GX: Dark Queen of Miator

Chapter 1: Return to Astraea Island

Jaden Yuki stood out on the deck of a boat out on the open ocean, watching the passing waves. As he looked at the waves, he thought about the time that he stayed on Astraea Island, the home of three elite all girl duel academies, Miator, Spica, and Lilum. The creator of Duel Monsters, Maximillion Pegasus, had brought Jaden to the island under the pretence of showing the students what it was like to face a real pro duelist. Pegasus’ real purpose however was to have Jaden look for a set of three dangerous and very powerful cards called the Wicked Gods. During that time, Jaden made many friends on the island, and also helped somewhat to bring together two of the students romantically. It had almost been a year since that time on Astraea Island, and Jaden would soon be returning.

The large boat that Jaden was on was taking him and a few other young pro duelists to the island for a Special Tournament known as the Astraea Star Cup, and it was by special invitation only that duelists could participate. Jaden was rather surprised that his own invitation reached him since he had become somewhat of a wanderer, but somehow it did, and Jaden gladly accepted it. For it was an opportunity for him to see some of his old friends on the island again. As Jaden looked out over the ocean, his thoughts were interrupted by the appearance of Winged Kuriboh, one of his most faithful Duel Monster spirits. The winged fur ball suddenly took off and Jaden followed him.

It didn’t take long for Jaden to find out what Winged Kuriboh was trying to tell him. The winged fur ball had sensed another Duel Monster spirit, one that Winged Kuriboh already knew, as did Jaden. The creature in question was a small four legged mammal with two pairs of big ears, lavender fur, ruby red eyes, and a ruby red sphere on the end of its long tail. Winged Kuriboh immediately began wrestling with the creature, which Jaden knew to be Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle. There was only one person in the entire world that had that card.

“Well isn’t this a surprise?” a voice suddenly asked. Jaden looked and saw that it was from a young man about Jaden’s age with blue-green hair and eyes and wearing a long sleeved white shirt, a blue vest, and black pants. A duel disk was on his left arm. Jaden immediately recognized the person as his old friend, Jessie Anderson, the wielder of the Crystal Beasts.

“Jessie!” Jaden exclaimed as he ran over to his old friend. Like Jaden, Jessie could see and hear Duel Monster spirits, and they also shared a similar attitude toward dueling. So to Jaden, Jessie was sort of like the twin brother that he never had. Even though they looked nothing alike. “How are you man?”

“Just great. And you?” Jessie asked.

“Pretty good.” Jaden answered. “So I guess you’re in this tournament too, huh?”

“Yeah, though I didn’t know that you’d be in it too.” Jessie replied.

“Well hello Jessie!” said Yubel, Jaden’s Duel Monster partner, as she suddenly appeared. “It’s been so long since we last saw each other. How’ve you been?”

“Uh, hi Yubel.” Jessie said as he was taken aback by Yubel’s sudden appearance. Jessie knew that Yubel was no longer the deranged and twisted creature that had once possessed him, but the Duel Monster’s appearance had still brought back unpleasant memories. “I’m doing just fine. So Jaden, have you been to Astraea Island before?”

“One time.” Jaden answered. “I was there doing some work for Maximillion Pegasus. It’s kind of a long story.”

“Well, it’s still a long boat ride.” Jessie replied.

“Is this a private party, or can anybody join in?” a new voice asked.

Jaden and Jessie saw that it was a young man around their age with spiked brown hair, and wearing an orange hooded sweatshirt, black jeans, and red tennis shoes. A duel disk was on his left arm.

“Who are you?” Jaden asked in a friendly tone.

“The name’s Jason Morgan,” the young man answered, “but everybody calls me Striker. Who’re you guys?”

“I’m Jaden Yuki, and this is Jessie Anderson.” Jaden introduced.

“Wow, I’ve heard of you guys!” Striker exclaimed. “I bet this isn’t your first big tournament.”

“Not really.” Jessie answered. “Is it yours?”

“This’ll be the first tournament I’ve been in since I graduated from my old academy.” Striker answered.

“Wow, what duel academy did you go to?” Jaden asked.

“West Road Academy in North America.” Striker answered. “It’s not a very big academy, but a nice one.”

“So are you excited about this tournament?” Jessie asked.

“You bet! It’s gonna be a blast facing all these pro duelists!” Striker answered. “Plus I bet these students on this island we’re going to are probably pretty strong too. I can’t wait!”

“They are strong. Believe me.” Jaden replied, glad to see someone else who seemed to share his attitude towards dueling.

“Well, well. If it isn’t my old rival, Striker Morgan.” A voice with a slight accent suddenly said.

Jaden and the others turned to see another young man with blond hair wearing sunglasses, a white jacket with rolled up sleeves over a pink shirt, a black necktie, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes.

“Clive Winston. I should’ve known that you’d be here.” Striker said to the newcomer.

“You know this guy Striker?” Jaden asked.

“Clive is an old friend and rival of mine from the Atlantic Duel Academy in the UK.” Striker answered. “Our academies have faced each other in tournaments a few times, and every time it’d be the two of us in the final round.”

“And you’d win every time too.” Clive added. “So who’re your new mates Striker?”

“Well the guy with the bluish green hair is Jessie Anderson, the Crystal Beast user,” Striker introduced, “and the brown haired guy is Jaden Yuki.”

“As in Jaden Yuki the Fusion Master?” Clive asked in surprise as he took off his shades to get a better look at Jaden.

“Um, I’ve never heard myself called that before, but yeah.” Jaden replied.

“Wow, I thought you were a myth!” Clive exclaimed. “I mean I’ve heard stories about you mate! Wow, it’s my lucky day! I get to meet a living myth and get to go to an island with cute girls! Though some of them would be a little young for me, but the upper class students are bring in some real possibilities!”

“Here we go again.” Striker sighed. “Clive is a bit of a flirt. If there’s one thing he likes more than dueling, it’s the ladies.”

“Um, I don’t think you’re going to have much luck getting a date from the students on the island.” Jaden told Clive.

Jaden knew that for some reason, most if not all of the students on Astraea Island were geared towards other girls when it came to romantic companionship. He didn’t wonder about the reason why, for it wasn’t his business anyway. All Jaden knew was that any of Clive’s attempts to attract the ladies of Astraea Island would be as useless as trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

“Oh, you haven’t seen me in action yet.” Clive said to Jaden in a confident tone.

“Trust me, these girl really aren’t going to be interested in you.” Jaden replied.

“Oh really, you a betting man Jaden Yuki?” Clive asked.

“Let the boy find out for himself.” Yubel cut in with a wry expression. “It could be a learning experience for him. Not to mention a laugh riot for me.”

“Well look at what we have here.” A gruff voice rudely cut it. “I can’t believe they let all this trash onto the boat.”

The person who interrupted was a rather large and burly young man with black hair wearing a white tank top and green pants.

“Who the heck are you?” Jaden asked the stranger.

“That’s Dirk Peters, a real low life of a duelist.” Striker answered.

“How the heck did you get into this tournament Morgan?” Dirk asked Striker.

“I was invited, like everyone else.” Striker answered. “Though I’m completely shocked that you got invited to this thing.”

“Hmph, well if you got invited to this thing, than the competition in this thing must be really soft!” Dirk said to Striker. “Not that I expected much since the rest of the players in this tournament are a bunch of weak little girls!”

“Don’t insult the students of Astraea Island!” Jaden cut in. “They’re powerful duelists!”

“You’re probably saying that because one of those creampuff girls beat you once.” Dirk laughed. “Who are you anyway?”

“That’s Jaden Yuki, the Fusion Master!” Clive answered. “And he could duel you into the ground Peters!”

“Well see about that in the tournament!” Dirk replied. “In the meantime, all of you losers better stay out of my way!”

With that, Dirk turned and left. The other four duelists glared at him from behind his back.

“One thing’s for sure, before this tournament is over, one of us is gonna have to clobber that guy.” Jaden said. His companions nodded.

* * *

Meanwhile, back on Astraea Island, the students of the three student councils and the two Etoile were having their weekly meeting in the student council room of Spica. It had become tradition to hold these meetings in the student council room of the school that the Etoile were from, and since the current Etoile, Hikari Konohana and Amane Ohtori were from Spica, the meetings were held there. Hikari and Amane sat at the table in two throne-like chairs. Sitting right across from them was Chikaru Minamoto, the raven-haired president of Lilum. To the left on Hikari’s side of the table was Shion Tomori, the blond haired president of Spica, and to the right on Amane’s side sat Tamao Suzumi, the blue haired president of Miator. The meeting was wrapping up, and they had one piece of business to tend to.

“Okay, the last order of business is the setup for the final matches of the Astraea Star Cup tournament.” Chikaru announced. “We still have to decide where they will be held.”

“I vote that the finals be held at the Spica stadium.” Shoin announced.

“I second that vote.” Chikaru agreed.

“I unfortunately do not agree.” Tamao said with a calm smile that hid sinister motives. “I have nothing against the Spica stadium, but it seems to me to be a little overused. It seems that since the last Etoile Tournament, the stadium as been used for almost every major dueling event on the island, as if Spica is bragging about the current Etoile being from their academy.”

“I resent that accusation!” Shion exclaimed.

“It’s not an accusation, but merely an observation.” Tamao replied, retaining her calm smile. “You have to admit that the repeated use of that stadium does give some that impression president Shion.”

“And I suppose that you want the finals to be held in Miator’s stadium?” Shion asked.

“That would be preferable.” Tamao replied.

This was not the first time that this type of argument occurred between the presidents of Miator and Spica. Several similar arguments had occurred in past meetings. It seemed though that Tamao was far better at winning these arguments than her predecessor, Miyuki Rokujo. Hikari, Amane, and Chikaru all sighed in unison as if to say: “here we go again.”

“I can’t believe you!” Shion exclaimed as she suddenly stood up from her chair. “You accuse Spica of bragging just so you can get the finals to be held in Miator’s stadium!”

“I’m only trying to help your academy to protect its image.” Tamao replied calmly as she started to stroke the green stoned ring on her left middle finger.

“You are so transparent!” Shion shouted. “Don’t pretend to say that you’re suggesting this for Spica’s benefit!”

“Enough!” Amane interrupted after Hikari whispered something to her. “We don’t have time to quibble over something like this. The visiting duelists will be here soon. Now Hikari has just suggested a reasonable compromise. Why don’t we hold the finals in Lilum’s stadium? That way no one can accuse Spica of bragging, and Spica can feel satisfied that Miator isn’t just trying to steal the finals from them.”

“That seems reasonable to me.” Chikaru agreed.

“That seems like a good idea to me too.” Shion sighed as she sat back down in her chair.

“It does seem to be a reasonable compromise Etoile Amane,” Tamao said calmly, “but I’m afraid that it won’t be possible. I’ve already informed the head mistress that the finals will be held in Miator’s stadium.”

“YOU DID WHAT?” Shion shouted as she stood back up. “HOW DARE YOU GO BEHIND OUR BACKS LIKE THAT?”

“I agree! That was a violation of our protocols!” Chikaru added.

“I was merely taking initiative.” Tamao calmly replied. “It is as Amane pointed out, we have little time to debate details like this with the visiting duelists coming soon. Although if I had thought of holding the finals in Lilum’s stadium, I would’ve told the head mistress that we had agreed to hold the finals there.”

“YOU LYING LITTLE…!” Shion began to shout.

“Okay! It seems our hands our now tied.” Amane interrupted. “The finals will have to be held in Miator’s stadium. I think we can call this meeting adjourned.”

“No argument here.” Chikaru agreed.

With that, Hikari and Amane walked out of the room together. Tamao gave Shion and Chikaru one last innocent smile before leaving. Shion sat back down in her chair with a sigh.

“That girl is going to be the death of me!” Shion exclaimed as she began rubbing her temples. “Tamao is a thousand times worse than Miyuki ever was!”

Chikaru got up, walked over to Shion, and placed a hand on her friend’s left shoulder.

“Maybe you should call it an early day and get some rest.” Chikaru suggested to Shion.

“Thanks Chikaru, but I’ll be alright.” Shion replied. “Besides, I still have a lot of work that needs to be done today.”

“You shouldn’t push yourself.” Chikaru said with a worried look. “You’re far too young to get any grey hairs.”

“…I guess I can get Kaname and Momomi to do some of the work I have left today.” Shion relented. With that, the two student council presidents left the room.

* * *

A few hours later, the boat carrying Jaden and the other pro duelists had finally arrived at the island. Including Jaen, Jessie, Clive, and Striker, the boat was carrying at least fifty to sixty pro duelists. All of them were young, and many of them had recently graduated from a duel academy of some sort. The duelists were all led from the dock to a clearing out in front of the church at the center of the island. Jaden remembered the church as where the Spica School Choir would usually perform. Awaiting the duelists outside of the church was the kindly old woman who was the head mistress of all three academies on the island, who’s name Jaden could not remember. Waiting next to the head mistress was a girl with long curly blond hair and a blue haired tomboy who could easily be mistaken as a young man from a fair distance. Jaden immediately recognized the duo as Hikari and Amane, the Etoile of Astraea Island. Once all of the duelists had assembled, the head mistress began to speak.

“Welcome visiting duelists.” The head mistress began. “It is an honor to have you all here. You have all been invited to this tournament because of your young age and skill. For many of you, this tournament will be the first test of your strength and skills as pro duelists. It will also be a test for many of the students here on the island that is participating as well. It is my sincerest hope that this tournament will be a learning experience for all that are participating.

“The tournament itself will begin tomorrow, but tonight we shall have a special banquet in honor of your arrival. First though, we shall show all of you to the accommodations that have been set up for all of you. Before that however, will Jaden Yuki, Jessie Anderson, Clive Winston, and Jason Morgan please step forward?”

The four stepped forward as requested, wondering why they were singled out.

“As the four of you are the top ranked duelists among those who were invited, special accommodations have been prepared for you.” The head mistress continued. “You will also be sitting at the table of our island’s two Etoile, Hikari Konohana and Amane Ohtori during tonight’s banquet. On that note, our two Etoile shall lead you to where you will be staying during the tournament, while I shall lead the rest of the duelists to where they shall be staying. I shall see you all tonight at the banquet.”

With that, Jaden, Jessie, Clive, and Striker went off with Hikari and Amane, while the head mistress led the rest of the duelists to where they would be staying during the tournament. Jaden noticed Dirk glaring at them as they left.

“It’s been awhile, hasn’t it Jaden?” Amane asked as they were walking.

“Yeah, it sure has.” Jaden replied. “It’s great seeing you guys again.”

“Same here.” Hikari responded.

“And it is lovely meeting a lovely young girl such as yourself.” Clive said to Hikari in a suave manner. “Maybe after this whole banquet thing is over you and I could get together a little dinner of our own.”

“Hikari and I will be going straight to our room after the banquet.” Amane cut in, giving Clive a dark look at the same time.

“Looks like you’ve been shot down again Clive.” Striker whispered.

“I’ll win one of them over yet Striker, just you wait.” Clive whispered back with a smug expression.

“I highly doubt that.” Jaden cut in.

There was little conversation after that point. After a short walk, Hikari and Amane led the four visiting duelists to a small guesthouse out behind the head mistress’ mansion, which Jaden had not noticed was there during his first visit. The guesthouse was fairly small compared to the mansion. It was one floor, well furnished, and had four separate rooms for each of the visiting duelists.

“Okay, the banquet tonight is at 7:00.” Amane said as Jaden and his three companions checked out where they would be staying. “Hikari and I will be back to pick you guys up then. Oh, and Jaden and Jessie, be sure to bring your duel disks and decks.”

With that, the Etoile duo left, and the four duelists began to settle in.

* * *

About fifteen minutes before the banquet, Jaden, Jessie, and Striker all emerged from their rooms wearing their usual attire. Clive on the other hand emerged wearing a fancy black tuxedo, though he still had his sunglasses on.

“Well chaps, how do I look?” Clive asked as he displayed his outfit.

“You look nice Clive, but I think you might be a little overdresses.” Jaden answered. “Jessie, Striker, and I are all wearing the same thing that we normally wear, and it’s not like any of the other duelists who came here brought outfits like that.”

“That’s merely because they weren’t prepared like I was.” Clive replied.

“Well I guess you can take pride in being the only penguin on the island.” Striker said with a touch of sarcasm. “And would it kill you to take off your sunglasses? The sun has pretty much set.”

“You know I can’t take off these shades Striker. They’re part of my image.” Clive replied, causing Striker to roll his eyes.

There was a knock on the outside door, and after Jaden gave whomever it was the signal to come in, Hikari and Amane entered. Amane was wearing a white tuxedo with a blue sash, while Hikari was wearing an elegant white dress with a red sash. The two looked every bit like a prince and princess.

“You guys ready to go?” Amane asked. The four duelists nodded. “Okay, follow us.”

As they were leaving, Clive pulled Jaden over to ask him something.

“Hey Fusion Master, are those two girls… a couple?” Clive asked in a whisper.

“They are, actually.” Jaden whispered back.

“Well no wonder my natural charms didn’t work on either of them earlier.” Clive replied.

“Your ‘natural charms’ don’t work on girls who do like guys.” Striker whispered after overhearing the conversation. “Now let’s get going.”

Hikari and Amane led the four to a large field that had been set up for an outdoor banquet. Lights were strung from polls and tables and chairs were set up in various spots. Already there were visiting duelists and Astraea Island students sitting at most of them. In the middle of this field of table and chairs was a circular clearing wide enough for a few people to duel in. The Etoile duo led Jaden and the others to a rectangular table with six chairs. The middle two chairs looked more like thrones and regular chairs. Hikari sat in the left throne while Amane sat in the right. Jaden and Jessie sat in the two chairs next to Amane, while Clive and Striker sat in the two chairs next to Hikari.

From where Jaden was sitting, he could get a good look at just about were everyone was. At a round table off to his left sat the head mistress and a few of the teachers from the three academies. Off to his right, Jaden could see that there was similar tables set up for the student councils of all three academies. The first one he noticed was the one that Chikaru Minamoto, Lilum’s student council president. Sitting with Chikaru was an orange haired girl with pigtails who Jaden remembered as Kizuna Hyuga, a green haired girl with glasses, who Jaden knew as Remon Natsume, and a young blond girl with a teddy bear, who Jaden fondly remembered as Kagome Byakudan. The four girls waved at Jaden, to which Jaden responded with a wave of his own.

Next to Chikaru’s table was the table for the Spica student council. There were only three girls at that one. One was a girl with short black hair and a rather masculine appearance. Another was a girl with medium length brown hair. Both girls wore a scowl on their faces, as if they were not happy to be there. Jaden remembered those two as Kaname Kenjo and Momomi Kiyashiki. Jaden did not have fond memories of those two, as they tried a few times to try and get between Hikari and Amane and prevent them from becoming Etoile. Shion was sitting in between Kaname and Momomi, and Jaden noticed that the blond had a tired expression on her face.

“Is Shion alright?” Jaden asked Amane.

“Running the student council has really been wearing her out.” Amane answered in a worried tone. “She thought it would be easier when Hikari and I became Etoile, but it’s actually become a much harder job than before.”

“Why’s that?” Jaden asked.

“It’s mostly due to Miator’s student council, and their new president.” Amane answered. “Ever since Tamao became student council president, things have been different. Miator has changed. It’s like the students there are more ruthless. They’ll challenge anybody who looks at them funny. What’s more is that when Tamao became president, she immediately disbanded the old student council and formed a completely new one from students that she handpicked herself. After that they disbanded most of Miator’s old clubs, replacing them with clubs that focus on aggressive dueling tactics, self-defense, and even this weird science club.”

Jaden looked over at the table where the Miator student council members were to sit and saw that it was vacant. As if on cue however, Tamao and her student council showed up, causing many of the students, and a few of the teachers and visiting duelists to go silent and look on with quiet awe. There were four of them, not counting Tamao, with two walking in front and two behind. One of the two girls in front had long dark-brown hair, dark-blue eyes, and a cold expression on her face. The other had raven-black hair that was tied back in a ponytail, and cold, light-blue eyes. As for the two in back, one had short purple hair and dark-green eyes. The other had dark-green hair that was a bit longer than the purple haired girl’s, and wore glasses over her hazel eyes.

The five members of Miator’s student council sat down at their table, with the two girls that were walking in front sitting on Tamao’s left, and the two girls from behind sitting on her right. Jaden noticed that there was something very different about Tamao. He couldn’t quite place what it was, but as Jaden looked at Tamao, he noticed that her eyes seemed to be a different color. Before her eyes were the same blue color as her hair, but they had changed to a light green. Tamao noticed Jaden looking at her and gave him a startled expression, as if she wasn’t expecting to see Jaden there. That expression soon changed to a warm smile however, but Jaden found something unsettling about it.

“Blimey, those girls look intense!” Clive exclaimed quietly.

“Are those four girls with Tamao the new student council?” Jaden asked.

“Yeah, and there are some bad rumors about them.” Amane answered. “All four of them are transfer students. The one with the purple hair is Mika Yamato. I haven’t seen her in action, but I’ve heard that she’s a very aggressive and merciless duelist. The one in the glasses is Hiyori Sonoda. She’s the one who started Miator’s science club, and they say that she’s conducting some kind of weird experiments for Tamao. The one with the black hair is Tomoyo Mikage. They say that she never says a word, except when she’s dueling. The final member of the group is an exchange student from England named Jane Hawthorn. Among the four, they say that she’s the strongest. All four of them are known by everyone as the Four Witches of Miator.”

As soon as Tamao and her Four Witches sat down, the food was served. After it seemed that everyone had finished her meal, the head mistress stood up and gently but loudly tapped the side of her glass, signaling that she was about to speak.

“Assembled students and visiting duelists,” the head mistress began, “it is an honor to have you all here for this event. The Astraea Star Cup tournament does not begin until tomorrow, but tonight, we have arranged a special event. Our two Etoile, Hikari Konohana and Amane Ohtori, shall face two of our visiting duelists, Jessie Anderson and Jaden Yuki, in a special exhibition duel, which will be played using the rules applied during the previous Etoile Tournament. Meaning that both teams will share an amount of 4000 life points, and one player cannot be attacked directly while his or her partner has a monster on the field. Now, will our four duelists please move to the clearing that has been prepared for this event?”

Jaden and Jessie grabbed their duel disks, which they had brought with them and placed under their chairs during dinner, and headed out to the field with Hikari and Amane.

“I wish I was going out there to face those two girls.” Striker commented.

“Same here Striker, but at least we’ll both get to see the great Fusion Master in action.” Clive replied.

Once the four duelists were in position, the head mistress signaled the duel to begin. Jessie had the first turn.

“First I summon Crystal Beast Emerald Tortoise in Defense Mode!” Jessie announced. Appearing on the field in front of Jessie was a large green tortoise with emerald gemstones adorning its shell. The creature’s head and arms were retracted. “Now I’ll set one card on the field and end my turn!”

“First I summon Shining Angel in Defense Mode!” Hikari announced after drawing her card. A male angel with gold wings and hair appeared on the field in front of Hikari. “Now I set two cards on the field and end my turn!”

“I summon Elemental Hero Wildheart in Defense Mode!” Jaden announced as his faithful jungle warrior appeared on the field. “Next I’ll lay down a facedown and end my turn!”

“I summon Freed the Brave Wanderer in Attack Mode!” Amane announced.

An armored warrior with long blond hair and a green cape appeared on Amane’s side of the field.

“Freed attack Wildheart!” Amane commanded. “Brave Sword Attack!”

The armored warrior drew his sword and slashed Wildheart in half.

“I activate my Trap, Hero Signal!” Jaden announced. “Because Wildheart was destroyed, I can Special Summon Elemental Hero Burstinatrix from my deck!”

Appearing on Jaden’s part of the field was a female warrior with dark grey hair, a gold helmet, and a red and light grey bodysuit.

“I was hoping for that!” Hikari smirked. “I activate my facedown Spell card, Demise of the Land! When my opponent Special Summons a monster, I can activate a Field Spell from my deck! So I activate The Sanctuary in the Sky!”

In a flash the surrounding area changed into an ancient Roman style temple that was floating in the sky.

“I set one card and end my turn!” Amane announced. It was Jessie’s turn next.

“First I summon Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger in Attack Mode!” Jessie announced.

A white tiger with a bladed horn on its forehead appeared on the field.

“Topaz Tiger, attack Freed!” Jessie commanded. “Topaz Incisor Shred!”

“I activate my Trap, Draining Shield!” Hikari announced as the tiger lunged at Freed. “Now your attack is negated and Amane and I gain life points equal to your Tiger’s ATK, which at the moment is 2000!”

A silver shield appeared on Freed’s arm, which he raised to block the pouncing tiger.

“I’ll set one card and end my turn!” Jessie announced.

Hikari drew her next card. Jaden hoped that Hikari would choose attack Jessie’s Topaz Tiger instead of his Burstinatrix. Burstinatrix had weaker ATK, but Topaz Tiger had a more dangerous effect. It gained 400 ATK whenever it attacked an enemy monster.

“First I activate Field Barrier!” Hikari announced. “Now my Field Spell can’t be destroyed or replaced with another one. Next I tribute Shinning Angel to summon Airknight Parshath!”

The blond angel shattered, and in his place appeared a centaur-like angel wearing blue and gold armor.

“Parshath, attack Topaz Tiger!” Hikari commanded. “Avenging Blade!”

Parshath charged forward and slashed the tiger in half with his sword. The strike reduced Jessie and Jaden’s life points from 4000 to 3700.

“You may have destroyed Topaz Tiger, but he stays on the field as a Continuous Spell card!” Jessie announced. A large uncut yellow gemstone appeared on his part of the field.

“Fine, but I get to draw another card since Parshath inflicted battle damage!” Hikari announced. “I end my turn!”

“You should’ve attacked Burstinatrix when you had the chance!” Jaden said with a smirk as he drew his next card. “First I activate Polymerization and fuse Bustinatrix with Elemental Hero Avian in my hand to summon Elemental Hero Flame Wingman!”

A winged warrior in a green furred costume momentarily appeared on the field before merging with Burstinatrix into a muscular green warrior with one white wing and a red dragon headed arm.

“Next I activate Miracle Fusion and combine Avian and Burstinatrix in the Graveyard to summon Elemental Hero Nova Master!” Jaden announced.

In a burst of flames appeared a warrior in red, orange, yellow, and black armor, with a flowing red cape.

“Wow, he used the same pair of monsters to bring out two different Fusions!” Striker exclaimed from the sidelines.

“That’s why they call Jaden Yuki the Fusion Master.” Clive replied.

Jaden thought that things were looking up. Flame Wingman had 2100 ATK and could also inflict a huge amount of damage, while Nova Master had 2600 ATK. Both of Jaden’s monsters could easily take out Freed and Parshath.

“Flame Wingman, attack Freed!” Jaden commanded. “Flame Shoot!”

Flame Wingman shot a fireball from his dragonhead arm.

“Not so Fast! I activate my Trap, Negate Attack!” Amane announced. “This stops you from attacking this turn!”

Flame Wingman’s fireball was suddenly sucked into a vortex that briefly appeared in front of Freed.

“I end my turn!” Jaden announced. Amane drew her next card.

“First I activate Graceful Charity!” Amane announced. “I draw three more cards and discard two! Next I activate Freed’s effect, and remove the two Light monsters I discarded to the Graveyard to destroy Nova Master!”

Nova Master exploded in a flash of white light.

“Now I equip Freed with Black Pendant, increasing his ATK from 1700 to 2200!” Amane announced. A necklace with a dark purple gemstone appeared around Freed’s neck. “Freed, attack Flame Wingman! Brave Sword Attack!”

Freed drew his sword once again and slashed Flame Wingman in half. The strike reduced Jessie and Jaden’s life points from 3700 to 3600.

“Blimey, that Amane turned things around in an instant!” Clive exclaimed.

“I’ve heard about Amane and Hikari before.” Striker replied. “Alone they’re strong duelists, but together they’re practically unstoppable. They call them the prince and princess of Spica, and it looks like those titles are given for good reason.”

“I end my turn!” Amane announced. Jessie drew his next card.

“First I summon Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus in Attack Mode!” Jessie announced. A white Pegasus with a sapphire horn and sapphire gemstones in the wings appeared on the field. “When Sapphire Pegasus is summoned, I can add a Crystal Beast from my hand, deck, or Graveyard to my Spell/Trap Zone! So I bring out from my deck, Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth!”

A large uncut amber gemstone appeared on the field.

“Next I activate Crystal Beacon!” Jessie announced. “Since I have two Crystal Beasts in my Spell/Trap Zones, I can summon another Crystal Beast from my deck! So I summon Crystal Beast Amethyst Cat!”

Appearing on the field was a large pink cat with a gold collar set with an amethyst gem.

“Now I activate Crystal Promise and summon Topaz Tiger from my Spell/Trap Zone!” Jessie announced.

The uncut topaz gemstone transformed back into Topaz Tiger.

“Topaz Tiger, attack Parshath!” Jessie commanded. “Topaz Incisor Shred!”

The tiger pounced on Parshath and tore the angelic centaur to pieces.

“Now for Amethyst Cat, which can attack my opponents directly!” Jessie announced. “Amethyst Cat, attack Hikari with Amethyst Power Pounce!”

The pink cat leapt at Hikari, and knocked her back a little. The attack reduced Amane and Hikari’s life points from 6000 to 5400.

“I end my turn!” Jessie announced. Hikari drew her next card.

“First I play Soul Absorption!” Hikari announced. “Next I remove Shining Angel and Parshath from my Graveyard to summon Soul of Purity and Light!”

Appearing on the field was a young man with a female angel behind him. At the same time, two balls of golden light fluttered around the field for a moment before hitting Hikari and Amane, increasing their life points to 6400.

“Soul of Purity and Light, attack Amethyst Cat!” Hikari commanded. “Pure Soul Ray!”

The angel behind the young man rose up and fired a beam of white light at Amethyst Cat. The cat transformed into an uncut amethyst gemstone. The attack had reduced Jessie and Jaden’s life points to 2800.

“I end my turn!” Hikari announced. Jaden drew his next card and saw that there wasn’t much he could do.

“First I summon Elemental Hero Clayman in Defense Mode!” Jaden announced. A warrior in dark grey stone armor and a red mask appeared on the field in a crouched position. “Next I’ll lay down a facedown and end my turn!”

“First I summon Blade Knight in Attack Mode!” Amane announced after drawing her card. A knight in shinning silver armor appeared on the field. “Now because I control two light attribute monsters I can Special Summon from my hand the Guardian of Order!”

An almost mechanical looking warrior in white and gold armor descended from the sky onto the field.

“Whoa, Amane just summoned a monster with 2500 ATK without sacrificing anything!” Clive exclaimed. “This duel might be over.”

“Maybe not.” Striker replied. “Jaden might be able to block Amane’s next attack if I’m right about what his facedown card is.”

“Guardian of Order, attack Topaz Tiger!” Amane commanded. “Sanction of Light!”

The celestial warrior fired a large orb of golden light at Topaz Tiger.

“I activate my Trap, Negate Attack!” Jaden announced.

A vortex appeared in front of Topaz Tiger just in time to suck in the Guardian of Order’s attack.

“I end my turn!” Amane announced. Jessie drew his next card.

“I switch Sapphire Pegasus and Topaz Tiger to Defense Mode and end my turn!” Jessie announced. Hikari’s turn came.

“I tribute Soul of Purity and Light to summon The Agent of Judgment-Saturn!” Hikari announced. In place of Soul of Purity and Light appeared an angel with purple skin and dark purple wings. “Now, because The Sanctuary in the Sky is on the field, I can tribute Saturn to inflict damage equal to the difference between our life points!”

Saturn raised his arms forward and exploded into a nova of white light. When the light cleared however, all the cards were still on the field and a pillar of rainbow light momentarily surrounded Jessie and Jaden.

“What the… how?” a confused Hikari asked.

“When you activated Saturn’s effect, I discarded Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle from my hand and activated the Trap card I set on my first turn, Rainbow Life.” Jessie explained. “It negated the damage from Saturn and increased our life points by an equal amount.”

“I set one card and end my turn!” Hikari announced sounding a little discouraged. Jaden drew his next card.

“I discard Elemental Hero Neos to activate Super Polymerization!” Jaden announced. “I fuse Clayman with Guardian of Order to summon Elemental Hero The Shining!”

“A card that can fuse his own monsters with his opponent’s?” Striker asked in surprise.

“The legends are true!” Clive exclaimed.

A large vortex appeared in the sky above the battlefield and sucked in Clayman and the Guardian of order. The vortex vanished with a flash of light, and from the sky emerged a new warrior. One who wore a white bodysuit with golden blade-like ornaments protruding from his lower back and curved upward. The warrior had a single red gem-like eye.

“The Shining gains 300 ATK for all of my removed from play Heroes, making his ATK 3200!” Jaden explained. “Shinning, attack Freed with Optical Storm!”

The Shining fired a beam of white light from his eye, which vaporized Freed and reduced Hikari and Amane’s life points to 5400. At that moment, the gem on Freed’s necklace shattered and purple lightning hit both Jaden and Jessie, reducing their life points to 5900.

“When Black Pendant is destroyed, it inflicts 500 points of damage to the opponent!” Amane explained.

“I end my turn!” Jaden announced. Amane drew her next card.

“First I summon Warrior of Zera in Attack Mode!” Amane announced. A tan muscular warrior wearing a red scarf, blue pants, and a green helmet with red horns appeared on the field. “Now because The Sanctuary in the Sky is on the field, I can evolve Zera into Archlord Zerato!”

White lights from the sanctuary bombarded Zera, transforming him into an angelic being with white-feathered wings and glowing white skin. His scarf transformed into a long sash, which covered his face. Jaden had seen this monster before. Zerato was Amane and Hikari’s strongest card.

“Now I activate Zerato’s effect and discard a Light monster from my hand to destroy all monsters on my opponent’s side of the field!” Amane announced.

Zerato raised his saber and from it fired a beam of white light that destroyed all of Jessie and Jaden’s monsters. Sapphire Pegasus and Topaz Tiger turned into uncut gemstones and went into Jessie’s two remaining Spell/Trap Zones.

“When The Shining is destroyed, I get to add two of my removed Heroes back to my hand!” Jaden announced.

“Fine by me. Blade Knight, attack Jaden and Jessie directly!” Amane commanded. “Royal Saber!”

The silver knight charged forward and slashed both duelists with his blade. The attack reduced Jaden and Jessie’s life points to 4300.

“Zerato, attack them directly!” Amane commanded. “Holy Slash!”

With a slash of his saber, Zerato sent a blade of white light that hit Jaden and Jessie and reduced their life points to 1500.

“I end my turn!” Amane announced. Jessie drew his next card, and a smile appeared on his face as he looked at it.

“First I summon Crystal Beast Cobalt Eagle!” Jessie announced. A brown eagle with a black collar set with cobalt gems appeared on the field. “Now I activate the Trap I set a few turns ago, Rainbow Gravity! Since I’ve brought out all seven Crystal Beasts, I can summon from my deck, Rainbow Dragon!”

A pillar of rainbow light appeared on the field, and from it emerged a white serpentine dragon with four red eyes and a pair of gigantic white-feathered wings. Both sides of the dragon’s body were lined with seven gemstones, each one a different color of the rainbow. Many of the spectators gasped in awe as the legendary Rainbow Dragon appeared.

“Now I activate Rainbow Dragon’s effect and send the five Crystal Beasts I have on the field to the Graveyard to increase Rainbow Dragon’s ATK from 4000 to 9000!”

Cobalt Eagle and the four uncut gemstones turned into balls of light and went into their corresponding gemstones on Rainbow Dragon’s body.

“Rainbow Dragon, attack Blade Knight!” Jessie commanded. “Rainbow Refraction!”

Rainbow Dragon opened his mouth and a ball of rainbow light began to form in its jaws. At that moment, Hikari reacted.

“I activate my Trap, Shadow Spell!” Hikari announced. “This card stops Rainbow Dragon from attacking and decreases its ATK by 700 points!”

A series of black chains appeared around Rainbow Dragon and restrained him.

“Amane and I were hoping to end the duel before you brought out that monster, but it looks like this works too.” Hikari explained.

“I set one card one the field and end my turn!” Jessie announced. Hikari drew her next card.

“I’m afraid I can’t do anything this turn!” Hikari announced. Jaden drew his next card.

“First I play Pot of Greed and draw two more cards!” Jaden announced. As he drew his two extra cards, he hoped to get something that could turn things around, and he smiled when he saw that he drew just what he needed. “I activate O-Oversoul and summon from my Graveyard, Elemental Hero Neos!”

Appearing on the field was a muscular warrior in a white bodysuit, with green eyes and a single horn on his forehead. Jaden’s ace monster had arrived.

“Now I activate Polymerization and fuse Neos with Jessie’s Rainbow Dragon to form Rainbow Neos!” Jaden announced.

Noes leapt up and merged into Rainbow Dragon and caused an explosion of white light that shattered the back chains wrapped around it. When the light cleared, a giant version of Neos dressed in armor that looked as if it was made from Rainbow Dragon’s scales appeared on the field. The Dragon’s massive wings were on Neos’ back. The spectators were speechless when they saw Neos’ powerful new form.

“Next I summon Avian back to the field!” Jaden announced. The winged hero in green appeared back on the field. “Now I activate Rainbow Neos’ effect, Through the Rainbow Hole! By sending Avian to the Graveyard, I can return all other monsters on the field back to the deck!”

Avian shattered and disappeared, and with a flap of Neos’ wings, Zerato and Blade Knight disappeared from the field. Hikari and Amane were left wide open.

“Rainbow Neos, attack Hikari and Amane directly!” Jaden and Jessie commanded in unison. “Rainbow Flare Stream!”

Neos fired a beam of rainbow light from his horn, which hit the two Etoile and reduced their life points to a mere 900.

“I end my turn!” Jaden announced. Amane drew her next card.

“I never expected Neos to be able to fuse with Rainbow Dragon. That was amazing!” Amane commented. “But I’m afraid it won’t be enough. I discard one card and activate Lightning Vortex, destroying all of my opponent’s monsters!”

A rain of lightning bolt fell from the sky and destroyed Neos, leaving both sides of the battlefield empty of monsters.

“I end my turn!” Amane announced. Jessie’s turn began.

“Who do you think is going to win this duel Striker?” Clive asked from the sidelines.

“Hard to say.” Striker answered. “Both teams have lost their strongest monsters, not to mention most of their life points. Right now it’s anyone’s game.”

“I end my turn!” Jessie announced without doing anything else. Hikari’s turn came.

“I summon The Agent of Creation-Venus in Attack Mode!” Hikari announced. A female angel with gold skin and blond hair appeared on the field.

“That monster has 1600 ATK!” Clive exclaimed. “That’s just enough for Hikari and Amane to win the duel!”

“Unless Jessie’s facedown card can stop it.” Striker added.

“Venus, attack them directly!” Hikari commanded. “Creation Burst!”

Venus fired a ray of white light from her hands, causing Jessie to react.

“I activate my Trap, Mirror Force!” Jessie announced. “Now all of your monsters are destroyed!”

Venus’ attack bounced right back at her, destroying the angel and leaving the field empty of monsters once again.

“I end my turn!” Hikari announced. As Jaden drew his next card, he knew that he would have to end the duel that turn.

“First I summon Burstinatrix back to the field!” Jaden announced. The female hero of flames reappeared on the field. “Next I activate Mask Change and transform Burstinatrix into Masked Hero Goka!”

Burstinatrix leapt into the air and in a flash of red light changed into a warrior clad completely in red armor, and a mask with purple insect-like eyes.

“Goka may only have 2200 ATK, but he gains 100 extra ATK for every Hero monster in my Graveyard.” Jaden explained. “So since I have eight Heroes in my Graveyard, Goka’s attack is now 3000!”

“It’s all over now!” Striker exclaimed.

“Goka, attack Amane directly!” Jaden commanded. “Flame Kick!”

With his right boot aflame, Goka delivered a flying kick to Amane and reduced the life points of the two Etoile to zero. As the cards disappeared from the field, every one of the spectators cheered, except for the ones sitting at the Miator student council table, and Dirk Peters. When the crowed finally settled down, the head mistress spoke again.

“That was indeed an exceptional duel!” the head mistress began. “So now with the end of this duel, I hereby declare this banquet over! Everyone be sure to get some rest for the first day of the tournament!”

With that, everyone began to leave. As Jaden and his three friends and fellow visiting duelists, he hoped that the actual tournament would be as fun as the duel he and Jessie had just had that night. For some reason, Jaden couldn’t get what Amane had told him about Tamao and the changes to Miator. He wondered if there was some new threat waiting in the shadows.