Chapter 4: Clive the Gambler
It was the second day of the Astraea Star Cup Tournament. Young pro duelists were clashing with students from the three duel academies all over the island. Only eight would make it to the finals, and already there were a few contestants that were eliminated, while others were slowly advancing. After his duel with Shion the previous day, Jaden had defeated two others, both of them Spica students. He already had twenty points on his counter, but in order to get into the finals, Jaden needed one hundred points. Unfortunately there weren’t very many other duelists who were willing to face him. Jaden had somewhat of a reputation on the island. Not only was Jaden known for beating Hikari and Amane, but also for beating the previous Etoile, Shizuma Hanazono. The students of Astraea Island also knew Jaden as the one who defeated the combined form of the Wicked God cards, but in Jaden’s mind it was really Shizuma and Nagisa who defeated that creature, for it was there love that awakened the card he used to destroy the demon.
The bottom line was that Jaden was known as a powerful duelist on then island, so many of the students were afraid to face him. Jaden decided that the only way for him to score enough points to enter the finals was to go after the visiting pro duelists, and there were still plenty of them. As Jaden walked, he ran across his new friend, Striker, and he had just defeated another opponent, a Miator student who Jaden didn’t know. After his opponent walked away in disgust, Striker turned and saw Jaden.
“This is a pleasant surprise.” Striker said as he walked up to Jaden.
“Same here.” Jaden replied. “How’s the tournament going?”
“See for yourself.” Striker said as he held up his wrist to display his point counter. Jaden was surprised to see that he had thirty points.
“Wow, you must’ve been in a lot of duels yesterday.” Jaden said sounding impressed.
“Actually I was only in two yesterday.” Striker replied. “My last opponent had fifteen points, the same amount I had only a little while ago. Now she’s out and I’m further ahead. How’re you doing so far?”
“Well, I haven’t lost any duels, but I only have twenty points.” Jaden answered. “A lot of the students here are kind of afraid to face me.”
“Oh yeah, I’ve heard some of the girls here gossiping about you.” Striker replied as he recalled some of the conversations that a few of the students on the island had about Jaden. “What did you do when you were on this island last time?”
“No doubt he added to his own legend.” A voice answered. Both Jaden and Striker turned to see that it was Clive. “That’s one of the things I like about this island, not only are there pretty ladies as far as the eye can see, but I also find more stories about the legendary Fusion Master.”
“Am I really that big of a legend to you Clive?” Jaden asked with a smile and a raised eyebrow.
“You wouldn’t believe some of the stuff I’ve heard about you mate.” Clive answered. “I didn’t believe most it until I saw you in that tag duel a few nights ago.”
“Clive is really into what he calls ‘mythical duelists’.” Striker explained. “They’re basically duelists who’re very powerful, but not very well known or forgtten, so they become like an urban legend.”
“Right you are Striker.” Clive replied. “I’d also like to add that out of all the mythical duelists I’ve heard about Fusion Master, you’re easily my second favorite.”
“Thanks, though I have to ask, who’s your favorite?” Jaden asked.
“I was hoping you’d ask.” Clive said with grin. “My favorite mythical duelist of all time is none other than Joey Wheeler, the legendary gambler!”
“Oh yeah, I’ve heard of him.” Jaden replied. “He’s actually pretty good. He made it to the finals of both the Duelist Kingdom and Battle City tournaments.”
“He’s also won several small tournaments too.” Clive added. “And all of them were won with sheer luck. Joey Wheeler is the ultimate gambler.”
“Not all of them were won with just luck Clive.” Striker cut in. “Joey Wheeler is a skilled duelist too, a fighter. No matter how tough the challenge, he always won. He entered Duelist Kingdom when he was just a rookie, and that tournament was filled with some of the strongest duelists of that time. Despite that, he made it all the way to the final rounds. It’s like he had an invincible fighting spirit.”
“You sound like you’re a big admirer of Joey Wheeler yourself.” Jaden said to Striker.
“He’s well known at the academy I went to.” Striker replied. “I even met him one time.”
“You never get tired of rubbing that in my face, do you Striker?” Clive cut in. “Anyway, Joey’s dueling style is quite a match for my own.”
“You use a gambling deck Clive?” Jaden asked.
“That I do Fusion Master, that I do.” Clive replied. “Luck is a pretty big factor in this game, and when luck is on my side, I’m practically unbeatable.”
“Then you must be pretty unlucky, because I’ve beaten you several times.” Striker said with an amused smile.
Clive didn’t respond to Striker’s comment though. He was too busy looking at something else. Both Jaden and Stiker turned to see what Clive was looking at and saw that it was Chikaru. Clive gazed over his sunglasses at the raven-haired Lilum student.
“Well, well,” Clive said with a smile, “’scuse me mates. I’m feeling lucky right now.”
With that, Clive walked off towards Chikaru.
“Well, here we go again.” Striker said as he shook his head in amusement. “Clive has always been a sucker for a pretty girl. Looks like he’s going to try putting the moves on another one.”
“I don’t think he’ll have much luck with Chikaru.” Jaden said with a knowing smile.
“Oh I’m sure you’re right.” Striker replied. “That’s not gonna stop him though. He’ll ask this girl out, and if she shoots him down, he’ll sometimes get so desperate that he’ll try and challenge her to a duel with the condition that she goes out with him on one date if he wins. Let’s go watch.”
Jaden and Striker followed Clive to where Chikaru was standing.
“Hello there.” Clive said to Chikaru in a suave manner.
“Oh, hi.” Chikaru greeted with a warm smile when she noticed Clive. “You’re one of Jaden’s friends, aren’t you.”
“You could say that.” Clive replied, still trying to sound smooth. “The name’s Winston, Clive Winston. It’s a pleasure running into a young lady such as yourself, Ms…”
“Um, Chikaru.” The raven-haired girl answered.
“Chikaru, that’s a lovely name.” Clive said still in a suave manner. “What’s say that tonight you and I go out? I’m sure there are plenty of places on this island where we could have a quiet date.”
“Um, I’m flattered, but you aren’t my type.” Chikaru said, sounding a little uncomfortable.
“Don’t be so quick to say no.” Clive said not intending to give up. “An evening with the Clivester is one that you won’t soon forget.”
“I’m really not interested.” Chikaru replied.
“Well then, how about this? The two of us duel, and if I win, you go out on one date with me.” Clive suggested.
“…How many points do you have?” Chikaru asked after a brief pause.
“Twenty.” Clive answered.
“Well, I have twenty-five…” Chikaru said as she thought over Clive’s little wager. “Okay, I’ll take you on.”
With that, both Chikaru and Clive activated their duel disks. Nearby, Shion had seen all of Clive and Chikaru’s conversation, and she was in no way happy about what was going on. Jaden was the only one who noticed Shion’s arrival, and he saw the look of fury on her face. Jaden said nothing however. With their life points set at 4000, the duel began. Chikaru let Clive go first.
“First I summon Strike Ninja in Attack Mode!” Clive announced. A black suited ninja wearing a red scarf and a gold mask appeared on the field. “Then I set two cards and end my turn!”
“First I summon The Six Samurai-Nisashi in Attack Mode!” Chikaru announced.
A muscular samurai wearing green armor appeared on Chikaru’s side of the field. In each hand he carried a sword. A glowing green line ran down parts of his armor.
“Next I activate the Spell card, Double Summon, and summon The Six Samurai-Irou!” Chikaru announced. Appearing on the field was another samurai in black and dark purple armor. Irou carried a single sword and wore a visor over his eyes. A glowing purple line ran down parts of his armor. “Finally, I Special Summon Grandmaster of the Six Samurai!”
A third samurai appeared on the field. This one was older than the other two. He had long white hair and a beard and wore dull grey and black armor. In place of a normal left eye was a cybernetic implant that suggested that the Grandmaster had lost his original eye in combat.
“Wow, a Six Samurai deck. I’m impressed.” Striker commented from the sidelines.
“If the Grandmaster’s attack gets through, Clive will be finished.” Jaden observed. “Nisashi only has 1400 ATK, but can attack twice because Irou and the Grandmaster is on the field. After that, one attack from Irou would finish it.”
“Don’t underestimate Clive.” Striker responded. “If I’m right about the combo he has set up, the Grandmaster is finished.”
“Grandmaster, attack the Strike Ninja!” Chikaru commanded. “Swift Samurai Slash!”
The old samurai charged at Clive’s ninja with his sword held high.
“I activate my facedown cards, Skull Dice and Graceful Dice!” Clive announced.
Appearing on the field behind Strike Ninja were two small creatures. One was a sort of imp wearing black pants and gloves, and a hybrid of mask and black pointed hat with bat wings on the side. In its black-gloved clawed hands it carried a large red die. The other creature was a sort of fairy wearing a white-buttoned shirt and gloves, along with orange overalls and an orange bowler hat with white wings. In its arms the fairy carried a large blue die.
“Skull Dice lowers the ATK of your monster by the result of the die times a hundred, and Graceful Dice raises the ATK of my monster by the result of the die times a hundred!” Clive explained. “Now let’s roll!”
The two creatures threw the dice. The red die thrown by the imp landed on two. A light from the red die entered the Grandmaster and lowered his attack power to 1900. Though the old samurai was weakened, he did not stop his charge. The blue die thrown by the fairy landed on four, and a light from the die entered Strike Ninja, increasing his attack power from 1700 to 2100. The ninja leapt out of the way just in time to avoid the swing of the old samurai’s sword.
“Counter attack Strike Ninja!” Clive commanded. “Shadow Claw!”
The ninja threw several shuriken at the Grandmaster, killing the old warrior. The battle had reduced Chikau’s life points to 3800.
“A Joey Wheeler classic.” Striker commented. “I told you that you shouldn’t underestimate Clive.”
“Maybe, but Chikaru still has the advantage.” Jaden added.
“I’ll set one card on the field and end my turn!” Chikaru announced. Clive drew his next card.
“First I sacrifice Strike Ninja to summon Maximum Six!” Clive announced.
Strike Ninja shattered, and in his place appeared a muscular giant with six arms and purple skin. A red roman numeral six was painted on his chest.
“Now watch, my lovely Chikaru, as the effect of Maximum six kicks in!” Clive announced. “When Six is tribute summoned, a die is rolled, and Six gains ATK equal to the result times 200!”
As if on cue, a large purple die rolled onto the field and landed on three.
“Oh yeah! This means Six’s ATK goes up from 1900 to a powerhouse 2500!” Clive exclaimed. “I am lucky today!”
“Clive sure is confident.” Jaden commented.
“Yeah, but it’s usually when he gets too confident when Clive screws up.” Striker added.
“Maximum Six, attack Nisashi!” Clive commanded. “Six-Arm Crush!”
The giant charged at the duel sword-wielding samurai.
“Luck alone won’t get you victory! I activate my Trap, Covering Fire!” Chikaru announced. “This let’s me add Irou’s 1700 ATK to Nisahi’s during a battle!”
Irou charged into Maximum Six’s path and stabbed the giant in the chest with his sword. At that moment, Nisashi leapt into the air and decapitated the giant with his sword. The battle had reduced Clive’s life points to 3400.
“Well, no worries. I’ll set one card on the field and end my turn!” Clive announced. Chikaru drew her next card.
“First I activate Pot of Greed and draw two more cards!” Chikaru announced. “Next I activate The Warrior Returning Alive and bring Grandmaster of the Six Samurai back to my hand! Now I Special Summon Grandmaster of the Six Samurai!”
The grizzled old samurai warrior appeared back on the field.
“This is an epic duel!” Jaden commented. “Both Clive and Chikaru keep turning it around!”
“Yeah, but if Clive can’t turn it around, it’ll all be over.” Striker added.
“Grandmaster, attack Clive directly!” Chikaru commanded. “Swift Samurai Slash!”
The old samurai warrior charged towards Clive with his sword.
“I activate my Trap, Mirror Force!” Clive announced. “Now your whole Samurai army is destroyed!”
The Grandmaster’s sword hit a barrier that caused a huge explosion that destroyed all of Chikaru’s monsters.
“I guess there’s nothing more I can do. I end my turn!” Chikaru announced.
“It looks like Clive has the advantage now.” Jaden observed.
“Yeah, but he could still lose if he tries to show off.” Striker replied. Clive drew his next card and grinned a huge grin.
“This duel is gonna end on the next turn!” Clive declared. “I set one monster on the field and end my turn!”
“Yeah, Clive’s gonna try showing off.” Striker sighed.
“Do you know what card Clive played?” Jaden asked.
“Not for sure, but I have a feeling.” Striker replied. Chikaru drew her next card.
“I summon The Six Samurai-Zanji!” Chikaru announced.
Appearing on the field was a white-faced samurai in orange and black armor wielding a bladed pole weapon called a naginata.
“Zanji, attack Clive’s monster!” Chikaru commanded. “Naginata of Light!”
The samurai swung his blade down on the unknown monster, revealing a large brown jar with a purple face that was winking and sticking its tongue out on one end.
“Yep, he played Dice Jar.” Striker sighed.
“You may have destroyed my Dice Jar my lovely Chikaru, but you’ve also activated its effect.” Clive announced. “One die is rolled for each of us, and we each take damage equal to the roll times 500. But if one of us rolls a six, we take 6000 points of damage.”
“6000 points? That’s a powerful card!” Jaden exclaimed.
“Yeah, but it’s also a double edged sword.” Striker added. “Either player could take 6000 points of damage, or both could. It’s a major gamble.”
The jar shattered and a pair of dice fell out. The first die rolled in front of Chikaru and landed on a three. The die shocked Chikaru with a bolt of electricity, and dropped her life points to 2300. The second die rolled in front of Clive and landed on a six. The die exploded and took Clive’s life points to zero. Chikaru won the duel. The number on Clive’s point counter changed to fifteen, while Chikaru’s points went up to thirty.
“Looks like you won.” Clive said as the smoke cleared. “But I don’t give up so easily. Care to go again?”
“Chikaru beat you, so buzz off Romeo! C’mon Chikaru!” Shion said as she stormed up to the group. Shion grabbed Chikaru’s right hand and stormed off, dragging Chikaru with her.
“What the heck was that about?” Striker asked with a raised eyebrow.
“I think I know.” Jaden answered.
“Well, looks like I blew it.” Clive said as he approached Jaden and Striker. “I’m gonna go look for a new opponent and make up for the points I lost. See you two later.”
With that, Clive left the duo alone.
“I think I’ll go look for some more opponents too.” Striker said to Jaden. “See you later.”
“Later.” Jaden said as Striker walked away.
“Do you think that idiot boy Clive is going to try putting the moves of Chikaru again?” Yubel asked as she suddenly appeared.
“Let’s hope not.” Jaden answered. “Otherwise Shion is gonna kill him.”
* * *
A little later, both Shion and Chikaru were by the lake, and it wasn’t until that point that Shion finally let go of Chikaru’s hand. Chikaru was not at all happy with being dragged away in such a manner.
“Shion, what is with you?” Chikaru asked angrily as she rubbed her right hand.
“What’s with me? What on earth is with you?” Shion asked angrily. “How could take that loser’s bet to go out with him on a date if you lost?”
“I won, didn’t I?” Chikaru responded. “Besides, even if I did lose, it just would’ve been one date, nothing serious!”
“One date?” Shion asked sounding outraged. “You mean you actually would’ve gone out with that loser?”
“What does it matter to you?” Chikaru asked.
“It matters because I’m in love with you!” Shion blurted out.
Chikaru was quit startled by Shion’s confession, though perhaps not quite as startled as Shion herself. The blond girl did not intend to reveal her feelings in such a manner.
“Uh, I’m sorry…” Shion said as she turned her back to Chikaru out of embarrassment. “It’s just… well I’ve had these feelings about you for awhile now and… well…”
Shion did not get a chance to finish what she was trying to say. Suddenly Chikaru turned Shion around and planted a firm kiss on her lips. Shion was startled at first, but after a brief moment relaxed into it. After about four minutes, the kiss finally broke.
“I… I love you too.” Chikaru finally said. “I’ve been in love with you for quite some time now, but… I was never sure how to tell you, or if you felt the same way. I didn’t want to take the risk of ruining our friendship.”
“I felt the same way.” Shion replied with a warm smile. “We’ve been friends for so long. I didn’t want to risk ruining our friendship either if you didn’t feel the same way I feel about you.”
Both girls laughed about how their reasons for keeping their true feelings secret were the same. It helped to break the tension a little bit. After a moment there was another pause.
“So… what now?” Chikaru asked.
“Why don’t we just continue where we left off?” Shion suggested before bringing Chikaru into another long kiss. The two were so engrossed in each other that neither of them noticed that Tamao had been watching them the whole time. Tamao’s expression was calm, but her eyes were filled with a deep rage.