A/N: Hey everyone, The Azure Guardian at your service. Finally got this chapter done, kinda took me a while because of some dialogue and the duel. Btw, props to Fennikusumaru for assisting me with the duel for this chapter. Not much else I to say here, so let's get going!

Disclaimer: I do NOT own the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise! I do, however, own my OCs Kagemochi Kaito, Hayami Akira, Kururugi Michiru, and Ikeda Kenji as well as the Digital HERO, Agarest Soul and Sengoku archtypes!

-Turn 3-

The day following Judai's midnight duel against Manjoume was the first official day of the school year at Duel Academia. Throughout the day the students met the Professors of their various classes and were given minor assignments to work on to prepare them for the year. The seating arrangements for each dorm consisted of Obelisk Blue students at the top center with Ra Yellow students on the right side of the room going down to the front of the class and the Osiris Red students on the left side going down to the front. Currently, the first-year students were in Professor Chronos' class and he had just selected Tenjoin Asuka to answer a question.

"Among Duel Monsters card, there are Monster cards, Fusion Monster cards, Ritual Monster cards, Effect Monster cards, and Trap and Magic cards," Asuka explained. "Next, Trap cards can be split into Normal Traps, Counter Traps, and Permanent Traps and Magic cards into Normal Magic, Permanent Magic, Equipment Magic, Instant Magic, and Field Magic."

"Bellissimo! A superb job!" Chronos congratulated. "It was a task far too simple for Obelisk Blue's Signora Asuka, was it not?"

"It's just the basics," Asuka said with a bow before sitting back in her seat.

"Now then…" Chronos mused as he looked around at the other students before eyeing one Osiris student in particular. "Signore Marufuji!"

"Y-Yes, sir!" Sho answered as he stood up on his chair, not excepting to be selected.

"Please explain to us what a Field Magic does," Chronos requested.

"Um… a Fi-Field… Magic is… well… err… umm…" the small Osiris stumbled with his words, feeling pressured from being the center of attention.

"Even a kindergartener knows something like that!" an Obelisk student shouted, causing most of the other Obelisks to laugh at Sho, the only exceptions being Asuka and a certain Obelisk boy with short reddish-brown hair who appeared to be flinching from the jeers of his fellow students, even though they weren't directed at him.

Even some of the Ra students began to laugh at Sho, the exceptions being Misawa, Akira and a certain young man with spiked crimson hair while Sho's face slowly turned red from embarrassment.

"Don't worry. Just calm down, Sho," Judai assured his short friend.

"Judai's right, just try to ignore them," Kaito tried to help.

"Very well, then. You may step back," Chronos told the short Osiris, who complied by sitting back down. "To think that you were unable to answer the very basics among basics!" Chronos then slowly shook his head in mock disbelief. "Well done, Osiris Red. You've shocked me…"

Chronos's words caused everyone who had been laughing previous to laugh even harder, though it wasn't known if it was directed at Sho specifically or the entire Osiris dorm.

"I know what it is, but I just had stage fright…" Sho mumbled.

"But sensei, knowledge and actual combat are two unrelated matters, aren't they?" Judai spoke up, surprising Chronos and earning the Professor's attention. "I mean, I'm one of the Osiris Red, as well, but I beat you in a duel, sensei!"

"And don't forget, I'm also in Osiris Red, even though I was ranked Number 2 on the written exam," Kaito added.

"Mamma Mia!" Chronos said as he pulled out a handkerchief and started to chew on it, ashamed from remembering both his loss against a dropout student and that a supposed genius was also a dropout.

This time the Osiris Red students laughed as Kaito and Judai high-fived each other with victorious grins on their faces. Up with the Obelisk Blue students, Asuka looked down at the two Osiris boys with an amused smile as the boy with reddish-brown hair had relaxed somewhat and looked on at the Osiris students.

'Maybe I would've been better off as an Osiris…' the young man thought to himself before gripping his left arm with his right hand. 'If it wasn't for my family…'

With the Ra Yellow students, Misawa had a smirk on his face while Akira looked at Kaito with a narrowed gaze. The young man with spiked crimson hair though seemed to be smiling as he chuckled a bit at the Osiris students, though mainly towards Judai and Kaito.

Later in the day, the first-year students were just starting their alchemy class with Professor Daitokuji, who was sitting at his desk and petting the fat cat from the Osiris dorm, which was sitting on his lap.

"Well, alchemy is literally creating metal, particularly gold, from items without metal, but, in a broad sense of the word, it's a skill where you attempt to transform and shape ordinary substances into complete substances-nya," Daitokuji instructed.

"Big Bro, thanks for earlier," Sho whispered to Judai, who was currently yawning.

"Originally starting in Ancient Egypt, passing through Arabia, and introduced to Europe…"

"Huh? Thanks for what?" Judai asked with a tired look in his eyes.

"'What'? You know…" Sho tried to remind his best friend, but Daitokuji seemed to be seeing the two of them talking.

"You guys might want to keep quiet or you both might get in trouble," Kaito quickly whispered to his two friends.

However, Kaito's attempts were for naught, "Marufuji-kun."

"Y-Yes, sir!" Sho answered as he stood up at attention.

"Could you fetch Pharaoh for me?" Daitokuji requested.


"My cat-nya."

A loud mewling sound came from under Sho's desk, causing the boy to look down and see the familiar fat brown cat rubbing against his leg. Though it earned the boy some laughs at his expense, Sho picked Pharaoh up and carried him to Daitokuji's desk.

"Man, Sho can't seem to catch a break, can he," Kaito sighed, feeling sorry for his friend.

"I'm sure things will turn around for him," Judai assured.

"If you think so."

Later that day, the first-year students were in the gymnasium wearing track suits as they waited for their instructor – and Sho, as he was running late. As the students were waiting, Akira had walked up to Kaito and bumped him with her elbow, getting the Osiris boy's attention.

"You shouldn't be throwing your little achievement around," Akira warned.

"My achievement? What are you talking about?" Kaito asked.

"You know exactly what I'm talking about," Akira said, glaring at Kaito. "Reminding everyone your score on the written exam."

"What? I wasn't throwing it around," Kaito defended. "I only said it to help Judai in getting Professor Chronos to back off of Sho. I don't like to show off."

Akira's glare softened a little, but still didn't seem pleased, "Well I'm just going to warn you, as a friend, to try and avoid doing that again. Otherwise you could make a lot of enemies out of the people who are jealous of you."

"I understand," Kaito said with a nod, but then noticed something the Ra girl had said. "Wait, a friend?"

This time Akira's eyes widened a bit, realizing what she had said so casually and turned her eyes away from the Osiris boy, "Y-Yeah, that's right. You got a problem with that?"

"Not at all," Kaito answered with a smile. "I'd be glad to be your friend, Akira."

Akira turned her eyes back towards Kaito, "All right, just wipe that stupid smile off your face already."

"Man, what's Sho doing?" Judai wondered as he looked around for the shorter boy.

"He still hasn't shown up?" Kaito asked.

"Not yet," the E-HERO duelist shook his head.

"Hello, everyone," a woman's voice greeted, earning the attention of the students as they saw the owner of the voice was a beautiful woman wearing an academy-issued track suit similar to the ones worn by the students, a pair of earring, and a light shade of red lipstick and had red hair and grey eyes. "I am Ayukawa Emi, and as of today, I will be teaching you health and physical education. Pleased to meet you all."

"Oh, no! Class started!" Sho cried out as the short boy ran through the locker room and came skidding to a halt to turn towards the row of lockers with the one assigned to him while also trying to get his shoes off.

Once Sho reached his locker, he noticed something out of place and knelt down.

"Man, come on, Big Bro… You got things mixed up…" Sho said to himself as he grabbed Judai's shoes and pulled them out. "This is my locker you know…" However, an envelope that was placed on top of Judai's shoes fell out of the locker from the movement, catching Sho's eyes. When he picked it up and saw the lipstick over the seal… " Huh?! Could this be…?!"

Looking around to make sure no one else was in the locker room, Sho took the envelope into a corner between two lockers to open it and read its contents.

"I've liked you ever since we first met. I'll be waiting for you behind the girls' dorm tonight. –Tenjoin Asuka…"

After reading the letter, Sho freaked out a little and stumbled backwards until he fell on his backside.

"I-I got a love letter from Asuka-san …" Sho came to a realization, to which he immediately began to daydream about himself and the Obelisk girl. "I'm so happy…"

Later that night, Kaito and Judai had returned to their dorms after using the supplied bathhouse to wash up. Once Judai had gone up the stairs, Kaito went into his dorm room.

"Welcome back, Kaito-san," a familiar voice greeted the Data-HERO duelist. "How was your first day?"

"It went pretty well, all things considered," Kaito answered and he furiously rubbed the towel into his hair to dry it, surprisingly keeping its shape once he was finished. "Learned that quite a few other students don't treat anyone from the Osiris dorm too fairly."

"Well I have to agree that the way they set that up wasn't very fair either," the voice from Kaito's computer said. "I mean placing students depending on when they took their written exams, whoever made that system was kind of setting themselves up for something like this…"

"Well considering who owns Duel Academia, I don't think I should be surprised about it. I kinda see starting in Osiris Red as a good thing though, as the only place left to go is up," Kaito said as he started to change out of his gym uniform and into his academy jacket. "Doesn't really give an excuse to pick on Sho, though…"

"What happened to Sho-kun?"

"Well…" Kaito paused for a moment as he pulled his shirt down over his head. "Professor Chronos had him answer what a Field Magic does, but he wasn't able to probably because he was the center of attention of that moment, so Chronos felt the need to mock him and our dorm."

"Aw, that poor boy," the voice from Kaito's computer said, feeling sorry for Sho as Kaito finished getting dressed.

At the same time, Sho was crossing the lake by the Obelisk dorms in a rowboat with a joyful smile plastered on his face.

"Asuka-san! I'm on my way!" Sho called out as he continued to row towards the girls' dorm.

Meanwhile, at the girls' dorm, Professor Chronos was dressed in a wetsuit and using a lock cutter to cut through the chains that kept the gate closed. Once the chain was cut and the lock fell to the ground, Chronos pushed the gate open and snuck in, diving from bush to bush to stay hidden until he was just outside the girls' bathhouse.

"Your awesome figure really makes me jealous, Asuka-san!" a girl's voice echoed from the bathhouse.

"Stop staring at me so much. It's embarrassing…" Asuka's voice said.

"My, looks like your breasts have gotten bigger, Momoe!" the first girl's voice continued, apparently picking a new conversation target.

"Geez, Junko-san! What are you touching?!" another girl's voice, likely Momoe, cried out.

Professor Chronos couldn't help but laugh to himself at the current situation, "This is exactly behind the girls' dorm's bathhouse!" The Professor then began to imagine the flow of events from this point forward. "I'll see that dropout boy as he blindly arrives here, unbeknownst to that! And if I get a quick snap…" Chronos then pulled out a camera as he continued to talk to himself. "If I get him in a picture, then it will be irrefutable proof of that pervert boy peeping into the ladies' bath to anyone's eye!" As Chronos continued to talk, Sho pulled up to the steps in his rowboat and made his way through the gate. "And then, that dropout boy will be expelled, resulting in his farewell from this academy! Adios! That's Spanish… Ciao!"

Inside of the bathhouse, Asuka and her two friends Junko and Momoe were soaking in the water as the latter two started up a conversation about the new male students.

"Anyway, it looks like none of the boys who enrolled this year are any good," Junko analyzed. "Especially that Yuki Judai! He's noisy, crass, and cocky! And that Kagemochi Kaito's no different! He keeps gloating about his written exam score! Right, Asuka-san?"

"I don't really care about them," Asuka replied as she washed her face with a towel before turning away from her friends to be left out of the conversation.

"Hey, Asuka-san!"

"That Misawa from Ra Yellow is quite the man, isn't he?" Momoe said, changing the subject slightly.

'O sloe mio… O sole mio… O sole mio…O sole…?' Chronos thought to himself as he waited in the bush until he heard someone walking in his direction, causing the Professor to duck back into the bush with his camera ready. "So, he's arrived. That dropout boy is flying right into the flame."

However, the person who walked in front of Professor Chronos wasn't who he was expecting… "Should be around here…"

"What is this?! Why is it Signore Marufuji?!" Chronos freaked out.

"Who's there?" a girl wondered as she walked out of the bathhouse in her pajamas.

"Oh, no!" Chronos said, realizing he had been caught.

"A peeping tom!" another girl cried out as a few other girls had walked outside, all of them either wearing their pajamas or their uniforms.

"Pervert!" several of the girls cried out.

"Y-You can't be serious! If this keeps up, I'll be the one who's expelled!" Chronos said to himself as he tried to cover his face with his hands before turning around to run away only to slip and fall into the lake.

The girls seemed to have quickly forgotten about Professor Chronos as every Obelisk Blue girl swarmed around Sho, held the boy down and bound his around behind his back with rope.

"Ow, ow, ow… What the…?" Sho asked, confused by the way he was being treated.

"There's no place left to run, you pervert," Junko said as she and Momoe stood in front of Sho wearing just their towels with their arms folded over their chests.

After Asuka got changed back into her academy uniform and Junko and Momoe changed into their pajamas, they dragged Sho into the girls' dorm and forced him to explain what he was doing behind the bathhouse…

"Wait, a love letter from our Asuka, you say?" Momoe questioned.

"Yep," Sho answered simply before winking at Asuka. "Right?"

"What a dope," Junko said. "There's no way that Asuka, the Queen of Obelisk Blue, would write a love letter to an Osiris Red like you!"

"I'm not lying! It was in my locker and said "I'll wait for you behind the girls' down"," Sho explained before reaching into his pocket and pulling out the letter. "See?"

Junko swiped the envelope from the boy's hands and opened it as Asuka and Momoe leaned towards Junko to get a better look at what was on the letter.

"I wouldn't write such vulgar words," Asuka said with a scowl.

"It seems the men of Osiris Red don't even know that," Momoe figured.

"Huh? Then, who in the world…" Sho trailed off, curious at who'd write him a fake letter.

Junko looked over the letter again and her eyes widened slightly when she saw something she previously missed, "What's this? This is addressed to Yuki Judai."

"Wha? N-No way!" Sho said, shocked that the fake letter wasn't even addressed to him until Junko showed him the letter and the Osiris boy saw what was written, causing him to sweatdrop that he had missed something so crucial. "Yes, way…"

"I can't believe you were lured here by some fake love letter and came here without any concern," Momoe said. "And to top it off, it was all a mistake."

"This is depressing…" Sho sulked.

"You reap what you sow," Junko said.

"Isn't it the truth," Momoe agreed.

"Let's have this reported to the academy," Junko suggested.

"Peeping into the bathhouse is about as shameless as you can possibly get," Momoe noted.

"I said I didn't peep!" Sho cried out in defense, but it drew some unwanted attention as Ayukawa Emi walked out.

"Everyone's out here together, so what's the commotion?" the dorm leader questioned, surprising the three girls.

"Momoe… Junko…" Asuka quietly said to her two friends, who both nodded once in understanding… which unfortunately for Sho resulted in the three girls pushing the shorter boy down and sitting on him to keep him hidden.

"Did something happen?" Emi asked the girls.

"Y-You're heavy…" Sho strained under the weight of the three girls.

"Rude, aren't you?" Junko quietly snapped at the Osiris.

"Just keep quiet," Momoe warned.

"No, nothing at all. Sorry for making so much noise," Asuka apologized.

"I see. Well then, you should all return to your rooms and get some sleep," Emi advised the girls before leaving to the previous room.

Once their dorm leader was out of sight, the three girls got off of Sho.

"Asuka-san," Junko said in a worried tone, knowing that the Obelisk Queen was up to something if she didn't reveal Sho to Emi.

"I have a little plan in mind," Asuka said as she folded her arms over her chest. "Someone had intended on calling out Yuki Judai under my name and set him up as a pervert." A mischievous smirk then crossed her lips. 'Isn't this interesting? I knew I would have to do battle with him sooner or later.'

Meanwhile, back at the Osiris dorm, Kaito was sitting in front of his computer with profiles of various students up across his monitors.

"Looks like there's a lot of good duelists attending the academy," the voice in Kaito's computer said. "Others don't look like they'd be much of a challenge for you…"

"Well you can't always judge someone by how they look," Kaito responded as he flipped through a few more profiles. "Let's see here… Third-year student, Marufuji Ryo… Wait, Marufuji?"

"Isn't that Sho-kun's last name?"

"It is. Must be his older brother," Kaito figured as he looked through Ryo's profile, happily surprised at what he found. "Whoa, look at this. Considered to be the strongest duelist of Duel Academia, Marufuji Ryo has earned the title of Kaiser and has never once been defeated in the last two years at the academy."

"Sounds like he'd be a great opponent for your deck."

"Next one… Second-year student, Ikeda Kenji. One of the highest-ranking duelists under Marufuji Ryo, Kenji is one of three academy students to even damage the Kaiser in a duel," Kaito read. "One of three? Let's see who the others are…" Kaito typed away at his keyboard for his search, but his attempts kept getting him run into a confidential area. "Hm… looks like whoever these other two are will remain a mystery."

"You're not going to hack through it?"

"No, I don't want to run the risk of getting expelled for getting into academy secrets. We might trigger something as soon as we tried to open it," Kaito answered before dropping the search window and bringing the profiles back up. "Let's just keep looking." As Kaito continue to type away, he came across profiles for other students Judai, Misawa, and even Manjoume. But the next one he came across had the young man jump up from his chair with his eyes widened. "I've found her…"

"Found her? Who did you find?"

"Considered to be the strongest female duelist of Duel Academia, despite being a first-year student, she has been given the title Queen of Obelisk Blue…" Kaito read aloud, his mouth hang open slightly as a smile spread across his lips. "…Tenjoin Asuka."

"Eh?! Asuka-san is the one you were looking for?" the voice from Kaito's computer questioned, having been told about the Obelisk girl the previous night.

"Looks that way," Kaito said, still smiling as he dug out his deck and held it up. "I think I've found someone Saika-nēsama would want to duel…"

"Well I don't think you'll get a chance to duel her this late. You should wait until another day to challenge her."

Kaito let out a disappointed sigh, "You're right." The young man then lowered his hand and rested his deck on his desk. "I'll just head outside real quick for some air."

The Data-HERO duelist then walked away from his computer and stepped outside of his room, taking a deep breath of the night air.

"Kaito?" a familiar voice questioned following the sudden opening and closing of a door, prompting the azure-haired young man to turn around and see Judai stepping out of his room. "What are you doing out here?"

"Just thought I'd enjoy the night a bit before heading to bed," Kaito answered as his friend rushed downed the stairs. "What are you doing out?"

"Sho's in trouble!" Judai quickly answered.


"Here, listen…" Judai said as he pulled out his SPP and played back the last message he had received.

"We have Marufuji Sho. If you want him back, come to the girls' dorm," the message said in a distorted voice.

"The girls' dorm?" Kaito repeated. "Do you know who could've sent it?"

Judai shook his head, "I don't recognize the voice. I almost barely understood the message."

"Hm…" Kaito hummed for a moment as he looked at Judai's SPP. "Just wait here one second, I'm going to grab something."

Without waiting for a response from Judai, Kaito ran back into his dorm room, surprising the entity occupying his computer.

"Kaito-san? What's wrong?"

"Someone took Sho," Kaito answered as he began unplugging his laptop from his desktop before glancing at his deck on the desk.

"What?!" the voice gasped in shock. "So you're going to go get him?"

"Yeah, I'm heading out with Judai since he's the one who got the message," Kaito explained. "They're holding him at the girls' dorm."

"But if someone sees you there, you could get expelled!" the voice warned out of concern. "And what if whoever has Sho is holding him to do just that?"

"It's a chance we're willing to take," the Data-HERO duelist said with finality as he finished pulling out his laptop, then grabbed his backpack, deck and Duel Disk, putting the Duel Disk in his backpack and his deck into his deck holder before putting on the backpack. "Wish us luck."

"Be careful, Kaito-san!" the voice called out just as Kaito left his dorm and closed the door.

"Judai, could I see your Planner for a second?" Kaito requested as he opened up his laptop and started it up.

"Sure, but why?" Judai wondered as he handed the device to Kaito, who took it and connected it to the laptop with a cable.

"Whoever sent that message used an audio manipulation program," Kaito explained as he typed away at his laptop. "I'm going to clear it up and see who it is."

"Whoa, that's cool," Judai said as he saw Kaito work, the Data-HERO duelist's fingers flying across the keyboard. "Wait, so you're a hacker?"

At the instant, Kaito's hands stopped in their tracks and his eyes had widened at the fact he had revealed himself, so the young man hesitated for a moment before answering, "Y-Yeah, I am… But could you please keep it a secret? If others find out, I could get expelled out of the fear that the principal and the dorm leaders don't know what I could do to their systems and whatever information they have stored."

"Don't worry," Judai assured his friend, giving Kaito a thumbs-up. "Your secret's safe with me."

Kaito just looked at his friend in amazement as a smile spread across his lips and he let out a sigh of relief, "Thank you, Judai. Now then, let's move this along."

Kaito resumed his typing, moving his fingers faster across the keyboard until…

"That should do it…" Kaito said before playing the message again, the voice coming as a surprise to the two duelists.

"Asuka?" the two questioned in unison.

"But why does she have Sho?" Kaito wondered.

"We don't have time to think about it. Let's just hurry over there and get him, we can ask questions later," Judai said.

"Right," Kaito agreed with a nod as he unplugged Judai's SPP and handed it back, stuffing his laptop into his backpack before the two ran towards the lake of the Obelisk dorms.

Upon arriving, the two Osiris duelists took a rowboat and traveled across the lake towards the girls' dorm. Once they docked the boat, they saw Asuka and two other Obelisk girls with Sho, who currently had his arms bound at the wrists by a rope that was being held by the brunette girl. Seeing Kaito with Judai surprised Sho and the girls.

"Big Bro…" Sho whined to Judai.

"So I see you've brought backup," Asuka noted.

"What's going on here?" Judai asked.

"Well… if I told you, it'd either be a very long story or a very short story…" Sho replied.

"He was peeping into the girls' bathhouse!" the brunette girl said.

"What?! There's no way I'd believe Sho would do something like that!" Kaito defended his friend.

"I said I didn't peep!" Sho told the girl.

"If the academy finds out about it, he'll definitely get expelled," the black-haired girl explained to Judai and Kaito.

"Hey, you. Want to duel with me?" Asuka directed at Judai. "If you defeat me, I'll look past the whole "peeping in the bathhouse" thing."

"But I'm telling you, I didn't peep!" Sho argued.

"I don't know what's quite going on, but whatever," Judai said as he punch his right fist into his left palm. "I accept your duel!"

"Wait a minute, Judai," Kaito quickly interrupted as he place a hand on Judai's shoulder. "Asuka, I would like to ask that you duel me in Judai's place."

"Eh?" everyone present looked at Kaito strangely, but the azure-haired young man didn't back down as he stared at Asuka.

"Why do you want to duel her?" Judai asked curiously.

"My reason is my own…" Kaito said as he grabbed his deck holder tightly with his free hand. "Just please… This is something I need to do…"

"Kaito…" Judai trailed off as he saw the determined expression in his friend's eyes before sighing with a reluctant smile. "If this is something you feel you need to do, then go for it."

"Thank you, Judai," Kaito said as he turned his gaze towards his friend with a grateful smile.

Judai just nodded before looking back to Asuka, "Sorry, but I won't be dueling you this time. Is that all right?"

Asuka scowled a little, slightly miffed that she had lost her intended opponent but then let out what might have been a defeated sigh, "Very well then. Kaito will be my opponent."

"Thank you very much, Asuka," Kaito said with a bow. "This means a lot to me."

Once again, the others looked at Kaito in confusion, wondering exactly why Kaito felt the need to duel Asuka. But believing it was something to be addressed another time, Kaito and Judai took Sho onto their rowboat, where they removed the rope from his wrists, while Asuka and her two friends took another rowboat and the two groups rowed out to the center of the lake. Judai, Sho, and Asuka's two friends stayed seated in their respective boats as Kaito and Asuka stood up to put on their Duel Disks and prep their decks. This time though, Kaito decided to wear his Duel Disk on his right arm, which didn't go unnoticed.

"Hey, I think you've got it on backwards," Sho said, to which Kaito raised his right arm to show the Duel Disk to his friends.

"Don't worry, this one's designed to be used on either arm," Kaito explained, showing that the machine had two deck slots. "Plus I'm ambidextrous, so either way works just fine for me."

"Are you ready to duel or not?" Asuka called out to her new opponent. "You seemed to have wanted it badly enough."

"Yeah, I'm ready!" Kaito replied as he pushed his shuffled deck into his Duel Disk.

"Duel!" the two called out as they drew their first five cards.

Asuka: 4000
Kaito: 4000

"Watashi no tān!" Asuka called, taking the first turn by drawing her sixth card. "I summon Etoile Cyber!"

As Asuka played her card, the Monster that appeared was a woman with blue and red skin with long brown hair, white ribbons around her forearms and a white ballet skirt with the front missing. (4/1200/1600)

"Then I'll place one card face-down!" Asuka continued as a reversed card appeared behind her Monster. "Tān endo!"

Asuka's hand: 4

"Boku no tān!" Kaito called out as he drew his sixth card. "I summon Digital HERO – Elk in Defense mode!"

As Kaito played his card, a young, blue-haired boy with red eyes appearing identical to Tsukasa appeared, though his attire consisted of a blue hat and gloves, blue and gray robe, and green markings on his cheeks. (3/900/1500)

"Next, I activate the Instant Magic card, Rai Don!" Kaito announced as he played his next card. "Since I control a face-up Hikari Monster, I can inflict 800 damage to my opponent!"

Bolts of lightning rained down above Asuka's boat, causing Asuka to cover her head with her Duel Disk while her two friends screamed and huddled together while the electricity zapped Professor Chronos, who was watching the duel from in the water unknown to the duelists.

Asuka: 3200
Kaito: 4000

"Then I'll set one card face-down!" Kaito continued as a reversed card appeared behind his Monster. "And at my End Phase, Elk's Monster Effect increases my Life Points by 200 for each Monster I control!"

Asuka: 3200
Kaito: 4200

Kaito's hand: 3

"Watashi no tān!" Asuka called out, drawing her next card. "I activate the Field Magic, Fusion Gate!" A corner of her Duel Disk opened up, allowing Asuka to place her Field Magic in it before it closed again, but left the field unaltered. "As long as this card remains on the field, both players can Fusion Summon Monsters without the use of a Fusion card, but all Fusion materials are removed from play! So now I fuse Etoile Cyber on my field with Blade Skater in my hand…" Asuka trailed off as she revealed the latter Monster in her hand before pulling Etoile Cyber from her Duel Disk and slipping the two cards into a pocket on her miniskirt. "…to Fusion Summon Cyber Blader!"

As Etoile Cyber disappeared from the field, she was soon replaced by another female Monster with long dark hair and pale skin with red markings over the chest and legs, purple hands and feet, red protrusions extending from her shoulders and a red visor over her eyes while wearing ice skates on the bottoms of her feet. (7/2100/800)

"Field Magics… Magic cards that give the entire field a special effect while you're out on the field," Sho muttered, finally answering Professor Chronos's question without hesitation, even if a bit late.

"Next, I play the Equipment Magic, Meteor Strike, onto Cyber Blader!" Asuka continued as she played another card. "With this card equipped, when Cyber Blader destroys an opponent's Defense mode Monster, you'll take piercing damage! Cyber Blader, attack Digital HERO – Elk! Glissade Slash!"

Cyber Blader skated gracefully across the water, spinning as she made her way towards Elk.

"Reverse card, open!" Kaito countered as his set card rose, the artwork depicting Grappling Warrior Ultimator holding his own against Swordsman of the Dark Demon World, Dark Sword. "Ap Vorv! This card will increase the DEF of all face-up Monsters I control by 1000 until the End Phase!"

"Nice move, Kaito!" Judai cheered.

"Counter Trap, activate!" Asuka counter back, stunning the three Osiris students as her set card rose. "Bribe of the Demonic Palace! This allows my opponent to draw a card, but it negates the activation of my opponent's Magic or Trap card!"

"Don't mess with our Asuka-san!" Junko called out to the Osiris boys as Asuka smirked victoriously with Kaito drawing his card as his Magic shattered, leaving his Monster to fall against Asuka's Fusion Monster.

Asuka: 3200
Kaito: 3600

"I set one card face-down!" Asuka continued as a reversed card appeared to replace her Trap. "Tān endo!"

Asuka's hand: 1

"Boku no tān!" Kaito called out, drawing his next card. "I summon Digital HERO – Mia!"

The next Monster to appear on Kaito's field was a humanoid female cat with large, rabbit-like ears, gold eyes and purple fur wearing green light armor. (4/1800/1200)

"But that Monster doesn't stand a chance against Cyber Blader!" Sho pointed out.

"My Monsters are about more than just ATK and DEF, Sho," Kaito stated as he grabbed another card from his hand. "I play the Instant Magic, Dek Corv! This card will decrease the ATK of all face-up Monsters my opponent controls by 1000 until the End Phase!"

Asuka gasped slightly in surprise as her Monster knelt down a little. (7/2100-1100/800)

"Mia, attack Cyber Blader!" Kaito commanded.

"Very well, then," Mia replied, drawing a longsword and charging across the lake to slash at the weakened Fusion Monster…

"Activate Trap card!" Asuka countered as her set card rose. "Doble Passé! When my opponent declares an attack against a Monster I control, the attack will be redirected to me!"

"What?!" the three Osiris boys gasped in surprise as Cyber Blader flipped herself over Mia, causing the feline swordswoman to strike the Obelisk Queen, who raised her arms to brace herself.

Asuka: 1400
Kaito: 3600

"Why would you make yourself the target?" Kaito asked in confusion as Asuka regained her composure.

"Because Doble Passé has a secondary effect, which will allow my Cyber Blader to attack you directly!" Asuka explained. "Cyber Blader, attack!"

Just as the Fusion Monster landed back on the water, she skated towards Kaito before swiftly kicking him in the side, causing the Data-HERO duelist to groan in pain before both Monsters returned to their respective sides of the field.

Asuka: 1400
Kaito: 2500

"I'll set a card face-down," Kaito continued after regaining himself, a reversed card appearing behind Mia. "Tān endo!"

Kaito's hand: 1

And with the end of Kaito's turn, Cyber Blader's ATK was restored. (7/1100-2100/800)

"Watashi no tān!" Asuka shouted as she drew the next card of her deck. "I activate the Magic card, Treasure Cards from the Heavens! This card will allow us both to draw until we hold six cards!"

"All right, then!" Kaito responded as both duelists drew five cards.

"Next, I activate the Instant Magic, Cyclone, to destroy your face-down card!" Asuka announced as she played her next card, causing a strong gale to sweep over the field.

"Reverse card, open!" Kaito quickly countered as his set card rose. "Instant Magic, Ap Corv! This card will increase the ATK of all face-up Warrior and Beast-Warrior Monsters I control by 1000 until the End Phase!"

Digital HERO – Mia just smirked mischievously as a faint aura of power surrounded her. (4/1800-2800/1200)

"I summon Cyber Tutu!" Asuka continued as she played her next card, calling forth a young ballerina with pink hair wearing a leotard of light blue and dark pink, a transparent tutu around her waist with the front missing, and a blue visor over her eyes. (3/1000/1000) "Cyber Tutu, attack!"

"But his Monster is stronger than yours!" Judai pointed out as the ballerina made her way across the lake.

"Cyber Tutu's Monster Effect allows her to attack the opponent directly as long as they don't control a Monster with less ATK than her!" Asuka explain, surprising the Osiris boys again as Kaito braced himself. "Nouvelle Pointe!"

Just as Cyber Tutu reached Kaito's side of the field, she gracefully twirled around Mia before striking Kaito with a kick to the chest.

Asuka: 1500
Kaito: 1500

"Then I'll end my turn with one card face-down!" Asuka concluded as Cyber Tutu returned to her side of the field as Mia's ATK returned to normal. (4/2800-1800/1200)

Asuka's hand: 3

"Boku no tān!" Kaito called as he drew his next card. "I activate the Magic card, Rip Maen! This card will allow me to Special Summon a Digital HERO from my Cemetery! So I Special Summon Digital HERO – Elk!"

As Kaito played his card, the blue-garbed Magician reappeared onto the field, looking around before seeing Mia and smiling brightly to the humanoid feline, who grinned back to her companion. (3/900/1500)

"Then I activate Elk's Monster Effect, equipping him to Mia!" Kaito continued. "Party Up!"

Wasting no time, Elk gripped his staff and happily ran over to Mia's side.

"When equipped to Mia's, Elk's Union Effect increases her ATK by 1000!" Kaito explained as the two companions readied their weapons. (4/1800-2800/1200) "Next, I activate the Instant Magic, Cyclone, to destroy your face-down card!"

"Trap card, activate!" Asuka countered as Kaito played his card, a strong gust of wind sweeping over the field again as her set card rose. "Emissaries of Reconciliation! On the turn this card is activated, I won't take any battle damage and my Monsters can't be destroyed by battle!"

'She's good… She's been able to counter me quite a few times already,' Kaito thought to himself with a competitive smirk on his face as the wind from his card died down. 'Now I think I know why you loved dueling so much, Saika.' "I'll set one card face-down! And during my End Phase, Elk's Union Effect will increase my Life Points by 400 for each face-up Monster I control!"

Kaito slid a card into his Duel Disk, causing a reversed card to appear beside his two Monsters while Elk raised his staff.

Kaito's hand: 4

Asuka: 1500
Kaito: 1900

"Watashi no tān!" Asuka said, drewing her next card. "I activate the Magic card, Supremacy Berry! Since my Life Points are lower than yours, I can increase my Life Points by 2000!"

"2000?!" the Osiris boys repeated as Asuka's Life Points increased.

Asuka: 3500
Kaito: 1900

"Cyber Tutu, direct attack!" Asuka commanded. "Nouvelle Pointe!"

The ballerina Monster gracefully dashed across the water towards Kaito again.

"Trap card, activate!" Kaito countered, surprising Asuka. "Suvi Lei! When this card is activated, I can select 1 Monster my opponent controls and that Monster will be unable to attack or change its mode as long as this card remains face-up on the field!"

"What?!" Asuka gasped in surprise as Elk aimed his staff at her Monster and fired a spell from it, launching Cyber Tutu back to Asuka's side of the field and paralyzing her.

"Sorry Asuka, but I'm not going to let you beat me that easily," Kaito told his opponent with a competitive smirk.

Asuka couldn't help but smirk back as she pushed two cards into her Duel Disk, "I'll set two cards face-down to end my turn! Now show me what you've got!"

Asuka's hand: 1

"Boku no tān!" Kaito said, drawing his next card. "I activate Elk's Union Effect to Special Summon him back to the field!"

Elk looked to Mia worriedly, to which the female Beast-Warrior gently nodded once, prompting the Magician to reluctantly walk away from his companion. (3/900/1500)

"Since you now control two Monsters, Cyber Blader's Monster Effect activates and doubles her ATK!" Asuka explained as her Monster grew stronger. (7/2100-4200/800)

"Next, I release my two Monsters…" Kaito continued as Mia and Elk faded from the field. "…to Advance Summon Digital HERO – Apeiron, King of Light!"

The next Monster to appear on Kaito's field was a fairly tall, fairly muscular man with short brown hair that framed his face clad in heavy golden armor that covered his entire body with the exception of his head and a flowing cape with blue on the outside and red on the inside. In one hand he wielded a gigantic, double-bladed battle-axe. (7/2600/2100) As soon as Apeiron appeared, Judai and Sho were in awe while Asuka's friends, Momoe and Junko, couldn't help but swoon over the male Monster. And with only one Monster on Kaito's field, Cyber Blader's ATK was reverted. (7/4200-2100/800)

"You won't scare me with a Monster like that!" Asuka said, standing firm.

'That makes one of us…' Kaito thought to himself as he glanced at his newest Monster. 'He's one of the most dangerous cards in this deck… I can understand why Saika often refused to play him.'

"Why are you hesitating?" Apeiron questioned the azure-haired duelist. "Do what needs to be done."

Kaito forced himself to bite his tongue, knowing that Apeiron's effect could give him the advantage in this duel, "I activate Apeiron's Monster Effect! By sending a card from my hand to the Cemetery, I can destroy all face-up Monsters my opponent controls with an ATK lower than his!"

"All right! Nice move, Kaito!" Judai cheered as Kaito slid a card from his hand into his Cemetery slot.

"Kneel before your king!" Apeiron commanded as he tightly gripped his axe with one hand and gave it a mighty swing, sending a shockwave across the field, causing Asuka and her fiends to brace themselves as Cyber Blader and Cyber Tutu were immediately destroyed, causing Suvi Lei's color to fade due to lacking its target.

"Trap card, open!" Asuka countered as one of her set cards rose. "Call of the Living Dead! This card will allow me to Special Summon a Monster from my Cemetery in Attack mode! So I Special Summon Cyber Blader!"

Rising up from the lake was Asuka's Fusion Monster. (7/2100/800)

"I'll send that Monster back to the grave!" Apeiron declared as he charged across the field.

"Apeiron, stop!" Kaito called out uselessly as his Monster prepared to swing his weapon.

"Activate Trap card, Attack Nullification!" Asuka quickly countered as her last set card rose, generating an invisible barrier in front of Cyber Blader, deflecting Apeiron's axe just as he swung. "This card will negate your attack and end your Battle Phase!"

"I set one card face-down!" Kaito continued, a reversed card appearing in front of him as Apeiron returned to his side of the field. "Tān endo!"

Kaito's hand: 3

"Watashi no tān!" Asuka said as she drew her next card. "I play the Magic card, Pot of Greed, allowing me to draw two cards!" After putting the Magic card into her Cemetery slot, Asuka drew her next two cards and glanced at them before smirking victoriously. "I activate the Equipment Magic, Demotion Punishment, onto Cyber Blader to decrease her Level by 2!" (7-5/2100/800)

"Why would she lower her own Monster's Level?" Sho wondered.

"Then I play the Equipment Magic, Fusion Weapon, onto Cyber Blader to increase her ATK and DEF by 1500!" Asuka announced as she played her next card, causing her Fusion Monster's right arm to shape-shift into some kind of blaster. (5/2100-3600/800-2300) "Cyber Blader, attack!"

"Activate Trap card, Gate Out!" Kaito quickly countered as Cyber Blader fired an energy shot from her new weapon. "When a Monster I control is selected as an attack target, I can remove all Monsters I control from play to negate the attack and end the Battle Phase!"

Just before the energy shot hit its target, Apeiron was surrounded by rings of light before vanishing from the field, causing the shot to fly over the Osiris boys and hit the lake.

"Then I'll end my turn with that!" Asuka declared.

Asuka's hand: 1

"Boku no tān!" Kaito called out as he drew his next card. "During my Standby Phase, all Monsters removed by the effect of Gate Out are Special Summoned back to the field!"

Rings of light descended over Kaito's field, materializing Apeiron back over the lake. (7/2600/2100)

"From my hand, I summon Digital HERO – Ouka of the Divine Fist!" Kaito continued as he played a card, summoning forth a voluptuous young woman with short grey hair wearing a purple bikini and a white shawl around her shoulders with a large tuft of white fur around her neck, wolf-like ears sprouting from the top of her head, and knee-high boots shaped like paws complete with gray fur. (4/1800/1300)

Once on the field, Ouka glanced towards Apeiron with a mischievous grin, "Well, isn't this a treat? Fighting alongside the great King of Light."

Apeiron just glared towards his companion and scoffed.

"Seems like the King doesn't know how to have fun," Ouka noted before turning her gaze back towards Kaito. "We're going to have to fix that some time, no?"

Kaito let out a barely audible embarrassed laugh before returning his focus to the duel, "I activate Ouka's Monster Effect and equip her to Apeiron! Party Up!" Ouka grinned as she walked over to Apeiron and stood beside him, cracking her knuckles. "Ouka's Union Effect increases the ATK and DEF of the equipped Monster by 1000!" (7/2600-3600/2100)

"So both of our Monsters have the same ATK," Asuka noted. "But just so you know, Cyber Blader's Monster Effect prevents her from being destroyed by battle when my opponent only controls one Monster."

"Then I'll have to end the duel here, won't I?" Kaito questioned as he played another card from his hand. "I activate the Magic card, Force! This card will halve the ATK of a Monster on the field and increase the ATK of another Monster by the same amount until the End Phase! So I'll halve Cyber Blader's ATK to strengthen Apeiron!"

Asuka gasped as she watched energy leave her Fusion Monster as it was transferred to Kaito's, weakening Cyber Blader and making Apeiron stronger. (5/3600-1800/2300) (7/3600-5400/2100)

"Sorry Asuka, looks like I win this one!" Kaito apologized. "Apeiron, attack Cyber Blader!"

The King of Light charged across the lake with his axe, Ouka following close behind as the two struck Asuka's Fusion Monster. Though Cyber Blader wasn't destroyed due to its effect, the damage transferred through her to Asuka.

"Asuka-san!" Junko said with worry.

"Will you be all right?" Momoe asked out of concern.

Asuka: 0000
Kaito: 1900 (winner)

"You did it!" Sho and Judai cheered for their fellow Osiris as Kaito's two Monsters faded from the field.

Once Asuka and her friends recovered from her loss, the two boats rowed towards each other until they were side-by-side.

"Looks like Sho will be coming back with us, just as we agreed," Kaito said.

"Go right ahead. I'll keep to our agreement," Asuka assured. "And I'll keep quiet about what happened today."

"Humph! You shouldn't get too ahead of yourself, since you won by a fluke!" Junko sneered to the Osiris.

"Quit it, Junko," Asuka berated her brunette friend.


"A loss is a loss, so don't be such a poor sport about it," the Obelisk Queen said.

"I think she's right," Kaito said, earning everyone's attention as he smiled softly, though sadly, to Asuka. "You're very strong, I can tell. I'm certain my sister would've loved dueling against you."

Asuka and her friends widened their eyes a little in confusion before Kaito sat back down in the boat.

"See ya later," Kaito said to the girls before turning his attention to his two friends. "Let's head back, guys."

"Right," Sho agreed as he started to row the boat back towards the Osiris dorm.

'Looks like Kenji was right. This year will be quite interesting,' Asuka thought to herself as she watched the three Osiris boys row away.

Digital HERO - Elk
ATK: 900
DEF: 1500
Effect: During each of your End Phases, gain 200 Life Points for each Monster you control. Once per turn, during your Main Phase, if you control this card on the field, you can equip it to a Digital HERO Monster you control as an Equip Spell Card, OR unequip the Union equipment and Special Summon this card in face-up Attack Position. While equipped to a Monster by this card's effect, gain 400 Life Points for each Monster you control. If this card is equipped to Digital HERO – Mia, increase the ATK of the equipped Monster by 1000. This card can be equipped with 2 Union Monsters at a time. (If the equipped Monster would be destroyed, destroy this card instead.)

Rai Don
Instant Magic
Effect: This card can only be activated if you control a face-up Hikari Monster. Inflict 800 damage to your opponent.

Ap Vorv
Instant Magic
Effect: Increase the DEF of all face-up Monsters you control by 1000 until the End Phase.

Digital HERO - Mia
ATK: 1800
DEF: 1200
Effect: Once per turn, during your Main Phase, if you control this card on the field, you can equip it to a Digital HERO Monster you control as an Equip Spell Card, OR unequip the Union equipment and Special Summon this card in face-up Attack Position. While equipped to a Monster by this card's effect, once per turn, you can target 1 Monster your opponent controls; take control of that target until the End Phase. If this card is equipped to Digital HERO – Elk, double the original DEF of the equipped Monster. This card can be equipped with 2 Union Monsters at a time. (If the equipped Monster would be destroyed, destroy this card instead.)

Dek Corv
Instant Magic
Effect: Decrease the ATK of all face-up Monsters your opponent controls by 1000 until the End Phase.

Ap Corv
Instant Magic
Effect: Increase the ATK of all face-up Warrior and Beast-Warrior Monsters you control by 1000 until the End Phase.

Suvi Lei
Permanent Trap
Effect: Select 1 face-up Monster your opponent controls. While this card remains face-up on the field, the selected Monster is unable to attack or change its battle position.

Digital HERO - Apeiron, King of Light
ATK: 2600
DEF: 2100
Effect: Once per your, you can send 1 card from your hand to the Graveyard to destroy all face-up Monsters your opponent controls with an ATK lower than this card. Once per turn, during your Main Phase, if you control this card on the field, you can equip it to a Digital HERO Monster you control as an Equip Spell Card, OR unequip the Union equipment and Special Summon this card in face-up Attack Position. While equipped to a Monster by this card's effect, once per turn, you can send 1 card from your hand to the Graveyard to destroy 1 Monster your opponent controls. This card can be equipped with 2 Union Monsters at a time. This card cannot be equipped to Digital HERO – Helba, Queen of the Dark. (If the equipped Monster would be destroyed, destroy this card instead.)

Gate Out
Effect: When a Monster you control is selected as an attack target; remove all face-up Monsters you control from play to negate the attack and end the Battle Phase. Special Summon all Monsters removed by this card's effect during your next Standby Phase.

Digital HERO - Ouka of the Divine Fist
ATK: 1800
DEF: 1300
Effect: If this card destroys an opponent's Monster by battle, it can attack again. Once per turn, during your Main Phase, if you control this card on the field, you can equip it to a Digital HERO Monster you control as an Equip Spell Card, OR unequip the Union equipment and Special Summon this card in face-up Attack Position. While equipped to a Monster by this card's effect, increase the ATK/DEF of the equipped Monster by 1000. This card can be equipped with 2 Union Monsters at a time. (If the equipped Monster would be destroyed, destroy this card instead.)