An experiment. Old Series: New Character. Meet Alyssa: a genius, a duelist, a lover, all the social skills of those kids at your school who sniff the pickles at lunch, only person alive who can get...
Also, if the math doesn't add up in the Duel in this chapter, just go with it. It ends the same way anyway.
Disclaimer: I don't own Yugioh. Yes, a lot of the writing in this chapter is taken straight from the first episode of the second anime series and no, I'm not making any money from it. Oh, and yeah, I stole a line from Glee too.
Chapter One: Episode One.
Yugi, Joey, Tea and Tristan entered Solomon Muto's shop eagerly. Yugi knew they were all excited over the prospect of seeing the super rare card his grandfather had and wasn't exactly blasé about seeing it again himself. Grandpa only took it out on special occasions, and Yugi felt that bringing all his friends would be enough to motivate Solomon to show them.
They walked into the store to find Solomon with a customer. Even with her back turned to them, Yugi recognized her by her great height, shoulder-length dark wavy hair, bronzed skin and vintage-style dress. It was Alyssa Sophronia. Of course, he had forgotten, it was Thursday.
Alyssa Sophronia was a Greek Heiress/Socialite and former champion duelist who was studying for her MBA at Domino City University. When she was fourteen she had won both the Greek National and European Continental Duel Monsters Championships but then unexpectedly retired from professional dueling right before the inter-continental championships. Before that little girl in America, she had been the youngest champion ever. Now she was going to school and was a sort of celebrity around Domino City due to her mother being CEO of Sophronia Industries, a large Media and Scholastic Company, her socialite status, achievements as a Duelist, and her band, The Dorian Grays, who were extremely popular locally. There were also rumors that she was an expert martial artist capable of killing a man with three fingers, but Yugi didn't believe that. Nobody was that good at that many things.
She had started coming to the store shortly after Tristan had joined her band as bassist. Now, she came every Thursday, which was the day when all the new card releases came in. Since then she had become kind-of-sort-of their friend, but was very... strange. Yugi liked her, she was smart and witty, but very, very different from himself and his friends, and so sometimes it was hard to communicate. It didn't help that she often treated him like a kid.
Solomon Muto looked to the side past Alyssa (he was far too short to look over her, even with her head bowed) and smiled. "Yugi! I see you brought some visitors with you today! I was just showing Ms. Sophronia the new cards we got today. You don't need my help for the moment, do you Ms. Sophronia?"
"Not at all, Mr. Muto. And I believe I asked you to call me Alyssa." She looked over at Yugi and his friends and waved.
"Hey Dolls." She said, her usual puzzling half-smile on her face. She called a lot of people "Doll" or "Darling", which was pretty much the only somewhat affectionate mannerism she had. Usually the expression on her face would make a person think she wasn't at all interested or happy to see them, but Yugi, Tea and Tristan had sort of gotten used to it. But most people, including Joey, thought she was a snob.
Solomon chuckled. "Alright, but you must call me Solomon."
"Can I call you Solomon?" Joey asked.
Grandpa looked sharply at Joey. "No! You will call me Mr. Muto or Grandpa, Young Man, and show the respect due your elders!'
Grandpa viewed Alyssa as sort of his star customer, it made him feel very proud and important that someone so famous shop at his store, not to mention having her insist (repeatedly) that he call her by her first name. But he was also a little in awe of his famous customer and kept forgetting to address her the way she asked. He looked on as Yugi came forward, Alyssa absorbed in looking over the box of new cards.
"What can I do for you all?" The old man asked, smiling.
"My friends were wondering if maybe we could see your really rare card!"
Solomon laughed. "Why not?"
He squatted down behind the counter and retrieved and small wooden box. He pushed the box forward towards Yugi and his friends and opened it. "Here it is, my Blue Eyes White Dragon."
"Whoa!" Joey, Tea, and Tristan all said in unison.
Everyone always had that reaction. It truly was something to behold. That picture of the elegant but intensely powerful, majestic silvery-white beast, the impressively long row of stars that proclaimed its high level, and its attack and defense points of three thousand and twenty-five hundred.
"There are only four of these in the entire world." Solomon said.
"Did you say Blue Eyes White Dragon?"
The others looked over. Alyssa had abandoned the box of new cards, walking over, her brows furrowed in intrigue.
"Yes, Alyssa, I did, but if you think I'm going to sell it to you, you'd be wrong."
"Of course not." She said, "I figure if you were willing to sell it, you'd have it on display. Besides I've already got enough rare cards. One that's almost as rare as that Blue Eyes."
The others looked at her in shock.
"Really, can we see it?"
She shrugged and reached into the large black messenger bag she always carried, pulled out her deck, and picked one card out.
Yugi looked at the cards she held out in awe. She held out Archlord Kristya, a Level Eight Monster with twenty-eight hundred attack points. "There are only five of these in the world. You can only get one if you win the European Continental Championship. It doesn't have quite the attack strength of a Blue Eyes, but it has some very useful special abilities."
She let them look for a little while and then put the card back in her deck. "Would anyone else in the city know that Solomon owns the Blue Eyes?"
"No. Well, there were other people in the classroom today when I told Joey, Tea and Tristan that Grandpa had a really rare card, but I didn't mention that it was a Blue Eyes." Yugi told her.
"Doesn't Seto Kaiba go to your school?"
It seemed like an odd question. Why did that matter? And how did she know that anyway?
"Yeah, he's in our class why?"
"Because if Seto heard you mention a rare card, then he is going to show up and try to get your grandfather to give him the Blue Eyes."
She stated this like it was a simple fact, not at all like she was trying to surprise them.
"What? Please! Kaiba? He has that big company to run! He'd never show up here, you're crazy!" Joey said dismissively. He had never liked Alyssa, her deadpan remarks irritated him.
"I assure you, Joey, that he will. If he thinks there's even a chance that a Blue Eyes White Dragon is here, he'll come to try and take it."
"Oh yeah? And what makes you think that?"
She looked at him calmly. "Seto has spent the last several years tracking down the Blue Eyes White Dragon."
"I'm surprised with his resources that he doesn't already have one." Tea remarked. "Isn't he like, one of the top twenty richest people in the world?"
"Who said he hasn't been successful?"
The others looked at her in shock.
"But Alyssa," Yugi asked, "If Kaiba already has one, why would he care about getting my grandfather's?"
She opened her mouth to reply, but was cut off by the sound of the door of the shop being opened with great force. Sure enough, standing in the doorway, carrying a steel briefcase, was the tall, lanky form of Seto Kaiba.
"Wow, what a surprise." The socialite commented.
Kaiba spotted her and his face turned to one of extreme distaste, while Alyssa wore the sort of Mona Lisa smile she always wore when she was pleased or amused. She nodded in acknowledgment of him, he only glared.
Wow, I guess they know each other. I guess it's not too surprising since they're both big business people, but they're both so… I don't know… Strange. Yugi thought to himself
"Hello, can I help you?" Solomon said brightly.
Kaiba looked away from Alyssa and at the old man. "If you can't, it wouldn't surprise me."
"Kaiba? What are you doing here? Don't you have that fancy company to run?" Joey asked.
"Not that it's any of your business, but I'm here to see the card." Kaiba replied, a cocky smirk on his face.
Joey and Alyssa looked at each other. She said nothing, just held that enigmatic smile. Joey just looked annoyed and then directed his attention toward Kaiba.
"So you're into Duel Monsters, eh? Maybe we could duel together sometime then." Joey said, his tone friendly.
Kaiba came forward. "Please, I'd have more of a challenge playing solitaire."'
"What?" Joey asked, annoyed.
"I am the number one ranked duelist in the country and the favorite to win the Duel Monsters Championship," Kaiba informed them, "You wouldn't last two minutes in a duel against me."
That set Joey off. "Ooh, I'm shaking! Maybe you'd like to settle this with fists instead of cards!"
Yugi jumped between them. "Woah! Take it easy, Joey!"
"But Yugi, Kaiba's asking for it!"
"Now," Kaiba said loudly, "Does this shop have any worthwhile cards or not?"
It was then that he spotted the Blue Eyes. He pushed past Joey and Yugi and stared at the card in shock. "Can it be? The Blue Eyes White Dragon in a dump like this?"
"Classy as ever." Alyssa remarked, rolling her eyes. Kaiba looked at her, indignant.
"Some of us have higher standards."
"I absolutely agree with you, Seto," The Socialite replied, "It's nice to see you're applying that mindset properly."
Yugi had no idea what she meant by that, but it seemed to infuriate Kaiba. For a second Yugi thought he might hit her, obviously Solomon seemed to think the same thing, so he shut the box quickly with a loud snap!
"Well that's enough window shopping. Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Kaiba actually growled. He slammed the briefcase down on the counter, opened it, and turned so that Solomon could view its contents.
"Listen to me Old Man, give me your Blue Eye White Dragon Card and I'll give you all of these!"
Yugi and his friends peered over at what was in the briefcase. Inside were at least forty extremely rare monster and magic cards. Yugi, Joey, Tea, and Tristan gasped. Alyssa snorted.
Kaiba grunted in annoyance but didn't say anything.
"Ah, nice," Solomon said serenely, "But no thanks."
Once again, Yugi and his friends gasped.
Kaiba growled. "Alright, if you won't trade, maybe you'll sell it. Name your price. I can pay anything you ask."
"I'm sure you could, but this card is worth more to me than you could ever offer. Not because of its power, or because it's so rare, but because of what it means to me. This card was given to me by a dear friend, and so I treasure this card as I do that friend. So parting with it is completely out of the question!"
Kaiba stared at him with his jaw hanging open. "No!"
Yugi felt intensely proud of his grandfather. "You'd feel that way even if it were a common card, right Grandpa?"
"Exactly. You see, this precious card has bonded with my heart."
Kaiba slammed the briefcase shut.
"Fine!" He said angrily, pulling the briefcase off the table, "I've heard enough of your nonsense! Senile old fool!"
He stormed out.
"Petulant child." Alyssa said, snorting dismissively. She gave Solomon her mysterious smile. "I knew there was a reason I liked you, Solomon."
"How did you know Kaiba would show up here, Alyssa?" Yugi asked.
The former champion looked down at her nails. "Because I know him better than anyone, save for perhaps his little brother. He's a spoiled, self-centered egotistical child who has to have all the shiny toys and not let anyone else have one. Speaking of children—"
She turned to Solomon again. "None of the new cards really fit into my deck, but I think my little sister and little brother might like them. Would you mind if I bring them over tomorrow afternoon? They're very well-behaved."
"Oh sure! I love children!"
"Great. I'll see you all tomorrow then. Tristan, don't forget, band rehearsal noon on Saturday."
Tristan nodded. "I'll see you then."
Alyssa left the store.
"I can't believe I've met someone even more unlikable than Alyssa." Joey commented.
A few hours later, Yugi was sitting in his bathtub, deep in thought.
It's so strange. Kaiba seemed really determined to get that card from Grandpa. It really made him mad when he was refused. And he already seemed really unhappy to see Alyssa. Everything she said seemed to set him off. She did seem to know a lot about him, she even predicted that he'd come here! What's the deal with them? It's awfully strange!
"Man, I hope he has some cool cards today!" Joey said as they walked the streets toward Yugi's place.
"Yeah!" The others agreed. They rounded the corner to the game shop.
"Hey, look at that!" Tea cried out, pointing.
There was a fancy gold Mercedes parked outside the store. Leaning against it was Alyssa and two children, a girl of ten and a boy of eight.
"Hi Alyssa!" Tea and Yugi called out. She didn't greet them in her usual way.
"Everyone, these are my younger siblings, Alex and Max. Alex and Max, meet Yugi, Tristan, Tea and Joey." She said quickly. Not even waiting for them to say hi, she continued. "Yugi, I would have called you, but you guys don't have cell phones. I think there is an emergency.
"What? What do you mean?"
"Your grandfather isn't here, the door is unlocked and the shop is completely abandoned. There is a cleaning rag left on the counter."
"Huh?" Yugi said, shocked. "But, if my grandpa were to leave, why would he leave the door unlocked?"
"If I had to guess, I'd put my money on Kaiba being behind this." She replied.
"Really, Alyssa, I know you dislike him, but can he really be bad enough to do something to my grandfather?" Yugi asked her.
The deadpan way she said that annoyed even him. He grunted. "Let me go check inside."
Yugi went inside. Almost immediately, the phone started to ring. Yugi went over and picked up the receiver. "Hello, Game Shop!"
"Ah, Yugi, perfect."
Yugi's blood ran cold. "Kaiba?"
"Your grandfather is visiting, but he's not feeling well," the billionaire said, "Why don't you come over here and pick him up?"
He hung up.
"Kaiba!" Yugi cried out, "What have you done, Kaiba?"
But all he got was a dial tone.
Damn! She was right!
He ran out.
"You were right," he told Alyssa, "Kaiba is behind it! My grandfather is at his office!"
She didn't say 'I told you so' or something to that effect the way Yugi feared. Instead, she responded with, "Get in, we'll give you a ride."
While the inside of the car was spacious, it was still a matter of fitting eight people into it, including her driver.
"KaibaCorp H, Danny, and step on it." Alyssa instructed her chauffeur.
"Right away, Ms. Alyssa."
They got there in minutes. Alyssa instructed Danny to wait with the car and the kids and they ran in. The lobby of KaibaCorp was large, bright, with white marble floors, gold fixtures, and a fountain in the middle.
"I know which floor his office is on, come on." Alyssa told them.
They boarded an elevator and went to the twenty-eighth floor. The doors opened and there was Solomon Moto lying on the green marble floor, barely conscious.
Yugi ran over and crouched down. "Grandpa, are you okay?"
Solomon looked up at his grandson, tears in his eyes. "Yugi, I failed. I wanted to teach that boy Kaiba a lesson about the Heart of the Cards but I lost."
He gave a moan and dropped his head.
Kaiba then emerged atop a small staircase. "How's the old man feeling, hmm?"
"Kaiba, you sleaze! What have you done to him?" Joe demanded.
"We had a duel, that's all. With each of us putting up our most valuable card as the prize. But I guess playing against a champion like myself was just too much stimulation for the old fool."
"Kaiba, you should feel ashamed of yourself!" Tea cried out angrily.
"He's not." The Greek Heiress deadpanned.
He snorted. "It was fair." He then pulled Solomon's Blue Eyes from his pocket and showed it to them. "And look at the sweet prize I won."
With that, he tore it in two.
"Grandpa's most treasured card!" Yugi cried out.
"Yes, the Blue Eyes is a rare and powerful card. And this one will never be used against me."
"Well, Seto, it seems your IQ is proportional to your moral fiber," Alyssa remarked, "After all, now you can never use it yourself."
Kaiba grunted. "Like I need another Blue Eyes." But he picked up the pieces.
"How could you do such a thing?" Yugi cried out. He couldn't believe someone would be so cruel.
The teenager looked down. Mr. Muto held out his deck.
"Take this, Yugi. I built this deck, I put my soul in these cards. And I taught you everything I know. Take these cards and teach him respect for the Heart of the Cards."
"But I've got to get you to a Doctor!"
"Yugi, I've got a car, remember?" His ride reminded him. "I can take him while you duel Kaiba."
Kaiba laughed. Everyone looked at him.
"And why, may I ask, should I waste my time dueling some kid using a weaker version of the deck belonging to the opponent I just crushed? I already have the Blue Eyes, what else do you have that I could want? I've got a company to run, you know."
Alyssa stepped forward. "Fine, duel me then. You and I both know that I have cards that could greatly enhance your deck. Winning would also mean that you've beaten a Continental Champion."
"No!" Yugi said. He looked at Alyssa. "Thank you for trying to help, but I need to do this with my grandfather's deck and teach him about the Heart of the Cards."
"Yeah, I don't know what that is, but Kaiba needs to be taught a lesson. I'm sure you're a very good duelist, Yugi, but look at this logically. I'm an internationally ranked champion with cards far more rare and powerful than what is in your Grandfather's deck. I'm far more likely to defeat him."
"No, I have to do this. I can beat him if I trust in the Heart of the Cards. If you don't believe in that, then your victory won't make the right point."
Kaiba snorted. "Why should I duel Yugi?"
Alyssa looked at Yugi closely. "Yugi, are you absolutely sure this Heart of the Cards thing can bring you victory?"
"Yes, as long as I trust in myself and my grandfather's deck!"
"He's got more than one Blue Eyes in his deck."
"That doesn't matter!"
She sighed. "Show me your cards."
Yugi handed them to her. She rifled through them, at first looking unimpressed but then something seemed to catch her eye. She turned away for a second, then turned back, and looked at Kaiba.
She turned to Kaiba. "Kaiba, if you win this duel with Yugi, you get me for a night."
Everyone looked at her in shock.
"WHAT?" Yugi and Kaiba said in unison.
Kaiba recovered from his shock and snorted. "Tempting, but not nearly tempting enough."
"If Yugi uses this deck and loses to you, you get one week and you can put it anywhere." She said, holding up the deck.
"What? Alyssa, no!"
Yugi was horrified. It was one thing to defend his grandfather, but he was not going to risk putting Alyssa at the mercy of this creep. He really liked her and the thought of her having to screw this guy made him physically ill.
"Yugi, I am a grown woman, I can make my own decisions. He won't duel you otherwise. Isn't that right, Seto?"
The billionaire nodded.
Yugi looked at her closely. If she's willing to trust me, then I should be willing to trust her. "Fine."
She then pulled him aside and said to him in a low voice. "Yugi, just keep in mind, if you lose, I will go to the pet store and buy you a kitten. I will give this kitten to you. I will let you fall in love with that kitten to the point where you can't stand it. I will let that kitten become a part of you. Then, in the middle of the night when you least expect it, I will break into your room…And break your face." She then handed his deck back to him.
Yugi was caught off guard for a second. "So you wouldn't kill the kitten?"
"Harm a defenseless animal? What kind of person do you take me for?"
The scariest part was the lack of emotion she showed while telling him this.
"I understand." He replied meekly.
"Right." She turned to the others, "Let's get Mr. Muto to the hospital!"
"Oh no, Alyssa, you're staying right here!" Kaiba called out.
She rolled her eyes. "Fine. You guys take Mr. Muto down to the car, tell Danny to take you to the Hospital, then have him drive my brother and sister home."
"Just one more thing, everyone put their hands together," Teaa said. Yugi, Joey and Tristan did as she asked. She looked over at Alyssa. "You too!"
Alyssa put her hand in, somewhat awkwardly. Tea pulled out a black marker and drew a connecting design on their hands. "It's a symbol of our friendship, so that when Yugi's dueling, he'll know he's not alone and that we're behind him."
"There's an old man who needs to get to a hospital, this couldn't wait until later?" Alyssa muttered under her breath. Yugi seemed to be the only one that heard her. While it annoyed him, he had to admit she sort of had a point. Sort of.
Alyssa and Yugi followed Kaiba while the others left with Solomon.
Kaiba led them into what looked like an enormous stadium with two platforms, a scoreboard, seats, everything. He instructed Yugi to get on one of the platforms while he got up on the other.
"I designed this virtual stadium myself. Impressive, hmm?"
"Seto, Freud would have a field day with you. And stop saying, 'hmm'!" Alyssa called out from the sidelines.
He looked at her angrily. "You won't be so snarky when I've got you bent over my desk!"
"Even if that was a possibility, I'd still be snarky."
Kaiba looked at Yugi. "I think you'll agree, it adds more life to the game. We each begin with two thousand life-points, first player to hit zero loses! Are you ready to play, Runt?"
"Playtime is over, Kaiba!"
Suddenly there was a flash of light.
Alyssa looked at Yugi, thoroughly bemused. She was looking at him from a distance on the sidelines, but he suddenly looked taller. Much taller. Like, at least a foot taller.
Kaiba definitely seemed to notice something too.
Yugi smirked at his opponent. "Now Kaiba, prepare yourself, cause it's time to duel!"
Alyssa was now sure something was up. That was not Yugi's voice. Yugi's voice was of a sweet, shy, innocent boy. This was the voice of a confident, authoritative man. His voice was suddenly an octave or two lower. That wasn't possible. What had happened?
Kaiba made the first move. "I summon the Mighty Hitotsu-me Giant!"
Alyssa watched Kaiba carefully. Already the cogs inside her finely-tuned, analytical head were working.
It's a very good move, especially since it's disguised as a poor one. He can call that monster "mighty" all he wants, but even by a normal duelists' standards, it's not that strong and by his standards, it's pathetic.
Anyone else would think that such a move would be poor, but it's masterful in its deception. He's probably testing to see just how strong the arsenal of monsters in Yugi's deck is. Which means that his duel with Solomon must have been pretty short. After all, he does believe that it is the same deck the old man used. Obviously the duel didn't go on long enough for Seto to get a good estimation of the deck's strength. No doubt it was the force of the holograms that really did the old man in. Disgusting.
Unless he suspects Solomon, Yugi, or I of tampering with the deck. It's a possibility, but I doubt it. If Yugi doesn't have a monster that can beat it, he'll know the duel is his. But if Yugi summons a strong enough monster, not only will this tell him that there are particularly strong monsters inside Yugi's deck, it will also no doubt lure Yugi into a false sense of security. And if I know Kaiba, if that happens, he'll exploit that with a combo of a monster with a low attack strength and a power-multiplying magic card. I just hope Yugi plays a strong enough monster, but if Kaiba succeeds in making Yugi underestimate him, then Yugi probably won't, and his life points will take a hit.
Yugi drew a card from his deck and she decided to intervene then. "Yugi! Make sure you summon a much stronger monster, even if you think it's not necessary, or you'll pay!"
Both duelists looked at her. Yugi was confused. What does she mean? Summon a monster with unnecessary strength? He looked at his hand. He had the Winged Dragon, who could easily take down Kaiba's giant with fourteen hundred attack points, these three strange cards that looked like body parts, his serpent and a stunningly powerful card called Wingweaver that he had never seen before. Alyssa would want me to summon Wingweaver, as it has twenty-seven hundred and fifty attack points, but revealing that I have a card this strong this early in the game would put me at a real disadvantage because then Kaiba would summon his Blue Eyes and my most powerful card would be destroyed. No, better I do this gradually so Kaiba doesn't think to summon his Blue Eyes.
"Shut up, Alyssa, or this duel is over!" Kaiba barked at her.
"I call upon the Winged Dragon, Guardian of the Fortress!" Yugi cried.
Alyssa had worried that might happen. The Winged Dragon had fourteen hundred attack points. But maybe this could work to Yugi's advantage should he draw the right card. Yes, yes I'm sure it could. Why didn't I think of this before? He could actually end up winning this duel because of it.
Just then, Joey showed up. He looked up at the holograms in awe. "Monsters? Real Monsters?"
"No, just Holograms." Alyssa informed him. He looked at her in shock, then directed his attention back to the duel without a word.
"Well, it looks like Yugi's about to kick his butt!" Joey said, grinning.
"Actually, in the next turn, Yugi's going to lose twice the life-points he's about to take from Kaiba." She said in a low voice.
Joey looked at her in shock. "Huh? How?"
"By using Sagi the Dark Clown and a magic card."
"Whatever!" He snorted dismissively.
Yugi destroyed Kaiba's giant. It was then that Alyssa noticed the small boy entering the stadium. But her attention was brought back to the duel when Kaiba summoned Sagi, just as she had predicted. Joey looked at her oddly.
"Um, how did you know that?"
It was a good question. The fact was that Alyssa was not only a master duelist in her own right, but she also knew Seto Kaiba and his playing styles like the back of her hand. The two of them had developed their playing styles together when they were young, and since, she had observed the way he played at tournaments. Alyssa could read Seto Kaiba like a book.
Yugi, she didn't know as well. That was why she had wanted to duel Kaiba. There was more of a likelihood that she could beat Kaiba than Yugi, but the fact was that a lot of what made a strong duelist came from intelligence and character. Yugi did seem smart, if a bit naïve. Still, from the moment he had started dueling, he had seemed… different.
"Sagi the Dark Clown, but that monster has barely any attack strength!" Yugi commented, puzzled.
Kaiba smirked. "It's true your winged dragon's attack strength is fourteen hundred, while my Dark Clown's is only six hundred, but if I combine it with this card—" He looked up at Yugi when he gasped. "Exactly, the negative energy generator, which multiplies my monster's attack by three. Dark clown, attack with dark light!"
And Yugi's winged dragon was gone, along with four hundred of his life points.
Kaiba laughed. "You're not faring any better than the old man. Your deck is just as weak and feeble as your grandpa."
"My grandfather is a great man and a better duelist than you'll ever be, Kaiba. He entrusted me with these cards and I can feel his heart in this deck. I doubt you have that kind of faith in your cards, Kaiba." Yugi called out.
Interesting choice of words. Alyssa thought. Seto's been building up his deck for years, so he definitely has a lot of faith. But it is unlikely that Yugi's talking about the faith that stems from arrogance.
Joey groaned. "Oh no! What's he going to do now?"
"If he's smart and lucky enough, he's going to wipe out a ton of Kaiba's life points with this turn." Alyssa informed him.
I guess he meant that question to be rhetorical. The young woman thought to herself.
Yugi looked down at Alyssa. She was right! She must have known Kaiba would use his dark energy generator with his dark clown. Alyssa predicted this the same way she predicted everything else. If I had summoned a stronger monster, Kaiba wouldn't have been able to take my life points. Yugi looked at Wingweaver again. It was then that he noticed something. There's something wrong here. Wingweaver's attack points and level are so high. My grandpa always told me that after his Blue Eyes, his rarest and most powerful card was The Dark Magician. This card has two hundred and fifty more attack points than the Dark Magician, but Grandpa never mentioned this card. Why—wait a second, this is a Fairy Card! Grandpa never liked Fairy Cards! But there's something else, something else about fairies…
He then remembered yesterday, when Alyssa had shown them her rare card. Archlord Kristya. Archlord Kristya was a fairy card!
Maybe Alyssa's deck is primarily made up of Fairy Monsters! Could she have slipped Wingweaver in when she was inspecting my deck? But still, something seems off. Alyssa's Wingweaver is powerful, but not powerful enough to stop a Blue-Eyes White Dragon! No, that doesn't make sense!
Once again, a memory came to him. One from several weeks ago.
Yugi was minding the shop as Alyssa was looking at a small collection from the stock of new cards the Game Shop had. She had been looking at the entire stock for forty-five minutes, and had been looking at this smaller collection for thirty. He also noticed that she had not included some of the strongest monsters among their new cards in her selection.
"You've been looking at those cards for a long time, a really long time," Yugi commented. "And you don't seem interested in either Aqua Dragon or Air Eater. Both those cards have over two thousand attack points!"
She looked up at him, her expression slightly bored. "I need cards that fit. Finding ones that do takes a lot of time and doesn't always include monsters just because they're powerful. It's not that the cards are not good or interesting, but they are not right for my deck. They do not fit into the scheme of it. I'm very particular about my cards. They have to fit into the web."
"What do you mean?" Yugi asked, thoroughly intrigued.
"Yugi, my deck is the product of fifteen years of meticulous assembly. I have developed a system through which I can create the greatest amount of possible strategies and the greater likelihood that I will always have a powerful combination of cards in my hand."
"Wow. How do you do that?"
"I use a system based on geometry and mathematics."
"But how can geometry help you in Duel Monsters?" Yugi asked, mystified.
"Would you like me to show you?"
She pulled a large sketchbook from her bag, put it on the counter, and opened it.
Yugi looked at the first drawing in amazement. It was of several rows of small rectangles with abbreviations on them. Each one was connected by a line to the rectangle next to it, and the rectangle at the end of each of the rows connected by a long line to the rectangle at the start of the next.
"This is one of the blueprints of my deck. Each of those rectangles represents either a magic or monster card in my deck. See how they're all connected? Each card can be combined strategically with the cards it's connected to. Every card must fit into the chain."
"But what if you get cards that aren't connected?" Yugi asked.
"This isn't the only design they must fit into."
She then showed him the next page, which showed the cards arrange in a more square-shape. Each card within the square connected to each card above it, below it, to its left, to its right, and diagonally from each of its corners. Then she showed him another design that looked like a spider's web.
"For me to take a card, it has to fit in somewhere inside every one of the designs in my sketchbook." Alyssa told him. "My cards are never alone."
"But how are you able to do that? It must be incredibly hard to figure in all the variables! How are you able to do that?"
She looked at him with her expressionless face and said, matter-of-factly. "Because I'm a genius."
Of course! Wingweaver is not powerful enough to defeat a Blue Eyes, but Alyssa is far too smart to leave me unprepared. She must have slipped more than one card into my deck! Cards that can help me! I don't just have my Grandpa's expertise at my disposal, I have hers as well! I just need to trust her, my grandfather's deck, and the Heart of the Cards!
Yugi looked at Kaiba's clown. Wingweaver might not be as strong as a Blue Eyes, but it's attack points are more than nine hundred more than Kaiba's Dark Clown, meaning Kaiba's Life Points will take a huge hit. It will draw out Kaiba's Blue Eyes, but maybe I could strengthen her so she's stronger than a Blue Eyes.
Yugi pulled another card out of his deck. It was a trap card, Mirror Force.
Well, it's not the equip card I was hoping for, but it could definitely help. At least the difference in attack points is enough so that when his Blue Eyes attacks, I'll only lose two hundred and fifty life points. He drew Mirror Force and Wingweaver from his hand and called out, "I put one card face down and I summon Wingweaver, in attack mode!"
Wingweaver was truly a beautiful creature, with pink skin, purple hair, a gold dress and six majestic white wings.
"What?" Kaiba said, looking shocked. "How could you possibly have a card that powerful?"
Yugi smiled. "A great amount of love went into this deck, Kaiba. Wingweaver, Attack Sagi, the Dark Clown!"
Kaiba's Dark Clown was gone, along with nine hundred and fifty of Kaiba's life points.
Kaiba cried out in anger. "You'll pay for that, Yugi!"
"I now draw another card and end my turn." Yugi said calmly. It was yet another of Alyssa's cards, a magic card called Butterfly Dagger that increase a monster's attack points by three hundred. Why couldn't I have gotten this card on my last draw? This would have given Wingweaver fifty more attack points than a Blue Eyes, but I can't play it until the next turn! I'll just have to hope that Kaiba doesn't have a Blue Eyes in his hand or that I'll have to draw a monster stronger than Wingweaver on my next turn. I just hope Alyssa also gave me her Archlord Kristya.
Yugi's hopes were crushed when he heard Kaiba begin to laugh.
"That was a very good move, Yugi. Wingweaver truly is a powerful card. There are few monsters that can match her attack strength. But, as you already know, I happen to have a monster that can crush her."
Kaiba drew it from his hand. "I summon Blue Eyes White Dragon in attack mode! Blue Eyes, white lightning attack!"
Wingweaver was lost, along with 250 life points. But then the Blue Eyes disappeared.
"What?" Kaiba cried out. "What happened to my Blue Eyes?"
Yugi chuckled. "It fell victim to my trap card." He revealed it. "Mirror Force. It destroys all the monsters you have in attack mode!"
Kaiba growled. "You-you'll pay for that, Yugi!"
"We'll see, Kaiba," Yugi said. He drew another card from his deck. Once again, a card from Alyssa. A fairy monster called Athena with twenty-six hundred attack points.
Darn! Athena is strong, but not strong enough to defeat a Blue Eyes, even if I were to equip her with the Butterfly Dagger. But she is strong, and as long as Kaiba doesn't draw another Blue Eyes in his next turn, I should be okay.
"I summon Athena, in attack mode!"
But, to Yugi's rotten luck, Kaiba put a card face down and summoned another Blue Eyes, which destroyed Athena and took another four hundred life points from him.
But then, something strange happened. One of the cards in his graveyard began to glow. Yugi picked it up. It was Wingweaver. Suddenly, Wingweaver was on the field.
"What?" Kaiba said, "But I destroyed that monster!"
Alyssa snorted, catching the attention of all the others in the room.
"Got something to share, Alyssa?" Kaiba asked.
"Neither of you get it, so I'll share. Athena is not just a powerful monster, she's the Greek Goddess of Wisdom, War, Civilization, Strategy, Justice, and Skill. She's not just a God, she's one of the most powerful and influential Deities of all the forms of mysticism in the world. And that comes with more than just a high attack strength. She also has certain special abilities, one of which is that if she is sent to the Graveyard, the most powerful fairy monster already in the player's graveyard is summoned back to the field."
"I knew it!" Kaiba cried out. "You stocked his deck with your own cards! You cheated! That makes this duel illegitimate!"
"Really?" Alyssa replied. "I don't think so. After all, you did agree to duel Yugi while he used exactly the deck he's using now."
"Wha? I did no such thing!"
"I held the deck up and specifically said 'If Yugi uses this deck and loses to you, you get one week and you can put it anywhere' And you said, 'Done.' You agreed to it, so it's not breaking any rule."
"You misled me! I had no idea those cards were in there!" Kaiba cried out.
"Since when is it a requirement that a duelist know every card in their opponent's deck?" She pointed out. "Besides, haven't you said to me various times over the course of the last few years that you could 'crush my pathetic little fairies' in your sleep? Really, if you were so sure my deck would not be a threat, I fail to see why you would be so adverse to having just a few cards from it added to another deck you consider weak."
Kaiba growled. "Fine, but you'll regret this, Alyssa. Wingweaver still isn't strong enough to destroy a Blue Eyes White Dragon!"
"Not by herself, no." Yugi said. "But when I equip her with Butterfly Dagger, it raises her attack points by three hundred! Just enough to destroy your Blue Eyes! Wingweaver, ATTACK!"
Wingweaver did just that, destroying the Blue Eyes and taking fifty of Kaiba's Life Points. But then, Wingweaver shattered and Yugi lost twenty-five life points.
"What?" Yugi exclaimed.
Kaiba chuckled. "While I wasn't expecting you to regain your WingWeaver, I did guess that Alyssa might have slipped you some cards that could beat my Blue Eyes. So I planted a little trap card known as Death Penalty. When my monster is destroyed, it destroys the monster attacking it as well and delivering damage to an opponent's life points about half of the damage I receive. I'm just ashamed the damage was so little. Now, I believe it's my turn."
He drew a card and smiled. "I summon the Blue Eyes White Dragon!"
Yugi gasped. When Alyssa told him that Kaiba had more than one Blue Eyes, he didn't imagine she meant he had all three.
Kaiba smiled. "And now, I place this card face down. Your turn."
Yugi drew a card from his deck. Gaia, the Fierce Knight. Darn. Well, my only bet is to play this in defense mode and draw another card.
"I play Gaia, the fierce knight, in defense mode!"
Yugi drew another card. Wait! Maybe this one can help! I can't play it until my next turn, but it can still buy me some time.
Kaiba destroyed his Knight.
"And now, I think I'll use my face-down card. Monster Reborn!"
Yugi gasped. "Oh no!"
"I bring forth my Blue Eyes White Dragon back from the Graveyard!" The beast appeared. Kaiba laughed. "You were barely able to destroy a Blue Eyes with those fairy cards Alyssa stocked your deck with. How do you think you'll be able to stand up to two?"
I can't beat Kaiba right now, but I can stall for some time.
"I play swords of revealing light! Stopping your two dragons for three turns."
Kaiba laughed. "What do you think a three-turn delay is really going to do for you? Hoping to be saved once again by Alyssa's fairies? It was unlikely enough for you to draw all those cards already getting you this far, do you really think you'll get the right combination from her again? Besides, aren't you supposed to be trusting in your grandfather's deck? But the majority of the cards you've had that helped you at all came not from your grandfather and his nonsense, but from a Champion Duelist who doesn't even believe in that Heart of the Cards stuff!"
He's right! I've been relying on the cards Alyssa gave me, but she doesn't even believe in the Heart of the Cards. I've simply been using my Grandfather's cards to stall for time. But it's still my turn and I can draw. I have to believe in his cards!
Yugi drew another card and his resolve shattered. Another useless body part. Damn! I'll have to draw again.
He tried, but suddenly, the deck seemed to jump away from his hand. The deck senses my disbelief!
Suddenly, he heard his grandpa's voice. He turned around and saw a ghostly apparition of his grandfather.
"For someone claiming to have a lot of faith, you certainly don't seem to have much." The apparition said. "Yugi, you have to trust in the Heart of the Cards! Not everything is as it seems, Yugi. Sometimes the cards fit together like a puzzle!"
"But, Grandpa!" Yugi called out.
The apparition started to disappear. "Like a puzzle, Yugi!" It called out before vanishing.
Yugi looked back at his hand. All these body parts look alike. Like they're different pieces of a puzzle. Wait! I know this.
It was two years ago. His grandfather was teaching him about Duel Monsters.
"Duel Monsters has only one unstoppable monster—Exodia. But he can only be summoned by summoning all five special cards. A feat that to this day no one has ever accomplished!"
Of course! These must be the Exodia cards! And I've already got four! I just need to draw the last card and I'll be able to defeat Kaiba's dragons. It may be unlikely, but I've got to believe in the Heart of the Cards. As long as I do, I'll be able to win.
He drew another card. The Dark Magician! Grandpa's second most powerful card! Kaiba's already used up all his dragons, and I doubt he's got a monster this strong! Drawing this card means my turn is up, but I can play him next!
Kaiba smiled. "I summon the Judgeman with an attack power of twenty-two hundred!"
Yugi smiled. "I play the Dark Magician in attack mode! Dark Magician, Dark Magic Attack!"
Judgeman was destroyed and Kaiba's life points became five hundred.
Kaiba drew a card and smiled. "Guess what Yugi, you're not the only one who had something a little extra added to your deck!"
"Huh?" Yugi asked.
Kaiba held up a card. "I taped your Grandpa's Blue Eyes back together when you weren't looking. Now, Blue Eyes, White Lightning Attack!"
The Dark Magician was gone, along with five hundred of Yugi's life points.
I only have two more chances now. I've got to draw the last piece of Exodia. But the odds are almost impossible!
Then he saw the symbol on his hand. Apparitions of Tea, Joey, Tristan and Alyssa appeared.
"Yugi, we're right here with you!" Ghost-Tea said.
"Yugi, you've got to believe in yourself!" Said Ghost-Tristan.
Ghost-Joey smiled. "You can do it, just kick Kaiba's butt!"
Ghost-Alyssa gave her enigmatic smile. "I may have gotten you this far, but only you can win now, and you will. Trust me, I'm a genius, remember?"
"Draw your pathetic card so I can get down to business, Yugi." Kaiba said.
Yugi drew the card and smiled. "My grandfather's deck has no pathetic cards. But it does have this." He showed it. "The Unstoppable Exodia!"
Kaiba stumbled back. "What? No! It's impossible!"
Yugi set all the cards down. "I've assembled all five special cards, all five pieces of the puzzle!"
Exodia emerged, grinning at the three Blue Eyes White Dragons.
"Exodia! It's not possible!" Kaiba cried out. "No one's ever been able to call him!"
But it was. And Kaiba's life points were zero.
"Yeah Yugi!" Joey cried out. "You won!"
Alyssa gave her Mona Lisa smile and clapped appreciatively.
Yugi smiled. "You play only for power, Kaiba, and that is why you lost. But if you put your heart in the game, there is nothing you can't do!"
Kaiba crouched over the console. "But how? How could I have lost to him?"
"Kaiba, if you truly want to know, OPEN YOUR MIND!"
The CEO collapsed.
Yugi got off the platform and Alyssa and Joey ran over to him.
"You did it Yugi, alright!" Joey said.
Yugi turned and looked at Alyssa. "I do thank you for the help you gave me. I probably could not have won without you."
"Oh, you could, after all, it was your grandpa's cards that won the duel in the end." She replied.
"You can hardly say you weren't instrumental in that success, though. I probably never would have summoned Exodia without your cards."
"No, you could have, I saw it when I inspected your grandpa's deck. There were ways you could have won. And I was willing to believe that all that emotional mumbo-jumbo you were talking about could give you some kind of edge."
"Then why did you bother stacking Yugi's deck with all those fairies?" Joey asked.
"Well, just because there was a possibility, doesn't mean it was a certainty. While I know what the power of conviction can do for a person, Kaiba's also a total sleaze and I knew he'd find some way to summon three Blue Eyes. So I thought it would be best if I helped out and increase Yugi's odds a little. Wanted to give him some alternatives in case he couldn't summon Exodia in time." She looked at Yugi closely. "Just because I did what I did, doesn't mean I didn't believe in you. I wouldn't have bothered or thought you'd be able to figure out how to properly use the cards I gave you if I didn't believe in you. Maybe your Grandpa's deck was made of heart, but mine is made of mind, and it doesn't hurt to combine the two. Now, if you please, hand over the deck so I can get my cards out."
Such a sweet moment, and then she had to ruin it with that last sentence.
"Of course." Yugi handed her the deck. She pulled out several cards.
"What other cards did you put in his deck anyway?" Joey asked.
"That's for me to know and you not to." She replied. "Now, why don't I call my driver and have him pick us up?"
They dropped Yugi and Joey off first at the hospital. But before he left, he looked at Alyssa.
"Alyssa, I know you say you don't believe in the heart of the cards, but I think you do. You put so much of yourself into your deck and you did an incredibly kind thing for me and my grandfather because you had faith. I know you say its mind power, but I think it might be more than that. Just promise me you'll keep that in mind."
"Sure, Yugi. I'll try. Now go on. I've got a ton of studying to do and it's getting late."
Yugi nodded and he and Joey departed.
AN: COMMENCE FLAMING!