Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V: Solid Experience
Tacey looked incredulous at what just happened. It had been ages since she had heard from her father, and there he was. The man had slightly-darker blonde hair and wore a set of sunglasses that gave his authoritative features some mystery. His clothes - she expected him to wear those of a policeman, due to her only photo of him – looked almost like armor on his frame. He stood about a foot taller than she was, giving him a strong stance that would have scared young criminals out of their ways.
However, something was definitely amiss. She did not remember him wearing armor, or even possessing something of the sort. Moreover, he sported a duel disk – something that she remembered he never wanted. As much as the man looked like her father, it was clear that the force behind him was not.
“I don’t know who you’re supposed to be, but I want to know: why do you look like my dad?” Tacey questioned the man.
Kether raised his free hand and extended it towards Tacey. As it did, the cards that had been ejected from her deck flew from the ground into his hand. Moments later, another card shot out of both Miss K and Dan’s decks before reaching the others into the stack, then vanishing.
Tacey looked in shock as she recognized Dan’s card: ‘Aspect of Destruction, Xelnos’. “What are you doing?!?”
“I am doing what is right.” The man cryptically answered before pointing at the girl. “The man-made spirits were never meant to be of this world… and I will erase them one by one!”
Before the girl could answer, she felt a hard pull against her body and heard Tierra’s voice screaming in her mind. “Tierra, what’s happening?!?”
“He’s… draining me… the Ascents…” the Duel Spirit struggled to say before she was ejected from the girl’s mind, forcing the latter to revert from her adult form to her younger self.
“Tierra!” the girl let out, only to feel a throbbing ache in her chest, as if something was tearing her apart from the inside. “What… urgh…”
“As I thought.” The armored man let out, his face completely blank of expression. “Without this artificial Duel Spirit, your body is beginning to break down. You will soon have no strength of your own, as the disease will reclaim its hold on you.”
Tacey gasped as the realization of what the man said: if that was true, then Tierra was not the reason for the leukemia, but rather what stopped it from killing her. “But why would you want me dead? I don’t understand!”
“I do not.” The man spoke as he activated his duel disk. “But the world hidden within your cards will end… that is my mission.”
The yellow-haired girl took a moment to try and calm herself. “But why take the face of my father?”
Kether looked down at the girl. “You deserve to know the truth before your life comes to an end.” The man began. “You know of the Solid Experience program, where duelists were created to become the ultimate dueling force. To counter-balance the destruction made by such a program, one of the creators turned away from the project and created the Ascent cards.”
“Mr. Busuku…” the girl figured.
The man made a slow nod. “Yes. This man thought that the program was far too dangerous for the world and turned against them. However, by that time, the Solid Vision system had become so realistic that duelists now faced Duel Monsters and fought with life and limb against adversaries for the pleasure of an unknowing crowd.”
Tacey took a moment to think through the man’s revelations. “You mean… the Action Duels?”
“Very perceptive.” The male duelist spoke. “As many of the early duelists lost their lives or sanity in the first of these duels, the man you know as your father began to worry that you would end up your days the same way: broken or insane. Hoping to keep you alive, he made a pact with us. In exchange for his body, we promised to eliminate all traces of the project. In doing so, we came in contact with his boy.”
The man pointed at the still knocked-out Dan. “One of the last candidates.” He continued, his voice showing as little emotion as his face. “How simple was it to make him believe that the Ascent cards… and their loyal servants… were a threat. He willingly hunted you down and almost succeeded in stopping you before you awakened to the temptation of the Ascent… until she came along.”
Kether pointed at Miss K. “The moment I saw her deck, I knew that she would soon enough fall to the manipulation of the machines. All I had to do was wait until these abominations, named after the darkness of man, took over.”
The young duelist clenched her fists and activated her duel disk. “That’s enough!” she screamed out. “Miss K is like family to me, and Dan… before you toyed with his mind, he was my friend!”
“Nothing but pawns.” The man continued, ignoring the girl’s outburst. “Do you even know what would have happened if you possessed all of the Ascents? Let me tell you. The moment Tierra would have achieved her full power, you would have ceased to exist… and she would live on through your flesh.”
The girl gasped at the explanation. “What?!?”
“No matter the outcome, death is your only end.” The man spoke. “What the man did not think of before he made his pact was that he and you are also traces of the project. You may stand to protect those people, but that is futile. As soon as your body gives away, I will destroy it, along with everyone you came in contact with.”
The girl unclenched her fists. “Yuki… my friends at You Show… Miss K…” she muttered to herself, head drooping.
“There is no other outcome but death.” He says, as he drew his opening hand, like points on Tacey and Kether’s deck starting at 8000. “If you wish to save them, you will have to defeat us… and end the suffering of your father.”
Tacey found herself in the hardest situation she ever had to face. Accepting the duel would mean the death of her father. Refusing the duel would be the death knell of her friends… and losing the duel could end her life. One way or another, a sacrifice had to be made… and she did not accept it. “Fine. I’ll duel… but if I win, you give me back the Ascent cards and Tierra!”
“I accept, but know this…” the man said as he placed one monster face-down on the field and the rest of his cards in the spell/trap zone. “The more life points you lose, the sooner your death will ring.”
The girl drew her opening hand, heavy-hearted as what she once used as a way to stop her from hurting from the chemotherapy treatments would now be the weapon to end her life. “Then I will fight with all I have!” she let out before placing a monster on the field. “I summon ‘Chosen Girl’ in attack mode!”
“Foolish!” Kether let out as one of the face-down cards flipped. “I activate ‘Solemn Warning’! By paying 2000 life points, your weak attempt to resist becomes null.”
The girl let out a sigh of relief. Even though her monster was destroyed, the man’s life points had dropped to 6000. “I kinda expected that.” She replied. “Thanks to her special ability, since you destroyed her by a card effect, I can special summon two ‘Chosen’ monsters from my deck with the same level, but with different names, so I’m bringing out ‘Chosen of Flame-Sword’ and ‘Chosen Spellblaster’!”
“I will warn you once more, girl…” the man let out as another ‘Solemn Warning’ activated. “Your efforts are in vain!”
Tacey began to wonder why the man was deliberately dropping his life points so quickly. Given her hand, she could try another summon, due to Chosen of Battle-Axe’s special ability, but wondered what else would come out. Deciding to be cautious, she placed one card face-down. “I end my turn.”
“You struggle for naught!” Kether as he revealed another face-down card. “I activate the continuous trap ‘Solemn Wishes’. Now, every time I draw a card, my life points recover by 500… and so, I draw!”
The girl looked worried as the man was slowly rebuilding his life points, now at 4500. ‘What is he planning?’ she wondered.
“I shall start by flip summoning ‘Skelengel’, thus allowing me to draw one more card.” The man said, as his life points increased to 5000 thanks to the man’s monster. “Next, I play the spell card ‘Graceful Charity’, allowing me to draw three cards, as long as I send two cards to the graveyard afterwards.”
“What are you planning?” The You Show duelist said, having trouble understanding the man’s strategy, his life points now increasing to 5500.
“You will see.” Kether calmly said. “Now, I release ‘Skelengel’ to special summon one of my elite angels, ‘Mask Angel AB’!”
The creature that appeared on the field did not look like an angel. Rather, it looked like an immense mass of golden tendrils wrapped into a human-like form, spikes serving as both feet and sword, an oversized mask serving as a shield. The creature, even in defense, was imposing in stats: 1700 attack and 2700 defense for a level 7 Earth/Fairy.
“That’s not a Fairy-type… it looks like…” Tacey tried to say, feeling nauseous just looking at the creature.
“Allow me to explain.” Kether spoke with the same solemn tone as the cards he used before would have sounded, had they voices. “Mask Angel is but one of many, and thanks to its special ability, it can special summon another monster from the grave with the same level. However, that monster cannot attack this turn. Therefore, I call back from the graveyard ‘Fist Angel ME’!”
The creature that appeared looked even less of an angel than the first, as if looked like a human-dragon hybrid’s head held by two immense alabaster arms, shaped like gauntlets, a dragon’s body growing behind the strange head. The creature, as repulsive as it was mysterious, possessed 2700 attack for 1700 defense for a level 7 Fire/Fairy.
“Next, I play the spell card ‘One Day of Peace’, allowing me both of us to draw a card, but no battle shall be done until my turn begins.” The man said, as his life points increased to 6000, with both duelists drawing a card. “Now, I place one card face-down and end my turn.”
Tacey drew her own card, leaving her with six cards in hand. “My move…” she said before looking at the oversized abominations the man called angels. Given how both had stats stronger than any of her monsters, she had to play safe. “Since you have monsters and I don’t, I can special summon ‘Chosen of Battle-Axe’ in attack mode!”
“I will not let this stand!” Kether let out. “I activate ‘Solemn Judgment’! By paying half of my life points, your monster is banished to oblivion!”
The girl was beginning to figure that the man was not just deliberately paying his life points – now at 3000 – for a reason, but the name of the monsters meant something. So far, with ‘Fist Angel ME’ and ‘Mask Angel AB’, she couldn’t quite make up what was going on.
“Then I’ll summon “Chosen of Greed”!” Tacey continued. “Since you send so many of my monsters to the graveyard, I can banish ‘Chosen of Battle-Axe, Chosen Spellblaster and Chosen Girl’ to the graveyard to draw 2 cards thanks to his special ability!”
“Draw as many cards as you wish, for I activate my continuous trap ‘Appropriate’! Since you drew a card out of your draw phase, I can draw two cards.” Kether explains as he drew his cards, his life points increasing to 3500.
Tacey looked at the cards she drew, then looked at her monster. “I place two cards face-down and end my turn.
“Then I draw.” The man began his turn, his life points increasing to 4000. “First, I send ‘Appropriate’ to the graveyard to special summon from my hand… ‘Wing Angel ‘AH’!”
The creature that appeared looked as revolting as the first of these so-called angels, save for a winged-face mask if wore as a breast-plate. The massive creature, wielding a spear, possessed 2700 attack and 1700 defense for a Wing/Fairy.
“Thanks to ‘Wing Angel’s special ability, whenever it is summoned to the field, it can take control of one monster you possess… so it’s time for your thief to repent!”
“No!” Tacey let out as the tendrils that made the creature wrapped themselves around her monster before pulling it to the man’s side of the field.
“Next, I release your monster to special summon, via its own effect, ‘Blade Angel RK’!” Kether continued as one more monster, also made of coppery tendrils appeared, wearing a girdle in the shape of an alabaster face with a pair of twin blades on held between its teeth. Similar to the other Angels, this one possessed 2700 attack and 1700 defense for yet another level 7 Fairy, but this one was Water-attribute.
“Urgh… those things look horrible.” The girl let out, feeling queasy at the sight of the monsters.
“Because of RK’s ability, since I summoned him by tributing a single monster, I have to pay 1000 life points to compensate.” Kether explained, his life points dropping to 3000. “Now, let the judgment begin! Fist Angel, attack this infidel directly!”
“Not quite!” she said. “I activate the trap ‘Emergency Evacuation!’ Since you’re attacking me directly, this trap not only ends the battle, but it sends all the monsters you control back to your hand!”
Kether looked unaffected as his four angels vanished from the field. “A feeble attempt.” He said before looking at his hand. “I play the spell card ‘Upstart Goblin’! By allowing to gain 1000 life points, I can draw one card.
Tacey figured that the man’s gift was double-edged as his own life points increased to 3500. “Is that all?”
“Don’t get cocky…” he said before placing one card face-down. “You only delayed the inevitable.”
“Then I draw!” she said, beginning her turn. Looking at the field, she figured that it would be best to bait him into using his face-down card before dishing out real damage. “I summon ‘Chosen of Rune-Forge’ in attack mode!” she said as the dwarf appeared on the field, his forge hammer at the ready.
Taking a moment to look at the field, she noticed that her bait did not go as planned. Deciding to take advantage of it, she decided to get ready for more damage. “I activate my Chosen’s special ability: by switching him to defense mode and halving his attack power, I can attack one Equip card from my deck to my hand.”
Still no response. Tacey was wondering what the face-down card was, but she knew that, should he wish to bring back any of his monsters, it would take time and cost him resources. “I place one card face-down and end my turn.”
“I draw…” the man began, his life points increasing to 4000. “By sending ‘Fist Angel ME’, ‘Blade Angel RK’, ‘Mask Angel AB’ and ‘Wing Angel AH’ to the graveyard… I can summon ‘Solemn Chariot MERKABAH!”
For a brief moment, all four of the distorted angels appeared on the field only to begin a strange transformation as the tendrils vanished, leaving the alabaster body pieces behind. Moments later, the different pieces began to move and merge, creating a massive column of light that sent a shockwave through the field, knocking Tacey off her feet. The immense creature was female-looking, but was surrounded by misshaped, gold-and silver wings where some parts of the previous creatures appeared. Two hands were locked in prayer as two arms held the blades that once were in Blade Angel’s mouth, the wings and faces of the other angel serving as armor. A massive silver halo appeared behind it, with two of the wings serving as hair on its head. The creature was impressive to look at, but its stats were horrifically powerful: 4000 attack points and defense points for a level 10 Light/Fairy.
“Four thousand attack points?!?” Tacey let out in shock.
“It may be strong now, but the Chariot of God has other special abilities. For instance, I can banish one monster from my Graveyard to increase Merkaban’s attack power by half the amount of the banished monster, and it also gains its special ability… so I banish ‘Mask Angel AB’!” Though the increase in attack was low, seeing the immense angel’s attack power increase to 4850 made her even more dangerous. “And thanks to Mask Angel’s special ability, I can special summon one monster that sleeps in my graveyard, so come forth… ‘Fist Angel ME’! Now… Fist Angel, attack and destroy her creature!”
Watching the fists fly on their own, held by the dragon’s tendrils would have grossed Tacey out, but seeing the next monster for the Battle Phase strike did not bode well. “Next, I activate Fist Angel’s special ability: as it destroyed one monster this turn, it can attack one more time!”
Tacey did not expect such a powerful ability, but she knew it would be best to keep Merkabah from obtaining it should Fist Angel return to the graveyard. “I activate the trap card ‘Dimensional Prison’! You’re not the only one who can banish angels… so I’m getting rid of one!”
For a moment, the girl could see the spark of angel in the man’s eyes. “You will not stop the end… Merkabah, attack!”
“I can try!” she let out, activating another of her face-down cards. “I activate ‘Defense Draw’! Thanks to this, I take no damage from the attack, and I get to draw a card!”
“Then I shall place one card face-down and end my turn.” The man answered, the anger in his eyes now evident.
“I draw…” she began her turn. With five cards in hand, she knew she could at least survive the next turn, but what bothered her was that, without Spellblaster, she had no means to get rid of Merkabah. “I place one monster face-down, then place two cards face-down. I end my turn.”
“I was expecting more from you.” The man said as he drew his card, his life points increasing to 4500. “I play the spell card ‘Soul Charge’!”
Tacey knew too well what that card did, as she once used it. Given that two of the distorted angels laid in the graveyard, as well as ‘Skelengel’, she knew it would cost me at least two thousand life points to bring out his larger monsters, but would he dare summon the smallest one?
“I pay 3000 of my life points to bring back ‘Blade Angel’, ‘Skelengel’ and ‘Wing Angel’!” he let out, confusing her as his life points dropped to 1500. “Now, Skelengel, attack her defense!”
The girl cocked an eyebrow, then shrugged. “Sorry, but you hit my Chosen of Throwing Knives.” She said as the dark-skinned elf appeared on the field, her 1900 attack far more than enough to knock Skelengel back, Kether’s life points dropping to 500. “That was a stupid move.”
“Hardly, for I activate my trap ‘Life Equalizer’!” the man let out. “Since the difference of life points between me and you is more than 8000, our life points become 3000.”
“What?!?” Tacey let out as she felt something press hard against her chest, feeling increasingly weaker as her life points plummeted. The girl had trouble breathing as she dropped on her knees, feeling as though she was experiencing a stroke as her life points dropped to 3000. “Urgh…”
“Now you see? Your efforts to protect yourself, while valiant, were futile.” The man said as he looked at the girl with disdain. “In mere moments, your life’s flame lost most of its brightness. Merkabah will now extinguish it! I activate his special ability: by absorbing ‘Blade Angel’, it gains half its power and its special ability: whenever it attacks a creature in defense position, it deals damage equal to the difference to your life points!” Tacey was too busy trying to stand up to notice Merkabah’s attack points increasing to 6200. “Merkabah, attack and destroy her and her creature!”
“I activate… ‘Fortress Defense’!” The weakened girl let out as one of her face-down cards activated. “By banishing ‘Chosen of Throwing Knives’ from the field, I can stop your attack and end your battle phase!”
“You have nothing left to fight me with, girl… Your monsters are nearly all banished, and the Ascents are no longer there to aid you.” Kether chided. “Show me your last feeble struggle before I end you.”
The yellow-haired duelist had trouble drawing her card as she was short of breath, but knew the man was partly right: the Ascent cards had been taken from her, so she could not rely on them. Moreover, Tierra was also gone, so she could not request aid from her friend. She was alone, weakened, and struggling to find a solution. “I… draw!”
Looking at the field and her hand made things difficult. With 3000 life points, four cards in hand and one card face-down, should she summon a monster, it would likely not have enough power to rival Merkabah’s. However, with Skelengel on the field, she could deal some heavy damage by striking at the weakest link. “I play the spell ‘Reinforcement of the Army’, so I can grab a level 4 or lower Warrior from my deck and add it to my hand… and I choose Chosen of Twin-Blades!”
“No matter what you summon, you cannot stop Merkabah’s wrath…” the man let out as he folded his arms.
“Let me prove you wrong.” She said after finally catching her breath. “I summon ‘Chosen of Twin-Blades, in attack mode, then equip it with the Equip spell I got a few turns ago: Three-Blade Sword!”
As the elf swordsman appeared on the field, the longer of its blades soon turned from a normal long-sword into a weapon that looked like it was forged from three swords and made into one. “Thanks to Three-Blade’s special ability, whenever my monster attacks, I can target one monster on your side of the field, other than the attacked monster and destroy it, so first… Chosen of Twin-Blades, attack Skelengel!”
Kether knew the attack was coming, but had nothing in play or in hand to stop it. The monster’s attack – increased to 2300 – ripped Skelengel apart – dropping his life points to 1400.
“Next, I activate Three-Blade Sword’s ability… wipe out Merkabah!” Tacey continued.
“Not likely…” the man retorted. “I activate ‘Wing Angel’s special ability. By sending him to the graveyard, I can negate the activation of a card’s effect and destroy it!”
Tacey grit her teeth as her monster lost its weapon, the swordsman’s attack power dropping to 1600. “I’m not done yet.” She continued. “I play the spell card ‘Chosen’s Return’! By paying 500 life points, I can add one banished ‘Chosen’ monster to my hand.
The moment the life points began to drop, the girl’s vision began to blur as she felt like throwing up, then starting to cough. As she did, she gasped as blood splattered from her mouth onto the concrete.
“You are foolish, girl, killing yourself to stop me.” Kether spoke as the girl’s life points dropped to 2500. “You have nothing left.”
“I can still fight…” she replied before looking at her hand. “…and I can still do this! I play the spell card ‘Polymerization’! I combine ‘Chosen of Twin-Blades’ with ‘Chosen Spellblaster’ to fusion summon… ‘Ascent Chosen Star-Hero’!”
Seeing the angelic spell-warrior appear on the field did nothing to impress Kether. “She is nothing against the might of Merkabah…” he said. “Your attempts are in vain!”
“I still have one card in hand… and I’m using it right now… I play ‘Ascent Blessing’!” she let out. “By banishing ‘Chosen of Twin-Blades’, ‘Chosen Spellblaster’ and ‘Chosen Rune-Forger’, I can draw two cards. I place one card face-down and end my turn!”
Kether looked at the girl whose was struggling to stay on her feet. “Your efforts end here!” he said, drawing his cards, his life points increasing to 1900. “Merkabah, end this girl’s suffering now!”
“That won’t happen!” Tacey lashed out. “I activate my trap ‘Forced Defense’! Thanks to this, you have to draw a card, and if it’s a monster, not only is your attack cancelled, but Merkabah is forced to switch to defense mode.”
The man let out a sigh. “If you were not so foolish, I would admire your tenacity.” He said before drawing his card. “Hmm… I reveal ‘Disastrous Angel Mastema’.”
Seeing the immense angel fold her wings into a defensive stance relieved the girl for a monster, as the monster did not increase its still formidable 4000 defense. “I don’t know who are what you are… but I won’t be dying any time soon…”
“Then you have not heard or understood the message…” the man said. “God is angry at you, and he will rain down flood and fire upon your kind! I summon ‘Disastrous Angel Mastema to your side of the field in defense mode!”
Seeing the black-winged and haired angel appear on Tacey’s field confused her, even more that the monster had 0 attack and defense for a Dark/Fairy. “What’s that for?”
“Mastema is the one who will call the flood. The moment you dare an attack, he will strike, and against the might of Merkabah, you will have no way to keep him from snuffing your life! And to ensure your downfall, I place one card face-down and end my turn.”
Tacey was getting tired – literally and metaphorically – of hearing that man’s rant. “I draw…” she said before looking at the card in her hand. “First, I equip my Star Hero with ‘Treasure Sword – Eclipse’, increasing its attack power by 700. Next, I send Mastema to the graveyard to summon ‘Chosen Rune-Smith’! Thanks to his special ability, I can banish the top card from my deck and add one equip card to my hand… so I choose ‘Treasure Sword – Daybreak’!”
“You may have stopped the disaster, but you cannot destroy Mastema!” Kether let out, irate of the girl’s struggle.
“That’s what you think.” She continued. “I equip my monster with ‘Treasure-Sword – Daybreak’! With two swords in hand, that’s more than enough power to destroy Mastema! Star-Chosen, take out that angel!”
Seeing the near-impenetrable monster fall to a barrage of slashes from the fusion monster angered the man for a moment before he made a grim grin. “You may have defeated Merkabah… but that was only its first form! By destroying it, you allowed me to summon its ultimate embodiment!”
Expecting the monster to be destroyed Tacey let out a gasp of shock as the monster split in half, part of its body growing corrupt and blackened, the remains of its purity stained with blood. Tacey looked at her duel encyclopedia, but did not recognize the name of the creature, only its stats: 5000 attack and 0 defense for a level 12 Dark/Fairy. “What in the-?”
“You fought well, but no living being can destroy Merkabah’s ultimate form!” Kether let out.
Tacey looked at the field. Given that her monsters were powerful, they were nowhere strong enough to defeat the divine chariot on their own. “I place one card face-down and end my turn.” She said, leaving her with an empty hand.
“Then I draw…” Kether continued, his life points now at 2400. “Merkabah, destroy ‘Chosen Rune-Smith’!”
The girl was beginning to run out of options. “I activate my trap: Backhand Slash!” she let out. “Thanks to this card, I can stop your attack from happening. Also, you have to reveal the top card of your deck. If it’s a monster, you take damage equal to its attack power. If it’s anything else, it’s added to your hand.”
Kether pulled the top card of his deck and frowned. “The spell I drew is Raigeki… and it will be my weapon of choice!”
Tacey braced herself for the spell’s shocking effect. “Thanks to Star-Hero’s effect, my monster can’t be destroyed by card effects, as long as she has an equip card attached.”
“You humans are miserable fools, unwilling to bow down to God… Forget destroyed just you and your friends… I will end all of you myself!” the man let out as his armor began to darken.
“If you’re done raging… it’s my move!” the girl let out, hoping her moment of bravado would suffice in keeping face, for she was feeling light-headed and weak. “I play the spell card… Harsh Bargain! By paying 1000 life points, I can banish as many cards in my graveyard to draw that many cards…”
Forcing herself to lose life points was hard on her body, but she had to finish the duel this turn or else. “I banish… ‘Reinforcements of the Army’, ‘Fortress Defense’ and ‘Chosen Rune-Smith’ to draw… three cards.”
“You are immolating yourself… is your life meaningless?” Kether remarked as the girl drew three cards.
“I’d rather… save my friends… and my dad… then live with them gone…” the girl answered as her life points dropped to 1500. “Next, I equip Star-Hero… with ‘Treasure-Sword – Daybreak’.” Looking at the field, the girl let out a sigh before drawing to one knee, both monsters now at equal strength. “Next, I banish ‘Chosen of Flame-Sword’ from my grave to… give Star-Hero 800 more attack points.”
“You wouldn’t dare…” the man stoically said as Tacey’s angelic creature now stood 800 attack points stronger than his.
“I do… and I will… Star-Hero… wipe out Merkabah!” the struggling girl let out.
Kether looked in shock as the Star-Hero’s blades burned red-hot as it slashed Merkabah’s ultimate form to shreds, his life points dropping to 1600. “All this pain… and you have yet to end me. Let me tell you Merkabah’s ultimate ability… at the beginning of the next turn, it will arise again and destroy your monsters. For each one, you will lose every single attack point they possess in life points!”
“I got… one last move…” she said before sliding the last card on her deck, her vision beginning to darken. “Chosen of Tri-Bow… and for its effect, you take 500 points of damage for each of my banished cards…”
“Impossible!” the man let out. “You dare strike down God? Your punishment will last for all eternity!”
Tacey let out a sigh as she dropped her hands and knees, struggling to stay conscious. “Oh shut up…” she managed to say before her monster readied its bow, firing arrow upon arrow, knocking the man’s life points to 0.
Yuki looked at the doctor with worried eyes. “Any news?”
The man shook his head. “While Miss K is showing signs of recovery, Dan seems to show little sign of mental activity.” He explained as he walked the girl out of the room where the three duelists lay in beds. “I’ve seen this kind of mental breakdown before. It may take some time, and he may suffer from partial amnesia, but given a few weeks, he should have fully recovered.”
The doctor took a moment to look back at Tacey’s bed before closing the door. “As for your friend… do you know if she has any living relatives we can call?” he asked, letting out a heavy sigh as the Leo Duel School student shook her head. “I’m afraid that… what we thought was leukemia turned out to be a far more aggressive form of cancer. She was lucky to have survived this long…”
The young woman clenched her fists as she looked back at the room. Seeing her friend attached to an artificial respirator sapped her morale. “Can I… stay with her… just a little more?”
The man took a moment to look in the girl’s teary eyes and nodded before opening the door.
“Tacey…” the girl heard from somewhere.
“Huh…? Tierra?” she said, having no idea where she was, except that she was surrounded by a bright light.
“You won… you saved me and the Ascents.” The Duel Spirit’s voice resonated. “You defeated him… and almost died.”
“I’m… I’m dead?” the young woman wondered.
“Not yet.” The spirit’s voice spoke. “The Ascents told me of my power. I was created to change the world… but instead, I will use my power to save you.”
Tacey looked around, trying to find her friend. “Tierra-“
“You have proven that you are a strong duelist, and that you did not need the Ascent to defeat the most powerful of enemies.” Tierra continued, her voice almost as sad as Tacey. “Know that I cannot eliminate the disease in your body entirely… but you have friends that wish you to live. Take care of yourself, my friend… and one day, we may meet again…”
“Tierra…” the girl whispered before the light around her grew brighter. “Wait… No!”
“Tacey!” Yuki let out in surprise as she held the girl’s hands, seeing her friend open her eyes. “Oh God, I’m so glad you’re awake!”
The girl felt too weak to move. “Yuki…”
“Please… stop scaring me like that!” the older of the two girls let out as she let go of one of the bed-ridden girl’s hands before wiping a tear. “Don’t you know how worried I was?”
“Sorry…” the girl weakly replied before looking at what remained of her duel disk. “What happened?”
“A taxi driver almost drove over you, that’s what happened!” the girl said. “If he hadn’t crushed your disk… I’m really sorry.”
Tacey took a moment to turn her head, noticing her deck next to the broken duel disk. “I guess I won’t be dueling anytime soon.”
Yuki let out a sigh of relief. “I’m just glad you’re alright.”
The girl took a moment to think of everything. Maybe her father was still alive somewhere, but with Yuki and Miss K around, she knew things could only go for the better. “Yeah… I’ll be alright… maybe not soon, but someday… I will be.”