People collectively entered the arena, populating their seats with enthusiastic relief. Those who had witnessed the hostage situation in the cafeteria spoke to each other cheerfully; those who hadn’t listened to others relay each event bit by bit. They spoke about the thief, and about Kaiba, and even Dave, the finalist who had lost just moments before. They called his act of bravery a kind of ‘redemption.’ They were safe now; just glad that it was over. Now they could look towards the future.
Soon the tournament’s final duel would begin.
Josh sat angled to his left, listening intently to Peter, while Dave sat on the other side with one leg crossed over the other. Dave pressed his Card Analyzer against his thigh, scrolling through a screen.
“Yeah, I love collecting rare cards,” Peter said, leaning back in his chair. “Ever since I opened my first pack and got my Archlord Kristya card I’ve been obsessed with collecting them whenever possible.”
“You said that card is your favorite right?”
“Yeah, I put it in every deck I’ve ever built. I guess you could say it’s my ace card.” Peter chuckled softly.
“I hope I get a rare card I can associate myself with,” Josh said. After all, everyone else seemed to have at least one. Peter had Archlord Kristya, Dave had Black Luster Soldier, Kaiba had his Blue-Eyes White Dragons…
“Don’t worry about it.” Peter waved a hand. “It’ll come to you one day, and it may change over time. I have a couple cards I always use. And they’re not always rare, either; they just have to have some kind of special meaning.”
“I guess that makes sense.” Josh adjusted himself, straightening his posture.
“Just go over cards you like and you’ll find it. I know one of my favorite cards is one that I got for my thirteenth birthday.”
Josh considered this. He pulled out his deck, showing each card to Peter.
“Well, there are a few in here…”
Their words were just background noise to Dave, as was the chattering amongst the crowd. While they were all waiting, Dave was researching. Ever since Adam’s victory, Dave had grown suspicious of his actions, especially what he had said to him on stage. He figured he would learn something about Adam by learning about his cards, especially because they were so hard to find. He traced his finger along each word as he read.
‘Fallen’ monsters are an archetype whose effects revolve around Special Summoning themselves from the Graveyard. Though, as of today, there is no card in the archetype itself that can send them to the Graveyard, cards like Card Destruction and Graceful Charity fulfill this requirement while also allowing the user to gain new cards to make up for lost resources. All ‘Fallen’ monsters are treated as if they were their non-Fallen counterparts. For example, Fallen Summoned Skull is treated as Summoned Skull. By utilizing the correct support cards, this can allow ‘Fallen’ decks to become very diverse.
One downside to using ‘Fallen’ monsters is that no other monsters can be in the Graveyard besides ‘Fallen’ monsters, otherwise they will be unable to Special Summon themselves with their own effects. This means that a deck has to be built around them entirely in order for these cards to be used effectively, although they can be Special Summoned by other card effects such as Monster Reborn. Creating a ‘Fallen’ deck is a tremendous feat, as each card is extremely rare (most are Ultra or Secret Rare, with a few Limited Edition) in booster packs and cost roughly $70-130 in stores.
A similar archetype to this i–”
The lights shut out, silencing the crowd instantly. Dave turned off his Card Analyzer, pocketing it reluctantly. Peter handed Josh his cards for him to pocket as well. A spotlight flashed on center stage; the announcer stood with microphone poised.
“Ladies and gentlemen! After a long series of events, the Championship Round is finally ready to begin!”
The crowd cheered. Josh and Peter clapped; Dave clapped as well, then crossed his arms.
“And now I present our challenger – Adam Prince!” The announcer flagged his arm to his right, where Adam emerged from the shadows. His back was turned to the trio, yet Dave could still sense the fierce determination that rested on his face.
“And now our host – the great Seto Kaiba!”
A stream of light burst through the darkness covering Kaiba, reflecting off his pale blazer. He strode up the stairs, flicking his arm (and his Duel Disk) near his chest. The announcer turned to Adam, walked over so that the microphone could pick up his voice.
“Adam, after a number of great challenges and impressive plays –” those last two words stung Dave a bit. “– you finally have the honor of dueling one of the most powerful duelists in the world. Do you have anything to say before we begin?” He tipped the microphone towards Adam’s mouth.
“I have nothing to say.”
The announcer, clearly baffled, retreated the microphone. “Alright. In that case, let the duel begin!” The declaration provoked countless squeals and shouts from the audience. Dave, however, kept his arms crossed, intently watching both duelists activate their Duel Disks.
He only uses Fallen monsters, Dave thought, he must be from a wealthy family to afford them all. Dave scowled, repositioned himself in his chair. Either that…
Adam fanned his five cards in his left hand. He took his right hand against his forehead, brushing the single strand of red hair to the side.
Or he’s a thief.
[Kaiba LP: (8000)] [Adam LP: (8000)]
Kaiba glanced over his hand briefly. Adam was good. There was no doubting that. The combo he used in the final round was a fatal one, though the chances of it repeating were slim to none. Kaiba gave Adam a stern gaze.
“As a reward for making it this far, I’ll let you go first.”
Adam answered with a nod, withdrawing into his cards.
He may have strong strategies, but nothing can overcome the might of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. He paused, corrected himself. That is, in my hands. He clenched his jaw behind closed lips. Only my hands…
“I activate Graceful Charity, so I’ll draw three cards and discard two.” The card flashed before him, disappearing as quickly as it came. “Now I’ll place two cards face-down and finish my turn by summoning my Fallen Koumori Dragon!”
Two brown card holograms appeared, followed by a purple flame erupting out of Adam’s Graveyard. The flames crashed just beyond the other holograms, extinguished itself upon hitting the ground, leaving the purple dragon in its place. It hugged its bat-like wings against its body, keeping their two yellows spikes near its eyes. (1500/1200)
That’s the same opening move he made in my duel, Dave thought.
Kaiba remembered this too, drew cautiously. But he also noticed a huge difference. In Dave’s duel, Adam summoned Fallen Koumori Dragon in Attack Mode. This time, however, he placed it in Defense Mode, which means he’s wary of an oncoming threat. He was safe.
For now, at least.
Kaiba slipped a card out of his hand, slapping it rigidly onto his Duel Disk. “I summon Vorse Raider in Attack Mode!”
From the depths of the shadows beneath the stadium, a muscular, fiendish body-builder monster leapt up, spinning its dual-bladed staff, causing the axe blades to glare. It braced one end of the staff against the floor, puffed out its chest, along with its green and purple-spotted armor, and gave a sneer that hinted at its devious intentions. (1900/1200)
“Slash his dragon to bits!”
Vorse Raider gripped tightly onto its axe, dashed with all of its might. As it traveled across the field, Kaiba noticed Adam hadn’t moved.
Fallen Koumori Dragon flexed its wings, braced itself as the axe came down, slicing diagonally across its body. The raider heaved it back upwards, shredding the dragon further, resulting in an explosion. Vorse Raider hopped to its original spot with one backwards leap. A new card appeared behind it, glimmering with a holographic glow.
“I place one card face-down and end my turn,” Kaiba said. “Next time you should pay attention to the duel instead of drifting into fairyland.”
Adam started his turn, ignoring the comment. “I activate my face-down card.”
The card on Adam’s left rose, revealing a green bordered card featuring a fancily dressed man hugging a coffin.
I was right, he bluffed. Kaiba smirked subtly. There was no way he was gonna be able to pull off a combo like that twice in a row.
“By using The Cheerful Coffin I can discard up to three monsters in my hand to the Graveyard.” Adam took the center three cards in his hand, carefully moving them into the red slot leading to the discard pile. He slid the remaining two cards closer together with his fingers.
If I counted correctly that makes five monsters, Kaiba thought.
Adam extended his arm, aimlessly pointing his hand. “Now rise, my Fallen Hero Clayman!”
Tremors under the stage jostled Kaiba and his monster, causing them to stumble. Soon after, a bulky man broke out of the ground, rubble raining along its rock-shaped armor. It knelt, holdings its blocky wrists near its tiny, red face. (800/2000)
“That’s my turn.” Adam brought his hand to his side.
From behind, Dave admired the rocky monster. “He must use Elemental Hero support then, too,” he whispered.
Josh heard him; nudged his arm with an elbow. “What’s ‘Elemental Hero’?”
Dave nearly forgot Josh was with him. “The Elemental Heroes are an archetype based around Fusion Summoning. They’re pretty good, but I didn’t expect an archetype to copy off another archetype like this.”
“Well, he’s already used Fallen versions of other famous cards,” Peter interjected. “I mean, we all know that Yugi uses Summoned Skull.”
Josh sunk in his seat slightly. Dave leaned forward.
“This just got interesting.”
“Alright, my move.” Kaiba pulled a card, flipped it over with his thumb. A blue-bordered card. Just what I needed. “I activate White Dragon Ritual.” He threw a Spell Card into his Duel Disk, reinventing it before him seconds later. A blue-ish glow emitted out of the card’s picture frame. “With it, I’ll offer the Swordstalker from my hand in order to summon – Paladin of White Dragon!”
Kaiba thrust his arm forward, simultaneously releasing a monster through the card’s wall of aura. The monster was essentially a baby version of Blue-Eyes White Dragon – its wings were small and veiny and its smooth head lacked the Blue-Eyes White Dragon’s three pronged spikes. Mounted on top, a warrior, adorned in blue and gold armor, tamed the young dragon. It swung its long sword above the dragon’s head, while the dragon playfully opened its mouth, revealing the tiny needle-shaped fangs. It hovered just above Vorse Raider, where it stared at Adam with its egg-yellow eyes. (1900/1200)
“Neither of his monsters can break through Adam’s defenses,” Josh whispered. “What is he doing?”
“Watch,” Peter said.
“Next I’ll activate Stop Defense.” Kaiba lifted another Spell Card out of his hand. “In case you can’t figure it out, this card allows me to change one of your Defense Position monsters to Attack Position, and I choose your Fallen Hero Clayman.”
Fallen Hero Clayman stood upright, as if by its own will. (800/2000) Once again, Adam didn’t react.
“Now Vorse Raider, attack!”
The raider obeyed, charging at the rock-armored monster with axe in hand.
“Just as I planned – Clayman, stop the attack!”
Just as Vorse Raider flung its axe towards its opponent, Clayman clutched the blade with its bare hands, halting the raider in its tracks.
“What?!” Kaiba took a half-step forward. “But how!”
Adam brushed the lone strand of red hair into his black spikes.
“When Fallen Hero Clayman is attacked, I can banish it to destroy the attacking monster and inflict 800 damage to you.”
Clayman tighten its hold on the blade, shattering it. The now weaponless Vorse Raider backed away slightly, only to get tackled by the colossal figure. Clayman grappled Vorse Raider, charging all the way across the field, slamming straight into Kaiba as they both burst into a dust cloud of gravel. Kaiba dug his heels into the ground, held a hand to his heart. [Kaiba LP: (8000 --> 7200)]
“Hey Dave.” Josh tapped him on the shoulder. “What does banish mean?” He remembered hearing the same phrase during his duel the receptionist, figured it was another game mechanic.
“It’s another game mechanic.” Josh’s instincts always knew best. “Banished is when a card is sent out of the game, but not placed in the Graveyard. Instead they go to their own section that’s usually not specified. But unless a card says otherwise, it’s assumed that all cards are sent to the Graveyard.”
So cards can be sent out of the game? Josh gazed at Kaiba. And I guess there’s cards even famous duelists haven’t heard of too.
Kaiba recomposed himself, brushing dust off his sleeve. “You think a few stones are gonna stop me? I’ve still got another monster ready to pounce! Paladin of White Dragon – direct attack!”
The young dragon dove at Adam; the mounted knight sliced its blade through Adam’s left arm, forcing him to cringe despite his best efforts to hide his pain. [Adam LP: (8000 --> 6100)]
“And I’m not done yet,” Kaiba said, bringing his hand close to his deck. Paladin of White Dragon returned to his side. “I activate Paladin of White Dragon’s special ability, allowing me to replace it with a stronger version of itself.” The mounted knight on Paladin of White Dragon disintegrated, transforming into a blue aura which engulfed the young dragon. “Now, come forth –” Kaiba ripped a card out of his deck, slapped it on his Duel Disk. “– mighty Blue-Eyes White Dragon!”
The young dragon let out a child-like roar as the aura intensified, consuming its body completely, reshaping it. The dragon grew; its fangs became sharper, its figure more built and jagged, and its wings wider than before. The dragon’s roar continued to resonate throughout the arena, now fierce and threatening. It had reached its adult stage, gaining its title as the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. (3000/2500)
“Lucky for you, my Blue-Eyes can’t attack the turn it’s summoned by Paladin of White Dragon, so take your turn.”
Josh bent forward, whispering. “I can’t believe he’s able to summon the same monster in so many different ways.”
Dave turned. “Are you surprised? Some people specialize their decks so they can summon one monster over and over.” He pulled out his Card Analyzer. “Just look at me and my Black Luster Soldier.”
“That’s true…” Josh clapped his hands together, stared at them. I’d like to have a card like that.
Back on stage, Adam held up his Duel Disk, facing the red slot away from his head. “Rise, Fallen Koumori Dragon!”
Purple flames surged out of the red slot, flaring out until the purple dragon came forward. (1500/1200)
“I’ll set another card face-down and end my turn.”
“If you’re gonna do the same thing over and over again you should at least make it interesting.” Kaiba threw an orange bordered card down. “I summon Kaiser Sea Horse!”
A purple- and blue-armored sea horse majestically descended onto the field, holding its golden trident close to protect its master. (1700/1650)
“Now, Kaiser Sea Horse, attack his Fallen Koumori Dragon!”
The bipedal seahorse dashed forward, aiming its spear for Fallen Koumori Dragon’s head. The purple dragon brought its wings closer to its face.
“I activate Negate Attack!”
Just as Kaiser Sea Horse thrust its spear, a warp hole opened, soothingly absorbing the blow. Since it failed, Kaiser Sea Horse saw no reason to stay, returned to Kaiba.
“Stall tactics can only last so long,” Kaiba remarked.
“I don’t need to stall anymore,” Adam said, without glancing at his drawn card. He held up his Duel Disk again. “Time to bring out my own ace monster. Rise, Fallen Hero Avian!”
A flurry of feathers flew out his Duel Disk, spiraling together into a tornado that extended to the ceiling. After a few moments of gusts, a humanoid creature appeared from the dispersing tornado, spreading the feathered wings attached to its dull, green armor. It crossed its clawed-gauntlets in front of its torso, knelt down next to Fallen Koumori Dragon. (1000/1000)
Kaiba laughed. “Sorry, but if that’s your ace then you may have to raise your standards.”
Adam gave a cold stare. “I’m not done yet.”
“Another Fallen Hero?” Peter said. “He must be preparing to Fusion Summon something.”
“Hang on, look at this.” Dave held out his Card Analyzer, tilting the screen so Josh and Peter could see.
“Fallen Hero Avian
This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card can Special Summon itself from the Graveyard. You can only Special Summon 1 “Fallen” monster this way per turn. If a non-“Fallen” monster exists in your Graveyard, you may not Special Summon this card this way. This card’s name is also treated as “Elemental Hero Avian”. Once per turn, this card can attack as many times as the number of monster(s) you control when you activate this effect. If this effect is used, this card cannot attack your opponent directly, and your other monsters cannot attack.”
Josh blinked. “I don’t get what you’re trying to say.”
Dave pointed under its attribute. “It’s also a Tuner.”
“Now, I’ll tune my Fallen Hero Avian with my Fallen Koumori Dragon.”
Avian stood up; three glowing, dark red feathers jetted out of its wings, encircling its body. It leaped directly above Fallen Koumori Dragon, shooting out more feathers, four pitch-black ones, which surrounded the dragon below. Adam stepped forward, brushing the strand of red hair once again.
“It’s time to introduce the most trustworthy monster I know.” He held out both arms, as if he were summoning a god above. “Rise – my loyal Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon!”
Kaiba’s eyes darted out of his head. Red-Eyes?
The feathers surrounding both monsters quickened, soon creating two rings, red and black, from their speed. The rings slowly floated towards each other, leaving a thin barrier of their respective colors in their wake, acting as a veil between the two monsters and the outside world. The rings collided, blending together, swirling into a red and black tower. It crackled, sending streaks of red lightning across the room. Two dark red eyes pierced through the black core of the tower, finally smashing out of it with ferocious force. Its eyes met with the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, let out an ear-splitting roar to assert its challenge. (2400/2000)
The sound sent a jolt through Josh; his pupils dilated, and he broke into a cold sweat.
“The Red-Eyes Black Dragon,” Dave said, watching in awe. Peter did the same. Josh recovered from his amazement.
“Uh guys,” Josh said, glancing back and forth between the two. “What’s the Red-Eyes Black Dragon?”
Dave answered without looking away. “It’s a card used by another famous duelist. It’s also said to be the counterpart of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon.”
Josh turned to Peter. “Is that true?”
Peter nodded. “It’s said that while the Blue-Eyes White Dragon represents power, the Red-Eyes Black Dragon represents potential.” He paused long enough for Josh to turn back to the duel. “They’re polar opposites in nearly every way imaginable.”
That’s Wheeler’s best monster, Kaiba thought. So, he’s trying to insult me by playing an amateur’s card at a public event. “Not to disappoint you, but your Red-Eyes doesn’t have enough fire power to defeat my Blue-Eyes.”
Adam held up another card. “I never said I was attacking.” He flipped it over, revealing a Spell Card depicting a Red-Eyes Black Dragon. “I activate Inferno Fire Blast, which allows my Fallen Red-Eyes to inflict damage to you equal to its original ATK.”
Kaiba braced himself as the opposing dragon inhaled, gathering molten fire between its fangs. It exhaled sharply, shooting the blast beyond both of Kaiba’s monsters, striking him directly in the chest. It tore across his body; using sheer will, Kaiba kept himself from flying backwards. He lunged himself forward, catching his stomach with his left arm. [Kaiba LP: (7200 --> 4800)]
“That all?” Kaiba asked calmly, standing erect.
“No.” The image of another Spell Card flashed beside him. “I activate Creature Swap. Each of us picks a monster we control and the two monsters trade places.”
Why would he do that? Josh thought.
If he thinks I’m giving him my Blue-Eyes he’s out of his mind. Kaiba stuck out a finger. “I choose Kaiser Sea Horse.”
“And I pick Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon.”
Both monsters peacefully walked to the opposite sides of the field. They crossed paths, failed to acknowledge each other, instead looked to please their new masters. They turned around, poised for battle.
“So you gave me a strong monster in order to obtain a weaker monster,” Kaiba chuckled. “What kind of move was that?”
A desperate groan erupted from the Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon; everyone gaped at it in sudden confusion. It strained its body, flailed its neck around madly as if in severe pain.
“What the hell,” Kaiba said. He addressed Adam immediately. “What did you do to my dragon!”
“Not your dragon,” Adam retorted. “There’s a reason I called Fallen Red-Eyes the ‘most trustworthy’ monster in existence.” He held out a hand, pointed to the dragon. “It’s so loyal to its owner that when it switches sides it automatically destroys itself to damage anyone who tries to tame it!”
“What!” Kaiba had no time to react as the dragon thrust its wings outward, exploding violently. Kaiba could only close his eyes and embrace the cloud of darkness that now submerged his field. [Kaiba LP: (4800 --> 3600)]
“I don’t believe it,” Dave said, sliding closer to the duel. “Adam has the lead.”
Peter echoed his remark. “But for how long?”
The cloud cleared; Kaiba was covered in black ash and dust. He rubbed it away from his eyes, began to shout at Adam.
“Flashy plays can only get you so far!” He whipped the top card off of his deck, throwing back another without ever taking the time to breathe. “I activate Soul Exchange! This allows me to use monsters you control as Tributes for my cards this turn.
“And thanks to Kaiser Sea Horse’s effect, it can be treated as two monsters for the Tribute Summon of a LIGHT attribute monster.”
The Kaiser Sea Horse nodded, began to glow with a bright yellow aura.
“You’re not the only one who can manipulate their cards.” Kaiba snickered. He slapped down another pale card. “Come forth – Blue-Eyes White Dragon!”
Kaiser Sea Horse bowed to its owner, willingly succumbing to the force that tore through its spirit. Another Blue-Eyes White Dragon rose out of the aura, circled Adam once, then returned to its rightful place next to its brother. (3000/2500)
“Adam’s wide open now,” Peter said. “He may have the lead Life Point-wise but Kaiba dominates the field.”
Josh considered this. I guess there’s a lot more to think about than meets the eye…
Adam looked to the Blue-Eyes on his left, then to the other on his right, then to Kaiba.
“Lucky for you my monsters can’t attack the turn Soul Exchange is activated, so you have one more turn before I end this.” Without any cards remaining in his hand, Kaiba crossed his arms. “Your move.”
Adam drew, never taking his eyes off his opponent. Then, once again, he retreated into his hand.
Josh turned to Dave. “Do you think he can do it?”
But Dave was lost in the duel. Adam was able to wipe out my entire deck with just two cards. And he’s already proven to be master strategist in this duel alone. He hated to admit it, although the truth was there: This duel really could go either way.
Adam’s eyes went between each card – back and forth, back and forth – slowly, yet each moment brought new possibilities. And new threats.
How long does it take to look over two cards? Kaiba thought. For the first time since the duel’s start, he peered into the crowd, watching the shadowed figures watch him. No, not him. Adam. The duelist whose plays were subtle, yet lethal.
The duelist who plays to win.
“Make your move already!” Kaiba called. “I’m starting to get impatient.”
Adam, seemingly awakened, delicately brought a finger to his Graveyard slot. The crowd held their breath.
As did Kaiba.
“I summon Fallen Hero Sparkman in Attack Mode.”
Streaks of electricity flooded out of his Duel Disk, dancing on the ground collectively until it gathered into a humanoid shape. The static merged, transforming into yellowish armor along with a blue-plated helmet and boots. Two wing-like flaps stuck out of its back, acting as reflectors when the warrior unleashed its electrical powers. (1600/1400)
“Now I activate Call of the Haunted!” The purple card rose, revealing a misty cemetery scene on its image. “And I’ll use it to revive my Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon!”
Mist poured out of the purple card, filling the stage in a thin, spooky layer. The dragon’s signature red eyes resided in the mist, followed by its silent groan. With a single thrust of its wings the mist vanished, replaced by the belligerent black dragon. (2400/2000)
Of course, Dave thought. He can still summon his Fallen monsters by other card effects.
“And finally I activate the Spell Card, Double Grave Ceremony.” Two tombstones rose on either side of Adam’s field, with him standing at the center. “Each turn this allows me to summon an additional Fallen monster by their own effects.”
So he’s gonna bring back another? Kaiba thought. He’s already used four of his five monsters against me at least once this duel. They’re all too weak to take me on. He glanced at the face-down card before him, which had been laying there the entire time. And if he tries anything, my Shadow Spell card will stop him in his tracks.
Adam hesitated. His eyes lingered around the field, lost in thought. First at his Red-Eyes, then at Sparkman, then at Kaiba’s face-down card (which unnerved Kaiba a bit), and then finally at the single card he held in his hand. He kept his eyes there for what felt like an eternity.
Well, what’s he gonna summon? Josh thought. He just said he can summon another monster but then he just… stopped.
It must have to do with that card. Kaiba watched Adam intently. He’s probably trying to form a very precise strategy but he only has one shot at getting it right.
Adam brought the card to his side. “I offer my Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon –” the dragon disintegrated, reverted back into the mist it once was. “– in order to summon my Fallen Flame Swordsman!”
The mist gathered together, igniting into a flurry of embers. A muscular warrior emerged out of the fire, heroically transferring the flames to its burning sword. Contrary to its name, the warrior wore tight, blue clothing, although an orangey-red sash drooped around its waist. Its head gear was the same shade of red; a spike shot straight up above its forehead, and two sharp pieces drooped from either side of the spike like the blade-end of a hammer. It knelt, holding its sword across its chest. (1800/1600)
Kaiba silently grumbled, though no one in the crowd could tell. I’m getting tired of all the Wheeler references today.
Isn’t that the card Elisa used in her lesson? Josh subconsciously put his hand on his pocket, fumbling the Card Analyzer there. That card was a Fusion Monster. But this card doesn’t seem to be a Fusion Monster at all.
“And with my Fallen Flame Swordsman’s special ability, I’ll transfer all of its ATK points to my Fallen Hero Sparkman.”
Fire flew out the warrior’s sword, consuming Sparkman in a bright light. The flames did not burn or hurt, instead it empowered the hero with confidence.
[Fallen Hero Sparkman (1600 --> 3400/1400)]
[Fallen Flame Swordsman (1800 --> 0/1600)]
Adam extended his arm, gripping the lone card in his opposite hand tightly with his fingertips. “Sparkman, attack his Blue-Eyes White Dragon!”
Sparkman pranced across the field, electricity trickling from its palms, dancing around the flame aura surrounding its body.
Hmph. Kaiba pressed a button, triggering his face-down card. Chains broke out of the card’s surface, binding the hero by its wrists and ankles. More chains wrapped themselves around its torso, tightening their grasp.
“Thanks my Shadow Spell Trap Card, your Fallen Hero can’t attack or change its Battle Position.” Kaiba boastfully stomped ahead. “On top of that, it loses 700 ATK points!”
Sparkman wriggled around, trying to break away from the chains. Despite its enhanced power, it simply could not escape. (3400 --> 2700/1400)
Adam focused deeply on the lone card in his right hand. Stared at it. Almost through it. At last, he brought it down again.
“I end my turn.”
“For a second I thought you were gonna do something impressive,” Kaiba mocked. “But then you proved to be like everybody else.” He uncrossed his arms, readying two fingers to draw. “Allow me to show you how a real duelist plays!”
Kaiba drew, sneered. He wanted to laugh. Even after all this time his deck always knew how to amuse him.
“I activate Card of Demise which allows me to draw cards until I have five in my hand,” Kaiba grasped onto his deck, skillfully fanning out five new cards. “In exchange, I’ll have to discard my entire hand in five turns. Of course, that won’t be necessary ‘cause I’m gonna end it right here!”
He threw a green card into a gray slot, causing an old, beaten scroll to appear on the floor beyond his monsters. “Thanks to my Ancient Rules card, I can summon any Level five or higher Normal Monster in my hand. Which means I can bring out my third Blue-Eyes White Dragon!” He shot his arm toward the sky, seemingly causing the scroll to unravel; a spiral of glitter jetted out of the paper, forming a portal for the final Blue-Eyes White Dragon to enter. It roared vigorously as it descended near the stage, where it floated between, yet slightly above, its two counterparts. (3000/2500)
“And now that I have all three of my Blue-Eyes White Dragons on the field I can activate this!” He presented the green card to Adam, as if shoving it in his face. “Delta Attacker!”
The Blue-Eyes White Dragons flew high into the air, near the ceiling. They maintained their positions, and a blue triangle-pattern connected the three entities together.
Dave fell back. “This is it.”
“Since I have all three copies of my Blue-Eyes White Dragon out on the field, each of them can attack you directly!” He clutched his left hand into a fist. Above him, each dragon charged a blue energy sphere, holding it with their teeth. “Game over.” He stabbed an accusing finger at Adam, sentencing him to death. “Blue-Eyes White Dragon, White Lightning attack!”
Each of the three Blue-Eyes White Dragons opened their mouths wide, sucking in air with tremendous force. Seconds later blue streaks of light formed, expanding until they became three overflowing spheres of light.
Adam stood below, watching this all occur.
The three dragons roared in unison, firing their blasts simultaneously, combining them into one enormous ray. The beam rained down on Adam, submerging him, pushing him towards the ground with the force of a waterfall.
He gritted his teeth in an attempt to keep his composure, but ultimately gave in. His grip loosened, releasing the lone card from his grasp, sending it fluttering onto the floor nearby. Blue streams continued to fall endlessly, nearly blinding him with their intensive might. [Adam LP: (6100 -->-->--> 0)]
Hmph, about time. Kaiba retracted his Duel Disk, separating its platform into two smaller pieces, bringing them back to its sides.
“And the winner is, the great, Seto Kaiba!”
Cheers and clamor erupted in the arena, growing louder as each hologram faded away. Adam stumbled, yet never showed any sign of regret or sorrow. Kaiba approached the announcer, who had stepped by Adam’s side.
“Damn,” Peter said, “I can’t think of one way Adam could’ve gotten out of that one.”
Josh nodded. “Yeah, that was some move.”
But that card, Dave thought, still focused on the stage. He stared at his hand for a long time, but in the end did nothing with it.
The cheers died down, and with a wave of Kaiba’s hand, the crowd fell into complete silence. The announcer held up his microphone, holding out his own hand.
“Will Dave Litenur please come on down!”
That snapped him out of his trace. Dave lifted himself off his seat, glanced at Josh (who smiled and gave him a thumbs-up), and rushed through the audience, eventually reaching the stage’s stairs.
Kaiba waited impatiently. Now that the tournament was over, he could finally focus on more important matters.
Like that phone call from Pegasus…
“Adam Prince –” the announcer nodded to Adam, then turned to Dave “– Dave Litenur – “ he nodded again, waving his arm out again. “Both of you dueled with skill and elegance like no other…”
Blah, blah, blah. Kaiba subtly shook his head. So much pointless blabbering, just get on with the goodbye speech so we can go home already. He needed to zone out, that always made these things go by faster. His gaze fell towards the ground, by Adam’s feet.
A card rested there, unnoticed by the audience. He assumed it was the last card Adam held before his defeat. It must’ve fallen when his Blue-Eyes blasted him to oblivion. He looked closer, trying to decipher its image.
Then, at least, he recognized it. He knew the card well – he even had one of his own in his deck – and knew it to be one of the most powerful Trap Cards in existence. The Ring of Destruction.
Just then, a thought flashed through his mind, so quickly that it struck him like a spark of lightning. The thought crackled along his brain, taking it over. He became deaf to everything else while it echoed between his ears.
He remembered the final moments of their duel, just after Adam revived his Fallen Hero Sparkman and threw out his Double Grave Ceremony card to summon another Fallen monster. Adam activated Call of the Haunted to bring back his Fallen Red-Eyes, which he would proceed to sacrifice to summon Fallen Flame Swordsman. Only, in this vision, he didn’t. He offered the Fallen Hero instead.
“And with my Fallen Flame Swordsman’s special ability, I’ll transfer all of its ATK points to my Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon.”
[Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon (2400 --> 4200/2000)]
[Fallen Flame Swordsman (1800 --> 0/1600)]
At this point, Adam only had one card left in his hand. He stared at it again, then looked to Kaiba’s face-down card. From the look in his eyes, Kaiba knew he expected an attack to backfire.
“I’ll place one card face-down and end my turn.”
Kaiba would then draw, and smirk. Everything had laid out perfectly for him. Even with Adam’s stronger dragon protecting him, Kaiba still managed to overpower him. He continued his moves, right up to Delta Attacker. The three dragons flew upward, and poised to attack.
“I activate my Trap Card!” Adam shouted, raising his arm. “Ring of Destruction!”
The metallic tire constricted the black dragon, bursting moments later.
[Kaiba LP: (3600 --> 0)] [Adam LP: (6100 --> 1900)]
Kaiba leapt back, traumatized.
He couldn’t contain his screams.
Even after this long train of thought, the announcer continued to babble to the two finalists. Kaiba came back to reality, found himself still staring at the card on the floor. A hand snatched it away, awakening him with urgency, and his eyes darted to the hand’s owner. Adam lifted the card, met Kaiba’s gaze, then nonchalantly slipped it back into his deck without ever attracting any attention.
Kaiba glared at him. More thoughts poured into him, flowing throughout his blood stream. That move wasn’t farfetched. He knew it. Adam proved himself before by wiping out Dave’s deck without even knowing if he would succeed. Yet he knew.
His eyes searched the crowd until his disappointment set in. He turned back to the finalists, and found Adam’s eyes gazing into his own.
Kaiba clutched his fist; he saw something in Adam’s stare that somehow mocked him. Adam seemed to be gesturing the tantalizing thought that tormented Kaiba’s mind, without ever making a single move:
“I could have won.”
Card Analyzer activated…
Accessing Card Database… Searching for Card Data …
… Data Found:
Fallen Flame Swordsman
This card cannot be Normal Summoned or Set. This card can Special Summon itself from the Graveyard by offering 1 monster on your side of the field as a Tribute. You can only Special Summon 1 “Fallen” monster this way per turn. If a non-“Fallen” monster exists in your Graveyard, you may not Special Summon this card this way. This card’s name is also treated as “Flame Swordsman”. During either player's turn, you can have this card lose any amount of ATK to have another face-up monster gain an equal amount of ATK.
Fallen Red-Eyes Black Dragon
1 Tuner monster + 1 or more “Fallen” monsters
Synchro Material Monsters used to Synchro Summon this card are banished instead of being sent to the Graveyard. This card can Special Summon itself from the Graveyard after it is Synchro Summoned by offering 2 monsters on your side of the field as a Tribute. You can only Special Summon 1 “Fallen” monster this way per turn. If a non-“Fallen” monster exists in your Graveyard, you may not Special Summon this card this way. This card’s name is also treated as “Red-Eyes B. Dragon”. If control of this card changes from its original owner, destroy this card immediately and inflict 1200 damage to its current controller.