Disclaimer: I don't own the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise or any character or card from it.
Note: This fic is dedicated to fanfic writer Arashi Hanshu, who wrote the first Jaden is Seto Kaiba's son fanfic I ever read: The Rise of the Kaiser, Jaden Kaiba. If anyone notices similarities between both fics, don't worry. We talked over it and Arashi Hanshu is cool with that.
Chapter 1: From Birth to Entrance Duel
It was a very important day for the world famous CEO of Kaiba Corporation Seto Kaiba and his wife Serenity Kaiba née Wheeler as their son was about to be born. During the whole pregnancy time, the Kaiba couple made sure to keep it a secret for two main reasons: Seto Kaiba was afraid someone would use his child in some ploy to take over Kaiba Corp like some of his past enemies used his brother Mokuba Kaiba (nobody who knew of those past attempts would blame him); he was also afraid that, having him as a parent and publicly known for this, any child with this kind of fame before being able to do anything on their own to earn it would likely become a spoiled brat who'd act like they could get anything they wanted without needing to work for it and one thing Seto Kaiba and his foster father Gozaburo Kaiba agreed on was that people must earn their living. Now, Seto wouldn't even dream about being as harsh on any child of his as Gozaburo was with him but every child needs education and, while this was and will remain true for every child, the heir of a billion-dollar empire will need it even more.
"Worried the boy will take Kaiba Corp from you like you took from Gozaburo, moneybags?" Serenity's brother Joseph "Joey" Wheeler mockingly asked.
"First, it's too soon to worry about that." Seto said with a hard tone. "Second, if he eventually does, he'll be proving he deserves to control my empire. If he simply inherits it, he'll have to prove it against people thinking it's easy to take a company from people who inherited it. Third…"
"Please, don't argue in front of the baby!" Serenity shouted in desperation. That was enough to make the father-to-be and uncle-to-be duo focus on her and the baby. A few minutes later, the Kaiba heir was born.
"Serenity, have you and your child's father thought about a name?" Joey eagerly asked. "If not, I suggest Joey Junior."
"Wheeler, if you want a Joey Junior, get your own son." Kaiba replied, still annoyed at his brother-in-law. "And Serenity and I already thought about a name."
Through the years, Seto and Serenity Kaiba raised their son Jaden to be intelligent, respectful, polite and unspoiled. Jaden Kaiba was so intelligent he even developed some projects for Kaiba Corp. Unlike Gozaburo, Seto gave credit where it was due. Of course, since Seto Kaiba was still keeping his son's existence a secret, his way to give credit was saying Jaden's accomplishments were the work of a 'freelancer' whose identity he wouldn't tell to anyone who didn't need to know.
Now, while Seto vowed to himself he wouldn't treat Jaden the very same way Gozaburo treated him, Seto Kaiba did understand the value of a good education. Basically, the main difference consisted in that, for as long as Jaden managed to prove he did learn the subjects his tutors taught him, he didn't have the risk of having his toys confiscated as punishment for failing to stay awake during class. Serenity Kaiba once voiced her worries. "Seto, are you sure it's okay for Jaden to spend so much time studying?"
"Serenity, Kaiba Corp will need somebody to take over once my brother and I are no longer around." Seto explained to his wife. "If he's not ready by the time he needs to, who knows what'll become of the employees?" At this point, one might wonder what would make Seto Kaiba care about people other than his family. Perhaps the loyalty he was shown during the time Dartz was Kaiba Corp's major shareholder touched him more than he'd ever admit.
Years ago, when Seto Kaiba's education was deemed complete, (the home-schooling that is – not the time when he attended High School with Yugi Moto and his friends) he was given a challenge: he was given ten million dollars to use as he wanted on the proviso he returned ten times that amount or he and Mokuba would no longer be Kaibas. Seto, however, had other plans for his son. "Jaden Kaiba, you have earned a spot at Kaiba Corp's Research and Development Department. Are you interested?"
"Seto!" His wife reacted in shock.
"No offense, Dad, but I'd rather become a Pro Duelist." Jaden replied. "I'm thinking about attending Duel Academy. Why exactly are students required to graduate from that Prep School to have a chance to be an Obelisk Blue from the very first year of Duel Academy?"
"Jaden, while I believe privileges should be earned, if some spoiled brats and their parents want to spend money to already start Duel Academy as Obelisks, it's their loss." Seto explained. "You may attend if you're willing to spend some of the money you earned with those projects but I don't think it'll be a good investment."
Then, while others around Jaden's age attended Kaiba's Prep School so they could start their Duel Academy student days as Obelisks, Jaden attended some day school. To avoid unwanted attention and a preferential treatment he felt he didn't deserve, Jaden Kaiba attended school under the alias 'Jaden Yuki'. Because of his previous education, he easily aced tests despite his teachers perceiving him as a slacker. One of them even accused Jaden of having cheated and tried to prove it by bombarding him with questions hoping he'd not know the answers. As Jaden quickly answered the questions without any mistakes, the teacher eventually apologized to him. Unlike Seto back in the day, Jaden easily befriended several classmates.
Eventually, it was time to take the Entrance Exams. Jaden easily aced his and all he had to do was pass the practical exam and he'd be a Ra Yellow. Among the others doing the practical exam that day was Jaden's cousin Lucy Wheeler. Unlike Jaden, Lucy attended Prep School. Lucy's main motivation to have done so was meeting some Prep School boys.
Jaden had an extra reason to find that day important: if he passed, his father would consider it the moment he had already earned enough notoriety to actually start using the Kaiba name and still be acknowledged for his own accomplishments rather than something he had no control over. Sure, there'd still be people doubting him but everyone with wealth, power and/or fame constantly had to prove their worth and Jaden would be as ready as possible for the challenge. However, even he had no idea of how much preferential treatment one could get during those exams.
"Did you make sure Lucy Wheeler would be one of the first duelists to take the practical test?" Head of Obelisk Boys Dorm Dr. Vellian Crowler asked one of his proctors.
"Yes, Mr. Crowler." He answered, unwittingly provoking his boss' ire.
"It's Doctor Crowler, you insolent!" He angrily shouted. "Anyway, take this deck and duel her." After the proctor who took the deck and left, another proctor talked to Crowler. "Doctor Crowler, are you sure it's a good idea to send a beginner proctor to duel Lucy Wheeler?"
"Of course it is!" Crowler shouted like it was as obvious as the sky being blue. "She's the daughter of dueling couple Joey Wheeler and Mai Wheeler née Valentine and her father's sister is Seto Kaiba's wife. I need to make sure she'll be one of my Obelisks. Look at the stands!" They looked and noticed Seto, Serenity, Joey and Mai among the parents observing the duels. "Mr. Kaiba never bothered to come before. Of course he cares about his niece and will be quite displeased if she doesn't enter. We must make her victory as easy as possible."
"Right, Doctor Crowler." The proctor replied. "Oh, and there was a student who came two minutes late. His name and Jaden Yuki and…"
"That name means nothing!" Crowler replied. "If he's not from the Prep School and has no connections, he should learn how to come in time. Tell that slacker to try again next year."
Crowler's cell phone then rang. 'Who dares disturb me in such an important moment?' He arrogantly thought until the cell phone indicated who was calling him. He then quickly answered. "Hello, Mr. Kaiba." He meekly said. "May I help you?"
"Look here, Crowler." Kaiba angrily demanded. "You'd better not to deny any applicant the chance to duel for a place at Duel Academy for some petty reason like being a few minutes late or calling you 'mister' or 'miss' instead of Doctor or whatever fancy title you like to think you deserve. Sheppard and I are tired of complaints about this attitude of yours. One more and you'd better start job hunting. Is that clear?"
"Yes, Sir." A scared Vellian Crowler replied.
"Good." Kaiba simply stated and then turned off the phone.
"Seto, shouldn't you have said goodbye before turning off?" Serenity asked, still not used to his lack of politeness to anyone outside family.
"Any politeness from me to him would be wasted, Serenity." Seto replied.
Back at Crowler, the proctors were wondering what he'd do about Jaden Yuki. Crowler finally spoke. "If I can't deny that slacker a chance to waste the academy's time with a duel, then I'll duel him myself and using my own deck! This way, he'll never be able to enter!"
After all other aspiring students had their duels, it was finally Jaden's turn. "Are you my opponent?" Jaden eagerly asked. "Why aren't you wearing a proctor uniform?"
"I'm no mere proctor, you slacker!" Crowler replied. "I'm Doctor Vellian Crowler…"
"The dueling PhD who heads the Obelisk Boys' Dorm?" Jaden asked in surprise. "Wow, I must have impressed the Academy with my test grades if I get to duel you for my practical exam."
While annoyed at Jaden for interrupting him, Crowler was actually flattered his reputation preceded him. "While I don't blame you for thinking high of yourself because of this, I must inform you the only reason I'm your adversary is to make sure a slacker like you will never join Duel Academia."
"Whatever." Jaden replied. "Let's just duel and get it over, okay?"
"My pleasure!" Crowler replied and then each duelist drew five cards. "I begin!" Crowler said and then drew a card. I summon Ancient Gear (EARTH, Level 2, 100 ATK, 800 DEF, Machine/Effect - While an "Ancient Gear" is face-up on your side of the field, you can Special Summon this card from your hand in Attack Position) in Defense Position, then I set one face down card and end my turn."
Jaden then drew a card. "I play Giant Trunade (Spell - Return all Spell and Trap Cards on the field to their owners' hands)! Now your face down card returns to your hand. I now summon Mother Grizzly (WATER, Level 4, 1400 ATK, 1000 DEF, Beast-Warrior/Effect - When this card is destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard, you can Special Summon 1 WATER monster with 1500 or less ATK from your Deck in face-up Attack Position). Mother Grizzly, destroy that Ancient Gear!" Since Ancient Gear was in Defense Position, Crowler suffered no point loss. "I now set two face down cards and end my turn!"
Crowler then drew another card. "I play Monster Reborn (Spell - Special Summon 1 monster from either player's Graveyard to your side of the Field) to bring Ancient Gear back from the Graveyard in Attack Position! Now that there's an Ancient Gear face-up on my side of the field, the Effect of the Ancient Gear on my hand allows me to Special Summon it in Attack Position!" With this, both Ancient Gears were now on Crowler's side of the field. "I now tribute both monsters on my side of the field to summon Ancient Gear Golem (EARTH, Level 8, 3000 ATK, 3000 DEF, Machine/Effect - Cannot be Special Summoned. If this card attacks a Defense Position monster, inflict piercing Battle Damage to your opponent. If this card attacks, your opponent cannot activate any Spell/Trap Cards until the end of the Damage Step)!" The students watching the duel were impressed by having a chance to seeing that card in action. "Ancient Gear Golem, destroy that slacker's Mother Grizzly!" The 1600-point difference between the ATK of the two monsters was subtracted from Jaden's Life Points.
Crowler 4000 LP – Jaden 2400 LP
"I'll use Mother Grizzly's effect!" Jaden announced. "Because she was destroyed by battle and sent to the Graveyard, I can Special Summon 1 WATER monster with 1500 or less ATK from my Deck in face up Attack Position!" Jaden then searched his deck for the monster card he wanted. "I Special Summon Defender Iceberg (WATER, Level 5, 0 ATK, 2450 DEF, Aqua/Effect - Other monsters you control cannot be selected as attack targets)!"
"Is he crazy?" Joey asked in shock. "A monster in Attack Position without any ATK is practically begging for a direct attack!"
"There's no reason to worry." Seto Kaiba replied. "The only monster in Crowler's side of the field has already attacked and Defender Iceberg can be put in Defense Position next turn."
Crowler ended his turn and then Jaden drew a card. "I change Defender Iceberg from Attack to Defense Position and summon Gora Turtle (WATER, Level 3, 1100 ATK, 1100 DEF, Aqua/Effect - As long as this card remains face-up on the field, monsters with an ATK equal to 1900 or more cannot declare an attack) in Defense Position. I now end my turn."
Crowler drew a card. "I know your stupid turtle cannot be attacked for as long as this Iceberg remains intact, therefore, Ancient Gear Golem, attack the slacker's Defender Iceberg!" He shouted and then noticed, to his surprise, his monster wasn't moving. "What's wrong?" He asked in fear.
"A Gora Turtle is face up on the field, teach." Jaden explained. "Because of this, his effect prevents monsters with 1900 or more ATK from declaring attacks."
Crowler didn't like being made a fool of. Reluctantly, he said "I end my turn." Jaden then drew a card. I play Pot of Greed (Spell - Draw 2 cards)." Jaden then drew two cards as allowed by Pot of Greed's effect. I now tribute Defender Iceberg and Gora Turtle to Summon Suijin (Water, Level 7, 2500 ATK, 2400 DEF, Aqua/Effect - During your opponent's damage calculation, you can reduce the ATK of a monster attacking this card to 0. This effect can only be used once while this card remains face-up on the field) in Attack Position!" Now Crowler was worried. I play Butterfly Charm (Continuous Spell - Monsters your opponent controls must attack, if able. During your opponent's End Phase: Destroy all face-up monsters your opponent controls that did not declare an attack this turn) and end my turn!"
Crowler was really worried. His only hope was if the card he drew was the last one he needed. He then drew a card and concluded there's some truth to Yugi Muto's preaching about the Heart of the Cards. A smile wasn't lost on him. "Well, slacker, since your continuous spell card leaves me no better choice, Ancient Gear Golem, attack Suijin!" Because of Suijin's effect, Ancient Gear Golem's ATK was reduced to 0. The Machine monster was destroyed and Crowler lost 2500 Life Points.
Jaden 2400 LP – Crowler 1500 LP
It freaked Jaden that Crowler wasn't even slightly upset. "I now play Monster Reincarnation (Spell - Discard 1 card to select 1 Monster Card in your Graveyard, and add it to your hand)! I discard one card (the same one that was returned to his hand when Jaden played Giant Trunade) to bring Ancient Gear Golem back to my hand. I then play Premature Burial (Equip Spell - Pay 800 Life Points to target 1 monster in your Graveyard; Special Summon that target in face-up Attack Position and equip it with this card. When this card is destroyed, destroy the equipped monster). By paying 800 Life Points (Crowler LP 1500 700), I can Special Summon one Ancient Gear back from my Graveyard. I now play Polymerization (Spell - Send Fusion Material Monsters that are listed on a Fusion Monster Card from your hand or your side of the field to the Graveyard, and Special Summon that Fusion Monster from your Extra Deck)! I send the Ancient Gear and the Ancient Gear Golem from my hand; and the Ancient gear from my side of the field to summon Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem (EARTH, Level 10, 4400 ATK, 3400 DEF, Machine/Fusion/Effect - "Ancient Gear Golem" + 2 "Ancient Gear" monsters - This card cannot be Special Summoned except by Fusion Summon. During battle between this attacking card and a Defense Position monster whose DEF is lower than the ATK of this card, inflict the difference as Battle Damage to your opponent. If this card attacks, your opponent cannot activate Spell or Trap Cards until the end of the Damage Step. If this card is destroyed, you can Special Summon 1 "Ancient Gear Golem" from your Graveyard, ignoring the Summoning conditions) in Attack Position. Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem, destroy the slacker's Suijin!" Crowler happily ordered. Since of the condition limiting the number of times Suijin's effect could be activated, it didn't impede Crowler this time. Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem destroyed Suijin and a 1900-point damage was inflicted on Jaden.
Crowler 700 LP – Jaden 500 LP
"Slacker, I finish my turn." Crowler happily proclaimed. Jaden then drew a card. "I play Graceful Charity (Spell - Draw 3 cards, then discard 2 cards)." He then did as specified by the card. "I now play Disgraceful Charity (Trap - Both players add all cards from their Graveyards that were discarded by the effect of a Spell Card activated this turn to their hands) to bring back the cards I discarded by effect of Graceful Charity. I how activate Double Spell (Spell - Discard 1 Spell Card from your hand. Select 1 Spell Card from your opponent's Graveyard and use it from the Graveyard as your Spell Card)! I discard Tremendous Fire (Spell - Inflict 1000 points of damage to your opponent's Life Points and 500 points of damage to your Life Points) to use your Monster Reborn to bring back Suijin from my Graveyard to my side of the field. I now end my turn, teach."
Crowler then drew a card. "You should have used that Tremendous Fire to make this duel end in a tie, Slacker. Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem, destroy Suijin again!" This time, Suijin's effect could be activated and Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem's ATK was reduced to 0 and Crowler took another 2500-point battle damage.
Jaden 500 LP – Crowler 0 LP
"Foul!" Crowler shouted in protest. "Suijin's effect could only be activated once per duel!"
"Wrong, teach." Jaden corrected Crowler. "The effect was reset when your Ultimate Ancient Gear Golem destroyed it. There's a previous ruling about it."
"I'll check official dueling records about it, slacker." Crowler stated. "For now, Seto Kaiba wants to make an announcement."
"Thank you, Crowler." Seto stated while speaking at the microphone. "For years, there have been rumors that my wife and I had a child and kept his existence in secret. As of now, we'd like to announce those rumors as true: Serenity and I do have a son!" Everyone was shocked. "We've kept him in secret so his accomplishments wouldn't be eclipsed by his parentage but now it's time to reveal him. "Jaden Kaiba, approach." Seto ordered. That was too much for Crowler, who fainted.