I do not own Cardfight! Vanguard, I'm pretty sure Bushiroad owns that. Well anyway I've had this idea for a while so I decided to try it out. I'll even put in any strategies that I think up in this fic. In fact, if I'm successful, I might be able to actually teach some people how to actually play the game, though that's unlikely.

This fic doesn't have much to do with the Anime, but it involves the card game. Imagine it, a world similar to ours and yet one that has a huge devotion to a certain card game. That card game is Vanguard.

Well anyway I hope you enjoy this fic. Happy reading.


"Here I go!" Shouted a voice intent on victory. The voice came from a giant muscular humanoid creature in American football garb. The creature tackled a knight in black armor, spreading dust around the battlefield after the impact. "Got you!"

This my friends, is not a battle between a football player and a knight, but rather a card game, known as Cardfight Vanguard, between two card fighters.

The dust cleared, and the knight still stood. "Is that the best you got?" The knight, by the name of Blaster Dark, taunted coldly.

"What!" The football player, named Maximum Juggernaut, yelped. "You're still in this game?" The face of the player behind Maximum Juggernaut appeared in place of Maximum Juggernaut's real face. One could see the fear in the eyes of the player.

Blaster Dark, his eyes hidden, coldly said, "Such low level attack won't beat me." The player behind Blaster Dark drew a card from the Vanguard deck of his. "Now, wallow in your despair!" The player held up high a card, "Cursed Dragon, come forth and swallow your enemies up in despair," the player played the new card over Blaster Dark. "Ride, Phantom Blaster Dragon!"

Blaster Dark's eyes widened in pain. His body released an enormous amount of power, culminating to the point where after one loud scream the energy was released and Blaster Dark's body was swallowed in a black light. From the very light, a hand emerged and grabbed onto a double sided lance. The hand swung the weapon, dissipating the light. What was once Blaster Dark was now a new unit. Instead of a knight in black armor, it was a black armor clad Dragon.

Maximum Juggernaut's face twitched in fear of the massive black dragon, "No, anything but that!"

The player behind Phantom Blaster Dragon coldly spoke, "Imagine this, despair upon you, nowhere to run. The red eyes of despair, foreshadowing that which will swallow you up." The lines around Phantom Blaster Dragon became red, "now, fall into despair, DAMNED CHARGING LANCE!"

Maximum Juggernaut screamed in fear as Phantom Blaster Dragon walked forward. "No, no, NOOOOOOOO!"


The world has become a place where card games can be seen played in nearly everywhere. The one game that has gotten the attention of the general public is a game known simply as Cardfight Vanguard.

Far from being an ordinary card game, Vanguard has become somewhat of a way of life. Not that the game itself is a matter of life and death, but the game itself has become so recognized that there are many pro players of this game.

"Ride, Dragonic Kaiser, Vermillion!" A voice shouted. "VERMILLION THUNDERBOLT!"

These pro players duke it out against each other for valuable prizes and the recognition that they want. However, our story does not focus on the pro game of this card game. Instead our focus is elsewhere . . .

In a large outdoor stadium, a group of people awaited by the stage, ready for the performers to come out.

After hours of anticipation, a man in a red long coat jumped out onto stage. His hair was shaped like that of a small flame and he wore sunglasses that concealed his eyes. "Every one, are you ready for this!" The man shouted.

"YEAH!"

"Are you ready for the Queens Za Four, Q4 for short!" The man shouted real loudly.

"YEAH!"

"Then wait no longer, here they are!" The man flipped away allowing four platforms to rise up to the stage. A woman stood on each platform. They all had different hairstyles and wore white idol like dresses with ribbons of different color. The first from the left had pigtails and wore yellow ribbons. The next one had short hair and wore silver ribbons. The one after had hair tied in a ponytail by a pink ribbon and even wore pink ribbons on her dress. The last one had long hair and wore red ribbons.

The spotlights shone on the women and they opened their eyes. They opened their mouths to sing, and the audience members roared in excitement as the idols sang.

The man slumped onto a chair backstage, "Whoa," he sighed, "man that was exhilarating." He grabbed a water bottle and drank to quench his thirst.

"Yo, Hino-san!" A voice shouted, "what are you doing here in the back?" A man in a cap came over.

"What do you think?" Hino asked the man. "Because your announcer guy was sick today with a cold, I had to take over." Hino slumped backwards on the chair, "Honestly, those four girls are a pain in the ass sometimes." Hino drank his water. "I spoil them too much."

The man in the cap chuckled, "I can see that." He commented. "Must be hard being a shop owner while also being those four's manager huh?"

"You said it." Hino nodded. "But I love them, I mean who wouldn't?"

"Don't talk as if they're you're daughters." The man in the cap chuckled, "You're not even that old!"

"I'm pretty much the same age as those four anyway." Hino retorted. "Besides, one of them is my sister . . ." Hino mumbled.

"Well you seem you don't want to be cooped up in here." The man in the cap mentioned.

"Of course not!" Hino shouted, "I may be their manager, I may live together with them, I may dote on them every chance they take advantage of me, but I still want to be in the audience to see them perform!" Hino spread out his arms, "I want to see them, my little angels, on stage!"

What Hino did got a huge laugh out of the man, "Man, if I didn't know any better, with the way you're acting I would've pegged you for a polygamist." The man chuckled but noticed that Hino wasn't laughing. The man stopped and looked at Hino, who was staring intensely at the man.

"You know some polygamists?" Hino asked, then his eyes shined, "where can I become one!"

A noticeable sweat drop dripped down from the man in the cap, "I wasn't serious."

Hino pouted, "you're no fun." Hino looked towards the door and sighed, "well I'm bored, I might as well go for a walk."

"Huh but what about the girls?"

"They can handle themselves." Hino said opening the door, "if I don't come on then they'll know what to do." Hino winked, "Later."

The man in the cap stared at Hino's back as Hino left. When the door closed, the man shuddered. "Man that dude is creepy."


Hino walked around the city, just staring at the various buildings that had giant screens filled with advertisements. The world has become so engrossed into the game that nearly every company, whether it be related to card games or not, have at least one Vanguard player that advertises for the company. "Honestly, this situation reminds me of that show with those people with hair shaped like sea creatures."

Hino looked at one particular screen that was advertising stats on various different pro players of the game. The screen then flashed to the profile of the best player in Japan by the name of Ryou. "Ryou . . ." Hino himself said upon seeing the profile of Ryou. Hino sat down on a bench and just stared at the screen. Hino closed his eyes and held his head, remembering an event from a few months ago.

Phantom Blaster Dragon roared . . .

Hino let out a loud gasp after remembering. "Oh damn, I really shouldn't think about that." Hino held his chest and let out huge breaths. "Can't look to the past, just got to keep moving!" Hino stood up with vigor. "Let's do this!" Hino shouted enthusiastically, but then realized, "what am I going to do?" He went out for a walk but that's pretty much the only plan that he thought of, just a walk. Hino is now bored of walking. It's very boring.

Hino didn't really noticed but he stopped at a park and at this very moment, what appeared to be a trio of teenaged boys was walking up to Hino. One of them stopped which stopped the other two. The boy in the middle whispered to his friends and pointed at Hino. The two friends nodded and the boy in the middle walked up to Hino.

"Ryou Hino!" The boy shouted. Hino's ears perked up upon hearing his last name being spoken. "I challenge you, cardfight me!"

Hino turned to the boy and smiled. "I like your enthusiasm kid." Then Hino took off his glasses, "and I know I look like Ryou, but I'm not him." Hino smiled, then revealed his first name, "I'm Ryu Hino, Ryou's brother."

"Oh . . . sorry." The boy said and backed away, then chuckled, "man, when you wear those sunglasses you look so much like Ryou."

"Well what'd you expect. I AM his twin brother you know." Ryu chuckled. "His identical twin to be exact." Ryu then messed his hair around, "the only difference between the two of us is that Ryou's hair is a little big more straighter in the spiky department while I'm like this." Ryu let his hair down back into is original shape. "So yeah, if you're looking to challenge Ryou . . . I'm not your guy." Ryu let out a big grin, "Sorry!"

"Aye." The boy nodded. "Sorry to trouble you."

Then one of the boy's friends, the one with the cap, noticed something about Ryu. "Wait a minute, aren't you that guy?"

"What?" Ryu asked.

"A few months ago, weren't you in the finals in the national Singles tournament?" The cap boy asked.

The one who was hoping to challenge Ryou gasped, "Ooh, you're the one who played against Ryou."

The last boy looked at Ryu then remembered, "I remember now! He's the one who was using that Royal Paladin deck!"

Ryu grunted and had a small flashback to the past . . .

A knight with a flaming helm looked up towards Phantom Blaster Dragon . . . Phantom Blaster Dragon's lance came down on the knight . . .

Ryu came back to reality after remembering the lance coming down on the knight, "Yeah, I'm the one." Ryu tried hard to grin.

"Too bad about your loss." The boy with the cap said in a taunting tone.

Ryu's ears perked up when he realized that he was getting taunted.

"Come on Shiroi," The third boy said to the challenger boy, "he's not worth our time." The third boy and cap boy turned around.

"Ah, wait for me Takuto, Saito!" Shiroi, as it seems the challenger is named, turned back to his friend. Takuto is the one with the cap while Saito is the third one.

Ryu looked down, then he chuckled. "Oh, running away now huh?" Ryu taunted.

"What?" Takuto turned around.

"You three do know that I was one of the finalists of that tournament right?" Ryu asked while putting a hand over his face as he chuckled. "In fact, the last fight of the tournament, I was actually in it." Ryu then chuckled and glared at the three boys, "So, me who was second place isn't worth your time?" Ryu giggled, "it just seems to me that you aren't even worth Ryou's time, if you actually want to run away from the one who he beat." Ryu kept a huge grin on his face, "in fact, I believe that none of you are even worth his time."

"WHY YOU!" Saito grunted.

"How about letting me judge you?" Ryu reached into his coat and when his hand came out, he was holding a Vanguard deck. "We Card Fighters talk with our decks. If you can beat me, then I'll acknowledge your strength."

"That's fine with me!" Takuto reached into his pocket and pulled out a deck box. Saito did the same. Shiroi however held down the two's hands. "What?"

"I'll do it." Shiroi said. He turned to Ryu. "Besides, I was the one who challenged him, albeit not with the intention to fight him." Shiroi walked forward then pointed at Ryu, "I Shiori Kiba accept your challenge for a Card Fight." Shiroi took out a deck box from his jacket, "If I win, I demand you to take back everything you said about us."

"Oh I will." Ryu said, "But only if you win." Ryu then pointed to the park, right where a table was. "Wherever a table is, a Card Fight can always be played."


The girls in Queen Za Four or Q4 for short were done with their concert and going backstage to meet up with Ryu. Only problem was, Ryu still wasn't back. "Where did Ryu go?" The girl in red, named Yume asked the man in the cap.

"He went out for a walk." The man answered.

Yume puffed up her cheeks, "That little bugger." She stomped her foot, "He promised us that he would take us out to eat after we were done."

"He's not one to go back on his promise you know." The girl in pink, named Ryn, mentioned.

"Something's probably keeping him from getting back." The girl in silver, named Miku, continued.

"Though I'm kind of worried about him if that's the case." The girl in yellow, named Karen, remarked. "After all, didn't he just get out of the hospital recently?" The other girls became completely silent upon hearing that. "What if something bad happened to him?"

Total silence reigned the area for a moment while the man in the cap drank some coffee. "NO!" Yume, Ryn, and Miku all screamed, surprising the man, causing him to spill some coffee on the floor. The three girls charged towards the door, pushing their way, trying to get out first. The three girls ended up being cramped in the door as they tried getting out together.

Karen calmly walked over and pushed the girls out. Karen turned to the man in the cap, "Sorry about all that, but Ryu-san is our precious manager." Karen bowed to the man, "I hope you understand why we'd be so worried." Karen then ran out the door, following the rest of the girls.

The man whistled, "Man, that Hino is one lucky bastard." Then he remembered that Ryu commented on how one of the girls was Ryu's sister. "I wonder which one was the sister though . . ."


Ryu and Shiroi walked over to the table and found out that the table was actually a virtual reality projector meant for card games. "Wow, lucky." Ryu said then took a pair of red gloves with a gem on the center on one side of the table. In order to access the table's power, one must wear gloves. Shiroi put on an identical pair of blue gloves.

"Dad, dad, dad!" A young boy bugged his dad, who was behind the counter of a card shop. "Teach us how to play Vanguard!" The young boy said in regards to him and what seems to be his brother.

"Eh, I'm busy." The dad said while reading a magazine, obviously lying to his own kid. "Go read the rule book and make your own decks before you ask me, because I won't be lending you any of my decks."

"But we already made our decks." The boy said while holding up a deck. His brother also held up a deck.

The dad then fell off his seat and got back up quickly, "REALLY?" He looked at his two boys. "Let me take a look at them!" The boy and his brother handed their dad their decks. The dad looked through the decks. "My god, they're well built!" The dad then hugged his two boys, "I can't believe it, my two boys, getting ready to play Vanguard!"

"So you'll teach us right?" The young boy asked.

The dad became speechless, then said, "To hell with work!" The dad ran up to the entrance to his store and put up a closed sign, "My boys want to play Vanguard!"

The dad then went over the rules, "It's common courtesy to shuffle your opponent's deck for them so go ahead and do that first."

Ryu and Shiroi stood on opposite sides of the table. Takuto and Saito stood near Shiroi. Ryu and Shiroi handed each other their decks and shuffled the decks. Then both handed back the decks to the rightful owners. Ryu and Shiroi then put down their decks on the rightful places as a virtual Vanguard mat appeared on the table.

"Don't forget to take out a Grade 0 from your deck to use as your starter." The dad explained . . . after the boys had shuffled their decks. The boys then shuffled through their decks to find their starters and then shuffled each other decks again. "Maybe I should've mentioned that first . . ." Then the dad continued explaining, "Now placed down the starter in the Vanguard spot facedown."

Ryu and Shiroi both placed down a card on the center of their mats facedown.

"Now the game has four different grades, Grade 0, 1, 2, and 3." The dad continued explaining. "When drawing your first five cards, it's best to have one each of a grade 1, 2, and a 3 in your hand." The two boys drew their cards. "If you don't like the cards in your hand, you can shuffle back as many cards as you want and draw the same amount of cards." The two boys looked through their hands, then picked out a few cards to shuffle back into their decks. "You can only do this once so remember to choose wisely."

Ryu and Shiroi drew their five cards. Shiroi looked through his hand and picked two cards to put back into his deck. Ryu didn't look happy with his hand, and actually shuffled back four cards into his deck. Both reshuffled their decks and placed the decks back into place. Then both of them redrew their cards. Shiroi looked happy with his hand, while it was pretty obvious Ryu was putting on a Poker Face.

You know you fail at life when even your poker face isn't hiding anything.

"Now, let me explain about the most essential part of the game, the units." The dad pointed at the young boy's facedown card. "This card and spot is where your Vanguard is. To be frank, your Vanguard is you. Imagine this, both of you are astral bodies on the planet Cray, ready to do battle. The Vanguards will do battle in your place, now . . ."

"STAND UP!" The Dad, Ryu, and Shiroi shouted.

"THE . . ." Ryu added an extra word.

"VANGUARD!" The Dad, Ryu, and Shiroi shouted. The two boys flipped their Vanguards up while Ryu and Shiroi did the same with their Vanguards. The surrounding area then became a virtual battlefield for the units to do battle in. A virtual valley appeared and anyone around the area noticed the change in the area. Those who were interested actually watched the fight from afar. Two units, the starting Vanguards, appeared behind their respective players.

"Lizard Runner Undeux!" The young boy announced his starter card.

"Stardust Trumpeter!" His brother announced. Both cards were grade 0 cards with 6000 power. However both cards were from different clans. Undeux was a Kagero while Trumpeter was a Royal Paladin.

Shiroi's starting Vanguard was a card named Battleraizer (Nova Grappler, Grade 0, Power 3000). A red robot appeared behind Shiroi. "All right, time to begin." Shiroi said, then he looked at Ryu's starting Vanguard. "What the . . ."

"WHAT!" Takuto rushed up to look at Ryu's card. Saito did the same. "What the heck is that!"

Ryu grinned and tapped his card. "Lizard Soldier, Conroe. (Kagero, Grade 0, Power 5000)" An armored lizard soldier appeared behind Ryu.

"That can't be!" Saito shouted. "You run Royal Paladins, why are you using a Kagero card?"

"Before we begin, let me just tell you two that there are many clans in this game. It is often suggested that one should build a deck based on one clan, and quite frankly there are many cards that require a Vanguard of a certain clan to activate their abilities. Not that I'm saying that all decks should be pure, people can mix in more than one clan but that would require a lot of thinking and strategy." The dad explained. "You two did a good job constructing your decks though, Kagero and Royal Paladin."

Ryu's mouth contorted into a smile, "Who said that I run Royal Paladins?"

"You used them during the finals." Shiroi said remembering the tournament that he watched on TV. "I remember you used Wingal Brave as your starter. In fact, you also had a Shadow Paladin in your deck too!"

"Oh but that wasn't my deck." Ryu said while his bangs hid his eyes. The three boys all jumped back in surprise. "Let me tell you this, that deck you saw wasn't mine to begin with." Ryu remembered the events of the tournament, "Come back to us . . . Ryou!" Ryu pointed at Conroe, "This is a reflection of my true self. Now, are you ready to begin?"

"Imagine it," The dad said, "Two opposing forces, ready to do battle." Then the dad explained how to find out who goes first, "If you look at the rule book, the way to find out who goes first is to play rock paper scissor." Both the boy and his brother played rock paper scissor, ending in the brother's victory. "So he goes first."

"I'll start!" Ryu drew a card from his deck.

Ryu's Hand: 6 cards-Field: 1 Unit

Ryu closed his eyes, "Imagine it." Ryu said. "Two clans, ready to do battle. The Nova Grapplers, a clan from a nation from far away, getting ready to invade the Dragon Empire."

"What the?" Saito asked, "What are you blabbing about?"

"Imagine it," Ryu said, "we are astral bodies on the planet Cray. The battle we do shall determine the fate of their battle!" Ryu then grabbed one card from his hand. "The Dragon Empire however will not let the Nova Grapplers invade and shall send their aerial assault squad to battle!" Ryu placed the card he grabbed on top of Conroe, "Ride: Embodiment of Armor, Bahr (Kagero, Grade 1, Power 8000)!" Lizard Soldier then transformed into a new unit, that of an armored Ghost.

"The Vanguard has two powers, first is the power to Ride." Dad explained, "That is the ability to place a unit on top of your Vanguard so that the Vanguard becomes that card. You can only ride a unit that is one Grade higher or an equal Grade than your current Vanguard. Once you ride your Vanguard, your previous Vanguard becomes what is known as soul. However there are some exceptions to that."

"Since I rode a Kagero over Conroe, I now move Conroe to a rearguard spot!" Ryu grabbed Conroe from under Bahr and placed Conroe in the Rearguard spot near his deck in the back row. Conroe now appeared in the spot corresponding to where Ryu had put the Conroe card.

"The area where you put your units consist of a back row and a front row. Those in the back are generally safe from attacks but cannot attack themselves. Instead they boost the units in the front row. Those in the front are vulnerable to attacks but they themselves can attack the opponent. If a Vanguard gets hit, you take damage as the Vanguard is you. If a Rearguard gets hit, then they get retired to the drop zone. By the way, the first person to go cannot attack."

"That ends my turn, since I can't attack anyway." Ryu said.

Ryu's Ending Hand: 5 cards-Field: 2 Units
Shiroi's Hand: 5-Field: 1 Unit-Damage: None

Huh, you talk big." Takuto taunted Ryu, "You didn't even play that many units!"

"Shush Takuto." Shiroi said. "This is my fight. I don't need you to talk for me." Shiroi then drew from his deck.

Shiroi's Hand: 6 cards

"Now, let's begin!" Shiroi grabbed a card from his hand. "Here I go, Ride, Tough Boy (Nova Grappler, Grade 1, Power 8000)!"

The red Battleraizer was replaced by a black robot.

"Just like your Conroe, since I rode a Nova Grappler on top of Battleraizer, I now move Battleraizer to a rearguard spot." Shiroi said. Battleraizer appeared behind Tough Boy.

"The second power of the Vanguard is the ability to call." The Dad continued his tutorial. "And that is the power to summon units to the rearguard spots to help battle. You can call as many units as you want per turn, provided the unit is equal or lower to the grade of your Vanguard."

"I now call Queen of Hearts (Nova Grappler, Grade 1, Power 6000)." Shiroi played the card to the right of Tough Boy. A pink queenly robot appeared next to Tough Boy. "Call, Almighty Reporter (Nova Grappler, Grade 1, Power 6000)!" A TV screen robot appeared behind Queen of Hearts. "Here I go!"

"The first person to go cannot attack, but however after that, there is no stopping the onslaught . . . Anyway to attack and boost, one must rest their units."

"With a boost from Almighty Reporter, Queen of Hearts attacks your Vanguard!" Shiroi pointed at Bahr then titled his cards to indicate he was attacking with them.

"In order for an attack to hit, the attack must be able to overpower the power of the unit being attacked. If the power is the same, then the attacker has priority and the attack will go through."

"No guard." Ryu said coldly.

Almighty Reporter glowed and gave its power to Queen of Hearts. Queen of Hearts then charged towards Bahr. Queen of Hearts smashed Bahr with her staff.

"After an attack goes through, the player who got hit must then check the top card of his deck for a damage trigger. When a trigger reaches the damage zone, you can activate its effects. Of course not all cards are triggers since one can only have 16 triggers in the deck anyway."

"Damage Check." Ryu said and revealed the top card of his deck. Berserk Dragon (Kagero, Grade 2, Power 9000). "No Trigger." Ryu placed Berserk Dragon into the damage zone.

"Since the attack was a success for Queen of Hearts and Almighty Reporter was boosting, Almighty Reporter now returns to my hand." Shiroi took Almighty Reporter and placed the card back into his hand. The virtual Almighty Reporter disappeared from the field. "Now, with a boost from Battleraizer, Tough Boy attacks your Vanguard!" Shiroi once again pointed towards Bahr. The power of Battleraizer and Tough boy combined equaled 11000. "Battleraizer's skill activates. When it boosts a unit, the boosted unit gets a power plus 3000!" Tough Boy now had a power of 14000 to work with.

"No Guard." Ryu said coldly again.

Battleraizer gave its power to Tough Boy. Then Tough Boy jumped over the table.

"When the Vanguard attacks, the player can activate the hidden ability of the Vanguard, and that is the Drive Check. You do this to find a trigger. There are four kinds of triggers, Critical, Draw, Stand, and Heal. Take note, in order for a trigger to activate, at least one member of the same clan as the Trigger must be present on the field. Doesn't really apply to you boys since I checked your decks and they're both purely one clan."

"Trigger Check!" Shiroi announced then grabbed the top card of his deck. Shiroi then flipped over the card. The card that Shiroi flipped over, and because of the Virtual Fight Table, the card glowed blue, "Got one, Stand Trigger!" The card he drew was that of Lucky Girl (Nova Grappler, Grade 0, Power 5000, Trigger: Stand and Power plus 5000)

"The Blue Trigger, Stand Trigger. Once it activates, you can stand one of the rearguard units that have already been rested. This type of trigger is only useful during the turn of the attacker. However when damaged check, can still be used to add power to any unit you want."

"I stand Queen of Hearts and add the power to her!" Shiroi announced. Queen of Hearts stood up ready for attack. A blue glow appeared around her, indicating she got attack power of 5000 from the Stand Trigger. (Queen of Hearts Power 11000)

Tough Boy punched Bahr in the face.

"Damage check." Ryu grunted. He needed at least one trigger to make Bahr strong enough so that Shiroi wouldn't be able to attack Bahr. Ryu checked the top card of his deck. "No Trigger." Ryu pulled Dragon Monk Gojo (Kagero, Grade 1, Power 7000). Gojo entered the damage zone.

"Now, one more attack!" Shiroi said excitedly. He pointed again to Bahr, "Queen of Hearts attacks Bahr, power 11000!"

"When you attack, you don't always have to take the attacks. Not only are the units on the field your allies, but also the ones in your hand. You can play as many cards you want to guard." The dad then pointed to the number under the Grade on a unit. "When guarding, rather than using the power of the actual card, you actually instead look at the number indicated here. You add this power to the power of that of whatever unit is being attacked."

"Guard!" Ryu announced. Then he grabbed one card from his hand. "Bahr to guard! (Guard Power 5000)" Ryu placed the Bahr from his hand onto the center of the fight mat. A Bahr appeared in front of the current Vanguard Bahr.

Queen of Hearts attacked and smashed the guarding Bahr to bits and tried attacking the Vanguard Bahr. However because of the added power from Bahr's guard, the Vanguard had a total power of 13000.

Because a Bahr was used to guard, that very same card now goes to the drop zone after the attack.

"That ends my turn." Shiroi said. "Because Battleraizer boosted, it now goes back to my deck." Shiroi grabbed Battleraizer and shuffled the card back into his deck. "Now it's your turn."

Shiroi's Ending Hand: 5 Cards-Field: 2 Units
Ryu's Hand: 4 Cards-Field: 2 Units-Damage:2

Ryu sighed and drew from his deck.

Ryu's Hand: 5 Cards

"Now, here I go." Ryu grabbed one certain card on his hand. "Ride, Dragon Knight, Nehalem (Kagero, Grade 2, Power 10000)!" Ryu placed the new card over Bahr.

Flames appeared around Bahr, then Bahr transformed into a new unit. A Dragon Rider in black armor and red scarf. The dragon the Knight rode towered over Shiroi's units, allowing the rider, who was the Nehalem named from the card, to look down on his enemies.

"Now, time for some payback!" Ryu announced. Ryu grabbed two cards from his hand, "Call, another Nehalem." Another Nehalem appeared next to Ryu's Vanguard, "and call Dragon Knight, Berger (Kagero, Grade 2, Power 8000)." A dragon rider knight wearing a less regal armor compared to Nehalem appeared in front of Conroe. "Battle!" Ryu announced. Ryu then rested his Rearguard Nehalem, "Dragon Knight, Nehalem attacks your Vanguard!" Ryu pointed at Tough Boy.

"I won't guard." Shiroi said.

Nehalem's dragon flew into the air and Nehalem pointed his spear at Tough Boy. The spear fired out red lightning at Tough Boy. Tough Boy got zapped.

"Damage Check." Shiroi revealed the top card of his deck, Almighty Reporter. "No Trigger."

"Now, time for my attack to go!" Ryu grabbed his Vanguard Nehalem. "Imagine this, the elite knight of the Kagero Clan, ready to strike!"

"That doesn't quite work when you've attacked with one already." Takuto remarked.

Ryu flinched, "Well this time it's the Vanguard doing it so there!" Ryu then cleared his throat. "Imagine this, the Dragon Knight looking down on you due to his dragon!" Ryu then rested his Vanguard. "Dragon Knight, Nehalem attacks your Vanguard!"

"No Guard."

"Check the Drive Trigger." Ryu said then grabbed the top card of his deck. Ryu flipped the card, "GET!" The card glowed yellow, "Critical Trigger!" (Card: Embodiment of Spear, Tahr, Kagero, Grade 0, Power 5000, Trigger: Critical and Power plus 5000)

Shiroi grunted in horror.

"The Yellow Trigger, the Critical Trigger. Truly a dangerous trigger if any. When it activates, you are allowed to give the Critical Plus to a unit, allowing it to deal more damage than usual. For example, usually one unit can only deal one damage, however the Critical Damage will change that as the Critical gets a plus one."

"I give the Critical Plus to my Vanguard!" Ryu announced while Nehalem glowed yellow to indicate that he got the plus Critical, then Ryu pointed at his Berger, "And I give Berger the plus 5000!" Berger glowed yellow to indicate that he got the plus power.

"You don't necessarily have to give all effects to one unit. Since each trigger has two effects, you can split them between two completely separate units."

Nehalem flew in the air and the dragon charged towards Tough Boy. "HYAH!" Nehalem shouted and slashed Tough Boy with his spear.

"You take two damage!" Ryu said happily.

"Damage check." Shiroi said unhappily and revealed the top card. "First check . . . no trigger." (Card: Hungry Dumpty, Nova Grappler, Grade 2, Power 9000) "Second check." Shiroi then revealed the next card. Shiroi flipped the card, and the card glowed red. "Got one!" Shiroi said happily. "Draw Trigger!" (Card: The Gong, Nova Grappler, Grade 0, Power 5000, Trigger: Draw Trigger and Power plus 5000)

"The Red Trigger, the Draw Trigger. The most powerful trigger of them all due to its ability to add an extra card into your hand. Due to its power, in order to balance it out, Draw Triggers are given a guardian power of 5000 instead of the usual 10000 for grade 0s. The reason why this is the most powerful trigger is because no matter when it is activated, whether from a drive check or from a damage check, both effects happen."

"I give my Tough Boy the power." Shiroi pointed at Tough Boy and the Tough Boy glowed red to indicate that it got the power from the trigger (Power: 13000). "And I'll draw!" Shiroi drew from his deck.

"That's nice and all, but I have one more attack." Ryu rested Berger and Conroe. "With a boost from Conroe, Berger attacks your Vanguard!" (Power 8000 plus 5000 plus 5000 from a trigger: 18000) Berger's dragon reared into action then flew towards Tough Boy.

"Guard!" Shiroi grabbed the Lucky Girl that he had trigger checked into last turn. (Guard Power: 10000) Lucky Girl entered the Guardian Circle.

A pink cat appeared in front of Tough Boy, allowing Tough Boy's power to rise to 23000.

Berger was about to attack but for whatever reason, Lucky Girl released a barrier around Tough Boy and Berger could not get through.

"Well that ends my turn." Ryu said. "Turn End."

Ryu's Ending Hand: 3 Cards-Field: 4 Units
Shiroi's Hand: 4 Cards-Field: 2 Units-Damage: 3

"Stand and Draw." Shiroi said and stood his units before he drew.

Shiroi's Hand: 5 cards

"Before you draw you got to stand your units. After all, how else will your units be able to do anything for the turn?"

People who were nearby noticed the card fight that was going on, and because they were all interested, they all rushed over to see the fight.

"Looks like we attracted quite an audience." Ryu remarked.

"Whoa look at that!" One random man said.

"Looks like an intense fight!" Another random man said.

Shiroi ignored what all those people said and just drew his card quietly. Takuto and Saito on the other hand just smirked. "Intense? Yeah right." Saito said.

"Shiroi's got this in the bag." Takuto said.

Shiroi grabbed one card from his hand, "Here I go." Shiroi placed the card over his Tough Boy, "Ride, GENOCIDE JACK!" (Nova Grappler, Grade 2, Power 11000)

In a silver flash, Tough Boy then transformed into a black dragonic machine. Genocide Jack was slumped over.

"Genocide Jack has restraint so it can't attack." Shiroi explained. "However, counterblast!" Shiroi flipped the Almighty Reporter in his damage zone upside down. "Release Restraint!" Genocide Jack then revved into action. It roared at Ryu. "Now Genocide Jack can attack!"

"Do not be afraid to take damage." Dad explained to his two kids, "Certain units have the ability to activate their effects if you do so through a Counterblast! A Counterblast is when you flipped a certain number of cards in your damage zone to activate their effects. However in order to do that, you need damage. In essence, even if the allies you lose through damage are not usable for the rest of the game, they'll still assist you. However, remember that unless certain measures are taken, once a damage is flipped, you will be unable to use the flipped damage for a counterblast again."

"Move Queen of Hearts to the back." Shiroi moved Queen to the back, where Almighty Reporter had been.

"If you don't like a certain unit to be on the front or back, you are allowed to move them up and down, but only those directions."

Queen of Hearts teleported to the back of her original spot. "Call, King of Swords! (Nova Grappler, Grade 2, Power 10000)" A robot designed similarly to Queen of Hearts appeared in her original spot.

"OOH!" Ryu jumped back, "The husband and wife combo!"

"Call, Almighty Reporter." Almighty Reporter appeared behind Genocide Jack. "Call, another King of Swords and Queen of Hearts." Again appeared a King of Swords and Queen of Hearts in the empty spots near the Vanguard Circle.

"Oh boy." Ryu gulped.

"Your Berger is going to be annoying." Shiroi remarked then rested a King of Swords and Queen of Hearts, "Can't have it guarding me you know, attack!" Shiroi pointed at Berger.

Queen of Hearts gave her power to King of Swords. "Imagine it." Ryu said, "Because the faithful Queen is boosting her loyal King, the Queen can give more power to the King through her love!"

Saito and Takuto both just fell when they heard Ryu blabber about the King of Swords and Queen of Hearts. "You don't have to be so weird!"

"In other words," Shiroi said, "Because Queen is boosting King, King receives another plus 4000 to his attack!" What would've been 16000 now was 20000.

"Well there goes my Special Interceptor." Ryu said as King of Swords charged and slashed Berger. Berger and his dragon disappeared from the spot as Ryu placed the card into the drop zone.

"Now, with a boost from Almighty Reporter, Jack attacks your Vanguard!" Shiroi pointed at Ryu's Vanguard. "Since Jack is my Vanguard and he is being boosted by a Nova Grappler, he gets a plus 5000!" Jack was now attacking for instead of 17000, 22000.

"Oh crap!" Ryu yelped. Ryu looked at his damage zone then at Shiroi, "No Guard."

"Trigger check." Shiroi revealed the top card of his deck. (Card: Battleraizer, Trigger: Stand and Power plus 5000) "Got one!" Shiroi shouted. "I'll stand my rested King of Sword and add the power to him!"

Jack revved into action and stood straight. Then Jack fired a fire blast at Nehalem. Nehalem let out a scream as Ryu took damage.

"Damage check." Ryu checked the top card of his deck. "No Trigger." (Card: Vortex Dragon, Grade 3, Power 10000)

"Because Almighty Reporter's boost led to a successful attack for Jack, Almighty Reporter returns to my hand!" Shiroi grabbed Almighty Reporter and placed the card back into his hand. "Now my stood King of Swords attacks your Vanguard for 15000!" Shiroi shouted and rested the King of Swords that he just stood.

"No Guard." Ryu sighed.

King of Swords jumped and slashed Nehalem.

"Damage check." Ryu flipped the top card . . . the card glowed green. "GET!" Ryu shouted. (Card: Dragon Monk Genjo, Kagero, Grade 0, Power 5000, Trigger: Heal and Power Plus 5000)

"The Green Trigger, the Heal Trigger. The one trigger that shall determine the game. This trigger can save you from certain defeat however unlike the Draw Trigger, it can't always be activated. If your damage isn't equal or higher than that of your opponent's, then the heal trigger will have been wasted. The power plus can still be added to a unit though."

"Add the plus power to my Nehalem, and I'll heal one damage!" Ryu grabbed the Vortex Dragon from his damage zone and sent the card to the drop zone. Nehalem glowed green as the power from the Heal Trigger got added to his power.

"I still have one more attack." Shiroi rested his unrested King and Queen. "ATTACK!"

Because Nehalem has a power of 10000, King of Sword's current attack power of 20000 would force Ryu to use two cards to guard since a 10000 shield would not be enough to guard. However, since Ryu got a trigger . . . "GUARD!" Ryu threw down Embodiment of Spear, Tahr (Guard Power: 10000) into the guardian zone. A turban wearing man appeared holding a spear. (Nehalem Total Power: 25000) The man stood his ground as King of Sword's sword came down on him. Because of Tahr's guard, King could not reach Nehalem.

Shiroi sighed. "This ends my turn."

Shiroi's Ending Hand: 3 Cards-Field: 5 Units
Ryu's Hand: 2 Cards-Field: 3 Units-Damage: 3

"Shiroi . . ." Takuto said in worry. "He looks a little stressed."

"Can it be?" Saito turned to Ryu, "Is this guy really that strong?"

"He's skilled I'll give him that." Takuto remarked.

"Stand and Draw." Ryu said and stood his units. Then he drew.

Ryu's Hand: 3 Cards

"Here it comes." Shiroi whispered to himself. At this point, since Ryu went first, it is time for Ryu to bring out the ultimate Grade, the Grade 3.

Ryu closed his eyes, then yelped, "Oh crap!" He shouted. Everyone around, who was anticipating Ryu to play a Grade 3, all fell.

"What?" Shiroi gasped.

"I don't have a Grade 3." Ryu said as comical tears just fell down from his eyes. "I'm stuck with Nehalem for now . . ."

"You know what." Saito said, "I take back everything I said."

"Me too." Takuto nodded.

Ryu whimpered. "That's fine though, I can still attack." Ryu didn't even call any units for the turn. "My Rearguard Nehalem attacks your Rearguard King of Swords."

"That idiot." Saito sighed. "He can't even attack Jack since Jack has 1000 extra attack compared to his units."

"If he really wanted to break through, he should've just played at least one booster behind his two units." Takuto sighed. "It's Shiroi's victory. And to think this guy made it to the finals in the national singles."

"No guard." Shiroi said and let the King of Swords get attacked. Nehalem fired a lightning bolt that destroyed King of Sword.

"Now, my Vanguard attacks your Jack!" Ryu rested his Vanguard.

"What!" Saito shouted. "That idiot, the least he could've done was attacked the other Rearguard King of Sword."

"Unless he pulls a trigger, that attack isn't going through." Takuto said.

Shiroi closed his eyes, then said, "No Guard."

"Don't worry if your Vanguard's power isn't as strong as your opponent's Vanguard. You can always hope your Trigger Check will aid you . . ."

"Check the Drive Trigger!" Ryu shouted then grabbed the first card of his deck, "Check . . ." Ryu flipped the card slowly. In order to hit Jack, Ryu needed a trigger. Ryu slowly flipped the trigger, everyone around was anxious. Ryu revealed the card, and the card glowed red. "GET!" Ryu shouted. "Dragon Dancer Monica (Kagero, Grade 0, Power 5000, Trigger: Draw and Power plus 5000)."

"HOLY!" Saito shouted.

"He pulled it, a trigger!" Takuto yelped. Every one around gasped in awe.

"I now add the power to my Vanguard." Ryu said and Nehalem glowed red, indicating that he received the power. "And I'll draw a card." Ryu drew a card. "Now, go!" Ryu pointed at Genocide Jack, "Strike, Nehalem!"

With a power of 15000, Nehalem had enough to break through Jack's 11000. Nehalem's dragon took flight, and came down on Jack, allowing Nehalem to cut Jack.

"Damage Trigger Check." Shiroi said and grabbed the top card of his deck. The card that entered the damage zone glowed Red. (Card: The Gong) "Get, Draw Trigger." Shiroi said. "I add the power to Genocide Jack, and I'll draw a card."

"Turn End." Ryu said with a grin.

Ryu's Ending Hand: 5 Cards. Field: 3 Units
Shiroi's Hand: 4 Cards-Field: 5 Units-Damage: 4

"What's he smiling about?" Saito said to Takuto. "Doesn't he know that this little victory over a trigger is only a tiny victory?"

"Next turn, Shiroi's win." Takuto nodded.

"Stand and draw." Shiroi stood his units and drew from his deck.

Shiroi's Hand: 5 Cards

"Unlike you, I'm not going to be stuck at Grade 2." Shiroi held one card from his hand, "Reveal yourself, Grappler of Multiple Arms . . . Ride, ASURA KAISER! (Nova Grappler, Grade 3, Power 11000)" Shiroi placed the card over his Genocide Jack. Jack's body became engulfed in a silver light, and transformed into a robot with many arms that held many different weapons. "Call, King of Sword and Almighty Reporter!" Another King of Sword appeared to replace the King of Sword that was defeated and Almighty Reporter appeared behind Asura Kaiser. "Now, here I go!" Shiroi simply rested a King of Sword without resting the Queen behind. "King of Sword attacks your Vanguard!"

"What the . . ." Ryu looked at the situation, and realized what Shiroi was going to do. With Asura Kaiser's skill, if Shiroi drive checks into a Grade 3 Nova Grappler, Shiroi can stand a unit. On top of that of an actual trigger, this combo can really be dangerous. "Got to guard." Ryu said. "Intercept!" Ryu grabbed his Rearguard Nehalem and placed Nehalem into the Guardian circle. (Guard Power: 5000)

"Each different unit has a different Grade skill. Grade 1 and 0s have the ability to boost. A grade 2's ability is to intercept, and that is if they are in the front row, they can enter the Guardian Circle to defend."

Nehalem appeared in front of the Vanguard Nehalem. King of Sword slashed Nehalem as the Guardian Nehalem made sure King of Sword could not touch the Vanguard.

"Second King of Sword attacks your Vanguard!" Shiroi announced. Again, without a boost.

"Guard!" Ryu placed down a card from his hand, "Dragon Dancer Monica!" (Guard Power: 5000)

Monica materialized in front of Nehalem. King tried to slash Monica but because of the combined power of Nehalem's power and Monica's guardian power, King could not even touch Monica nor Nehalem. Monica disappeared to the drop zone.

"Now, with a boost from reporter, Asura Kaiser attacks!" Shiroi shouted. (Total Power: 17000)

Ryu looked at his damage and noticed that he was safely at 3. Well at the very least I don't need a Perfect Defense. Just as long as he doesn't pull two critical triggers on me.

The young boy placed down a card, Wyvern Guard Barri (Kagero, Grade 1, Power 6000, Guard Power 0) with a Guard Power of 0 into the Guardian Zone. "Your attack does not go through."

His brother asked, "How'd you guard with that? Doesn't that only have 0 guard power?"

"Well let me explain." The dad said. "Usually a card with a guardian power of 0 indicates that it is a Perfect Defense card. Due to the way this works, if you discard a card of the same clan as the card, you defend one unit of the same clan, effectively nullifying the attack."

"No Guard." Ryu announced.

"Twin Drive!" Shiroi announced.

"A Grade 3's grade skill is that of the Twin Drive. This only activates as a Vanguard so don't think that a deck full of Grade 3's is the most awesome thing ever, because it's not. When you twin drive, you do exactly as it says, you drive check twice. When one trigger is checked, the triggers must be distributed before you check another card."

"First Check," Shiroi said then checked his first card. "Get, Grade 3!" The card glowed white. (Card: Asura Kaiser) "Since it's a Grade 3, Asura Kaiser stands one of my units. Stand up, King of Sword!" A rested King of Sword stood up.

"Oh great." Ryu grunted.

"Second Check." Shiroi then revealed the next card. "GET!" The card that he checked glowed white. "Grade 3 again!" (Card: Mr. Invincible, Nova Grappler, Grade 3, Power 10000) "I stand my other King of Sword!"

"Oh boy." Ryu sighed as the King of Sword stood. Asura Kaiser then charged at Nehalem and struck Nehalem with the weapons on its body. "Damage Check." Ryu said then checked his first damage. "No Trigger." (Card: Dragon Knight Berger)

"Almighty Reporter returns to my hand since Asura Kaiser was able to hit your Vanguard." Shiroi said and took Almighty Reporter back into his hand. "Now, King of Sword with a boost from Queen of Heart, attack!" Shiroi pointed at Nehalem while King of Sword with a boost from his Queen attacked with a power of 20000.

"No Guard." Ryu said. King slashed Nehalem. "Damage Check." Ryu grabbed the card and let the card fall to the Damage Zone. After it reached the zone, the card glowed red. "GET!" Ryu shouted as the card was Dragon Dancer Monica. "Draw Trigger!" Ryu pointed at Nehalem. "Add the power to Nehalem and I'll draw!"

"No way!" Saito shouted. "Draw Trigger again?"

"Don't worry, Shiroi still has one more attack." Takuto said.

However even Shiroi knew he wouldn't be able to get an attack in. Had Ryu not pull a draw trigger, Ryu would've had to use more cards from his hand to block for Nehalem. However, because Nehalem now has a power boost, Ryu can easily defend Nehalem. On top of that, the Draw Trigger added one more card to Ryu's hand, meaning now Ryu had even more cards in his hand for a total six cards now. Shiroi on the other hand, only had a total of four cards in his hand right now. Shiroi rested his King and Queen, "Attack," Shiroi said without gusto.

"Not going through!" Ryu threw down one card, "Lizard Soldier, Ganlu!" (Kagero, Grade 0, Power 5000, Guard Power 10000) This one card allowed Nehalem's power to jump to 25000, exceeding King's 20000.

Shiroi grunted. "That ends my turn."

Shiroi's Ending Hand: 5 Cards-Field: 5 Units
Ryu's Hand: 5 Cards-Field: 2 Units-Damage: 5

Ryu sighed. This turn, he must win, but can he?

"RYU!" Yume's voice sounded. The four idols rushed towards Ryu, surprising every one around as they recognized the four as the members of Q4. "Ryu, what are you doing?"

"SHUSH WOMAN!" Ryu shouted and pushed his hand towards Yume . . . hitting her breasts. "I'm trying to card fight here!"

"EEP!" Yume yelped.

Every one around just gawked awkwardly as Ryu's hand touched Yume's breasts.

Ryu retracted his hand as if he never touched Yume, then Yume, Ryn, Miku, and Karen all slapped the back of Ryu's head. "PERVERT!" Yume shouted.

"Ow." Ryu said calmly.

"Geez Manager, we were really worried about you." Miku said.

"Don't run off like that Ryu." Ryn said.

"Eh?" Shiroi said. "Manager?"

"Oh yeah." Ryu nodded. "I'm the manager of Q4."

"EH!" Every one around shouted.

"YOU?" Saito and Takuto shouted.

"Well anyway, we were all worried about you." Karen said. "You just got out of the hospital." Karen said, with a weepy tone that sounded genuine. "What would we do if you got hurt?"

"Your tears don't work on me." Ryu said, who was crying because of Karen's tone. "God damn, I can't help but cry because of how convincing you sound." Ryu rubbed his eyes while Karen gave a V for victory with her fingers. "But I'm still in the middle of this fight, so let me finish it." Ryu closed his eyes, then opened them, "FINAL TURN!" Ryu announced.

Everyone all gasped in awe, and Shiroi jumped back, as if the power of the words literally pushed him backwards.

"Final turn you say!" Saito shouted.

"Don't screw around!" Takuto shouted.

"What makes you so confident?" Shiroi wondered.

"Well for one." Ryu pointed at his four girls, "Lady luck is on my side." Then Ryu held up the hand that he touched Yume with, "Plus more luck from what I touched with these hands!"

Yume slapped Ryu again.

Shiroi had a visible sweat drop from his face, "I should've never asked . . ."

"And now, let me finish this." Ryu said. "Stand and draw!" Ryu stood his units and drew a card.

Ryu's Hand: 6 Cards

Then Ryu went through his cards, to grab a certain one. "Imagine this, the power of the Nova Grappler army overwhelming to the point where the leader of the Kageros must take part in the battle."

"No way . . ." Shiroi gasped.

"Appear, my Avatar, Blaze through the darkness with your apocalyptic flames. Ride the Vanguard!" Ryu placed the card over his Nehalem, "DRAGONIC OVERLORD!" (Kagero, grade 3, Power 11000)

A flaming vortex appeared around Nehalem, engulfing Nehalem, transforming Nehalem and his dragon into a red dragon. The dragon spread its wings, spreading flames from it. It held one sword, the sword it will use to cleave its enemies. Dragonic Overlord, Ryu's ace card of his deck, has appeared.

"Shoot!" Shiroi gulped.

"Counterblast!" Ryu said then flipped over three damage from his damage zone. "Overlord's skill activates!" Dragonic Overlord's wings then blazed up. "Overlord gets a power plus 5000. At the same time, he also gains the ability to stand up if my attack actually hits the rearguard." Ryu chuckled, "Be lucky, unlike your Vanguard, due to this skill I won't be able to Twin Drive." Then Ryu flipped one more damage from his Damage Zone, "Conroe's Counterblast." Ryu then sent Conroe to the Drop Zone. "I'll retire him."

Every one noticed that because there were no other rearguards on the field, Overlord's power was minus 2000. "Hey, what's the point of doing that?" Takuto laughed, "You just made your Overlord weaker."

"I'm not done yet. Because I retired Conroe, I can now search my deck for a grade 1 or less Kagero." Ryu grabbed his deck then searched through it. "The card I'll search for is this, Flame of Promise, Aermo!" (Kagero, Grade 1, Power 4000) Ryu placed the card in his hand. "Now, CALL!" Ryu placed Aermo behind Overlord.

A flame sprite appeared behind Overlord, and that very same unit grinned at Shiroi while flames appeared in its hands.

"Not done yet!" Ryu announced then played four more cards, "Call, Dragon Knight Nehalem, Bellicosity Dragon (Kagero, Grade 2, Power 9000), Embodiment of Armor Bahr, and Dragon Dancer Monica!" Nehalem appeared with Dragon Dancer Monica behind him, and to the other side of Overlord, a red dragon appeared with Bahr in tow. Now Overlord was back to his full power.

"Darn." Shiroi looked at his Damage. He can only take one damage from any of the units. All he has to do is brave out Overlord's attack and he would be fine. He looked at his hand and grunted as he realized that he had two units that he would be unable to block with, his Grade 3s.

"One fatal flaw with a Grade 3 card is that, unlike the Perfect Defense cards which literally have 0 guard, the Grade 3 has nothing. Therefore meaning, you can't even guard with a Grade 3."

"I just need to block one attack." Shiroi whispered. He figured Ryu would attack a rearguard first with Overlord. Shiroi just had to defend that attack. The cards in his hand that he can use to guard are Battleraizer (Guard Power: 10000), Almighty Reporter (Guard Power: 5000), and a Hungry Dumpty (Guard Power: 5000).

"Never forget the units in the soul of the Vanguard. Just like the cards that have entered the Damage Zone, the cards in the soul are still your allies!"

"Now, ETERNAL FLAME! Overlord attacks your King of Sword!" Ryu shouted and rested Overlord and Aermo behind Overlord. "Aermo's skill activates." Ryu said. "Soul Blast!" Ryu took the Bahr under Overlord and Nehalem out and dropped it into the drop zone. Aermo's flames became bigger as it gave a boost to Dragonic Overlord. "When this unit boosts a unit with Overlord in its name, such as my Dragonic Overlord, Overlord gets a plus 6000!" (Total Power: 26000) Both Aermo and Dragonic Overlord glowed red, indicating that Dragonic Overlord was getting maximum power from Aermo.

"That's a huge number!" Saito shouted.

"I don't have a choice." Shiroi grunted. "Guard!" In order to survive this round, he needs his King of Swords to intercept. "Battleraizer, Almighty Reporter, and Hungry Dumpty to guard!"

Battleraizer, Almighty Reporter, and a purple egg like robot named Hugry Dumpty appeared in the Guardian Circle to guard the King of Sword that was being aimed for an attack. (Total Guard Power: 30000)

"Check the Drive Trigger." Ryu then reached his top card. One trigger and his attack will go through. Shiroi was hoping Ryu would not pull a trigger.

Yume, Ryn, Miku, and Karen all held their breaths in anticipation to see what Ryu would pull.

Ryu flipped over the card . . . and he grinned. "Get," The card glowed blue, "Stand Trigger!" (Card: Lizard Soldier, Ganlu, Trigger: Stand and Power Plus 5000)

"No!" Shiroi yelped.

"I'll add the plus power to my Overlord, allowing his attack to reach 31000. At the same time I'll stand Aermo." As Ryu stood his Aermo card, his Overlord gained the 5000 power from a blue glow. "Go Overlord, burn everything to ashes with your Apocalyptic flame!"

Overlord blew a fire breath at the three units guarding King of Sword. The units all burned to ash.

"Because my Overlord now has a total power of 31000, your King is now opened for attack!" Overlord then swung a blazing slash at King of Sword, incinerating it.

As Shiroi dropped his King into the drop zone, Ryu stood up Overlord, "Since Overlord's attack hit, he stands up once again!" Overlord roared as his wings blazed up again. "Eternal Flame, once more!" Ryu attacked with Overlord, "And Aermo boosts again as well!" Ryu rested Aermo. "Aermo's skill, Soul Blast!" Ryu took out the Nehalem from the soul of Overlord and dropped Nehalem into the Drop Zone. "Overlord now attacks with a total power of 31000!"

"No Guard."

Overlord blew a fire breath that destroyed the last King of Sword.

"Drive check." Ryu trigger checked into Wyvern Guard Barri. "No Trigger. However, Overlord stands up once more!" Ryu stood Overlord up. "Now, the finale." Ryu rested Overlord with a total power of 21000. "Even that which is eternal has an end, FINAL FLAME!"

"What you said didn't really make sense." Ryn remarked.

Overlord's wings spread out, then Overlord took flight with its blazing body.

Shiroi sighed, "No Guard."

"Check the Drive Trigger, GET!" Ryu shouted as the card he drew had a trigger, "Critical Trigger!" (Card: Embodiment of Spear, Tahr) "Power to Nehalem, and Critical to Overlord!"

Overlord's sword blazed up, then Overlord swung the sword, slashing Asura Kaiser.

"The end." Ryu said in a quiet tone as Overlord's flaming wings went back to normal.

"Damage Check." Shiroi said, "First Check." The card was Genocide Jack. "No trigger." Shiroi placed the card into the damaged zone. "Second Check." Shiroi flipped the card open. The card glowed blue. There was a trigger on the card, but it wasn't the trigger that could save him . . .

"The game ends when one player reaches six damage. No matter how well you did in the game, if you reach six damage, you have lost."

Shiroi closed his eyes. "I lost." Shiroi said, placing Battleraizer as the sixth card in the damage zone.

Shiroi's Damage 6
Ending Result: Ryu Wins

Asura Kaiser disintegrated alongside all of Shiroi's units. Ryu's Kagero units then dematerialized. "The battle has ended." Ryu said. "The Kagero have made sure the Nova Grapplers were not successful in their attack." Shiroi opened his eyes and for some reason, found himself and Ryu alone in a valley. "We the Vanguards are done here." What seemed to be an astral projection of Ryu said to an astral projection Shiroi. "Until the next time we are needed. For now our battle in Cray is over."

Shiroi shook his head and opened his eyes again, this time seeing reality. "What the . . ." Shiroi wondered why he saw what he did. Were Ryu's words so descriptive that even imagination can play a trick on the eyes? Shiroi sighed, "I guess we're not in the league of those like Ryou yet aren't we?"

"Shiroi . . ." Takuto said worryingly.

Shiroi then found Ryu's hand in front. "What?"

"Shake it." Ryu said. Then he smiled. "It's been a while since I had such an intense fight. You're a pretty good fighter."

"Huh?"

"To think you could actually drive me into a corner like that." Ryu remarked. "You're actually not bad." Ryu then patted the young boy's head. "Heck, hone your skills a little, and you'll one day be able to match up with Ryou himself." Ryu gave a thumbs up.

Shiroi blushed, "Hai!" Shiroi bowed to the older man.

"Also I'm really feeling excited now, not that many times I can pull off Eternal Flame as a Vanguard you know!" Ryu chortled. Then Ryu stopped, and just smiled. His eyes weren't exactly looking at Shiroi any longer.

"Eternal Flame!" The young boy pointed at his brother's Vanguard, which was a card named King of Knights, Alfred (Royal Paladin, Grade 3, Power 10000). "It's my victory!"

"Wait." Dad said to his son. "He still has a Damage check."

The young boy's brother nodded to their dad, then grabbed the top card of his deck. "Check the Damage Trigger." The young boy slowly flipped the card. The revealed card was, "Yggdrasil Maiden, Elaine (Royal Paladin, Grade 0, Power 5000, Trigger: Heal and Power plus 5000)

"Get!" Dad shouted, "Heal Trigger! Because he's at five damage, he can now heal one damage. Looks like he's still in the game."

"Aw." The young boy said sadly. "I thought I won. I can't do anything else for this turn."

"Well I guess it's my turn now." The young boy's brother said. "Stand and Draw." After playing a few cards for a full field, the boy rested Alfred. "Alfred attacks Dragonic Overlord."

The young boy sighed. "I can't guard." After the young boy's brother's twin drive, the young boy placed down a card as damage. "No trigger. It's your win."

The young boy's brother jumped up in triumph. "I won, I won!"

"Congratulations." The Dad applauded. "I can picture more wins in your future." Then the Dad looked at the young boy, who looked a little sad. "Don't be so down." The dad patted the young boy's head. "You did well on your first fight." The young boy looked up at his dad. "Give it some time, you'll see victories to come." Then the dad closed his eyes, "Imagine it, the future you, stand in victory before your opponents." Then the dad opened his eyes, "but in order for this picture to become a reality, you must work hard." The dad flashed a smile at the young boy, "but first, you need to make sure you have fun, and treat your opponent with dignity and respect, Ryu."

The young boy, a young Ryu, nodded to his dad. Then Ryu walked over to his brother, "Good job on your win, Ryou." Ryu smiled and held out a hand to his brother . . Ryou.

Ryou smiled, "Thank you Nii-chan!" Ryou's smile was so innocent, but his frown isn't. "Pointless." An elder Ryou, wearing black sunglasses and a black long coat said to his opponent. His opponent's virtual projection of Maximum Juggernaut disappeared. The opponent kept whimpering in fear, fear at the victorious projection of Phantom Blaster Dragon. Phantom Blaster Dragon disappeared, revealing Ryou's form. Ryou turned around, flapping his coat, and he walked away with his deck in tow.

"WHOA!" An announcer shouted, "Not even close! Ryou wins once again! Can this man not be stopped!"

Ryu was actually looking at the giant screen which was showing Ryou's stats just before. The screen now was depicting a fight that Ryou was just involved in. "He's doing well." Ryu said.

Ryu screamed in pain after Phantom Blaster Dragon's attack struck

"Is something the matter?" Shiroi asked.

Ryu shook his head. "Nothing." Ryu then grabbed Shiroi's shoulders. "If you ever want to meet up again, just come visit my shop." Ryu said with a smile. "I'm the proud owner of 'Cards The Paradise'."

"Eh!" Shiroi yelped. "I didn't even know you were a card shop owner! Strange name though."

Then Ryu walked over to Takuto and Saito. He bowed to them then walked back to the girls. "Come on let's go before you four get swarmed by people." Ryu said. "The people around can only be in awed by the fight for so long before they realize the chance they have right now."

"Hai, hai Manager." Miku said.

Ryu then turned back to the screen. "Ryou." Ryu said softly. He reached into his coat to take out his sunglasses, and was about to put them back on, when he realized, "You know, I realized I look too much like Ryou if I have these on." Ryu placed the glasses back into his coat, then reached into his coat to take out a black Fedora with a red plume. "That's better." Ryu said about to put on the Fedora. All of a sudden, a round pendant like object dropped from the Fedora.

Karen stopped and picked up the object, "Ryu, you dropped this."

"Oh sorry." Ryu said putting on the Fedora. Ryu took the object, and opened it up. As it turned out, it was some elaborately designed Deck Box. Ryu took out the top card from the box, a card named Majesty Lord Blaster. Ryu looked at the card, then whispered, "this card brings back so many memories."

All of a sudden, someone who got out of the daze of seeing the fight between Ryu and Shiroi, noticed the Majesty Lord Blaster card. "AH!" The person pointed at Ryu, "I recognize you! You and Ryou were at the finals in the national singles tournament weren't you!"

Ryu and the girls all jumped up in shock. "Holy shit, I'm wearing a Fedora and you actually recognize me because of a card?"

"AH!" Another person said, "Aren't they the girls from Q4?"

"Whoops." Ryn said.

"Ryu, we got to run." Yume said. All four girls ran, while a group of people, with some reporters coming out of nowhere, chased them.

"Good luck with that." Ryu said, then found a horde of people around him. "Eh . . ."

"Isn't he that Royal Paladin guy from that tournament?"

"Yeah I remember because he had a Shadow Paladin in his deck."

"But wasn't he just playing Kagero?"

"I want his autograph!"

"I want to touch the hand that touched Ryou!"

"Since when did I become so famous?" Ryu sweat dropped.

Shiroi then held his hands to his mouth to amplify his words, "Hino-san, I think you should run."

Ryu looked at Shiroi, then the horde of people, "yeah I think you're right." Ryu then just broke into a run. "Come over to my shop any time you want Shiroi!" Ryu shouted back to Shiroi. "Bring your friends! You can find the address online or something! GAH!" Ryu screamed.

Time for the cast roll call!

Shiroi sweat dropped, "He sure is lively." Shiroi Kiba!

Ryu caught up with the idols of Q4. "You girls are mean leaving me alone!" Ryu shouted.

"IDIOT!" All four girls shouted at Ryu.

"You just increased the number of people chasing us!" Yume shrieked.

"How can you do that to us!" Ryn shouted.

"Not my fault!" Ryu shouted. "It's your fault for being famous!"

"And who made us famous?" Karen asked.

"Point taken, but I still blame you!" Ryu shouted.

"And whose fault is it that you're famous for being the guy who fought Ryou, lost to Ryou, and was using Royal Paladins the whole time!" Miku yelled.

"How did I even get famous for using Royal Paladins anyway!" Ryu yelped. "That deck wasn't even mine's!"

At the very same moment, as the large mob chased Ryu and Q4, a young man with messy hair and wearing a brown long coat just stood still. He was watching Ryu's fight with Shiroi from afar, and just let everyone pass him as they ran. "So, Ryu's back." The man said. Geki Rai!

"I hate this, I really hate this!" Ryu screamed. "I'm not even a Royal Paladin player! I know how to use them but I'm a Kagero Player! Why can't I be famous for that!"

"You're concerned about that?" Yume yelped.

A man wearing an elaborate pirate outfit, complete with a pirate hat and long coat, was just walking by promoting the store that he worked for, when all of a sudden he caught sight of Ryu, "Oh hey, isn't that Ry . . ."

"OUT OF THE WAY!" Ryu shouted and used a flying side kick on the Pirate. "HOWACHA!"

"GAH!" The pirate yelled. B. Lee!

The Pirate flew a long distance while Ryu landed and continued running.

"Whoa did you just kill someone?" Ryn asked.

"MAYBE!" Ryu shouted, "but who cares!" Then Ryu's cell phone rang. Ryu picked up, "Hello?"

"Ah it's papa Ryu." Ryu's dad on the other side of the line said.

"Sorry to tell you this, but I'm kind of busy right now." Ryu said turning back to see the mob. "BOO! Did they just increase in size?"

"You're always saying that. You're always busy. Papa here hasn't seen you in such a long time you know. It's not like you're with any women anyway."

"As a matter of fact I'm with four beautiful girls right now." Ryu said. Ryu turned around, "GYAH! Did they just triple in size?"

"Well can you at least come eat dinner with papa tonight, papa's lonely you know."

"I will, I will!" Ryu shouted, "I'll even cook dinner tonight! So bye!"

"See ya tonight!" Ryu's father said enthusiastically. Ryuuji Hino!

A limo stopped in the middle of the road as the mob ran by. A person within the limo looked out the window, and chuckled. "Never thought I'd be seeing Ryu up and running again." Kousuke!

As Ryu was running, Ryou was just exiting the stadium he was in. "Good job Ryou-sama." A large man bowed to Ryou. Daigo(ro) Kumata.

"Are you feeling tired Ryou-sama?" A young woman said to Ryou while holding his hand. Kyoko.

"I'm fine." Ryou said. "You don't have to worry about me."

"GYAH!" Ryu screamed and just ran past Ryou's friends and Ryou himself. Ryu didn't notice as his eyes were close. The idols of Q4 also had their eyes closed as they ran by. Ryu however opened his eyes a little, and took notice of Ryou. "Ryou . . ." Ryu said softly.

"Ryu . . ." Ryou said softly.

Ryu Hino and Ryou Hino . . .

And so begins our story. What will happen in the future for Ryu and his friends? We can only know as time goes on.

"GYAH!" Ryu screamed and ran to the parking lot where he parked his red car. "I can't believe how far I was from the parking lot!" Ryu shouted and slid on the top of his car. "IYAH!" Ryu slipped and crashed into another car. "I'm not paying for that." Ryu got back up and ran back to his car.

"Hurry up Ryu, open the car!" Ryn shouted.

"Let me just get the key." Ryu shuffled through his coat. He opened his coat and one could find many different deck boxes sewn into his coat. "Now where did I leave them?"

Yume reached under her shirt and pulled out a key, the car key. "Here you go Ryu."

"Eh . . ." Ryu took the key, then asked, "Why do you have it?"

"Don't you remember?" Karen said, "You left it with her."

"O . . . K?" Then Ryu looked at Yume's chest, "Did you really . . ." Yume nodded. Ryu blushed and drooled.

"Oh, Manager is drooling." Miku teased. "What a pervert."

"Yume's the pervert here!" Ryu shouted then opened the car. "Come with me if you want to leave!" Every one entered the car, and Ryu drove off.

"So Ryu," Yume, who sat in the seat next to the driver's seat, said, "you still haven't kept your promise to us yet."

"Huh?" Ryu said as he drove.

"You promised to take use to this restaurant to eat." Karen said with a big grin.

"I did?" Ryu asked. The four girls nodded. "Man, I spoil you girls too much." Then he himself grinned, "not that I don't enjoy it though."

Ryu's car drove past Ryou and the group Ryou was with. Ryou took one more glance at Ryu, then turned away. "I wonder . . . if we'll have to face each other again." Ryou said, and under his sunglasses . . . his eyes flashed an eerie purple.