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Looks like people are really getting into the spirit of things where I work. Costumes going from cute to creepy and from sweet to scary popped up. Here's a list of what I saw so far:
- Four rockers
- A Bavarian woman (Oktoberfest)
- Thing 1 (Dr. Seuss ''The Cat in the Hat'')
- A tennis player (I'm guessing Nadal or Federer)
- The Man in the Iron Mask
- A zombie nurse
- A zombie secretary
- Jiraiya from Naruto
- The Red Death (Phantom of the Opera)
- Charmander (Pokemon)
- Luigi (Super Mario Bros.)
- An Aperture worker (Portal)
- Two Power Rangers (Red and Green, Mighty Morphsuits)
- Alice (in Wonderland)
- One of the top-brass marines in One Piece
- Gomez Adams (The Adams Family)
- An aristocrat
- A Sugar Skull witch
- Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
- A Mr. Swag
- Someone dressed up as Rasputin (with the real beard)
- Some kind of alien
- A ghost (not very original)
- A guy dressed as the main character from the Kill Bill series
- A buccaneer
- A bearded lady (a guy dressed in drag)
- A Celtic druid
- An evil wizard
- The Black Knight (from Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail)
- A biker
- Batgirl Impostor
- Caesar
- A Google 404 Error (no costume displayed)
- Tony Stark
- Paul Bunyan
- Maleficent (from the movie)
- One of the Blues Brothers
- A Celtic fairy (not the sexy costumes, but one of the more accurate ones)
- Zatanna and Raven (from 'Injustice')
- Joker (from 'The New 52')
- A witch doctor
- And myself... dressed as someone ''on downtime'' (pyjamas, a cup of hot chocolate, a pillow strapped to my head and a sign saying ''On Downtime'', meaning that I am not on a project.

I don't know if I'll win anything, but the competition is gonna be intense...
  • Mood: Thrilled
  • Eating: Breakfast
  • Drinking: Apple juice
Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V: Solid Experience
Chapter 12
By Yurix

“Tacey…” spoke a faint voice as the girl tried to open her eyes, the single-word sentence resonating clearer and louder as she woke. “Tacey!”

“Huh…” the girl groaned as her eyes began to focus on Jack’s face. “Huh? Jack? I thought I told you that…”

“Yeah, I know, you wanted to sleep after the duel was done, but that’s just it: you are sleeping!” the boy hurriedly answered.

“Wha-“ the woman said before looking around, finding herself somewhere, yet nowhere, her feet not touching any ground. Rather than her hospital clothes, she was wearing her everyday clothes: blue t-shirt, arm-less vest, jeans and sneakers. “What’s going on?”

“This is probably gonna sound really bad, but listen, okay?” the boy let out. “You’re sick, and I mean really, really sick. I don’t know what you call it, but it’s really bad.”

“Hold on.” The girl interrupted. “First, if I’m sleeping, why are you in my dream? And second, what can be so-“

“Maybe I should explain.” Spoke another voice as a silvery form appeared behind the winter-wearing boy, reshaping itself into a perfect copy of the lupa goddess that was Tacey’s first Ascent Deity card.

“Wh-what? Lupa?!?” she let out, having trouble grasping how the card could appear in flesh and blood. “How are you-“

“You of all people are able to see us, and awaken us.” The wolf deity spoke. “But… it seems you have awakened a card far too powerful for you to unleash. Because of it, your body was unable to handle its power and the disease that was slowly destroying your body has returned.”

“Wh-what?!?” Tacey gasped. “My… the leukemia came back?” the girl let out in shock.

“Truth be told… what humans diagnosed for you as leukemia is actually a Duel Spirit like us… but he is so destructive that we as Duel Spirits cannot stop him.” The womanly lupine explained. “You may be able to stop it, but… you cannot face it alone.”

The yellow-haired young woman had trouble grasping what was happening. First, she finds herself in some oddball dream where her latest opponent and one of her cards spoke to her, and now they tell her that the disease that has plagued her for so long is actually a Duel Spirit? “Are you… are sure about this?”

“In fact, that Duel Spirit is one of us.” Lupa added. “In the book you have read, you know him as Xelnos.”

Tacey felt a clammy feeling all over her skin. Xelnos, the Ascent Being of Destruction, was the cause of her pain? “But why? And why me?”

“Because you’re the only one who can see us.” A young girl’s voice answered as the spirit of Chosen of Song appeared. “If you hadn’t found me, you would never have freed Lupa.”

“But… what does Xelnos want with me?” Tacey wondered.

“That’s quite simple, my dear.” A strong voice roared out as the otherwise bright area began to darken, an onyx-like floor appearing under the group’s feet as a shadowy form appeared like a cut in the fabric of her dream. From it, a large creature, bearing obsidian armor and wielding a Duel Disk in the shape of a massive axe, stepped out. “My role in the story is that of the darkness… and I hereby challenge you, for the right to claim your Ascent cards, and your life!”

Normally, the question would have ended up with her replying “and if I refuse?”, but she was in no position to do so. Should she refuse, or worse lose, her life would be forfeited. “Fine… if you want me, then you’ll have to go through me!”

“Let’s duel!” the two opponents let out.

---

Miss K ran next to the stretcher as Tacey’s body was hurried to the emergency room. “Doctor, what’s going on?”

“She must have passed out for over-exhaustion.” The man said. “Heart rate and brain activity are through the roof, but she’s not responding. I don’t know what’s going on…”

“Pressure is 150 over 70 and rising.” The nurse hurriedly spoke as she looked at the meters. “Heart’s at 85.”

“That’s near-stroke levels… give her two units of sedatives, stat!” the doctor said before rushing towards the X-Ray room. “We need to keep her alive until we find out what’s happening!”

---

“This is my body, so I’ll start!” Tacey said as she drew her opening hand.

“Hardly… as we speak, your entire system is acting erratically. You have no control… so I will start!” Xelnos began, drawing his cards. “As I have no spells or traps on the field, I summon Scarm, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss in defense mode!” he let out as a devilish creature sprung from his axe, claws, talons and wings out, ready to strike. The monster in itself looked like trouble: a level 3 Fiend with 800 attack, but 2000 defense. “But this is not the only monster I will bring out: come forth, Alich, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss!”

The second monster that appeared looked like a mummy-wrapped demonic woman. It’s stats were not impressive, even in attack mode: 1200 attack and 0 defense. “And I have more than these two up my sleeve… Come forth, Calcab, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss!” The third monster that appeared looked more like the typical demon, though its skin was blueish rather than red. It’s stats were far from impressive: 1400 attack and 0 defense for yet another level 3 monster. “I place two cards face-down and end my turn. And at the end of my turn, Scarm’s effect activates, allowing me to add a level 3 Fiend from my deck to my hand, so I add Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss.”

Tacey looked at her hand and nodded. “It’s my move!”

“Not quite…” Xelnos let out. “I activate the first trap of your downfall: Crush Card Virus!” he set, activating the dreaded trap. “By sending Scarm to the graveyard, I get to infect your deck and hand for three turns. Now, you have no choice but to send every monster you hold in your hand and that appear on your field with 1500 attack points or more.”

The girl examined her hand, noticing that three of her cards had the requirements set. She was now forced to send ‘Chosen of Fire-Sword, Chosen of Battle-Axe and Chosen Gem Empress to the graveyard.

“I place two cards face-down and end my turn.” The girl said, forced to set the rest of her hand.

“Then it’s my move… I draw!” the demonic Aspect said. “First, I play the spell ‘Allure of Darkness’, allowing me to draw two cards, and then banish one as long as it is a Dark monster… and the card I banish is Rubic, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss. Next, I summon ‘Cir, Malebranche of the Burning Abyss!”

The creature that appeared had a pig’s face, but a hulking body made of stone, wearing broken shackles. It’s stats were far more formidable than the other demons on the field: 1600 attack and 1200 defense. “Next, I place one card face-down, and send my minions to attack! Go, my fiends! Cir, begin her end!”

Tacey looked at her duel disk. With her life points set at 4000, an all-out attack for all three of his monsters would lose her the duel, and her life along with it. “I activate my trap: Defense Draw!” she said. “Since you attacked me, not only does Cir’s strike deals me no damage, but I draw a card!”

“This means nothing…” the creature let out. “With my Virus out, you have no choice but to show me…”

The girl groaned as she turned the card over. “Chosen Spellblaster. Not powerful enough to be infected.” She said.

“But you are not powerful enough to stop me! Alich, Calbab, attack!” the dark Ascent let out.

Tacey took a moment to think back at her card before deciding to brace herself as her life points were assaulted, dropping to 2800, then to 1600.

“Foolish girl… the more damage you take, the weaker your body becomes…” the demonic creature spoke. “You may be fighting with your spirit, but soon, your life will become mine!”

---

“She’s stopped breathing!” the nurse let out. “Get her tubed up immediately!”

Miss K looked on worriedly as the staff raced to stabilize the unconscious girl. “What is happening…” she muttered to herself, just as her mobile phone rang. “What now… hello?”

“Having trouble, K?” a familiar voice rung out.

“Dante… what have you done to her?” the black-haired woman let out, hurrying out of the room.

“The same thing you have to done to me.” He spoke. “You ruined my life, so I will ruin yours by destroying your prized pupil.”

“I swear, if I find you, I’ll-“ she let out threateningly.

“You will do nothing. If you ever attempt to find me, I will make sure Tacey dies in the most painful of ways… not that it isn’t already happening…”

The line cut abruptly. Too enraged to speak, the woman threw her phone against the nearest wall, smashing it to pieces.

---

“And why stop there?” Xelnos continued. “I activate my trap ‘Virus Cannon’! Now, by sending my minions to the graveyard, I can force you to send as many spells from your deck to the graveyard, so I will rid you of three cards!”

Tacey was starting to see what the dark Ascent’s plan was: either he would cripple her life points, or her deck. Sending ‘Treasure Sword – Eclipse’ and ‘Treasure Sword – Daybreak’ to the graveyard, she groaned as her hand, deck and life points were under attack.

“But that is not all, for I activate my trap ‘The Traveler and the Burning Abyss’!” he continued. “Thanks to this trap, I can special summon all of the monsters I sent to the graveyard this turn to face-up defense mode, so I resurrect all my minions from the Burning Abyss!”

The situation was growing more and more desperate for her as Cir, Calcab and Alich reappeared on the field in defense position. While her ‘Chosen Spellblaster’ had enough power to take down the weaker ones, Cir was too strong to fight alone. “Make your move!” the creature spoke.

“I draw…” the girl said before revealing another monster card: ‘Chosen of Greed’. “It looks like I can keep this one, too, since he has 1000 attack points… and I will summon him this turn!” she says, causing the thief to appear on the field, holding a massive bag with the handles of Pot of Greed sticking out. “Thanks to his special ability, as soon as he’s summoned, I can banish my three Chosen monsters from my grave and draw two cards.”

“But you still have to reveal them…” Xelnos said as the girl drew her cards one by one, shocked to see that one of the cards was all too familiar. “What?!?’ he let out. “Why is she here?”

Tacey looked confused for a moment before looking at the cards she drew. The one on the left was the spell card ‘Treasure Sword – Twilight’. The second card was one she did not remember having in her deck: ‘Moon Deity Asuna’. Reading the card, she was concerned by its low stats, but reading the effect calmed her mind. “Alright… by banishing one Chosen from my field, I can special summon ‘Moon Deity Asuna!’

The creature that appeared looked like an alabaster woman, dressed as an exotic dancer, her hair silvery-white and eyes a radiant gold. Her stats seemed quite unimpressive: 0 attack and 1000 defense for a level 6 Light/Fairy. “Also, when I special summon her, I can negate the activation of all other monsters on the field,  and her attack power increases to double the attack power of the weakest attack on the field.” The alabaster maiden made an elegant pirouette as stardust floated onto the field. The moment the particles fell onto the creatures, all three seemingly fell asleep as the maiden’s attack power increased to 2400. “Next, I equip her with Treasure Sword – Twilight to increase her attack power by 700.” She continued as the stone-colored blade appeared in the woman’s hands, her attack increasing to 3100. “Asuna, attack Scarm!”

Xelnos shrugged at his defense position monster was destroyed. “I expected more from you, Asuna. You may have nulled Scarm’s abilities, but you are nowhere near close to hurting me.”

“Make your move, then!” Tacey replied brazenly, growing tired of the man’s rant.

“I shall, and I draw!” Xelnos spoke, before drawing his card. As he looked at it, he made a malicious grin. “Prepare for your end! I release my two minions to summon my avatar! Come forth, “Xelnos, Deity of Destruction!”

The creature that appeared towered over the field. The obsidian-skinned colossus was far larger than the duelist who played it and held a massive war-axe. The creature, according to Tacey’s card reader, was also level 6, but a Dark/Fiend with 0 attack and defense points. “Uh oh…”

“It seems you figured it out: Asuna’s own special ability now marks my effigy as the weakest creature on the field, so her power will dwindle to nothing.” The Ascent commented as Moon Deity Asuna’s attack dropped to 700. “But that is not all. My doppelganger cannot be destroyed in combat, and all damage dealt to me from battle will be dealt to you instead! Go, my shadow warrior! Attack and destroy Asuna!”

“That won’t happen!” Tacey let out. “Thanks to Twilight’s effect, I can send it to the graveyard to make sure Asuna survives the battle, and with both of them tied at 0 attack, you won’t hurt me.” On the field, the alabaster maiden grabbed her sword and threw it at Xelnos’ duplicate, knocking his axe out of his hands.

“I end my turn.” The creature calmly let out.

“Then I draw!” the girl said before looking at the card, then revealing it: the spell card ‘Ascent Blessing’. “Next, I play the spell ‘Ascent Blessing’. By sending three Chosen creatures to my graveyard, I can draw two cards, so I’ll return ‘Chosen of Greed, ‘Chosen of Fire-Sword’ and ‘Chosen Gem Empress’.”

“I doubt any of these miscreants will help you.” Xelnos groaned before seeing the cards Tacey just drew from the spell: ‘Chosen of Song’ and ‘Polymerization’.

“That’s what you think!” Tacey replied. “I’ll start by bringing out ‘Chosen of Song’!” The duelist’s go-to card appeared on the field, strumming a tiny harp as it did. “With her special ability, I can special summon another Chosen from my deck, then both her and that monster have their levels increase to that of one another, so… I bring back Chosen of Greed!”



The thief quickly reappeared on the field as both Chosen monsters’ level increased to 4. “Next, I summon ‘Chosen Spellblaster’! she continued as the yellow-haired sorceress appeared on the field. “I activate her special ability: by sending one spell card from my hand to the graveyard, I can force one monster you control back to your hand.”

Xelnos grew shocked as the monster on his side of the field vanished. “But that means…”

“It means that your creature is no longer the weakest monster on the field… but Chosen of Song is!” she replied as Asuna’s attack power increased to 800. “But that’s all about to change, because I release Chosen of Song and Chosen of Greed to build the Overlay Network! I Exceed Summon ‘Ascent Being Gem Arklord!”

The creature that appeared was quite a sight: a young woman with a myriad of gems incrusted on her dress and wings, holding a sword formed for a pure stalactite of diamonds. Her stats with as impressive as her looks: 2400 attack and defense for a Rank 4 Light/Fairy.

“You forget… thanks to Crush Card Virus, she is automatically infected and destroyed!” Xelnos sneered.

“Not if I use ‘Gem Empress’’ own special ability.” Tacey snapped back, surprising the creature. “By banishing her from the graveyard, I can negate the effect of any face-up cards on the field for the rest of the turn.” At the mention of the effect, a series of diamond spikes ripped from the ground, incasing the trap in a stone cocoon. “And next, I activate Gem Arklord’s special ability: by sending both Exceed Materials to the graveyard and reducing her attack power to 0, I can special summon one Chosen monster from my Extra deck, ignoring its summoning conditions, as long as its attack power is less than the total attack power I just sacrificed… so I bring out ‘Ascent Being Star-Hero!”

Xelnos looked on with dread-filled shock as the angelic warrior woman appeared on the field - a Light-attribute, Spellcaster-type, level 8 monster with 2900 attack and 2500 defense. “Impossible!”

“I don’t know if you really are the disease, but you really are making me sick!” the girl let out. “But thanks to Asuna’s special ability, I got just the treatment to deal with you!” Asuna stopped her dance for a moment before placing her hands against those of Ascent-Hero, her own attack power increasing to 5800. “Asuna, attack him directly!”

“This can’t be- arrgh!” Xelnos wailed out in pain as Asuna formed a massive, crescent moon-shaped beam of energy over her that fired into the creature’s chest.

---

Miss K looked on from the visitor’s room as the doctors prepped her for emergency treatment. “Hang in there…”

Before the doctor could reach for the scalpel, Tacey began to cough. “Vitals are reversing. She’s no longer in defib!” the nurse let out as she hurriedly pulled the breathing tubes out from the girl’s nose and mouth, working as quickly as possible to turn her over as she continued to cough before finally vomiting.

“Temperature’s dropping… pressure’s going down.” The nurse spoke before one of the aids wiped the girl’s mouth.

The surgeon looked down at the mass with confusion hidden behind his glasses. “Did she just… throw up a tumor?” he wondered before noticing something unusual sticking out of the mass – something metallic. “What in the world?”

Miss K let out a sigh of relief as she concluded the girl would be fine… but began to show concern when the object came into view. It was the size of a card, but incased in metal, and had a computer chip attached to it. “How the hell did that get in there…?” she heard the doctors say as they looked on with greater confusion.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V: Solid Experience, chapter 12
MegaUploadRebel got me thinking with his idea of the Duel Spirits interacting with Tacey, and I decided to have her fight for her life... against one of the Ascents. Only... he's not finished yet.
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Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V: Solid Experience
Chapter 11
By Yurix

Tacey awoke to the sight of tubes sticking in her nose and into her right arm, the familiar sheets of hospital beds on her body, stopping at her waist. She had been placed in a sitting position on the moving bed, the familiar buzz and hum of machines around her. “What…” she muttered as she noticed her mentor looking at her with a grave expression. “Miss K?”

“You are in a world of trouble, young woman.” The black-haired woman snapped back as she got up. “You’re lucky your friend brought you back, or else… how long do you think you were out?”

“I dunno… a day?” the recovering duelist asked.

“Make that three. Thanks to your antics, you missed the entire Junior Pro Championship!” the woman replied before walking over to her protégé, placing her deck in her hands before pulling one card off the lot. “And what is this?”

Tacey looked at the card and hesitated. “Umm… Galaxy Queen’s Light?”

“I don’t remember you ever having that card.” The older woman retorted, holding back the fact that she had taken another card from her – specifically ‘Aspect Being Tierra’ – from the girl’s Extra Deck. “I thought you wanted that deck to represent that story you love so much… so why did you break out of theme?”

The girl took a moment to think back on the duel against the three Bear duelists. Remembering how one of the familiars played that one card, she tried to come up with an excuse. “Well… Yuki and I bought some cards, and we did some trades… maybe it got in there without me knowing it?” She knew the excuse did not hold water, but it was the best she could do.

Miss K let out a sigh as she crossed her arms. “I had to tell Mr. Hiiragi that you were sick, but you really need to stop taking so many risks…”

“It was them who challenged me! That weird family of bears…” the pale-haired duelist replied, her words shocking Miss K enough for her to tell something was amiss. “Um… am I in trouble?”

“Hmm… we’ll see soon enough. In the meantime, you need to rest.” The woman said before walking out of the room.

The woman was about to bump into a nurse that stopped near her. “Is it for Tacey?”

The nurse seemed uneasy as she held a pad with a diagnosis page. “I’m sorry to report this, but…”

---

Tacey took a moment to look through her deck, letting out a sigh as she pulled each of the ‘Familiar’ cards out, not sure what to do now. Looking around, she cocked an eyebrow as a young boy walked over to her. Given the weather, the fact that he was wearing a tuque shaped like a blue jester’s hat and wore a scarf seemed out of place. His clothes – apparently those of the Junior schools – were white and blue, and the boy wore blue sneakers. “Hiyo!” the boy said as he peeked over to her.

“Um… hi.” The girl hesitated to say before the boy yanked her free hand close and shook it vigorously.

“You’re a duelist, too? Cool! I was hoping to find someone to duel!” the boy spoke in such a hurry that it made hyper-active seem like an euphemism. “My name’s Jack! What’s yours?”

“I’m… I’m Tacey.” The girl said, having only time to say those words before the boy, who seemed half her age, spoke.

“Nice! Say Tacey, how about a duel? Too bad you’re stuck in bed, but we could have a nice not-Action Duel!”

“Hold on… why are you so jumpy and why are you here in the first place?” the girl asked, finding the boy’s antics to be suspicious.

“Well…” the boy said as he momentarily calmed down. “My big bro is also in the hospital, and I came to visit, but it’s really boring. So, when I saw you had a deck, I thought we could pass the time and duel.”

The purple-eyed woman looked at the machines around her. “I’m supposed to rest…”

“Okay, but how about I give my secret, super-special card if we do?” the boy said before pulling a protector-covered card out from his hat, letting a strand of pumpkin-orange hair slip out. “It’s a super-duper rare card!”

“Why would you give me something that rare?” the girl said before looking back at the boy as he slid the card in his own duel disk. “What is it, anyways?”

“You’ll see! You beat me, and I’ll give it to you, I promise!” the energetic child said.

Tacey looked back at her deck. “Alright… but after that, you let me sleep, okay?”

“Cool, let’s go, let’s go!” the child let out before activating his disk.

“Duel!” both duelists let out, though Tacey’s words showed how tired she felt, their life points scaling up to 4000.

“Since you’re all tired, I’ll go first!” the energetic boy let out as he drew his opening hand. “First, I place one monster face-down, then I play the field spell ‘Ghostrick Mansion’!”

The inside of the room quickly shifted from the plain white of a hospital room to the creaking and dark halls of what felt like a haunted house. “I place two cards face-down and end my turn.”

Tacey looked around, noticed the Augmented Reality being perfectly established, even if the room was not very large. “Okay… my move!” she said, drawing her opening hand. “I’ll start by playing ‘Chosen of Flame-Sword’ in attack mode.”

“Hold on!” Jack said as he raised a hand. “First, let me tell you how Ghostrick Mansion works. Your monsters can’t attack my face-down monsters, but you can attack me directly… and I can also the same if your monsters are face-down. Only, all damage your monsters do is cut by half, while my Ghostricks can do full damage. Is that clear?”

“Crystal…” the girl said as she looked at her hand. “I’ll play the spell card ‘Reinforcements of the Army’ to add a level 4 warrior from my deck to my hand, so I’ll add ‘Chosen of Twin-Swords’. Next, I place two cards face-down, and send Flame-Sword to attack!”

Jack looked surprised at the first turn attack, noticing how the girl did not hesitate to strike, his life points dropping to 7100. “I can work with that!” he let out before grabbing one of his cards and sliding it into the graveyard. “I activate Ghostrick Mary’s special ability! By sending her to the graveyard, I can special summon a Ghostrick monster from my deck, but it goes face-down. So, I’ll bring out ‘Ghostrick Lantern.” A torch-wielding, witch-hat wearing ghost popped into view, making a face that was part-goofy, part-scaring before flipping down, putting a face-down card on the field.

“I’ll end my turn.” Tacey said, hoping her defenses would hold.

“I draw!” Jack said as he drew his card. “First, I flip summon ‘Ghostrick Jackfrost!” the boy let out as a winter clothes-wearing snowman popped into the field, making another goofy-scary face. “Next, I flip summon ‘Ghostrick Lantern’!” The now-familiar jack-o-lantern popped back, throwing another leer. The boy took a moment to look at Tacey. “Hey… you’re not scared?”

“They don’t look scary.” The girl replied. “They actually look kinda cute.”

“Well, the next one is gonna be scarier! I summon ‘Ghostrick Ghoul’!” the boy said as a toonish cadavers rose from the ground like a Halloween decoration, popping up to actually give Tacey a scare. “Yeah! I knew he was scary!”

“Well, that one does look nasty…” Tacey said before examining the card’s stats: level 3, 1100 attack for 1200 defense. “But he’s not strong enough to beat Flame-Sword.”

“Not if I activate his special ability!” Jack replied. “Thanks to his special ability, I can target one Ghostrick monster, and its attack power becomes the total of all the Ghostrick monsters on my field, so I target my Ghoul, and that makes… um…”

Tacey watched as the boy began to count on his fingers. Both Jackfrost and Lantern had 800 attack. “Eleven plus two times eight makes twenty-nine, so that’s twenty-nine hundred attack points.”

“Yeah!” the boy replied. “Okay, Ghoul, scare up some life points! Attack!”

“Not if I activate my trap “Dimensional Prison!” Tacey let out, hoping the sprung trap would do the job.

“Not if I play ‘Ghostrick Scare!’ Jack retorted. “Thanks to this card, I can choose as many of my monsters to turn face-down, and you have to flip as many of your monsters face-down, so… I’ll flip down all my monsters and yours!”

Tacey watched as the three Ghostricks lurched out at her monster, scaring back into face-down defense position.

“Okay, that was bad.” Tacey said as her trap no longer worked, the target face-down.

“But I’m not done.” The boy said. “I switch the field and play ‘Ghostrick Museum!’ Now, we take full damage, but every time a monster attacks, it flips down to defense mode. I play two cards face-down and end my turn.”

Tacey looked at the field worriedly. If the boy summoned another monster that was at least 1100 attack or higher, it would me a one-hit kill. “It’s my move!”

“Hold it! I activate ‘Ghostrick Night!’” the boy let out as one of his latest traps sprung. “Now, none of your face-down monsters can flip! Also, if you try and bust this card, you won’t be able to attack for a whole turn!”

Tacey took a moment to examine her field. Chosen of Flame-Sword would be useless in its current condition, so she had to tribute it. “Alright… I release my face-down monster and summon ‘Chosen of Battle-Axe!” she said, switching her level four monster for a level 6.

“He won’t be staying for long, cause I activate ‘Ghostrick Go-Around’!” Jack shot back, springing his other trap. “Thanks to this, I can switch one of my monsters that are face-down to Attack mode, and if it’s a Ghostrick monster, I can scare your monster face-down.. so I flip my Ghostrick Ghoul!” As soon as the zombie-type monster flipped back onto the field, the girl’s warrior was forced face-down.

It was not looking good for the You Show Duelist, and she knew it. “I place two cards face-down and end my turn.”

“Then I draw!” the boy said as he began his turn. “First, time for Jackfrost and Lantern to come back for an encore! Next, I summon “Ghostrick Skeleton!” A child-sized grim reaper popped out, swinging its scythe. “Next up, I play the spell ‘Book of Eclipse’! Now, all of my monsters are flipped face-down” Tacey was glad the boy was using up his hand for this. That’s all for me!”

Tacey drew her card, relieved that Book of Eclipse had forced all of his monsters face-down. While it would give her time to attack, the Museum field spell made it that, should she attack, her monsters would be stuck face-down. Looking at the card she just drew, she knew it would help, but the timing had to be right. “First, I summon ‘Chosen of Tri-Bow’ in attack mode.” She said as her archer appeared on the field, its attack points at 1200. “Next, I play the spell ‘Chosen Sword – Eclipse’ to increase my monster’s attack by 700. “And thanks to Eclipse’s special ability, if it ever leaves the field while equipped, I banish it to destroy one card on the field. So I’ll have Tribow attack!”

Jack watched as the archer’s arrow, now in the shape of the sword that formerly was in his hands, launched towards him, flying over his face-down monsters due to the Field spell’s effect, and knocking down, his life points dropping to 1200.

“And for the next trick, I’ll make Ghostrick Night disappear!” Tacey added, causing the continuous trap to break apart. “And next, I activate my face-down ‘Swords of Revealing Light’!”

Jack looked on as all face-down monsters were flipped up to defense position. “Sorry, but thanks to Ghostrick Skeleton’s effect, you have to banish the top cards of your deck, and as many as the number of Ghostrick monsters I have, so that’s four!”

Tacey did not see that one coming as the grim reaper swung his scythe, cutting the top four cards off her deck. It was a hard loss, but not impossible to bare. “I switch Chosen of Battle-Axe to attack mode and end my turn.”

“My turn!” Jack said as he drew his card. “And first, I play a little trick. By using the effect of my Ghostricks, I can have them all go to face-down defense… and then I flip them all back up, so Skeleton’s effect goes off again!”

The You Show duelist watched as four more of her cards were shaved off of her deck, getting the feeling that the boy could simply repeat this over and over to rip her deck apart. Moreover, the cards were banished face-down, so she could not see what he had removed.

“Next, I combine Ghostricks Jackfrost and Lantern to build the Overlay Network! With these monsters, I Exceed Summon… Ghostrick Dullahan!” the boy let out as the two trick-or-treating monsters vanished, revealing a headless horseman, its face showing in a wisp of smoke. The creature was low in almost everything: 1000 attack for a Rank 1 and no defense whatsoever. “But here’s the fun part: Dullahan’s special ability gives it 200 attack for each Ghostrick monster I have on the field, and that counts my Exceed Material!”

“So that’s an extra thousand attack points…” Tacey figured, seeing where this was going. All the boy had to do was use his Ghoul’s special ability to power any of the Ghostricks up and attack Chosen of Battle-Axe for a crippling amount of damage… and perhaps the game.

“Yep! But I’m not done! I use Ghostricks Skeleton and Ghoul to rebuild the Overlay Network. With these two monsters, I Exceed Summon ‘Ghostrick Alucard!”

Tacey was startled when she noticed the vampiric monster that appeared. She was expecting a one-turn-kill, but all the boy seemed to do was mess with her… the same way his monsters were doing with her cards. The snappy-dressed undead had 1800 attack points and 1600 defense points for a Rank 3 monster. “What the heck are you doing?”

“I play Alucard’s special ability: by detaching one overlay unit, I can destroy that face-down card on your field!”

It did not take long for the girl to figure what was coming next. “Well, before you go on with the spooks, I’ll activate it! Go, “Emergency Overlay!” Normally, I could use this to Exceed Summon a monster with the monsters on my side of the field, but since you destroyed it, I get to draw a card.”

“Well, I can’t attack because of your Swords, but I can do this instead. I play Overlay Regen, attaching to my Ghostrick Dullahan… and that’s before I rebuild the Overlay Network with it, so I can Exceed Summon ‘Ghostrick Dorklord’!”

Tacey was surprised at the new monster summoned by the boy: a red-haired fallen-angel, showing 2000 attack and 2500 defense. The monster in question was placed in defense mode, with four Exceed Materials on it. “What’s that about?”

“Dorlord’s special ability kicks up: I can place one monster from my deck onto her as Exceed Material, so that makes five. When she gets ten, the duel’s over, and I win! But first, I’ll have Alucard attack Tri-Bow!” Though the archer was in defense mode, the vampire’s bite was more than enough to destroy it. “Also, thanks to his special ability, Alucard protects all my Ghostricks from attack, even itself!”

“I guess it’s my move…”the girl said as she drew her card, the only one remaining in her hand. Looking at it, she breathed out a sigh before smiling. “I play Chosen of Song! Thanks to her ability, I can bring back ‘Chosen of Tri-Bow’ to the field in defense mode, then increase both of their levels to match the total. If you’re paying attention, that makes them both level four!”

“What are you supposed to do with those?” the boy wondered.

“Simple, I overlay Chosen of Song and Chosen of Tri-Bow to build the overlay network!” she answered. “With these two monsters, I Exceed Summon ‘Chosen Hero Battle Sorcerer!”

The creature that appeared was a tall, almost lanky, wizard holding a cross-bow in one hand and a sword in the other. The creature, a Rank 4 Wind/Spellcaster, had 2000 attack points and 2400 defense points, was placed in defense mode. “And next, I activate Battle Sorcerer’s special ability: by detaching one Exceed Material from him, I can deal you 300 points of damage for every card that’s been banished… so with cards, that’s more than enough to knock you out!”

Jack watched as the spellcaster charged his bow before firing, a blast of electricity firing straight at him, knocking his life points down to 0.

---

Miss K let out a heavy sigh as she walked in the room. Looking around, she noticed some things that were not supposed to be there: a pair of boots and a hat laying in a puddle of melting snow and a card resting in Tacey’s hand while the girl was asleep.

Looking at the doctor’s prognostics, she put the pad aside before picking the card up. “Wh-what?” she muttered, reading the card’s name aloud. “Ascent Deity… Asuna?” she said before looking at the sleeping Tacey. “When did she…”

Unable to figure what was going on, the woman placed the card back in Tacey’s hand before picking the doctor’s note. “Of all the rotten times…” she said as she read the dreadful news; the girl’s leukemia had returned.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V: Solid Experience, chapter 11
Someone asked me, for one of the chapters of my Yu-Gi-Oh! story, to do something Halloween-related and proposed a duel against a "Ghostrick deck". Deciding to go with the idea, I showed some of the different ways that the deck could win, but decided to go soft for this one, as Tacey's opponent represents one of the aspects of Halloween: tricks.

Try to find out who or what Jack is, and be careful: it's not a card.
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Upon a Star: Rise of the Unknowns
Epilogue
By Karyana Destine

“Ten months have passed, and the world has truly begun to change. Though old rivalries still hold, many people have become much more open to working together rather than raising arms against one another. It’s strange, but it feels as though Melody’s newfound hope in the worse has spread to the four corners of Medierth, giving the people a sense of peace – perhaps a brittle one, but I will accept that humble serenity.

The first few months did bring a stir of unease as the Planars decided that they would no longer hide from the rest of those who preached their words, and decided to be reborn into the world. Some like Lupa decided to remain as they were – but I could not blame her -, while others whole-heartedly accepted to live amongst the people, having to adjust to their means of life and earning their trust. Rather than see them as gods, many saw them saw them as mere mortals, unsung heroes of what was now called “The battle of the Endless Night”. A rather fitting name, I must say.

Allision and Korgan – the latter found amidst the many who had filled the ranks of the Waiting Ones and was giving a new chance to live – left their divine vows aside and went on, with volunteers, to repopulate Planar’s Gift, though the island was given a new name – ‘Lavella Island’, the Cleansed Grounds. It may have taken an immense amount of mana for them to recreate it, but given that Prolectae was now the true Allision, I believe she may have simply transferred her dimensional plane to this world. Given the power of the Dawn Lotus, I truly hope the former High Priest can cope with such bounty… erhm… those of the All-Mother’s. Strangely enough, the ravels and charms of the island made it quite the enchanting destination for weary travelers who wish to rejuvenate their tired bodies. Perhaps I will visit it one day, once Dawn and Asha are old enough.

I was not surprised to hear that Alban and Kaina finally found a home of their own. Instead of rebuilding Swordwall back into the military academy it once was, they decided to tear down the buildings, cleanse the land and start anew. Rather than that harsh name which gave the vision of parapets and impregnable fortifications, they went for something a bit more welcoming, and less grim then the previous Ravenhold: Darbysbrook. I was a bit unsure about the odd name… until Kaina showed me their newborn son. It seems they named little Darby due to the nearby forest known as a mating ground for deer. Well, you can take the rangers out of the woods…

Speaking of rangers, Yu Shaia and Meilin returned to Elfwood, but only to gather their belongings and settle with Alban in their new community. The young ranger – young in elf years, at least - still refuses to put his swords away and serves as hunt instructor and guide through the forests. Meilin decided to keep her former job as teacher of spell-craft and became the first teacher of the new village. She may have her work cut out for her, but I hope she can handle more children. Speaking of children, I was surprised when I visited them: apparently, Vokram’s theft of her divinatory powers now allow her to see as a normal girl. It seems that some gifts are not meant for children after all…

I think that Arius was probably better off living a life on the road, because he broke up – on rather good terms, surprisingly – with Sayeth. I heard that he stopped being a drunkard and now sells his experience in combat – as well as his nimble fingers – to anyone that needs an adventurer and has the purse to pay, but not the skill to travel. Knowing him, he probably still calls himself the ”Spellsword Extraordinaire”… or something of the sort. He may have stopped playing drinking games, but he still loves to boast.

Baratus, or rather Raemu, decided to return to the lands of Frostreach and help the barbarian tribes as their new leader. I heard it took him quite a few tries to properly master the “Words of Power”, but what surprises me the most is that the Planar-Knight decided to discard his steel plates and don the furs of the nomads of the north. Perhaps he truly is a warrior at heart and just wanted to find a reason to fight.

Devathion said that he would stay and protect Xera, but from it seems, the dragons have decided to follow the Planars in their attempt to blend among the people. From what I gather, the Council still gathers within the mountain that looks over Bejem, but rather than speak of their past and hide in their community, the younger kin now teach the older ones of the world. Still, not all of them wish to leave their homes, fearing that the old legends of dragon-slayers were ever to reawaken. As for the Barefoot Empress, she is the proud mother of the first Bejemi-dragon child. It may take them some time for the people to accept such a girl, but who knows? Perhaps there will one day be tribes of these human-dragon children. They named her Daiyu, in reference for the black jade she bore at birth, as a reference to the Empress’ late father, the former Jade dragon and emperor.

Elany and Olin decided to return to Citadel and take over the former’s father’s business. It is a good thing that they have help from the puppet maker, because Olin is rather clumsy with carving tools. Having decided to drop the “alley-skimming” act – whatever that means – he went on and returned to his temporary job as a city guard… but he still volunteers for the dirtier and riskier missions whenever they come. He may be a scoundrel at heart, but he has a good heart. And this time, I am certain that he will keep Elany safe. Speaking of which, a courier was sent to me, asking me to visit someday. It seems the pair are expecting, but have no idea if the child will be a boy or a girl yet.

I was expecting Lady Alphea and Thivalt to return to Gullreach or perhaps to Bejem, but it seems that they couple has found a new home for themselves: somewhere among the many shops and merchants of Cavnira. The reborn woman, from what criers have spoken, has such a wondrous voice that her singing has become inspiration for many a bard who decided to create their own school of travelling musicians within the city. Thivalt also spends time there – partly because he enjoys poetry, but mostly to keep the newcomers from singing the praise of his beloved in an attempt to woo her. He has also decided to work as a soldier and merchant guard, but given his immense stature, many believe that he was born a half-giant… One thing that relieves me is that he left his whip and scimitar to Onyx in exchange for a halberd. It gives me hope that the demon born from his torment will never come to be in this new era.

Speaking of Onyx, I heard he has indeed moved back to the Motherforge, but still travels from time to time. I wonder if he truly fell in love with Laelynn, because nowadays, he spends his days scaling the Crystal Flower – a simple name to the structure born of the Aspect of the Forge’s sacrifice and Leara’s clever attempt to stop the now-gone Melothios. While he still smelts metal into blades and armor, I heard he found an odd interest in building constructs.

Laurinya and Turalyon – probably the most unlikely couple I have ever met – have finally put their emotions to good use. With Laurinya tired of the title of Archess, she decided to pass it on to him. She still has trouble standing still, though… but I believe being a mother may calm her fiery temper. The courier she sent was relatively recent, so I don’t expect to be an aunt for her baby for at least half a year. But there is one thing that turned out well for her: she decided to teach her own brand of magic – wild magic, she calls it – to the more unruly apprentices.

I was incredibly surprised when Sayeth and Xelnos met us as we travelled to Elfwood. What surprised me the most was that both of them were now Planars! It seems that the Planar of Destruction decided to shed his title and powers and became the Planar-Lord of Change. I found the title a bit pompous, but when he explained that the orcs of Magrok – who had now recolonized the area near the Dyurth Mountains – and the Night Elves – a poetic name to Sayeth’s kind – worshipped him, he decided to accept his role and be the voice for the voiceless – those previously shunned by humans and elves alike. Sayeth became the new Planar of Womanhood, having enough knowledge from her time as Allision and as the Surrogate of Panyus – even if that was for the briefest of moments – to share a lifetime of knowledge with women. While I am glad she has taken some of the burden off Allision, er, Prolectae’s shoulders, it seems her knowledge is not simply on the ways of being feminine: it seems she has grown fond of showing them how to be strong and capable as well.

I have yet to hear from Panyus… but I doubt I ever will. As the Planars changed, perhaps she has left the world to become one with the Cycle of Life and Death. Perhaps I will see her the day of my end, but now is not the time.

Scyens ha s- like Raemu – decided to leave his role in the Divine Council and began to travel the world, spending much time fishing and learning the trades of the seas. He still teaches to those who wish to listen, but people now know him as the Traveler. He may seem like a scholar, but I heard some people were rather surprised on how spry and open-minded he was.

It turns out that Leara and Eligius were a couple long before my time – back when Melody was alive. That may explain why she was always close to his grove. Deciding to leave the safety of his eternal tree, he created a new haven in the wild, travelling amongst the trees to find and cleanse the remains of Melothios’ corruption upon the woods. A new order of druids was born from his ordeal: the Order of the Travelling Tree. This odd name has given a new home to dryads and forest people alike.

Amber Mai and Meredith returned to their respective homes – Gressik Forest and Gon’an -, and serve as ambassadors to the weyr people of Medierth. Sadly, some grudges hold strong and relationships with old foes like Citadel still are still somewhat tense, despite Demyan writing an edict that all people within the walls of the city would be treated as equals, no matter their gender, race or blood.

Speaking of weyr, Lupa has happily accepted her role as Planar of the Sun, sharing the sky with Asuna. It did take some time for the former Planar-Beast to remember how they would ‘hunt’ one another throughout the day and night, both leading the seasons in their own way. The new responsibilities also gave both enough time to get to know each other all over. I still remember how the two had created an eclipse for nearly an entire day in their first months together… and I hope that such an event will not happen anytime soon.

Speaking of the two, it seems that a new celebration was created as a way to remember the events that transpired after the ‘Endless Night’. This new holiday is celebrated by lighting fires and singing to the spirits, in hopes that the lights in the darkness will act as beacons to lead the dearly departed to the afterlife. During that day, families get together and give thanks to the passing year, wishing well for the coming one.

As for well-wishing… I truly wish the best for Reveen and Melody. While the couple decided to remain Planars, they made sure to experience the joys and pains of mortal life from time to time, in hope of giving their child – who they renamed Amil, an ancient word for ‘hope’ – everything he needs to become the new Planar-Child.

Josephine, Sarah, Genevieve… their time together made them strong, but seeing Cunon return to them brought the family even closer together. While the man must sometimes share his time with Lupa, having him back gave the Gonanese woman new hope. Rumors swept that the nights of passion between the two led to quite the mating rituals among the wolves… Sarah has decided to use her noble title to give back to the people, learning curative potions and incantations in hope of becoming a healer. Genevieve has, according to Josephine’s letter, helped supervise the rebuilding of the temple district into an academy of magic dedicated to the study of elements and summoning – namely, lupine magic. The change of pace was seemingly quite welcome, as the red-haired woman seemed quite at ease in her new role.

Ermanho and Tecya were given the titles of king and queen of Saberbia, as Lily decided to abandon her role, having grown tired of the immense responsibilities and lack of time with her young sister. She and Aurea have decided to travel west to the Lander territory and have begun to rebuild a new city among the oases along with the volunteers and survivors who no longer felt at home in the halls of the Jewel of the Desert.

As for Vokram… it seems his threats were just words and not actions. Ever since the end of the ‘Eternal Night’, no one has heard from him. Moreover, adventurers and settlers have begun to forge roads through the Southern Unknowns, daring themselves to tame the wilderness beyond what used to be the Shimmering Fields. I was expecting the desert to spread north, but strangely enough, the mulch that formed from the crystal flower has created new, fertile flora that thrived on the scorching light of the desert sun. The new field was called the ‘Dawnlight Forest’ and has become a… I believe the word is mecca… for people who worship the towering Crystal Flower as a symbol of prosperity and peace.

As much as I miss them, I have yet to see Bell, Chime or Whistle in the vicinity of Citadel. From what I heard from Olin, it seems my little familiars have become accustomed to living with the other carbunkles in the Forest of Genesis – the name of the canopy of immense flora given by Asha.

My little angels… they truly have grown into bright young girls. Dawn is as energetic as ever and Asha still worries for her big sister all the time, but now has the backbone to know when enough is enough. The two do bicker on occasion, but they never seem to shy away from apologies over a sweet roll.

Demyan has also chosen to step down from his title of Magelord, in hopes that Reveen accepts it someday, but has decided to still be the voice of the people. Risking much in the endeavor, he decided to become the regent of Citadel, with me as queen. While I am not comfortable with the noble rank and the praise that go along with it, I am glad he thought it would allow us more time together… and it truly has. In fact, we will soon travel to Gon’an to visit Josephine… but I feel like seeing all of my comrades… my friends… once more.

It still feels strange. I died thrice before, fought countless battles and aided people in several wars, but… I don’t feel the need to be called a Chosen, let alone a Savior, even when many people praise me for what I have done. I try to be humble about it, but… somewhere deep inside, I do feel some pride in what I have accomplished. The Planars sent me to find Reveen, not knowing that his supposed curse would bring me closer to the truth. Yes, I brought him home, but Josephine and I brought Melody back. I helped end the Battle of Bolestra, but I was not the only one. I was there to liberate Bejem and stop Pison and Xelnos, but I was not alone. I destroyed Melothios’ influence on Xelnos during the Battle of the Final Plains, but others were there to support me. I was there to thwart Vokram’s attempt to take over Gon’an, but I was one among many.

A savior acts alone and sacrifices everything to save the world… I am not a savior. I am one woman, brought to life by the Planars, who suffered and faltered, but was given second chances and rekindled hopes. Josephine once called me the greatest beacon of hope in all of Medierth… but that only means that there are others who shone as brightly as I have. My friends, my family… we fought the darkness sent our way. We did not always triumph, and we had our moments of doubt, fear and despair, but we kept on going. The world has begun to change, but not entirely because of me. Yes, people say I have made a difference, but I am not almighty.

I am Karyana Destine, mother of Dawn and Asha, lady-wife to Lord Demyan. I was born from the smallest star in the night sky and given to mortals as a child. My life has been one of death and rebirth, of hellos and fair-wells, of war and peace, of sword and magic… of rage and love. I am… and those words are all I need. As I look at the evening lights from the window of my room, I can see the lights of a shooting star… perhaps, another Chosen like me.

My story began, and ends… once upon a star.”
Upon a Star: Rise of the Unknowns, Epilogue
This is it... the story ends here. Or does it? Medierth is a large world, and perhaps, once I bring some ideas together, there may be another book. Vokram was punished, but he is still alive. Perhaps, there will be new heroes and villains... and perhaps even new lands to visit.

For now, it's time Karyana took a moment to rest.
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(Contains: violence/gore and ideologically sensitive material)
Upon a Star: Rise of the Unknowns
Chapter 62
By Yurix

Trying to reason with Soner was becoming more and more difficult, as if his mind was degenerating as quickly as his body was regressing. The younger he looked, the more difficult it was to get to him. The worse part of it, as Reveen realized, was that without proper control, the child’s power would keep on growing and release it increasingly destructive bursts. Already, he had spent most of Demyan’s  mana raising barriers that were being smashed apart by the boy’s mana-fuelled tantrums.

"I won't let you! Mother is mine! She's nothing without me!" Soner let out as he used the very wings that the older Planar had ripped off during the latest spell skirmish as projectiles, the bony structures moving about like boomerangs, but cutting the air like scythes.

Lupa was growing increasingly tired of dealing with the boy’s attacks. As much as she held a grudge against Progeny for having sentenced her to eternity upon the mortals, what truly rattled her now was how Soner was warping the innocent traits of the Childlord into something so menacing. "Mother is not some toy for you to play with!" she lets out before cleaving one of the fleshy sickles in half with the weapon she had stolen from the former body of the crazed boy.

For a moment, Soner’s adult voice escaped from the smaller form’s lips. "The world is my toy, and I'll do what I want with it!" he let out before firing another blast of raw mana towards the pair.

Reveen knew that the pillar remains would serve as protection from the blast, but as he looked about, he noticed one thing: all of the spells fired by the Unwanted Child never reached the half-demon body that still lay on the ground. Rather, the sickles would fly over it without touching a hair off its body, and any blasts stopped inches away from its flesh. This meant one thing: Soner was using Progeny’s body and mana, but still had enough restraint to keep his former body from harm.

Waiting for the first blast to rip through the Celestial Garden, the man looked at Lupa, then motioned towards the body. It took no time for the newly-reborn Planar of the Sun to figure what her father had planned. Moments before the child charged a new blast, she dashed towards the body and picked it up, using it as shield to protect her from the mana outburst.

The Magelord looked for any reaction from the child to the use of his previous body, and the child’s angry expression soon changed for that of pain as he clutched his chest. “That’s it.” He muttered to himself. “Soner is using his discarded body like a phylactery.” Turning towards her daughter, he pointed at the body. “Lupa, throw that at him!”

“Just gonna grab a souvenir first.” The fiery-haired woman let out as she snapped the ammo belt off the body before flexing her muscles and tossing the empty husk in the boy’s direction.

The Aspect of Magic had to act fast. Pulling out a handful of crossbow bolts from the larger pouch that Demyan had, he quickly enchanted the lot to float around his hand like the crosshairs of the gun Soner had first used, and unleashed a concentrated blast through the rotating arrows, turning the missiles into a magnification dish as mana was fired through the man’s digits like a cannon, blasting the body forward.

In Soner’s chaotic mind, he did not register the attempt at destroy the body he formerly inhabited, believing it was no longer of any use. His degrading mind forced another blast to surge out through the tiny child’s hands, catching the discarded carcass in a crossfire of contradicting mana, the chaotic outburst ripping it apart down to cellular level, leaving nothing but ashes behind.

The boy noticed too late his mistake, only to see Lupa’s sword slash downward at him, leaving a massive gash that nearly split him in half. “You spoiled brat!” she let out before reversing the grip on her sword and thrusting the pommel at him, knocking him back.

The child’s form was beginning to shed its former skin as it began to convulse, dark mana and fury escaping through every pore of his skin. "I'll... kill... you all!" he let out before letting out a high-pitched scream. Moments later, wings and feathers turned into blades that flew in a maelstrom that left no place to run for the two.

Even with Reveen’s barriers, the blades were slicing too close, cutting into armor, clothes and skin, forcing the two to back against the walls, hoping to side-step or barrel-roll away from the storm of daggers. "He's too erratic.” The Aspect of Magic said as he used his battle-staff to knock some of the blades away, having to constantly move to avoid being skewered. “The more he is wounded, the younger he becomes, but the younger he becomes, the more chaotic he grows..."

“Then the plan is simple...” the woman let out as she wiped a bleeding cut on her cheek, using a small amount of mana to close it, “…keep wounding him to he is a baby once more.”

The plan, while obvious, was definitely not going to be easy as the two watched a new set of wings- not as black as a crow’s – spurt from the body and wrap around him like a cocoon. "Die, die, die, die, die!"

The very air started to feel heavy as the blades and discarded wings were pulled in towards the protected boy in a centripetal rotation before vanishing into the mana-thick mass, the form turning into a spherical void. "He's lost it... he's turned himself the space around him into a black hole..."

Lupa hastily loaded a shot into the gun before firing, finding the bullet to be of no use as it vanished into nothingness. “What do we do now? “ she began to panic, the pull of the spell beginning to force her forward.

"If we don't pull away, we'll get sucked in... but if we can't stop him, he'll swallow everything...” Reveen said, feeling time itself distort around them. “Throw everything you have at him!"

This was no longer a battle to save Progeny, or even Medierth: it was a struggle for survival. Both Planars fired every ounce of mana into the blast, countering Soner’s black hole with the enough power to make a sun explode. The class between supernova and black hole ripped the room apart, causing everything that was not grounded to fly off from the impact, ripping the very fabric of reality in the room apart.

Both Reveen and Lupa felt their power waver as the mass of power launched at Soner’s attempt to annihilate them was not only negated, but ripped the dome that protected the infant apart, causing the barrier of wings to break away, leaving behind a child that seemed no older than a month old.

The room in itself was not void of matter, save for the two Planars and the baby. The Garden’s celestial roof was gone, replaced by dawning light of day. The floor had been so ravaged by the exchange of energy that it felt as though the room had been made on a crater.

Reveen slowly pulled himself up, feeling human exhaustion for the first time, his war-staff having disintegrated in the last magical skirmish. “He’s still…” he heard Lupa speak as the child began to bawl.

"The Unwanted Child... its first scream will bring the end of everything..." the worn-out and hurt Planar let out as he fell to his knees, too drained to raise even the slimmest of mana-barriers.

Lupa looked at the baby, not sure if she had the strength to keep her sword up, nor the will to strike down a baby. “I won’t let this world end… not now…” she said, trying to pull herself up using the blade, the object snapping in her hands, the overtaxed object unable to hold together after the last round of combat.

Fearing the worst, both of them closed their eyes, thinking it would be the end… until they heard a woman’s voice. A voice so familiar, yet like a dream within a memory. “It’s alright… don’t cry, sweetie…”

Rather than a Mana-Scar, it was a sliver of light that formed in the room, creating the shape of a woman. As soon as the form began to solidify, the baby’s cry began to weaken, toning down into a awe-filled tone.

The Planar of the Sun opened her eyes as she took in the sight of the woman, who looked so similar to Karyana, aside from the younger complexion, shorter hair with the faintest of red highlights, her eyes the color of perfect amethysts. “Mother…” she said, the word feeling so right as it escaped her lips, a gentle tear of pure happiness trickling down her cheek. “You’re back…”

The young woman picked up the child and held it gingerly in her arms, cradling him. “It’s okay… mommy’s here.” She whispered as the boy let out a chirpy giggle.

Reveen’s spirit took a moment to make sure Demyan was resting before leaving his body, a spectral form appearing before the mother. Rather than dressed in the Magelord’s outfit, the man wore clothes that seemed fit for a man of the old world’s military, though he kept the unconscious man’s mask and physical traits. “Melody…”

The young woman made a blissful smile as she recognized the being before her. “Remi…” she whispered before walking towards Lupa, kneeling down inches from her. “My little angel…”

The fiery-haired woman couldn’t keep her tears of joy from flowing as she gently wrapped her arms around her mother, being careful not to hurt the baby. “Mom! You’re… she did it… Josephine…” she muttered, too happy to express her words.

The Planar-Mage looked at her daughter. “You were right. The world will see a new dawn.” He said before looking skyward, watching as the clouds above began to part.

---

“Mom!” Sarah, Dawn and Asha raced towards their respective mothers as Josephine and Karyana landed on the ground, thankful that Devathion had survived the chaotic storm brought forth by the former Melothios.

“You… you did it, right?” the yellow-haired girl asked meekly, hoping for the best.

“It’s all okay? You beat the bad guys?” the young brunette added more questions.

“It’s finally over.” Josephine answered as she held her daughter in a tight embrace. “We all did it…”

“About time you showed up!” came a grumpy voice from afar as Onyx, soon followed by the others, walked over to the two women. “Where in the blazes were you? We were fighting our butts off to stop those rotters from-“

“Oh, pipe down, already.” Alban replied before knocking the dwarf’s helmet out with a tap upside the stocky man’s head. “Can’t you see those two pretty much wiped the most powerful evil in Medierth off the map?”

Karyana looked surprised at the ranger’s words, though her smile did not last. “You guys… you’re right.” She replied, looking apologetic. “I thought I could stop Melothios by myself. That was stupid of me.”

“Kary, don’t be so hard on yourself!” the Gonanese woman replied. “If it wasn’t for you, neither of us would have made it.”

“Speaking of making it…” spoke a voice that was faintly familiar to the black-haired woman. “What happened to Corlan?”

The Magelady turned about and recognized the street-smart elf, even though he was not wearing hand-me-down clothes found in Saberbia. “Olin?!? You’re alive? But, how-”

“OLIN!?!” shouted another voice - a young woman’s voice – as a short woman with steel-grey eyes and short black hair rushed over, nearly bowling the young elf over as she jumped into his arms.

“Elany?!?” the Citadelan woman added in shock. “But… but I thought you-“

“Don’t think so much.” Sayeth spoke as she walked over, Xelnos at his side. “You’ll mess that pretty face up.”

It took a moment for her to realize what was going on. Not only were her comrades there, but all those who had met her before and died had somehow returned. “I… I can’t believe it…” the black-haired woman muttered, even as she felt her children hug her tightly.

“Believe it.” Spoke a tall man as he approached the group. The man in question was somewhat taller than Alban and less imposing in terms of muscle, but what shocked Karyana the most was how old his chain vest and clothes seemed to be. Even more than that was the appearance of a petite woman, much smaller than the towering man, dressed in colors befitting those of a noblewoman, her delicate dress and gilded tiara giving her an air of nobility.

“W-wait a second…” Lady Xera blurted out as she looked at golden-haired newcomer, examining her from head to toe. “How is that even possible… L-Lady Alphea?!?”

Tecya and the elderly man walked over, followed by Baratus. “It looks like Mother and Father were really generous, today.” The former said. “Big sis… I bet she’s okay.”

“Something tells me that Reveen has a say in all this.” Turalyon thought as he looked at the newcomers. “First Olin and Elany, then Lady Alphea and Thivalt, and who knows who else…?”

The answer quickly arrived as Josephine let out a gasp, seeing a long-forgotten face appear amidst the crowd. The newcomer wore the colors of Gonan and was dressed in the tribal colors of the Gressik weyrs. Along her was a tall man with a short, well-kept beard, dressed in a set of hardened leather, looking at the Gonanese queen with wonder and surprise. “Meredith… oh my god! Cunon!”

“Cunon?” Turalyon wondered, not sure he remembered such a name. “Who’s that?”

“Josephine and Lupa’s first mate.” The savage-looking woman snapped back as he watched Sarah and the golden-haired woman run towards him, making a three-person embrace.

Karyana took a moment to look around, not seeing Demyan anywhere. “Where is he? Demyan?”

“For once, you didn’t call me Medy.” She heard from behind as a pair of arms wrapped around her shoulders, a rough kiss being planted on her cheekbone. “For a moment, I thought I’d never see you again.”

Onyx picked up his helmet and dusted it off. “Looks like Saberbia won’t have enough rooms for all the couples.” He said before looking around, spotting Kaina and Alban together, while Laurinya was talking down on Turalyon just before surprising the battle-mage with a kiss. “Great… they all have women… why can’t I find something for meself?”

The strange question Onyx shot out led to a general moment of laughter before Lily rushed over, carrying a crumpled piece of paper. “Lord Demyan! Vokram has escaped!”

It did not take long for the man to break the embrace before taking hold of the note. Unravelling it, he took a quick read before closing his eyes. “Damn it all!” he muttered.

The black-haired woman pulled the note out of her husband’s hand and read it out loud, having trouble making everything out due to paw smears: “You have no idea who you are dealing with. I am older than all the Planars and possess the power of the Black Eggs! I can wipe Medierth clean and start over. This will be my ‘Second Genesis’… and I will forge a new world, once where my power is law!”

“Vokram... That nimrod just won’t quit!” Laurinya let out, furious at the idea of the man she had destroyed ages ago not only alive, but bent on wiping the world’s slate. “Why I ought to…”

“Lauri, stop.” Karyana snapped back. “This isn’t your fight. At least, not anymore.”

“What? And you think you’ll do it?” the reluctant leader of the Order let out.

“No… but let’s do this together.” The Magelady calmly answered. “I know where there is a Black Egg, but this time, it’s not the duty of the Chosen to stop some great evil. It’s the world’s duty: we all have to make sure that none of this ever happens again. All those wars, they tore us all apart, but also brought us together as comrades, as allies, as friends. Vokram caused the world to suffer, but I think it’s time we take it back. Our world, our fates, our futures…” A long silence filled the area as Karyana realized she had just thrown a monologue like some hero from a children’s tale. “That came out a bit too strong, huh…”

“It wasn’t that bad.” Dawn commented, trying to be empathetic to her mother’s idea.

“At least you’re not calling yourself some big-shot savior-like title.” Sayeth added. “You know, it wouldn’t feel right if you hogged all the glory. I think we all deserve our share, right?” Looking around at the soldiers and warriors who aided in what an hour ago felt like a desperate war for survival, she looked around and cocked an eyebrow. “Has… has anyone seen Xelnos? I thought he was just there.”

---

Xelnos looked at the dilapidated remains of the Spire, spotting Vokram as he tried as best as his lupine form could to press buttons and flip switches to activate the Black Egg. “I knew you’d be here.” The former Planar of Destruction said as he approached the dark-furred beast.

“Xelnos… you betrayed me…” the former Exarch groaned, baring fangs as he turned around.

“Yeah, I did. But you also did, remember?” the grey-skinned elf replied, his axe in hand. “But you know, I learned from my mistakes, and I’m thinking of giving up my title of Planar of Destruction. Frankly, you’re worse than I ever was.”

The wolf leapt towards the man, only to be knocked back by the heavy weapon’s blunt side. “You know, it’s rude when you interrupt people when they talk. Let’s make a bargain, shall we? I give you my title and make you the Planar of Destruction, and in exchange, you turn that contraption off.”

The wolf snarled as he looked back at the Planar. “What would that make you, then?”

“I’ve grown fond of being a Greyskin, so I thought I’d be the Planar-Lord of Elves. Catchy, isn’t it?” Xelnos added as he walked over to the control panel. “So, how about it? Instead of being haunted for the rest of eternity, I’m giving you your own dimension to rule, with your responsibilities and your own powers. Sure, you’ll have to suck it up to the other Planars every once in a while but, hey, the world wouldn’t be complete without someone to represent evil, right?”

“You think being the ruler of a destroyed dimension is my idea of victory?” Vokram groaned before thinking things through. His powers had been sealed away by Reveen, and with the power he stole from the Chosen, from Panyus and from Xelnos himself, he could topple the Planars and rule supreme. “Hmm… if you think I’ll accept anything with such a body…”

“So it’s a deal!” Xelnos said as he pulled the Black Egg’s main lever. Rather than deactivate it, he watched as the gears whirred to life. “Oh, and one more thing…”

The former Planar of Destruction grabbed his axe and slammed the blade down against the wolf’s body, ripping a massive gash in the flesh before pulling Vokram’s human form out, like a butcher would pull the bowels out of a pig before cutting away the meat.  The moment the blood-soaked body stepped out of the fur, the Aspect spun the axe in mid-air before slamming it against the ground, causing it to crack under their feet and under the immense mechanisms as the walls began to crumble, the metallic webs starting to snap.

“Enjoy your hell!” the newly-titled Planar of Elves shouted triumphantly as he discarded his axe before backing away into a Mana-Scar.

Vokram did not have time rush towards the portal before it closed, the ground caving in under his feet into a much larger portal that forced him into what felt like a thousand-yard drop, the debris of the former embodiment of the past’s mistakes – the scrap-metal Spire – fell in over him, the Black Egg falling down into the Underdeep with the newly-entitled Planar.
Upon a Star: Rise of the Unknowns, chapter 62
The last chapter of the war... but not the last of the story. I'm thinking of adding an epilogue, but for now, time and inspiration are running out today. I'll think about it some other time.

Oh, and... the world of Medierth may end up expanded a bit... but I'm not sure yet how I will do it. 
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Looks like people are really getting into the spirit of things where I work. Costumes going from cute to creepy and from sweet to scary popped up. Here's a list of what I saw so far:
- Four rockers
- A Bavarian woman (Oktoberfest)
- Thing 1 (Dr. Seuss ''The Cat in the Hat'')
- A tennis player (I'm guessing Nadal or Federer)
- The Man in the Iron Mask
- A zombie nurse
- A zombie secretary
- Jiraiya from Naruto
- The Red Death (Phantom of the Opera)
- Charmander (Pokemon)
- Luigi (Super Mario Bros.)
- An Aperture worker (Portal)
- Two Power Rangers (Red and Green, Mighty Morphsuits)
- Alice (in Wonderland)
- One of the top-brass marines in One Piece
- Gomez Adams (The Adams Family)
- An aristocrat
- A Sugar Skull witch
- Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
- A Mr. Swag
- Someone dressed up as Rasputin (with the real beard)
- Some kind of alien
- A ghost (not very original)
- A guy dressed as the main character from the Kill Bill series
- A buccaneer
- A bearded lady (a guy dressed in drag)
- A Celtic druid
- An evil wizard
- The Black Knight (from Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail)
- A biker
- Batgirl Impostor
- Caesar
- A Google 404 Error (no costume displayed)
- Tony Stark
- Paul Bunyan
- Maleficent (from the movie)
- One of the Blues Brothers
- A Celtic fairy (not the sexy costumes, but one of the more accurate ones)
- Zatanna and Raven (from 'Injustice')
- Joker (from 'The New 52')
- A witch doctor
- And myself... dressed as someone ''on downtime'' (pyjamas, a cup of hot chocolate, a pillow strapped to my head and a sign saying ''On Downtime'', meaning that I am not on a project.

I don't know if I'll win anything, but the competition is gonna be intense...
  • Mood: Thrilled
  • Eating: Breakfast
  • Drinking: Apple juice

deviantID

mistylear
Sebastien
Artist | Hobbyist | Other
Canada
Current Residence: Montreal
deviantWEAR sizing preference: XL
Print preference: No real preference
Favourite genre of music: Broadband
Favourite style of art: I usually draw manga style, but without Photoshop
Operating System: Mediagrafx Picture Publisher
MP3 player of choice: iPod
Interests

How much of the real world would you like to see in a fantasy world? 

47%
15 deviants said Mostly fantasy
25%
8 deviants said Fifty-fifty
13%
4 deviants said Mostly modern
9%
3 deviants said Just a little fantasy
6%
2 deviants said None of it
0%
No deviants said Purely based on the real world

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I decided to open a Donation Pool, but I don't really have much use for points. Best I can use them for is to send Cake Badges or maybe a commission... though I find the concept of buying points a bit odd.

Amazingdan offered me 8 points for the birthday picture I sent him, which, if my calculations are right, are worth... 10 cents. Hmm...

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Comments


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:iconmistylear:
mistylear Featured By Owner 11 hours ago  Hobbyist Artist
That's not the right effect. That effect belongs to Asuna.

Xelnos' stats and effect would be something like this:
Level 6, Dark/Fiend, 0/0
"This card cannot be destroyed in battle or by card effects. If the controller of this card takes damage from a battle with card, that damage is dealt to the opponent instead."

I'm also thinking of giving him a second form, with new stats and abilities later on.
Reply
:iconmegauploadrebel:
MegauploadRebel Featured By Owner 8 hours ago
a level monster?
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:iconmistylear:
mistylear Featured By Owner 6 hours ago  Hobbyist Artist
All the current Deities are level six and higher, each with different effects and abilities.
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(1 Reply)
:iconxilverxparkle:
xilverxparkle Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
done!!
CM:Dawn and Asha by xilverxparkle  hope you like it C: 
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:iconabc-de-f:
abc-de-f Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014  Student Artist
Which one of the deviantart postings is the first chapter of your story? Could you provide a link?
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:iconabc-de-f:
abc-de-f Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Student Artist
Are you open for requests at the moment? I'd commission, but I don't like paying money online....

If not, then I can respect that. A request is just accepting some random person asking for something random, after all XD
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:iconmistylear:
mistylear Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Send me a note with your idea.
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