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Old 04-02-2007, 09:59 AM   #1
Yami Ron
Pokemon Trainer
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A Yu-Gi-Oh! Story: The First 6 (5 1/2) Chapters

Hi everyone. I decided to post my old story up on here looking at all of the literature going about. I may try to continue to write upon it eventually (that tag team duel just has to end sometime ^^;). It also needs some serious updating too. However, please enjoy regardless.

Chapter 1
We start off this story with Ron and Ishizu, holding hands as they walk through a dense forest on the road to Nickosus’ Castle. Ishizu suddenly stops. Ron stops immediately.
“What’s wrong?”
“Oh, my Pharaoh, I sense danger to happen to our Millennium Items in the near future.”
“Nonsense my queen, as long as I’m here nothing will happen to your item. I promise.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes I’m sure. What is the vision you saw?”
“I must not say. I don’t want to interfere with the future timescale.” The couple starts to walk once again.
“I understand. We should be at the castle in 30 minutes at this pace.”
“Wonderful, I can’t wait to see little sister again.”
Unbeknownst to the couple, Arnie Hopkins was spying on the couple from the shadows of the forest.
“Millennium Items up the yin-yang for the taking. My master will be pleased.” Arnie holds up his deck and draws the first card off of it and looks at it. “No one can stop the power of my Shadow Ghoul. Ha ha ha! I must report to Kazakura immediately.”
Over at Duelist Kingdom Castle, Nickosus and his wife Kurai were in the dining room eating an appetizer before dinner.
“Our dinner guests Ronnie-boy and Ishizu are coming in for a visit today, my dear Kurai.” Nickosus’ Eye gleams. “In fact they’ll be here in half an hour roughly.”
“Oh that’s wonderful. It has been ages since I’ve seen my sister. I hope she is doing well.”
“Trust me. Through her Necklace and Ron’s Puzzle, they’ll be all right. Just don’t try anything silly with your Rod while they’re here.”
Kurai acts innocently and smiles, “Who me?”
Kurai’s inner conscience takes over. “Ron is not fit to have the power of the Pharaoh. That power should belong to its rightful owner! When I obtain the Millennium Puzzle, the world and Nickosus shall bow down to ME... Queen Kurai!!!!”
Nickosus was looking at his wife with concern. “Are you okay, dear?”
Kurai’s smile widens. “Nothing at all, Nicky. Don’t worry.”
“Hmmm...” was all Nickosus could answer.
Pooka and Ditrinity, brother and sister of the story, have arrived at Duelist Kingdom and just unboarded the ship and are on the pier. Pooka is an up-and-coming duelist who wants to take on Nickosus, Creator of the Cards.
“Well sis, we finally made it to Duelist Kingdom.”
“Yes, big brother, I see. Why did you bring me here?”
“I heard that our friend Ron was on the island. I wanted to see him and try to duel him to see how far I’ve come along in Duel Monsters.”
“But where do we start, Pooka? The island is gigantic!”
“Well, Ditrinity... I don’t know. Heh...”
Ditrinity points to something! “Oh look, Pooka! A sign!” She runs to the sign with Pooka quickly following behind her.
“It reads, ‘Nickosus’ Castle 5 miles’ and it has an arrow pointing towards the middle of the island.”
“Well if I know Ron, that would be the first place he’d go.” So the two siblings trekked towards the castle.
Also coming off the ship, a mysterious female watched the two siblings walk into the forest. “So Ron is on the island. Even though the siblings have nothing I want, Ron’s Millennium Puzzle will be perfect for my growing collection of power. Now, Millennium Ring, tell me the direction of the Puzzle!”
Two of The Ring’s locator points cooperated with Kazakura’s request. Suddenly, the Millennium Ring did something weird. The Ring was actually pulling Kazakura with little resistance, almost making her trip, all 5 locator points pointing strongly in the same direction the siblings are going. Kazakura was able to calm the Ring down.
“So there is more than one Millennium Item on this island. Perfect! I always have room for more. Now where is that assistant of mine, Arnie? He was supposed to meet me here almost an hour ago. I should just send him to the Graveyard just to please me.”

Chapter 2
Arnie arrived at the pier almost out of breath and noticed a pretty upset Kazakura waiting for him.
“What took you so long, mortal? You were so close to being sent to the graveyard.”
“Sorry boss, it is tough to find Ron on an island of this size. But I finally did spot him and Ishizu quickly approaching Nickosus’ castle. I ran the whole way back.”
“Ishizu is the holder of the Millennium Necklace. So there really are more treasures for me to grab. Excellent work, Mr. Hopkins. When nightfall comes, we will raid the castle.”
“How will you propose we will do that, Kazakura?”
“Not us, you! YOU will use your Shadow Ghoul deck to defeat each of the Millennium Item owners! One you defeat them, you will be able to obtain each item to give to me.”
“But what if I lose a duel? And what are you going to do?”
“Well, let’s just say, you don’t want to know the consequences. As for me, I have new tasks that I must finish quickly.”
“Gulp. Yes, boss. I’ll do my best to win.”
“You better.” Arnie headed off for the castle. Meanwhile, Kazakura was up to her old tricks. “Maybe Pooka and Ditrinity would like to know the power of the Shadow Realm. Hahahaha!” So Kazakura followed Pooka and Ditrinity into the island, keeping a safe distance so she wouldn’t be spotted right away.
A knock was heard at the castle entrance.
“Do you want me to get it Master Nickosus?”
“No need, Mozz. My wife and I will welcome our guests. COMMMMMINNNNNGGG! Come along dear.”
“Sure thing, Nickosus. (To herself) Soon I will have my Puzzle!”
Outside the castle entrance, Ron and Ishizu were waiting patiently for the main castle doors to open.
“I hope Nickosus and Kurai haven’t gone to bed yet, Ron.”
“Nickosus is practically awake 23 hours a day. With that Millennium Eye of his, he hardly ever sleeps.”
“I know.”
Just then the big doors creak open and Ron and Ishizu could see nothing but darkness inside the castle. A voice slightly startled them. “Welcome back to my castle, Ronnie-boy. And hmm you’ve brought a guest. A very lovely guest at that. Hello Ishizu.”
Nickosus emerges from the shadows of the castle entrance.
“Nickosus you flatterer.”
“Hmm hmm hmm, I try.”
“Hey Nickosus long time no see. Doesn’t Mozz usually answer the door? The last time I was here, I barely escaped with my soul still intact with my body.”
“Indeed. As for Mozz, I told him that I wanted to answer the door personally since I knew who was coming.”
An Eye gleamed. Ron and Ishizu became a little nervous.
“That was a spectacular duel we had, Ronnie-boy. I almost won your Puzzle that day. Never fear, I have changed since then.”
“What do you mean, Nickosus?” Ron asked curiously.
“I was a loner. I only lived for the duel and the rewards. That is, until I met… Kurai. Come on out of the shadows, dear.”
Kurai walked up next to Nickosus from the shadows. When the women saw each other, they quickly exchanged a glare of concern before hugging each other with cries of “Sister!”
After the hug they spoke some more. “Kurai, I have not seen you in ages. What have you been up to?” Ishizu spoke.
Kurai smiled. “Nothing much. Just enjoying the company of Nickosus and keeping him on his toes. How about you, little sister?”
“Just about the same for Ron over here. A pharaoh must be healthy and strong to fulfill his duties. And I see to that.” She looked at Kurai suspiciously.
Kurai was thinking to herself. “My big sister is on to me, I must be careful.” Suddenly her inner-conscience took over. “Not to worry, Kurai. Everything’s going according to plan.”
Mozz spoke from the kitchen. “Master Nickosus, dinner will be served in 30 minutes.”
“Thank you, my Head of Security. Why don’t we all come inside and relax a spell before dinner. Ronnie-boy and I need to discuss some things in private. I assume you have some new dolls to show your sister, Kurai.”
“I sure do! Come, Ishizu. Follow me to my doll room.” Kurai quickly grabbed her sister’s arm, surprising Ishizu, and was almost literally dragging her towards the room.
Once Ron went inside, Nickosus closed the large doors behind him.
Frozen Flareon was guiding the helicopter to Duelist Kingdom with a not-so-surprising individual.
“Are we almost there, Frozen Flareon?”
“We’ll be there in a few minutes, big brother.” He paused. “Why do you need to go to Nickosus’ castle in the first place?”
“Let’s just say Nickosus’ Dueling Corporation has been a hinge in preventing my corporation from becoming the number one Fortune 500 business in the world in regards to manufacturing dueling supplies. I must defeat all obstacles getting in the way of my dreams. Now focus on flying the helicopter, little brother.”
“Okay.” Not another word was spoken in the helicopter as the two people approached their destination.

Chapter 3
Arnie rented out a bicycle and some rope with an anchor attached to it from the pier and sped off towards the castle. He arrived to the front entrance of Nickosus’ castle in practically no time at all.
“Hmm, I better not go in the front way because they’ll easily notice me.” Therefore, Arnie rode around to the back of the castle and found a part of the castle walls standing out in such a way it would conceal him in shadows. A window was seen 30 feet up. “Perfect. No one will suspect me to come in from the back.” He used the rope with the anchor and tossed it up to the window. After a couple misfires, the anchor caught the window sill and held fast. Arnie then started to climb up the rope.
“This is like taking candy from a baby. Master will be pleased.”
Ron and Nickosus entered the library of the large castle. The books were neatly organized on the shelves and strangely arranged by color.
“Lovely arrangement of books that you have here, Nickosus. I know you didn’t bring me here to read a particular one.”
“Of course not, Ronnie-boy. In the library we can talk to ourselves without any distractions.”
“Very well. So what did you want to talk to me about?”
“I need your help. I sense my dueling company is in great danger.”
“But why is that? Your dueling supplies have gone world wide with positive results. I myself have used the dueling system and have had no problems with it.”
“It is not the dueling supplies that are the problem. I’m sensing my precious company will be non-existent after tonight. Will you help me save my company?”
“Sure, Nickosus. Who are we supposed to stop?”
“That, I’m not sure. I have had no problems or conflicts with any of the other companies that are ranked lower than mine on the Fortune 500 list. Do we know anyone with so much greed and hatred to try and ruin me?”
Ron and Nickosus thought to themselves and then looked at each other at the same time with the same thought. “Archaic.”
Just then, Nickosus’ cell phone rang. He looked at the phone number before answering it. “Hello, Mozz. I told you not to disturb me while I’m in the library.”
“I know Sir, but we have an intruder on the fourth level of your castle. I’ve sent my best guards Kuno and Birtha out to ‘capture’ him.”
“Well done, Mozz. Keep me posted.” With that, Nickosus hung up.
“What if it is Archaic?” Ron asked curiously.
“We handle all conflicts on this island by duels, Ronnie-boy. The security here has some of the best duelists in the world, next to me of course. If our intruder makes it though my security, he’ll never make it past me. Hmhmhmhmmm.”
Kurai and Ishizu were standing in front of a golden door with a sign that said “Doll Room” on it. Kurai turned the knob and opened the door for her sister to enter.
“Come on in, Ishizu.” Ishizu nodded and cautiously walked into the dark room. Kurai entered and turned on the light. Ishizu was surprised at what she saw. There were Barbie dolls scattered all over the place. There must have been 200 of them. Some of them were not removed from their boxes. Also, many articles of Barbie clothing were lying about. In the far corner, there was a chair with scissors, tape, paint, pillow feathers, and other non-Barbie items placed neatly around the chair.
“You certainly have a lot of Barbie dolls. You must be a collector.”
“No, sis. I’m not collecting Barbie dolls. I’m bringing my favorite Duel Monsters cards to ‘life’.”
“To life? Explain, Kurai.”
“Well the Barbie dolls are not actually coming to life. Here let me show you some of my almost completed works.”
Kurai walked over to her chair in the far corner with Ishizu following. Above the chair was a ledge with five practically disfigured Barbie dolls. Kurai grabbed a blue doll from the ledge. “This one is named Mari. If you are familiar with Duel Monsters, I’ve tried to imitate the appearance of Marie the Fallen One.”
“I can see how you’ve cut this Barbie’s hair short and the aluminum foil horns attached to her head.” Ishizu looked at the shelf and admired one of her dolls. “Ooooh! This is a lovely remake of the Dark Necrofear.” She took the Necrofear off the shelf to study it. “I really like the way you did her foil outfit and the coloring of her boots. But I notice that you did some ‘carving’ to her midsection.”
Kurai snatched the doll from Ishizu and put it back on the shelf. “Do NOT touch my dolls! They’re for your eyes only. Necrophia is also one of my favorites. I still need to purchase some gold paint and some wire to complete Mari.” She turned her back to Ishizu, smiled at Mari and put it back on the ledge. “My other three dolls are named Dahlia, Ange, and Blanche.” Kurai pointed to each doll as she said their name.
“I notice that all your dolls deal with death.”
“What can I say, Ishizu. Death pleases me.”
There was a pause for Ishizu whether to continue the topic, but she changes the subject to something more important. Her Millennium Necklace started to glow brightly. “Let’s get down to business. I know what you are up to, sis. You are trying to take the Puzzle away from my Pharaoh, aren’t you?”
A sinister smile appeared on Kurai as she turned around to face Ishizu. “I figured you would know my plans, sister. You’re always trying to get in the way of what I want… power!”
Ishizu’s Millennium Necklace glows for an instant. “Well, you will not succeed in your endeavor tonight. I’m sure of it.”
“You dare underestimate the power of my Millennium Rod, dear sister? I can easily make you a victim of what I can do,” Kurai spoke as she threateningly held up the Rod in front of Ishizu, with the Rod’s Eye glowing dimly.
“Of course I don’t estimate you or your Rod, Kurai. As possessor of the Millennium Necklace, I must not interfere with the layout of the future too greatly, or else it could be catastrophic to all of us.”
Kurai lowered her Rod. “Very well, dear sister. I will prove to you for once that your Necklace’s foretelling will not come to pass this night!”
Kazakura was following the unsuspecting Pooka and Ditrinity in the dense forest of the Duelist Kingdom. After about two miles of walking, Pooka and Ditrinity made it to a clearing with paths going in several directions. A sign was posted informing the siblings the correct path to take.
“Big brother, I’m tired of walking. Can we take a rest?”
“Sure, Ditrinity. We have been walking for quite awhile now.” The two people found a large broken tree limb and decided to sit on it to rest. After a minute or two of resting, Kazakura began to strike. “Stand up mortals!”, a voice boomed over the heads of Ditrinity and Pooka and the trees of the clearing.
“Pooka, I’m scared,” Ditrinity said as she snuggled to Pooka for protection.
“Don’t be afraid, Ditrinity,” Pooka responded, albeit a little shakily. The siblings stood slowly. “Who’s there? Show yourself!”
“As you wish.” Kazakura slowly emerged from the path that led towards Nickosus’ castle. She started to walk up towards the siblings.
Pooka spoke first. “What do you want with us? I bet it is of no good.”
“I remember you! You were on the ship to this island and you seemed to have some sort of ulterior motives. What is your name and why are you here?”
“So many questions from these mortals. My name is Kazakura and I’m a Millennium Item collector.”
“We don’t have any Millennium Items! So leave us alone!”, Ditrinity screamed.
“Wait, sis. Our friend, Ron has a Millennium Puzzle. Oops.”
“I already know that, Pooka. The Millennium Puzzle is the ultimate prize that I seek.”
“How’d you know my name?”
“Never mind that, big brother! We’ve got to get out of here and tell Ron someone is after his Puzzle!” And then they ran past Kazakura and headed towards the path that led to the castle.
“There is no escape, mortals!” Kazakura closed her eyes and the Millennium Ring started to glow brightly. Almost instantly a blue dome of shadow covered the entire clearing of the forest, preventing Pooka and Ditrinity from escaping.
“Let us out! Let us out!”, Pooka and Ditrinity screamed as they banged on the barrier which was no good.
“There is no escape from the Shadow Realm.” Pooka and Ditrinity immediately stopped banging the barrier. “Well, there is one way you can escape.”
The siblings turned around to face Kazakura. “Please, tell us. We’ll do anything you ask,” Pooka said.
“You must duel me for your freedom. If you win, you can continue on towards the castle. However, if you lose, I’ll send both of you to the graveyard for the rest of your days.”
“Don’t duel her, big brother! There has to be another way.”
“There is no other option, Ditrinity. I will defeat Kazakura.” He turned to face Kazakura. “Let’s duel!”
“And that was your first mistake, mortal.”
Archaic and Frozen Flareon were approaching Nickosus’ castle. The helicopter was one-half mile from the target.
“Frozen Flareon, you have your parachute on?”
“Yes, Archaic, I do.”
“Good. Now put this helicopter on auto-pilot so we can be ready to jump.”
“Okay.” After a few buttons were pressed, the auto-pilot was engaged to fly back to DMASB Corp. Archaic got up and opened the door of the helicopter. “Ready, little brother?”
“Ready, big bro!”, Frozen Flareon said as he stood behind Archaic.
“Jump!” The brothers jumped out of the helicopter and started to freefall. About halfway down, they pulled the cords of the parachute. Two large parachutes folded out with a large DMASB Corporation logo printed on each one. The parachutes guided Archaic and Frozen Flareon to the back of the castle. The brothers then unbuckled their parachute equipment and walked to the walls of the castle.
“Look, big brother! Someone has already broken into the castle.” Frozen Flareon pointed to a rope that was anchored to a window sill.
“Hmmm, whoever broke into the castle just made things easier for us. The security will likely concentrate on that particular person and more than likely not even notice our presence.”
“Are we going up the rope too, Archaic?”
“No, Frozen Flareon. Then we will be easily found and bogged down in countless and pointless duels before we even get to Nickosus himself. I don’t want any third-party involvement.”
“Then how will we get in?”
“Simple. Since security should be currently on the upper levels of the castle, we have to go into the cellar of the castle and work our way up.”
“Look, Archaic, over there!” Frozen Flareon pointed to the opposite side to where they stood at the back of the castle.
“Great work, Frozen Flareon. That is the entrance to the basement I seek.” The two of them ran over to the cellar entrance and noticed that it was made of two gated doors of iron with a Master lock keeping the doors together.
“Just great! Now how can I get into this damn castle so I can get rid of my competition?”
“Not to worry, big brother. Look what I got!” Frozen Flareon reached into his pocket and pulled out a lock pick. The small item had been molded from previous successful picks of many kinds of locks.
“Master locks don’t get picked very easily, little brother.”
“We’ll see about that, Archaic.” Frozen Flareon guided the pick into the Master lock. After a few jiggles with the pick, the Master lock opened.
“Well, I’m impressed, Frozen Flareon. Remind me to give you a nice big raise once we get back to the corporation.” Archaic took off the lock and opened one of the iron-gated doors.
“Thanks, big brother!”

Chapter 4
Arnie was walking through the castle, unfamiliar with his surroundings. “How am I going to find Ron and Ishizu in a castle this big?” Arnie asked himself, walking with past knight armor and torches that lined the walls.
“Halt, intruder!” Two gentlemen emerged from a corner that Arnie was just about to pass. Arnie froze in his tracks. Both men wore a duel disk on their left arms.
“I guess this takes away the taking candy from a baby plan. Who are you?”
“We’re security for Master Nickosus. I’m Big Bad Birtha, and the strong guy next to me is Kuno.” Kuno cracks his knuckles in acknowledgement. Arnie gulps. “We’re here to stop you from whatever your objectives are in this castle.” Birtha points to Arnie and then reaches in his pocket to grab something.
“How do you propose to do that?” Arnie asks nervously.
“You must duel us.”
“Is that all? I was worried over nothing then. I have to duel the both of you to get past then? Shouldn’t be a problem.” Arnie smiles.
Kuno reaches in both of his pockets. “Crap! I must have left my deck in another pair of trousers.”
“Kuno, you absent-minded fool! Lucky for us, I have enough skill that rivals Nickosus himself. You won’t win, whoever you are.” Birtha pulls out a deck of Duel Monsters cards with the hand that was in his pocket.
“The name’s Arnie Hopkins, a name you’ll never forget.” Arnie then reached in his shirt pocket and pulled out his deck of cards.
“Do you have a duel disk?”
“I didn’t bring one.”
“Kuno, give him yours.” Kuno sadly took his duel disk off and gave it to Arnie. Arnie then put it on his left arm and was ready for action. Arnie and Birtha shuffled their decks and put them in the deck slot of the duel disk.
“I really wanted to duel this intruder,” Kuno said to himself.
Giving themselves enough field space for the virtual duel monsters, the two competitors simultaneously said “Duel!” and drew five cards each. Both life point indicators read 8000.
“Having home field advantage, I go first,” Birtha said as he drew a card. “I play Gemini Elf in attack mode (Level 4/1900 ATK/900 DEF) and place two cards face down. And that ends my turn.” The virtual card for the Gemini Elf appeared on the field and what emerged from the card was two beige-skinned female elves appeared on the field. One had yellow hair and wore a blue dress and the other had red hair and wore a purple dress. A tiny medallion hung from each Elf’s forehead.
“Twins!” Arnie smiled and draws a card. The Elves seem to blush with the statement. “I play a monster card face-down and two more cards face down. And end my turn.” The virtual game corresponds with a floating face-down horizontal card on the field with the two additional face down cads behind it.
“I draw. I play Change of Heart to control your face-down monster.” The magic card is played virtually and a female angel emerges from it. Half of her body in darkness and half in the light, she completely wore a white robe with a heart that seemed to be floating in front of it. She floats over to take the face-down monster card on the field and draws herself within it on Arnie’s side of the field. The card then floats over to Birtha’s side of the field. The duel disk corresponds by transmitting the card from Arnie’s duel disk to Birtha’s. Birtha flips the card into attack mode. “Giant Germ (Level 2/1000 ATK/100 DEF), eh? A large purple ball of germs appeared on the field accordingly with a small heart floating in front of it. Well since you are defenseless now, attack Arnie’s life points directly my Gemini Elf!”
Hearts formed around the two Elves as seemed to run with speed towards Arnie, lips puckered, in an attempt to kiss him.
“Sorry ladies. You activate my trap card, Magic Cylinder. So you will take 1900 LP damage instead of me, Birtha.” The corresponding trap card lifts up on the field to reflect the maneuver. From the Magic Cylinder card, two large cylinders appeared on the field side-by-side. The Gemini Elves frowned and the floating hearts shattered as they entered one of the cylinders. Seconds later, they emerged from the other cylinder, aimed for Birtha. Frowns turned to smiles and hearts reappeared as they targeted their current owner.
“Oh oh. Hi ladies. Don’t kiss me!” It was too late, however. The Elves gave Birtha a kiss on each cheek. Birtha couldn’t help but blush. Moments later, two medium-sized explosions appeared where the kisses landed. Birtha jumped back to reality as he was taken back a few steps from the impact. Birtha’s life points read 6100. “Oh well, I’m not mad by it. Giant Germ attack!” Giant Germ with the floating heart in front of it rammed himself into Arnie. Arnie took the hit and dropped to 7000 LP. “My turn ends.” The heart disappears from the virtual Giant Germ and the virtual card glides back over to Arnie’s side of the field. Correspondingly, the Giant Germ card transmits back over to Arnie’s duel disk.
“My turn. I draw and then I play the magic card Graceful Charity. Graceful Charity let’s me draw three cards and discard two.” The magic virtual card appears and a woman dressed in a green robe floated up from inside the card. Also having green angel wings and long flowing brown hair, her hands were cupped as a sparkling card was spinning in the air above them while her head was bowed to look at the gesture. As soon as Arnie was about to draw his three cards, Birtha countered the measure.
“I activate a trap card on my side of the field called Magic Jammer. By discarding one card from my hand, it negates your magic card.” The trap card lifts up to show the face of Magic Jammer. Suddenly a circle of fire appears below the Graceful Charity card. A ring of Egyptian characters surrounded the circle of flame and purple smoke began to emit from within. Upon contact with Graceful Charity, she winced in pain as the smoke seemed to pull her and the card she was standing on into the fire below. And there was no escape. Once Graceful Charity was devoured, the Magic Jammer card disappeared from the playing field.
“Well I’ll put a monster card face-down, turn Giant Germ into defense mode, and place one more card face down. That ends my turn,” Arnie said. Added cards to the field reflected his statement.
“Okay, I draw. Excellent! I play Injection Fairy Lily (Level 3/400 ATK/1500 DEF) in attack mode.”
“I’ve never seen a card like that before,” Arnie says as he watches the virtual card on the field glow and out emerges a beautiful lady with angel wings, pink hair, and wore white gloves. She had the appearance of a nurse as she carried a large syringe in her hands and hearts floating around her. She even wore a hat on her head with a heart on it. “I don’t even like needles.” Injection Fairy Lily teasingly pushed on the top of the syringe and a green fluid squirted out of it. Arnie quivered.
“Well it is time you got your flu shots, Mr. Hopkins. As for Lily, she is the only one of her kind, painted by Master Nickosus himself. He let me borrow Lily because she fits in with my deck theme. Now enough small talk! Gemini Elf attack Giant Germ!” The Elves didn’t waste any time as they swiftly gave the Giant Germ a kiss to each side of its infested body. The Elves went back to Birtha’s side of the field wiping their lips clean from the germs they obtained. As for the Giant Germ, it exploded into a cloud of smoke and disappeared from the playing field.
Arnie sent the Giant Germ card on his duel disk into the graveyard. “I’ll use the effect.” Arnie looks through his deck and special summons another Giant Germ in attack mode on the field.
“Injection Fairy Lily, attack the new Giant Germ!” Lily got her syringe ready and charged towards the new Giant Germ on the field.
“Your monster is weaker than mine, Birtha. Your monster will be destroyed.”
“Not if I use its effect.”
“What effect?”
“I must pay 2000 LP to increase the ATK of Injection Fairy Lily by 3000 only during the Damage Step. Now Lily, destroy the Giant Germ!” Lily injected half of the contents of the syringe into the large purple ball of germs, causing Giant Germ to expand and explode into a large cloud of smoke. The impact of the blast seemed to have affected Arnie. “It seems that Lily took care of your flu problem.”
“Uggghhhhh. Very funny, Birtha. Even though I take 2400 LP damage, you take 1000 additional damage.” The LP indicators read Birtha with 3100 life points and Arnie with 4600 life points.
“I place one more card face-down and end my turn,” Birtha acknowledges.
“Okay, let’s see. There must be a reason why he is reducing his life points so much. I must stay on guard,” Arnie thinks to himself and draws a card. “I place a card face down and flip Poison Mummy (Level 4/1000 ATK/1800 DEF) face-up on the field to give 500 more damage to your life points.” From the flipped up card, a red and blue creature emerged from the card, as well as a tombstone that appeared behind it. The creature was mainly of bone and little skin, if any. The mummy’s bandages were shredded from his body and had an appearance of a cape blowing in the breeze. However the bandages still covered a large part of Poison Mummy’s head, leaving one eye and his teeth exposed to Birtha.
“Errrrrrgh. Very well, Mr. Hopkins.”
“Now, I sacrifice my Poison Mummy to play my Shadow Ghoul (Level 5/1600 ATK/1300 DEF) in attack mode.” Poison Mummy withdrew back into the card it was standing on. After a few moments a dark glow appeared from the picture on the card. And then a tall, lanky, boney, large green monster with six legs and huge claws appeared. Nine red eyes were on Shadow Ghoul’s head and each joint on its body seemed to be replaced by another eye. Wild hair was present on top of its head. “My Shadow Ghoul gains 100 ATK for each monster in my graveyard. I also activate my trap card, Deal of Phantom, which also has the same effect. Having three monsters in my graveyard, my Shadow Ghoul’s attack becomes 2200.”
The Deal of Phantom trap card lifted up and a white shadow with two golden eyes emerged onto the field. The shadow possessed an amulet, with the gem amethyst placed in the center of it. The Phantom shadow then placed the amulet around the Shadow Ghoul’s neck. Suddenly the Shadow Ghoul began to grow proportionally. When it finished growing, it was one foot taller than its original size and looked even more menacing that before, if that was possible. “Now, Shadow Ghoul, attack the Gemini Elf! Will you counter my attack?”, Arnie questioned as he noticed the face down trap card on Birtha’s side of the field. Shadow Ghoul charged the Gemini Elves, claws ready to strike.
“Nah.” The Elves frowned at Birtha with broken hearts floating around them. They then looked back at Shadow Ghoul just in time to get sliced right in the midsection. Both Elves made a large cry and then exploded in a cloud of smoke. Birtha’s life point indicator read 2300 LP.
“Do you even care about your duel monsters?”, Arnie said to himself. “I end my turn.” The Deal of Phantom disappeared from the field as did the amulet from around the neck of the Shadow Ghoul. Shadow Ghoul then shrunk down six inches, but it still was a force to be reckoned with with an attack power of 1900.
Kuno, being quiet watching the entire duel fold out, finally spoke up. “Birtha, are you sure your dueling skills rival Nickosus? From the looks of it you’re getting slaughtered out there.”
Birtha drew a card and then turned to face Kuno. “Have you ever beaten me in a duel?”
“Let’s see… hmmm, uh, no.”
“Exactly my point. I know what I’m doing, so keep your peanut gallery comments to yourself!” Birtha turns back around to face Arnie and looks at his hand. “Now where was I? Oh yes, I place one more card face down and end my turn.” The virtual duel disk system reflected his play accordingly.
“I have to hold my face down trap cards for an emergency. I can’t play them now. However, I can win this duel on my next couple of turns, if I draw the right cards,” Birtha thinks happily to himself.
“My, my, what a lot of trap cards you have over there.”
“Well, I have to protect my life points at all costs.”
“My turn to draw.” Arnie draws, closes his eyes, and places the card to his forehead. “Please let this draw help me win the duel.” Arnie opens his eyes to look at the card.
“Well did your wish come true?”
“See for yourself! I play Harpie’s Feather Duster to wipe out all your trap cards on the field.” The magic card is summoned to the field and a very large white feather emerged from the card. The feather swayed towards Birtha’s three face-down trap cards on the field. If it touched the cards, the trap cards would be destroyed.
“We’ll see about that, Mr. Hopkins. I counter with a Magic Jammer of my own. I have to discard one card from my hand to negate the effect of your magic card.” The Magic Jammer trap card on Birtha’s side of the field flipped up and a familiar circle of fire with the ring of Egyptian characters as well as the purple smoke appeared on the field to drag the large white feather to a burning end.
“Birtha, did you forget about my face-down card. I figured you would try something like that. I activate my trap card Seven Tools of the Bandit.” The corresponding trap card on Arnie’s side of the field flips up. “By taking 1000 LP of direct damage, I can negate the effects of your trap card.” A large weapon that had the appearance of a Swiss Army Knife with a poison symbol on it emerged from the card. Seven different tools opened out of the weapon and approached the Magic Jammer in an attempt to dismantle it.
Birtha grits his teeth and thinks to himself. “I’m really in a pickle now. If I activate my counter card, my LP won’t be low enough to win the duel.”
“Well are you going to counter my Seven Tools card or will your trap card defenses be eradicated?”, Arnie says, full of smiles watching his Seven Tools move within a few feet from slicing the Magic Jammer to shreds.
“Very well, I guess I have no choice. I counter with my trap card, Solemn Judgment to counter your Seven Tools. By spending half of my LP, Solemn Judgment negates the action of your trap card.” One of the final two trap cards on Birtha’s side of the field flips up and three people emerged from the card. Two of the three were women with straight auburn hair in beige dresses. In front of them stood an elderly man with lengthy gray hair and a very long gray beard. He wore a green dress and wore a beige sash as a belt. Over of his green attire, the man wore a thick, open beige robe with very large sleeves. After a pause the elderly man closed his eyes and raised his left hand, forefingers extended, towards the part of the virtual field where the Harpie’s Feather Duster, the Magic Jammer, and the Seven Tools scenario took place. With a small white grow appearing around the raised hand, the elderly man performed an ancient chant. A couple seconds later, the three virtual magic and trap cards as well as the visual aids fizzled away to nothingness.
“Ha ha ha! Birtha, I’ve tricked you into using some of your trap cards without really having Harpie’s Feather Duster do the work.”
“Damn it, you’re right!” Birtha noticed that his three trap cards were suddenly one.
“Now, Shadow Ghoul, destroy the Injection Fairy Lily and wipe out the rest of Birtha’s life points!” Shadow Ghoul charged Lily, its large claws extended ready to deliver the final blow.
“My life points will be spared this turn. I activate my trap card Waboku. Even though my Injection Fairy Lily is destroyed, I take no damage this turn.” Birtha activated his final trap card on the field. Another trio of people, three women dressed in what appeared to be sleeveless light blue ponchos, emerged from the card and onto the field. The hoods were over their heads were made of a crinkled fabric and obscured their hair from view. Each woman wore a small head medallion and the woman that led the trio held a rusted bronze key with her two hands. The woman that held the key glided over to Birtha’s duel disk and virtually inserted the bronze key into the LP indicator while the other two women sung a quiet melody.
At that moment, Lily braced for Shadow Ghoul’s impact as the Ghoul with his massive claws left his mark on the syringe and the lovely nurse. Agonizing pain came from Lily with the slash while she dropped the syringe shattered into hundreds of pieces of glass before hitting the virtual floor and dissipated. Lily exploded shortly after that. Birtha’s LP indicator started to change to zero, but went back up to the original 1150.
“So you survived this turn. You won’t survive the next. My turn ends.” With that acknowledgement, Waboku disappeared from the virtual field.
Birtha sent Waboku to the graveyard, closed his eyes, and drew a card. “If there ever was a time I needed the heart of the cards, now is that time!” Birtha opens his eyes to see the card slowly. “Yes! This isn’t the card I need but it will help me. I play Pot of Greed. I can draw two additional cards from my deck.” Birtha then drew two cards and his eyes open wide. “Excellent! I drew one of the cards I need to win this duel,” Birtha thinks to himself. “However, Arnie must have another monster in his hand that can wipe out the rest of my LP. Damn! I have to play my monster card. Maybe I can defeat this wannabe duelist the traditional way.” He spoke up. “I place one card face down and play a monster in defense mode and end my turn,” Birtha said with a smile on his face.
“I draw a card.” Arnie then looks at Birtha. “I don’t know why you’re smiling. You have only 1150 life points remaining.” Arnie then looks at his hand. “Time to wipe out the rest of your LP, Birtha. I summon Pyramid Turtle (Level 4/1200 ATK/1400 DEF) in attack mode.” A giant turtle appeared on the field. Even though the lower half of the Pyramid Turtle’s shell was of a normal turtle, the upper half was a giant pyramid. “Shadow Ghoul, attack the face-down monster card!” Shadow Ghoul didn’t need a second order. It charged the face-down monster card, in an attempt to eliminate the final defense to Birtha’s life points.
“Not so fast, I activate my Magic Cylinder trap card! You can take the 1900 damage from Shadow Ghoul instead of me.” Two familiar large cylinders appeared on Birtha’s side of the field, one of them appeared on top of the face-down monster card Shadow Ghoul was about to slash. The Ghoul tried to flee from the absorption into the cylinder, to no avail.
As with the Gemini Elves earlier, Shadow Ghoul emerged from the second cylinder which was targeted right at Arnie. Arnie had nowhere to run as the Shadow Ghoul extended his claw and made one huge virtual slice in front of him. The sheer force of the slice knocked Arnie to the ground, red claw marks still visually showing on the field where the attack originally happened. Arnie’s LP went down to 1700.
Arnie wasn’t phased from his Shadow Ghoul attacking him directly as he quickly got on his feet confident as ever, sensing the duel nearing its end. “Well, since you have no trap cards on the field, attack the face down card, Pyramid Turtle!” Pyramid Turtle, a slow-moving creature, fired a red laser, full of intensity from the front of the pyramid at the virtual face-down card. Birtha flipped the face-down card on the duel disk which simultaneously flipped the virtual card, keeping it in defense mode. It was Jowgen the Spiritualist (Level 3/200 ATK/1300 DEF). Jowgen emerged from the card, down on one knee. He had the appearance of a bishop from the game of chess and he was almost completely dressed in ruby. Jowgen wore a ruby robe with gold patterns and extensions as well as four ruby tassels that flowed freely from the back of the robe. Although he also wore a golden head ornament, the most dominating item he possessed was a wooden ruby staff that he held with two hands which had a large, clear crystal on it. Jowgen closed his eyes and the crystal glowed bright white and provided a barrier from Pyramid Turtle’s attack. The laser hit the barrier and reflected off it, keeping Jowgen safe. “My Jowgen is strong enough to hold off your attack.”
“Darn it, I take 100 more life points of damage. Oh well, my turn ends.”
Birtha draws his next card. “NO! This is the other card I needed to win this duel, but I can’t use it! Arrgh!”
“Is something wrong over there, Birtha?”
Birtha’s anger turned to sadness. “I end my turn. You are extremely lucky, Mr. Hopkins. If my life points were a little lower, I would have won this duel for sure.”
Realization hit Arnie. “Ahh, I see your deck strategy now, Birtha. The strategy isn’t always successful. When it is successful, however, I know your technique must tick many people off.”
“You don’t know the half of it,” Birtha laughs, thinking about the countless times he has beaten the current Pharaoh with his strategy just for fun.
“Back to what you said about me being lucky. Luck didn’t win this duel. Nobody can beat my Shadow Ghoul deck. Nobody! I draw my card.” Arnie pauses. “You were a wonderful opponent, but now Nickosus awaits. Shadow Ghoul attack Jowgen the Spiritualist. Finally, Pyramid Turtle finish Birtha off by attacking his life points directly.” Shadow Ghoul sliced right through Jowgen’s barrier and the defense-bound Jowgen, cutting them both to shreds just in time for Pyramid Turtle to fire one final red laser, full of intensity at Birtha, causing him to shield his eyes and knock him to the ground and reducing his life points to zero.
The virtual dueling system turned off and Arnie walked over and extended his hand to Birtha. “Can I help you up?”
Birtha resisted at first but then extended his arm to be helped up. “You may have defeated me, but you will not defeat Nickosus. Kuno, call Mozz. Tell him the intruder has defeated us and anticipates his duel with Master Nickosus.”

Chapter 5
The duel between Pooka and Kazakura was nearing its end. The two of them were using a dueling mat that was laid on a tree stump in the forest. Pooka had the Wrestling Ring field card in play as well as his signature card Triple H (Level 8/2500 ATK/2500 DEF) in play. Kazakura’s previous turn had her summon Dark Necrofear to the field (Level 8/2200 ATK/2800 DEF). She also had two cards face down while Pooka had none on his side of the field.
“This duel is pretty much over, Kazakura! You only have 400 LP remaining.”
“You’re all talk and no action, mortal.” “I won’t even have to activate these trap cards to finish you off,” Kazakura then said to herself.
“We’ll see about that! Triple H, Pedigree Kazakura’s Dark Necrofear now!” The shadow figure Triple H didn’t hesitate. He charged at the defenseless Dark Necrofear at full speed, placed her head between his legs and then locked her arms within his. The baby doll that Dark Necrofear was holding was slapped out of her hands and bounced near a ring post.
“Pedigree! Pedigree!” Ditrinity cheered a safe distance from the duel. Shadow fans that were hidden from sight seemed to be also cheering their appreciation.
Then Triple H jumped and then landed knees first hard on the canvas. Dark Necrofear groaned loudly in pain and then shattered into nothingness, as did her baby doll. The shadow crowd went into an uproar. Ditrinity also followed suit with her own oohs and aahs and ran over to her brother’s side.
“When you play the Game, you lose!” Pooka said proudly, his life points at a solid 2000, while Kazakura’s LP dwindled down to just 100. “I end my turn.”
“You really are a rookie duelist, mortal. I’ve led you on this whole match.”
“What are you talking about? You are about to lose the duel next turn and then my sister and I are going to go find Ron and warn him of your intentions.”
A dark glow emitted from the Millennium Ring. “Fools! There is no next turn for you! Have you forgotten the effects of Dark Necrofear?”
“What effect?” Ditrinity and Pooka said simultaneously and nervously.
“Dark Necrofear’s effect allows me to control one of your monsters on the field. Therefore, I will take control of your Triple H wrestler. And since you have no Magic or Trap cards to defend yourself, you will lose the duel this turn. Now my Triple H, attack Pooka’s life points directly!” Triple H did an about face and stared down Pooka, with an evil look in his eyes. The shadow fans were shocked at the latest turn of events and were suddenly quieted.
“Don’t do it Triple H! NOOOOOO!” was all Pooka and Ditrinity could cry as Triple H climbed onto the nearest ring post to Pooka and literally jumped at Pooka’s head fist first. The wrestler connected with a right, knocking the siblings on the ground, flat on their backs. Pooka’s life points read zero. Triple H and the wrestling ring field soon dissipated into nothingness.
Kazakura, pleased by the performance, stood up from the tree stump and walked over to the siblings, her Millennium Ring glowing brightly in the dark shadows. “Well now, I think it is time for the Graveyard to accept two more mortals.” White ghostly hands started to emerge from the forest grounds and started to grab at Pooka and Ditrinity in an attempt to drag them down into the tombs below.
“No, you can’t do this, Kazakura! Leave us alone!”
“You’ve accepted this fate when you first accepted this duel, Pooka. Your sister will share the same reward as you. Your souls will belong to me very soon.”
Ditrinity was squirming out of the reaches of the ghastly hands while talking at the same time. “Please Kazakura, why are you doing this? We’ve never done anything to you. I mean, you have never met us before until today. Don’t you have any friends?”
The last word Ditrinity said seemed to strike a chord of warmth within Kazakura, if that was even possible. “No, I have never had a friend.” The Millennium Ring’s glow seemed to subside a little and the ghastly hands seemed to waver in their potency.
“Ditrinity and I will be your friends, Kazakura,” Pooka said, while also trying to break free of the hands that tried to grab him.
Kazakura stood motionless with her eyes closed, conflicting emotions questioning the thought. “Friends? For me? NO! Kazakura must NEVER have friends! But still…” Then she opened her eyes and spoke up. “IF you want to be my friends, STAY OUT of my way!” Her Millennium Ring glowed brightly at Pooka and Ditrinity and put them sound asleep. The ghastly hands receded back into the forest grounds and left the two siblings alone. Kazakura then, with a quick movement of her right arm, removed the Shadow Realm from around her. “That will keep you two out of my hair while I go after the Millennium Items.”
Kazakura looked at Pooka and Ditrinity with a very faint smile, then turned away and continued to head up the path that led to Nickosus’ Castle, determined to capture the Millennium Items for herself.
“So Nickosus, have you been capturing any souls in your Glory of the King’s Opposite Hand cards lately?” Ron chuckles.
“No, Ronnie-boy. Hmmhmmhmm, I locked those cards away after I married Kurai. However, I could always bring them back out to use on you.”
Ron’s Millennium Puzzle started to glow brightly. “I don’t think the spirit of the Puzzle would allow you to do that,” Ron smiled back at Nickosus. Then the both of them laughed to themselves.
A knock was heard on the doors entering the library.
The Millennium Eye gleamed. “Come in, Mozz.”
The door opened and the Head of Security for Nickosus’ castle entered. “Master Nickosus, our intruder as defeated Birtha in a duel and now has asked for your permission to duel you. His name is Arnie Hopkins.”
“I’m not familiar with this Mr. Hopkins. Very well. Have Birtha and Kuno send him to my duelist floor. I’ll meet him there. Where is my wife?”
“Kurai and Ishizu are still in the doll room as far as I know.”
“Contact them and have them meet us at the duelist arena.”
“Right away, sir. Dinner is almost ready though. What do you want me to do with your meal, Master Nickosus?”
“Leave it warming on the stove. I’m sure this duel won’t take long.”
“Very well, sir.” Mozz left the library and closed the doors behind him.
Ron stayed quiet while Nickosus and Mozz chatted amongst themselves until Mozz left. “Well, Nickosus, it looks like you have an opponent at last after all this time. I hope your dueling skills are still up to par.”
“As you know, I created all these wondrous Duel Monster cards, Ronnie-boy. I know each card’s strengths and weaknesses. It also doesn’t hurt when you possess the powers of the Millennium Eye,” Nickosus said while pointing to the Millennium item. “Would you like to watch the duel?”
“Of course I do. However, rival and friend, I don’t want you to have to resort to reading the minds of your opponents. If I’m going to watch this duel, I don’t want to see any cheating from you.”
“Cheating? And you think your Millennium Puzzle…” Just then, Nickosus’ Millennium Eye glowed brightly with the pupil emitting psychedelic colors. Nickosus grabbed his head and went down on one knee. “Urrrgh…. Ron?”
“Is something wrong, Nickosus?” Ron looked down at Nickosus, giving him a worried look.
“How… would… you feel about a double duel?”
“A double duel? Who else is going to be battling in your arena?”
The Eye’s glow faded out and Nickosus regained his composure. “Archaic is in the castle, Ronnie-boy. Will you help me save my company?”
“You’re my friend, Nickosus. I’ll do anything to help you.”
“Excellent, Ronnie-boy. Now, follow me.” Nickosus and Ron left the library, heading towards the duelist arena. As they walked down one of the corridors, Nickosus spoke to Ron out of curiosity. “Shouldn’t you change into your other dueling mode, Ronnie-boy?”
“I rather wait to see what type of competition I’m up against.”
Nickosus shrugged his shoulders. “Suit yourself.”
Kurai’s cell phone started to ring. She reached into her pocket, pulled it out, and answered the phone. “Hello, Mozz. What’s going on?”
Ishizu tried to listen to what Mozz was trying to say, but to no avail.
“Hmmhmm. Uh-huh. Hmmmhmmm,” Kurai spoke while nodding her head to the receiver. “We’ll be right there, Mozz,” Kurai said in her cell phone. Then they both hung up.
“What’s going on, sister?”
“Nickosus is about to have a duel against our most recent intruder into our castle. He wants us to be on the main dueling floor to cheer him on to victory.”
Ishizu placed her right hand to her necklace. “Will my Pharaoh be there?”
“You should know Ron by now. He never misses a duel.”
The Millennium Necklace started to glow very faintly. “It has begun,” Ishizu spoke quietly to herself.
“Are you coming with me or do you want to stay in my doll room?”
Ishizu looked at the five lifelike dolls that sat on the ledge. She could have sworn that Mari and Necrophia just winked at her. She rubbed her eyes and tried to keep focus on the situation at hand. “Kurai, I think all of your dolls are getting to me. Let’s get out of here, dear sister.” The two siblings then left the room and headed towards the arena floor.
Archaic and Frozen Flareon continued to walk down long passages and climbed up and down the stories of Nickosus’ castle, not knowing which way led to DMASB’s final obstacle.
“I think we came this way already, big brother,” Frozen Flareon said while passing some knight’s armor that looked familiar to him.”
Archaic raised a fist. “Curse that Nickosus. This castle is like one large maze and everything looks exactly the same no matter where you go. I don’t even remember the way back out of here now.”
“Could we be trapped here… forever?”
“Nonsense, Frozen Flareon. We’ll find a way out of this place… after we defeat Nickosus that is.” Just then voices could be heard coming from a side hallway up ahead. “Quick, little brother, we need to hide behind the armor here so we won’t get spotted.”
Archaic and Frozen Flareon hid in the shadows behind the armor as Kuno, Birtha, and Arnie Hopkins emerged from the side hallway, with Birtha leading the trio.
“So can you give me any pointers or strategies before I take on Nickosus?”
Kuno spoke up from behind Arnie. “No can do, intruder.”
“Will you stop calling me intruder?”
“You haven’t earned my respect to call you anything else.”
Arnie shrugged his shoulders. “Oh well. You can’t win them all.”
“It wouldn’t matter anyway, Mr. Hopkins. Every time we duel Master Nickosus, he always has a counter deck already prepared to defeat us. His only loss to date has come by the hands of my friend, Ron Motou.”
“Master Nickosus also has some sort of golden eye that somehow holds some special magic that helps him win duels. We don’t know too much about it, nor does he tell us all its capabilities.”
“Could it be another Millennium Artifact? The Eye?” Arnie thought to himself. “Ron? He should be in the castle by now, as well as his girlfriend Ishizu. First I’ll defeat Nickosus, and then the King of Games himself!”
The three people passed the intersection and continued down the same hallway, not noticing Archaic and Frozen Flareon standing behind the armor. When they disappeared from sight, Archaic and Frozen Flareon left their hiding spot and peeked around the corner.
“That was close, big brother.”
“Well they didn’t spot us so we’re safe. The hallway they’re walking down though is a dead end. The only thing down there is a large emerald book on the wall with a picture of a mermaid on it.”
Once the trio came up to the book on the wall, they stopped. “We’re here, Mr. Hopkins.”
“It looks like a dead end to me.”
“Looks can be deceiving, intruder.” Kuno walked passed Arnie and Birtha and approached the large emerald book. His two large hands grabbed the book and he gave it a quarter turn clockwise. There was a pause. Suddenly, the large wall started to shake as different size pieces of rock started to come free from the corners and the wall started to lift up.
Arnie, Archaic, and Frozen Flareon stared with wide eyes and mouths open in amazement as what stood before them.
After the wall had completely lifted out the way, the five people noticed someone standing in the center of the huge room. Birtha and Kuno recognized him immediately as the Head of Security for the castle. The Head of Security greeted them. “Welcome to the Grand Duelist Arena, Mr. Arnie Hopkins. Master Nickosus has been anticipating a duel against you.”

Chapter 6
The arena was in a circular dome shape, with blue linoleum covering the floors. The floor was recently waxed as shown by its shine as Arnie Hopkins looked at his reflection in the floor. Seven white marble poles were lined around the walls, also of white marble, of the arena, with a Millennium Eye, much larger than Nickosus’, sat atop each pole. Hanging on the walls also hung seven life-size portraits of Nickosus, Kurai, or the both of them in a pose. The lighting of the arena was also on the dim side but bright enough to see the surroundings. Just about everywhere you looked, the Millennium insignia was imprinted: on the poles, the walls, the ceiling, and checkered spaciously on the linoleum tile.
Arnie looked up from the floor and saw two large doors of solid gold which was situated opposite from where they entered and which he assumed Nickosus would make his grand appearance from. Looking above him, a balcony was perched. He looked up just in time to see two women emerge from the balcony’s shadows, arms extended over the rail and looked down at Mozz, who was situated in the center of the arena floor.
“We aren’t too late, Mozz?” asked Kurai.
Mozz turned his head up to Kurai and Ishizu. “No, you are just in time you two. I was just about to make the announcement.”
“That’s good. You know how Nickosus gets when we’re not on time for his duels.”
“So this is who Nickosus has to face?” Ishizu said when she looked down at Arnie. “This duel won’t last very long.”
Arnie noticed the Millennium Rod that was grasped in Kurai’s hand. “Shows what you know, Ishizu. The Millennium Rod and Necklace made it to the arena as well so I won’t have to track them down for my master. Excellent,” Arnie thought to himself with a smile on his face.
The Head of Security turned his head back to Arnie and spoke up. “Now ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you the creator of Duel Monsters and all its magnificent cards, and GQ Man of the Year three years running, let’s give a round of applause for my boss, Mr. Maximillion Nickosus.”
Everyone applauded towards the golden door, with hoots and hollers coming from Kuno and Birtha who were standing behind Arnie. Arnie didn’t clap at all.
Kuno noticed the gesture. “You better start clapping, intruder, or I’ll give you something to clap about,” he whispered while clapping.
“Leave Mr. Hopkins alone, Kuno. Master Nickosus will take care of him for the both of us.”
Just then the lights brightened up around the golden doors as the doors opened outwards revealing a hallway of darkness. Two faint glows of light then appeared from the darkness. Footsteps were heard by all as the light got brighter and brighter, until Nickosus and Ron, the Pharaoh, emerged from the shadows, the glow coming from the Millennium Eye and the Puzzle, respectively. They both were wearing a duel disk on their left arm. The clapping subsided.
“Hey look, the Pharaoh is with him! What’s up, Ron?” Birtha said.
“Hey, Birtha! Long time no see? How’s the security job coming along?”
“My Pharaoh,” Ishizu said quietly, while placing a hand over her Necklace. Ron looked up to her as if he read her mind and smiled to her. She smiled back.
“Well the pay is good. And we get free booster packs every month. That’s about it.”
“Okay, enough with the small talk, hmmmhmmhmmm, for I have arrived. It is I, Maximillion Nickosus.” He paused. “Oh my, you do not applaud for me, Mr. Hopkins? Do I offend you in some way?”
“I don’t think you deserve my honor. I am here to defeat you quickly and take your Millennium Eye for my boss.”
Gasps were heard throughout the arena. Kurai listened to the words again Arnie spoke in her mind. “Someone else is after the Millennium Artifacts. That’s very interesting, indeed. I wonder who is after what I seek for myself. I may have to meet this person,” Kurai said to herself, with an evil grin upon her face.
The Millennium Eye gleamed. “Kazakura, I take it? I’m not familiar with this person. No matter, if you are here to defeat me, I will make sure you won’t. I do welcome you, however, Arnie Hopkins, to my Duelist Kingdom arena, known as the Dome of Millennia. I’ll be sure to make your stay a pleasant one, albeit a short one,” Nickosus said, the last bit quietly under his breath.
“Enough talk, let’s duel!”
Nickosus raised his hand up to Arnie. “Not so fast, Arnie-boy. You’re not the only one here would wants to take something away from me.”
“Who else here wants a piece of you? The Pharaoh by your side?”
“Ronnie-boy? No of course not, we’re the best of friends, now.” Nickosus spoke up. “The person I’m talking about is eavesdropping on us from the shadows of the corridor. Isn’t that right… Archy-boy? You can come out now, no need to hide.” He pointed to his Eye. “You can’t hide from this. Hmmhmhmhmmm.”
Phrases of “Archaic? The President of DMASB? Here?” were being said in the arena, except for Ron and Nickosus, who already knew of the situation.
And then they calmly appeared from the shadows, and entered the light of the Millennia Dome. The brothers Archaic and Frozen Flareon stopped in front of the entrance of the arena.
Archaic looked at Nickosus and forcefully pointed a finger at him. “Maximillion Nickosus! You’ve been a severe hindrance in preventing my company from becoming the number one Duel Monsters business in the world. Today, that will change. Give me complete control of your Duelist Kingdom Company and I’ll be on my way.”
“You tell him, big brother!”
“Everyone wants a piece of Nickosus. Well you know how I work here, Archy-boy. To control my company, you have to duel me for it.”
Kurai spoke up from the balcony. “But Nicky-woo, you’re the creator of every card that exists today in Duel Monsters today. You are Duel Monsters! You can’t offer up your wondrous company like it was nothing.”
“Don’t worry, dear. That is why Ronnie-boy is here to help me. But first,” Nickosus walked over to Birtha. “Birtha, my card please. You have no need for her anymore.”
Birtha reached into his pocket and pulled out his deck of cards, he looked through them, found the card in question and handed it to Nickosus. He put the rest of the cards back into his pocket. “I’m sorry for losing the duel, Master. Forgive me.”
Nickosus pulled out a card from his shirt pocket. “I’m going to give you some time to think about your mistake, Birtha. I hold in my hand the legendary Glory of the King’s Opposite Hand card. And I am going to trap your soul within it, hmmmmm.” Nickosus’ Millennium Eye gleamed and strands of hair blew up as if a breeze swept through the room, which it hadn’t. Birtha started to scream as brightest light erupted in the arena, forcing everyone to shield their eyes from what was happening before them.
“No, Nickosus, don’t do it,” Ron pleaded to the creator of the Cards. But it was too late. Once the brightness faded, Birtha laid on the ground motionless. Within Nickosus’ card, a picture of Birtha appeared with a star-filled cosmos in the background.
“You will stay in solitary confinement until I take care of business here, Birtha-boy. Now Kuno, take him away to the prison cells below ground,” Nickosus said while placing the card back into his pocket.
“As you wish, master.” Kuno swept up Birtha with one arm, threw him over his shoulder, and exited the Millennia Dome.
Archaic and Frozen Flareon were trembling with fear at what just transpired. “Will that happen to us, Archaic, if you lose the duel?”
“I…I hope it doesn’t. I will win the duel.”
“Let me give you a few words of advice, Archy-boy. Don’t lose. Hmmhmhmmhmm.” Archy-boy spoke a few curses under his breath at the remark.
Nickosus walked back over to Ron while he continued to talk. “Now Arnie-boy and Archy-boy, you each want something from me, and both of you has to duel me to win the prizes that you seek. Since I’m short on time, and I am getting hungry, how about my proposition.” He made it back to where he originally stood and turned around. “A two-on-two match featuring myself and Ronnie-boy here vs. Mr. Arnie Hopkins and you, Archy-boy,” he said while pointing to each participant as he called out their names.
“Us two? Team up?” Archaic and Arnie said to each other simultaneously.
“I’ve heard you are one of the best duelists in the world, Mr. Pomfret. I think we will do great as a tag team.”
“Yeah, just as long as I don’t have to carry your sorry behind, Arnie is it? Just don’t stand in my way when I win Nickosus’ company. Little brother, stay here. This duel could get ugly.” Archaic started to walk towards the main part of the dueling floor.
“Sure thing, Archaic.”
“We’ll see who is carrying who when this duel is over.” Arnie thought to himself while also getting into his position on the arena floor. “Besides, I have a chance for 2 Millennium Items for the prize of one duel victory, the Millennium Puzzle being the ultimate prize. Master Kazakura will definitely be pleased.”
“Then it’s agreed. Kurai dear, toss a duel disk down to Archy-boy.” Kurai picked one up that was on the balcony floor and tossed it, very gently, down to Archaic. Archaic caught it and strapped it on. Nickosus and Ron got into their dueling positions as well. “This will be a two-on-two duel with standard rules.”
“Agreed,” the populous stated.
Nickosus sent a mental message to Ron. “Ronnie-boy, Archy-boy is right. This duel will get ugly. I suggest you to unleash the powers of your Millennium Puzzle now before it is too late.”
“If you insist, Nickosus.” Ron closed his eyes and the Millennium Puzzle shined brightly. “Ron-i-ooooooooooooooooooooooooh!” Once the transform ended, more spikes of Ron’s hair stood up and he was a good 6 inches taller. Also his eyes showed more focus and determination. “I’m ready.”
“What just happened over there?” Arnie and Archaic said in unison.
“Just a few of the many surprises in store in this duel that you both agreed to. Hmmhmmhmhmm. Now Mozz, give the orders.”
“All right ladies and gentlemen, this feature match will feature the team of Mr. Maximillion Nickosus and the reigning King of Games, Ron Motou against the talents of Arnie Hopkins and Archaic Pomfret. Now gentlemen, shuffle your decks, load your decks into the duel disk, and begin the duel! Arnie Hopkins, by earning the qualifications to face Nickosus, you will go first, followed by Ron, Archaic, and last but certainly not least, Master Nickosus himself.”
On the arena floor, if it wasn’t ironic enough, Archaic stood across from Nickosus and Arnie Hopkins stood across from the Pharaoh. Each pair was staring at each other with eyes of fury, all anticipating the start of this match. Each competitor loaded their deck and simultaneously drew five cards each, all the while not taking their eyes off each other.
“Duel!” all of them said simultaneously. The match was on!
“Be careful my Pharaoh.”
“Show them that no one messes with our family corporation, big brother!” Frozen Flareon said loudly to Archaic. Archaic just smiled evilly at the other three competitors.
“Take those two to school Master Nickosus, sir. Errhhmmm, you may proceed, Mr. Hopkins with your first move,” Mozz said, a little out of character.
“Very well,” Arnie stated. “Draw!” He looked at his six cards carefully. “I place one monster in defense mode and set two magic/trap cards as well and end my turn.” The virtual field responded with Arnie’s moves.
“You will not obtain my Millennium Puzzle this duel, Mr. Hopkins, I assure you. Draw!” He paused and looked at his six cards as well. “I play Double Coston (Level 4/1700 ATK/1650 DEF) in attack mode and set one magic/trap card face down and end my turn.”
“Today Nickosus, your company will belong to me, Archaic Pomfret! Draw! I play Spear Dragon (Level 4/1900 ATK/0 DEF) in attack mode and set one card face down,” Archaic said without any hesitation.
“Tsk tsk, Archy-boy, you already think you’ve won my company before my partner and my life points even reach zero. That’s a foolish mistake. Hmmm, draw.” Nickosus looked over his new card and decided to play it. “Solar Flare Dragon (Level 4/1500 ATK/1000 DEF), attack mode and one magic/trap card face down and I end my turn. Hmmm, and because of the effect of Solar Flare Dragon, I shall inflict 500 damage to your life points, Archy-boy.”
Archaic clutched his heart while the LP indicator decreased to 3500. “What is this… pain I’m experiencing? I’ve never, ever… felt anything like this. It is almost… like… I am having a heart attack.”
“Didn’t I say we are having surprises throughout this duel? For this duel, you will feel all damage inflicted on your life points until you can’t bear it anymore and you’ll collapse. That’s because we are going to play a…”
“No Nickosus, you wouldn’t,” Ron thought to himself.
“Shadow game.” Nickosus’ Millennium Eye started to glow almost as bright as the sun itself as darkness started to fall within the Grand Duelist Arena. The other competitors had to shield their eyes from the light, except for the Pharaoh, who could withstand the Millennium magic.
Kurai and Ishizu focused on the purple and black mists descending on the field, which were also trapping them within as well. “Maximillion dear, I thought you stopped with all these shadow games of yours,” Kurai spoke as she turned her attention on the match below. However, her inner thoughts were only of interest of about how this duel is unfolding.
“Yes, Nickosus, I’m going to have to agree with Kurai. This shadow game is crossing the line, even for you,” Ron said.
“I’m sorry you feel that way, Ronnie-boy. But when you duel in my castle, I make the rules anyway that I wish. Hmmm, that should do it.” The Millennium Eye’s glow waned and Arnie and Archaic were able to drop their arms which were covering their eyes. When they opened them, all they could see was darkness and despair around them.
“What the hell is this place?” Arnie was the first to ask. Then he looked at the duel monsters already in play. “And bloody hell, the monsters look more real than they did before this darkness spread over the field!”
Archaic was able to regain his composure from his LP loss. “I don’t know how I got in here, Nickosus, but you better let me out of here this instant!” Just then Archaic’s Spear Dragon let out a loud scream. “Did my Spear Dragon just make a battle cry? My Duel Monster simulation systems never had voice capabilities like that before.”
“Memories,” was all Ron could say while thinking of past shadow duels he has participated in.
“This is the Shadow Realm, you two, hmmmhmmhmmm. And the only way you can leave is by defeating Ronnie-boy and I. Evening up the odds is what I like to call it,” Nickosus smiled. “Oh, and the monsters before you are real. They have the same five senses you and I do. Hmmhmmhmm, hopefully the sense of taste won’t be explored by any of the monsters used today.” Arnie and Archaic cringed at Nickosus’ statement. “Now, shall we proceed with this duel, Arnie-boy?”
The Millennium Necklace started to glow as Ishizu placed her hand to it and closed her eyes. She then spoke quietly to herself, “The Necklace sees you making it through this match successfully, my Pharaoh. Please don’t let my Necklace’s prediction be wrong.”
Arnie drew his next card. “I’ll show you evening up the odds, Nickosus. I’m not afraid of this ‘Shadow Realm’. I’ll set another monster face down and end my turn.”
“You call yourself a duelist and you keep playing monsters in defense mode?” Archaic retorted.
“I’m getting sick of your snide comments, Mr. Pomfret,” Arnie muttered. “If he keeps this up, I’ll probably let Nickosus and the Pharaoh wipe out his life points without me helping,” he smiled to himself.
“My turn,” the Pharaoh stated. “Draw! Go my Double Coston, attack Arnie’s first face down card!” He proceeded without hesitation.
“Sorry Pharaoh Ron, you just attacked my Poison Mummy (Level 4/1000 ATK/1800 DEF). You lose 100 LP from the attack and another 500 from Poison Mummy’s flip effect.” A loud moan was heard from Poison Mummy as he was summoned to the field and held off the attack of Double Coston.
Ron’s LP indicator dwindled down to 3400 and even he has to clutch his heart and let out a heavy gasp. “Memories do hurt,” he managed to say.
“Pharaoh!” Ishizu cried out from the balcony.
Nickosus looked over to his hurting partner. “Ronnie-boy, you can’t continue to be the novice that I know you aren’t if you are MY dueling partner. Think before you act next time.”
“I’m… all right,… Ishizu dear. Nickosus… I’m… doing… the best I can. I end my turn,” the Pharaoh said, regaining his composure.
“Hahahaha, the King of Games is struggling? This match won’t last long after all! Draw!” Archaic said in confidence. “Spear Dragon, attack Nickosus’ Solar Flare Dragon with your beak blade!” Spear Dragon didn’t hesitate on the command and swooped in on the fire dragon.
“Hmmm, not so fast, Archy-boy! I activate the trap card Gravity Bind! It stops all Level 4 and higher monsters on the field from attacking.” The Spear Dragon was suddenly trapped in a dark blue sphere of energy and pulled back to his original position on the field. Green netting then appeared in front of the four Level 4 face-up monsters on the field, holding them in place.
Archaic had a look of anger on his face. “Damn you, Nickosus! You always know my moves and always have a counter for them ahead of time,” Archaic thought to himself before he acknowledged the end of his turn.
“Oh? Is it my turn already? Hmmm, draw.” A smile appears on Nickosus’ face. “I play White Magician Pikeru in attack mode (Level 2/1200 ATK/0 DEF). And then I end my turn, and you all know what that means. My Solar Flare Dragon gets to play with your life points again.” Arnie and Archaic could only look at the dragon hoping the other person would get the 500 LP damage.
“Solar Flare Dragon, knock 500 off of Arnie’s LP this time. Hmmhmmhmm, and put some spirit fire behind it.” Solar Flare Dragon emitted a yellow blaze of spirit fire at Arnie. Arnie wanted to run, but in the Shadow Realm, you can’t move. Suddenly, Arnie yelled as the fire engulfed him, ripping at his life energy. Solar Flare Dragon stopped the fire show as Arnie Hopkins life points were reduced to 3500 as he collapsed to the ground. Moments passed when Arnie slowly got up while clutching his heart, black spirit smoke emitting from all around him.
Kurai held the Millennium Rod with a tighter grasp. “Hmmmm, that’s exactly how I would of done it, but worse,” she said from the balcony, with an inside laugh.
Ishizu was amazed by what Kurai had just said. “Archaic and Arnie is it? Sister, they could be seriously hurt out there by the outcome of this duel your husband Maximillion has prepared!”
“I don’t care! Just as long as I get the Millennium Puzzle in the end, nothing else matters!” Kurai thought to herself, with eyes wide open.
Arnie Hopkins wasn’t done with his move yet. “A little… spirit fire… won’t stop… ME! Trap Card Open!” The trap card on the field lifted to reveal the Secret Barrel card. Suddenly, a very large multi-colored, multi-barreled gun emerged onto the field. “Do onto others as they do onto you is my motto. Secret Barrel, use your effect on Nickosus’ life points!” The gun turned its target towards Nickosus, took aim, and fired off seven large spirit bullets at him. Nickosus didn’t counter the attack as each bullet passed right on through his heart and other vital internal organs. “From my calculations, that is 1400 life points of direct damage to you.”
Even Archaic was impressed by Arnie’s counter, but he didn’t want to show that emotion openly. “Nice play, partner,” he said in a low monotonous voice while he watched the carnage unfold on Nickosus and waited to see Nickosus’ reaction.
Strangely, to both Arnie’s and Archaic’s surprise, simple sounds of “Hmmm” and “Oooh” came from Maximillion from each bullet that passed right through him, with a jerk here and there as his LP indicator dropped to 2600. After the last bullet passed through him, Nickosus looked down, white hair concealing his face, and started saying his chant of “hmmmhmmhmmm” over and over again, while clutching his heart and his right side.
“Nickosus! Are you all right? You took a lot of damage that turn,” Ron said out of concern for his partner.
“Hmmmhmmmhmmm, I’m all right Ronnie-boy. It has been so long since I’ve experienced a shadow game of this magnitude.” Nickosus looked up and set his eyes on Arnie. “My, my, Arnie-boy, you’ve brought my life points all the way down to 2600. Oh noooo… what am I to do?” Arnie could only watch in puzzlement as Nickosus seemed to enjoy the torture handed to him.
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