tornado!" With Chrome's command, Sapphire Pegasus took flight and flapped his wings to create a powerful whirlwind that engulfed Cassie with strong powerful winds.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 4500

Chrome: 8000

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"I'm done this turn," Chrome announced.

"It's my turn now!" Cassie drew her card, "And I play E - Emergency Call! With this I can bring one Elemental Hero from my deck to my hand and I pick Elemental Hero Stratos!" She revealed her card and placed it onto her Duel Disk. "Come on out, Stratos!" Strong winds picked up as the winged warrior appeared on the field (ATK/1800 DEF/300). "And I'll use his effect to bring one Elemental Hero to my hand."

"What're you gonna pick?" asked Chrome.

"This. Elemental Hero Lady Heat." Cassie revealed her card and placed it into her hand. "But right now, Elemental Hero Stratos, destroy Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth! Jet Blast Attack!" Elemental Hero Stratos flew high and unleashed powerful bursts of jet blast from his wings down onto Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth and blasting him apart.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 4500

Chrome: 7900

––––––––––––––––––

"And with Amber Mammoth's effect, he goes to my backfield," Chrome announced as a large uncut amber appeared.

"That's it for me," Cassie announced.

"Then I draw." Chrome drew his card, "And I summon Crystal Beast Amethyst Cat." A large pink panther with an enormous amethyst on her chest appeared and roared (ATK/1200 DEF/400). "And she can attack directly for half her total attack points."

"That's it? I can take six hundred damage!" Cassie said confidently.

"You say that now," was Chrome's reply, "Amethyst Power Pounce!" Crystal Beast Amethyst Cat roared and jumped over Elemental Hero Stratos' head and slashed Cassie with her claws.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 3900

Chrome: 7900

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"That's it for my turn," Chrome declared.

"I'm not done yet." Cassie drew her card. "I play Hero's Bond. If I have an Elemental Hero on my field, I can Special Summon two more from my hand. So I'm bringing out Elemental Hero Lady Heat in attack mode and Elemental Hero Woodsman in defense mode." A woman with fiery hair in white and red spandex appeared (ATK/1300 DEF/1000) along with a green giant whose entire right side was seemingly made out of a live tree (ATK/1000 DEF/2000).

"Now I play Miracle Fusion. And by removing Elemental Hero Prisma and Elemental Hero Absolute Zero from my graveyard, I can Fusion Summon Elemental Hero The Shining!" A shining white hero with an angelic halo laiden with golden wings descended onto the field (ATK/2600 DEF/2100). "And thanks to his effect, he gains three hundred attack points for each Elemental Hero banished." The halo on Elemental Hero The Shining's back lit up brightly as his attack points rose to thirty-two hundred.

"Now I activate my facedown, Elemental Recharge! For each Elemental Hero on my field, I gain one thousand Life Points!"

"That's four thousand Life Points!" Chrome exclaimed.

"Yep!"

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 7900

Chrome: 7900

––––––––––––––––––

"Shining, attack Sapphire Pegasus! Optic Storm!" Elemental Hero The Shining began to glow brighter and rays of light flooded the field and shot through Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 7900

Chrome: 6500

––––––––––––––––––

As the dust settled, an uncut sapphire appeared in the back row of Chrome's side of the field.

"Stratos, go!" yelled Cassie. "Jet Blast Attack!" Elemental Hero Stratos flew up and jet blasted Crystal Beast Amethyst Cat.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 7900

Chrome: 5900

––––––––––––––––––

Chrome dusted himself off as a large uncut amethyst joined the rest of the gems in his backfield.

"Lady Heat, wrap things up! Femme Fire!" Elemental Hero Lady Heat summoned flames into her hands and spun around to release a burning flame arc that spread toward Chrome.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 7900

Chrome: 4600

––––––––––––––––––

"That's it for my turn," declared Cassie, "And now Lady Heat's effect kicks in. On my End Phase, she burns you for two hundred damage per Elemental Hero on the field. I got four, so you're in four eight hundred points of burn!" Elemental Hero Lady Heat's hair began to levitate as it seemingly transformed into a phoenix and slammed into Chrome.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 7900

Chrome: 3800

––––––––––––––––––

"Your turn."

"I draw." Chrome drew from his deck and looked at his cards. "And I'll activate Ancient City - Rainbow Ruins!" His Duel Disk's field tray slid open and he placed his card inside it before it closed, transforming the duel arena into a large colosseum ruin with a clear blue sky and a bright vivid rainbow. "This card gains effects depending on how many Crystal Beasts I have in my Spell and Trap Card zones. If I have one, my field card can't be destroyed. If I have two, I can halve the damage I take from one battle. If I have three, I can send one to the graveyard to negate a Spell or Trap Card. If I have four, I can draw an extra card. And if I have five, I can Special Summon one Crystal Beast from my backfield. I'm gonna start off with effect number four and draw another card." Chrome did exactly that and resumed with his turn. "Next I use my Ancient City - Rainbow Ruins' fifth effect o Special Summon Amber Mammoth to the field." The large amber shattered and Amber Mammoth burst forth and appeared on his front lines.

"Next I activate the Spell Card Crystal Abundance. By sending four Crystal Beasts to the graveyard, this card lets me send all cards on the field to the graveyard as well. Then when all that's over, I can Special Summon Crystal Beasts from my graveyard up to the number of cards my opponent controlled." The four gems in front of Chrome rose up and began to shine. Then each one began to emit a bright light which engulfed the field and swallowed up every other card present. When the light died down, Cassie saw that her field was completely empty.

"Now you had five cards when Crystal Abundance was activated," said Chrome, "so I get to summon five Crystal Beasts from my graveyard. So I'm bringing Sapphire Pegasus, Amethyst Cat, Ruby Carbuncle, Amber Mammoth, and Emerald Tortoise!" All five Crystal Beasts appeared all at once in flashes of light. "And I'll use Sapphire Pegasus' effect to bring out Crystal Beast Cobalt Eagle." A large uncut cobalt crystal appeared in front of Chrome as he turned to his monsters. "Everyone, attack Cassie!" Amethyst Cat went first, pouncing over the field and slashing Cassie with her claws.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 6700

Chrome: 3800

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Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth was next, clomping across the field over to Cassie and stomping his enormous feet down on top of her.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 5000

Chrome: 3800

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Next was Ruby Carbuncle, who raised her tail and emitted a bright red light from the ruby embedded in its tip.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 4700

Chrome: 3800

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Sapphire Pegasus then took flight and flapped his wings to release a strong tornado blast directed toward Cassie.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 2900

Chrome: 3800

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Finally, Emerald Tortoise withdrew into his shell and began to spin rapidly before launching himself at Cassie and hitting her with the emeralds on his shell.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 2300

Chrome: 3800

––––––––––––––––––

"And since he attacked, I can switch Emerald Tortoise into defense mode," said Chrome, causing Emerald Tortoise to retreat into his shell. "That's it for now."

Cassie slowly drew her card. She hadn't expected a card like Crystal Abundance to wipe out her field so quickly. She wasn't sure what else she could do. If she didn't have the right card, she was done for. She glanced at the one she had drawn and hope filled her. "I play Miracle Fusion and I'll fuse Elemental Hero Lady Heat and Elemental Hero The Shining to make Elemental Hero Nova Master!" Fire erupted from the floor as Cassie's monsters were fused and from the flames emerged the blazing hero in fiery armor with a long red cape adorning his back (ATK/2600 DEF/2100).

"Attack Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle!" Elemental Hero Nova Master opened his hand and conjured a sword made of pure fire. Grasping the hilt, he swung his weapon around and thrust it forward, shooting forth a jet of flames that incinerated Ruby Carbuncle.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 2300

Chrome: 1500

––––––––––––––––––

A large uncut ruby appeared beside the cobalt at Chrome's feet as he moved his monster into his backfield. "And since Nova Master destroyed a monster in battle, I get to draw one card," announced Cassie as she took the top card off her deck and looked at it. "I set one facedown and end my turn."

"My move." Chrome drew his card. "I summon Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger!" A large white tiger with blades on his ankles and head with large topazes embedded in his neck appeared and roared (ATK/1600 DEF/1000).

He has all seven Crystal Beasts now, Jaden thought. He turned to look at Jesse but he already knew what he was thinking.

"I set two cards and end my turn," declared Chrome.

"I draw!" Cassie drew her card, "Niva Master, attack Amethyst Cat and end this duel!"

"I don't think so, said Chrome, "I activate Amber Mammoth's effect. He can redirect attacks toward other Crystal Beasts at himself!" The flame saber was redirected toward the large wooly tusked creature and destroyed him with one blast.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 2300

Chrome: 600

––––––––––––––––––

A large amber appeared next to Chrome and he smiled while Cassie got to draw a new card.

"I end my turn," she announced.

"On your End Phase, I activate my facedown: Rainbow Gravity! If I have all seven Crystal Beasts in my graveyard and on my field, I can Special Summon a powerful monster from my deck and ignore the summoning conditions."

"What are you doing?" asked Cassie.

"I summon Rainbow Dragon!" A ray of light shone down from above like a rainbow and from the heavens descended he enormous white dragon with multicolored gems running down (ATK/4000 DEF/0).

"Don't think so!" said Cassie. "I activate Solemn Warning!"

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 300

Chrome: 600

––––––––––––––––––

"God says no!" Chrome countered as he revealed his facedown Solemn Judgment.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 300

Chrome: 300

––––––––––––––––––

"It's now my move." Chrome drew his card. "First I'm gonna use his effect to absorb all of my Crystal Beasts in my monster zones and have him gain one thousand attack points for each. Go! Rainbow Overdrive!" Topaz Tiger, Amethyst Cat, Emerald Tortoise, and Sapphire Pegasus transformed into beams of light and flew into their respective gems along Rainbow Dragon's body. With four Crystal Beasts absorbed, Rainbow Dragon's attack points doubled to eight thousand.

"Now I activate Crystal Promise to Special Summon Ruby Carbuncle from my ackfield to the front lines." Chrome played his card and the ruby shattered and released Ruby Carbuncle back onto the field. "An when she's Special Summoned from a Spell or Trap card zone, she can Special Summon all the other monsters that were in that same position." Ruby Carbuncle's tail lit up and she was quickly joined by Cobalt Eagle and Amber Mammoth. "Go Rainbow Dragon! Rainbow Overdrive!" Just as it had been done before, it happened again as Rainbow Dragon absorbed Ruby Carbuncle, Amber Mammoth, and Cobalt Eagle, boosting it by another three thousand attack points to eleven hundred.

"Let's go, Rainbow Dragon! Rainbow Refraction!"Rainbow Dragon opened its mouth and gathered up a large concentration of white light in its throat. When it finally released it, its teeth acted like crystal prisms and split the white beam up into seven individual colored beams of light that shot forward and hit Elemental Hero Nova Master with such terrifying power.

––––––––––––––––––

Cassie: 0

Chrome: 300

––––––––––––––––––

Chrome deactivated his Duel Disk and smiled. "Think I can handle it now?"

Cassie looked up and smirked. "Dunno if you're ready yet, but you're okay in my books."

"I think we can safely say that my boy's cut out for the job," Jesse said turning to Jaden. The latter nodded.

"It'll be sad to see you go, Jess, but I think your deck's in good hands."

Suddenly the four in the room could hear cries coming from out in the hallway. Jesse poked his head out the door and asked a passerby what was wrong.

"Someone's entered the building by force," she answered, "We're going down to stop them."

Jesse turned to Jaden. "We better check this out."

Jaden turned to Cassie. "Stay here with Chrome."

"Weren't we just talking about having us fight on the front?" she asked.

"We need you here as a last line of defense."

"We better stay here," Chrome said.

"Just...be careful dad," said Cassie, "Remember what happened at the school?"

"It'll be okay, sweetie," Jaden assured her. "Jess, let's go."

"Right behind ya, Jaden!"

o o o

The lobby was a disaster. It wasn't as if a bomb had gone off, but it was most definitely in shambles as four mysterious individuals walked in.

"Stop right there!" Security guards ran in armed with tasers and pointed their weapons at the intruders.

"My, my, my. What an entrance we've made," said a young man in a black and yellow checkered jacket with a large fur collar that looked like a lion's mane.

"How cute. The humans have come with their little toys," said a woman with ocean-blue hair wearing a matching coat and dress combo.

"Stand down!" one of the security guards yelled.

A man in a green jacket and black jeans stepped forward. "And if we refuse?"

"Then we'll be forced to take drastic action!"

The man in green and the man in yellow turned to the woman in blue, who turned to their fourth member, a short-haired man in a grey long-sleeved shirt and baggy black pants. He nodded and stepped forward.

"Fire!" The guards pulled their triggers and fired their tasers.

The man in grey took out a card and smiled. "Rhinotaurus." The image of a large half-man rhinoceros monster appeared and swung its arm, blocking the wires with a large horn-like saber weapon.

The man in yellow held out a card. "Flame Tiger, go." A large flaming tiger appeared and roared before pouncing forth onto the guards.

"That was easy," said the man in green.

"You're wasting your time on these little peons." The one who had spoken was a blond man in a black jacket with a large collar of red feathers decorating his shoulders and neck and tight red pants. He entered the building from behind the others and looked around. "We've got a job to do so let's get to it."

"Stop right there!" Before the five could take a step further, Jaden and Jesse showed up.

"Looks like our target came here just for us," said the man in green.

"What are you guys after?" Jaden asked as he reached for his Duel Disk's activation switch.

"Just one thing," said the man in red as he pointed toward Jesse. "Now hand over your deck and we won't have to get physical."

Jaden whispered to Jesse. "Why does he want your deck?"

"I dunno. But if they're after my Crystal Beasts, we can't let 'em get to Chrome," said Jesse.

"If you want Jesse's deck, you'll have to go through me," said Jaden as he stepped forward with his activated Duel Disk.

"Interesting." The woman in blue held up a card. "But I wonder how you can handle a group of psychic Duelists like us."

"Psychic Duelists?" Jaden stared at them.

"I heard of these guys," said Jesse, "They can turn their cards into real monsters."

"So very true. That was what our leader trained our minds to do before he got eaten by a giant lizard," said the man in red, "But now that he's gone, we're all that's left. And we plan to fight with a vengeance." He snapped his fingers and the others took out a card each.

"Chainsaw Insect." The man in green called out a large stag beetle with chainsaw pincers.

"Spear Shark." The woman in blue summoned a red shark with a large spear on its nose.

"Flame Tiger."

"Rhinotaurus."

Four monsters now appeared in the IPDCA lobby staring down at Jaden. "Yubel, time to do your thing." His eyes turned green and orange as he summoned Elemental Hero Neos. "Take 'em out, Neos!" His warrior charged toward the four monsters and met them in the middle of the room.

"Who sent you here?" Jaden demanded as their monsters clashed.

"Just our latest employer," the man in red answered, "A man named Roman. He offered us money, but we prefer to be paid in whatever we want. And what we want right now is that deck. So we're just here to collect."

"And the Crystal Beasts are currently not here," said the man in green.

"How can you tell?" asked the man in grey.

"Anderson isn't running away nor has he called his monsters to help him fight," was the answer, "He must have handed them off to someone else."

"Looks like we're heading upstairs." The man in red snapped his fingers and his comrades recalled their monsters. "We don't have time for this. Let Mr. Yuki here deal with these guys instead." He snapped his fingers again and suddenly five Gene Erics showed up.

Jaden took a step back. "So these guys ARE in league with the UnGod's forces!" He readied himself as the Gene Erics each summoned a Gene-Warped Warwolf. Meanwhile, the five strangers walked in from the doorway and toward the elevators.

"Stop!" Jesse yelled as he stood to bar their way, but the man in green slammed him to the side with a Doom Dozer.

o o o

The door shook as Cassie and Chrome stood ready. "They're coming," she said.

"I know. I'm ready," said Chrome.

A large horn saber broke through the door and tore it off its hinges as Rhinotaurus stepped inside followed by the five strangers. "It's here," said the man in yellow.

"He has it!" the man in green exclaimed, pointing at Chrome.

Faster than anyone could react, the man in red appeared behind the blue-haired teen and ripped the deck out of his Duel Disk. "This is it," he cackled as he rejoined his comrades. He fanned out the cards in his hand for them all to see.

"This is perfect!" the man in yellow cackled as he took two cards. "Crystal Beast Amethyst Cat and Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger!"

The man in grey took a card as well. "Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth."

"And Crystal Beast Cobalt Eagle." The man in red reached in with his free hand and pulled out the card he desired.

"What should we do with the others?" asked the woman in blue.

"Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle and Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus. I'm sure he will want them," said the man in green, "And Crystal Beast Emerald Tortoise will make a fine addition to that one's deck."

"What about Rainbow Dragon?" asked the man in grey.

"I'm sure our employer would like this as a bit of compensation for our time here," said the man in red. With the monster cards in their hands, they threw the rest of the deck onto the floor and left.

"Come back!" Chrome yelled but the five had already gone.

"Chrome!" Jesse yelled as he ran in.

"Dad! They took the Crystal Beasts!"

"Those bastards."

"But why did they do it?" asked Cassie, "They split them among themselves. What good are the Crystal Beasts when they're separated?"

"I dunno," said Jesse, "But it can't be good."

Jaden suddenly showed up. "Those goons finally left. What happened?" Jesse quickly filled him in and Jaden's expression fell. "Oh god, I'm so sorry."

"We can fix this, Jaden. We just gotta find those cards."

"But who knows where they went? They must be long gone by now," said Cassie.

"We'll find them," Jaden promised, "We have to."


Next Week on Yu-Gi-Oh! GNext

Death is never the end. Sometimes it's a beginning. Sometimes it's just a pause. Sometimes one is never truly dead. Reign will soon know just how much he's staking on death next time on Yu-Gi-Oh! GNext!