The 108 Stars of Destiny

C'mon Raven!" Kaomi ran off the train, now wearing a dark blue t-shirt and matching blue jeans. Raven stepped off the train after her, wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and black pants. He also had on a dark gray vest.

Right behind you!" he smiled. There had been no sign of since their departure. Orlandu remained in his cloak, but his hood was now down.

A man, in a white coat, blue shirt, and dark pants, approached. He, too, had a Duel Disk, but his was odd. It was a silver hemisphere on his arm, "I am Wesley Whyndam-Pryce. I am pleased to meet you. Lord Sevanos is eager to meet you as well. But he must first deliver his speech." Wesley led Raven and Kaomi to a crowded square. A man in a black trench coat stood in the center.

Lord Vaniver?" Raven said softly to Kaomi, shooting her a puzzled glance.

"Duelists. You are the esteemed, the vengeance seeking, and the non-finalists of Battle I feel your pain. So, I gave you all a second chance. Welcome to the Stars of Destiny tournament in Sunnydale! Such a quiet, quaint town. The tower in the distance is our headquarters, where we will monitor all duels. Once you amass seven points for victory, your Duel Disk will notify you. The first sixteen to accomplish this feat will be allowed into our headquarters for the finals tomorrow. The others will catch the train to Domino. Don't bother wagering, for each point you get three credits redeemable for packs at either our Star Game Shop in our headquarters, or the one here in the square. See you all either tonight here at the station or tomorrow morning at the Headquarters!" Sevanos, the man in the square, seemed kind, although his potential for intimidation was high. His white hair was slightly greater than shoulder length, and he had a scar running along his right cheekbone. His moderate figure was nothing overpowering, but his appearance could easily turn to downright evil. >
"What an inviting fellow." Kaomi seemed a little surprised, "Nice people can host tournaments?"

"You'd be surprised!" Wesley smiled, "You know, I've decided to quit the Stars of Destiny after this tournament. Perhaps I'll quit now." Wesley rambled on, but Raven found it hard to focus.

The world seemed to slow as a ringing in Raven's head grew until he fell to his knees. Then, the ringing was gone. The world froze, except one man. A man with an odd giant key pendant and a turban.

"Lord Raven Vaniver." He spoke in a deep Egyptian accent, "I ask you to trust and believe me in this. This may sound quite odd. I am Shadi, guardian of the ancient Millennium Items, and I sense an imbalance of power here. The imbalance stems from that man, that Sevanos. In ancient times, a war raged between a great Pharaoh, and an evil sorcerer. A man named Tiamat, your ancestor, fought on the side of the Pharaoh against a man named Seros. That would be the ancestor of Sevanos. Seros tried to use the battle between the Pharaoh and the Sorcerer to kill both and rule Egypt. Tiamat stopped him by offering himself to the Gods to create a great dragon that consumed Seros. But before his severed head finally died, he vowed his return to consume the world just as he was consumed. That day is upon us!"
"And where's this Pharaoh?" Asked Raven, trying to 'keep an open mind'.

"He is on a quest to secure the power of the Gods." explained Shadi, "You can defeat Sevanos, as you have before, but not alone.  No matter what you do, you must defeat Sevanos. If we wait for the Pharaoh, we may be too late. I see now that your fate is to defeat Sevanos."

"Alright then."

"You do not believe me." Shadi closed his eyes.

"You admit, it's a bit outlandish."

"Take this. It is a pendant like the one Sevanos has. You can use it to unlock power equal to his."

"What is it?"

"A shard of the God's Tear crystal. The crystal was used by the sorcerers of Egypt to commune with Shadow Realm easier and focus their power."
"Ah. I got a God's Tear Shard, now, eh?" Raven eyed his new pendant. It was a shimmering crystal about the size of a triple A battery, shaped like an elongated hexagon.
"Believe what you will, for soon that pendant shall prove all. Remember, it is your fate to defeat Sevanos." Shadi vanished and the world returned to normal.

Kaomi spun, "You OK Raven, you haven’t spoken much."

Raven looked a bit startled, but shook it off. “I'm fine.”

Kaomi caught a glimpse of the pendant, "What's that?"

"Err..." Raven shrugged, "Just a pendant I found on the ground. Makes me look awesome!"

Anyway." Kaomi picked up her conversation with Wesley.


Raven quickly separated himself from Wesley, Orlandu and Kaomi. He said he needed some ‘personal time’. He searched the crowd, finding no sign of Sevanos or Shadi. Fate… was the word running through his mind.

“I hear some of the cards you can get at these shops are being debuted here!” a kid said, walking past Raven.

“Yeah, and these packs have ten cards! And two of them are rare cards!”


“Rare cards…. I love saying that.” The two kids ran off.

Raven smiled. “New cards? Must be to keep things interesting.” He looked farther across the crowd. A large warrior, the Sword Hunter, held a large axe in one hand and a chain wrapped around dynamite in the other. “Some battle. But what time is it” Raven looked at his watch. Three minutes past four. The tournament had begun only three minutes ago. This boy was impressive. Raven flipped open his deck, examined it briefly, and slid it into his Duel Disk. Last night Kaomi and he had stayed up most of the night trading, dueling, and trading some more, perfecting their respective decks. Of course, with these ‘new cards’ there would need to be a lot of changes. Raven approached the match, watching with interest as the boy launched the final blow. A total of a six-minute match. 

“You, Sword Hunter Boy.” Raven called.

“Name’s The holograms before him vanished.

“I’m Raven. Let’s duel!” Raven launched his disk.

“Fine.If you really want to get wasted too.” Shuyin launched his Duel Disk.

“I’ll go first. I play a monster in defense mode and two cards face-down. Go.” Raven called as he set his cards.

“Summon my Little-Windguard! And for my tiny guardian, I play a new sword, the Wicked-Breaking Flamberg, Baou. Here are my two face-down cards. Windguard, ATTACK!”

“You fail to vanquish my Forgiving Maiden. Too bad, Shu.” Raven drew as Shuyin’s counter fell to 3900, “Sacrifice Forgiving Maiden, to summon my powerful Magical Marionette! And now, to power it up, here goes Card Destruction! Marionette, attack with Marionette’s String!” Raven ordered. A string wrapped around Windguard, destroying it.

Shuyin’s counter read 3500, “Here goes my Skull-Marked Ladybug in Defense Mode, and my Horn of the Unicorn and Yellow Luster Shield powering it up.

Fool, that raises my Marionette’s attack power. Attack!” ordered Raven. The string from the Marionette crushed the ladybug.

“Foolish one, you raise my Life Points to 4500, and my face-down trap, Michizure, destroys your Marionette.” Shuyin drew, “Pass my turn.”

“I throw a monster in Defense mode, and end my turn.” Raven shrugged.

“Big mistake.”Shuyin smiled as he drew, “Go, Gemini Elf! And I’ll give my elf twins horns. Horns of the Unicorn to be exact, raising their attack power to 2600!” Shuyin laughed, “Attack!”

“Reveal Negate Attack!” he smiled, Thank you Kaomi! Was all he could think, “My move, and here it goes. Set one card and play Card Destruction!”

“Pointless, as I have no hand.”

“But I do, Shuyin.” Raven slid his hand into the graveyard, and pressed the Activation Key for the card he just set, “Reveal, Monster Reborn!”

“Reveal Big Burn!” Shuyin laughed as both Graveyard slots burst into sudden flame. “All monsters in our Graves were burned right out of play. So, that Monster Reborn is useless.” He drew, “Perfect. I play one card face-down and attack!”

“Reveal Mirror Force!”< The Gemini Elf monsters attacked one another, both shattering, “And, that Horn of the Unicorn returns to the top of your deck, so you don’t draw next turn. And, since you can’t do anything, and are lacking in the hand department, I’ll go.” Raven drew, “Set one card and play Graceful Charity!”

“Activating my trap, foolish one Grave robber’s Retribution!  Each turn after this, you’ll loose life points for those monsters I burned away.”

“That’s if you make it one more turn. I remove the card I just discarded, my Dark Magician and my Sacred Crane from play to summon this. My mighty Black Luster Solder – Envoy of the Beginning. Now, all I have to do is raise his attack a bit, wait, I can just Normal Summon! Here goes my Autonomous Action Unit, giving 1500 of my Life Points to revive your Gemini Elf. Gemini attack.” The two elves assaulted their master, “Envoy, OBLITERATE!”

“Good show.” Shuyin watched the Envoy fly at him, “See you at the finals, Raven.”

“See you there, Shuyin.” Raven watched as the blade sliced away all the Life Points Shuyin had left.


Kaomi noticed a familiar face walk out of the card shop after the group had split up. “Aura!”

“Hey, Up for a rematch?”

“Sure.” Kaomi launched her Disk.

Aura slid some cards into her deck, “That’s thirty cards a victory, you know. Even one victory is profitable.” She grinned, and launched her Duel Disk.

“I’ll go first.” Kaomi threw a monster in Defense mode, “Go.”

“You’ll see what I mean. No more Miss Defensive.” She smiled, “Have a taste of my Obsidian Knight!” A large warrior made of black, smooth, rock took an offensive posture, “ATTACK, Dark Stone Blade!” The black blade sliced through a weird flying squirrel, “Oh, crap.”

“That’s right. I get two more. My turn?” Kaomi drew, her Life Points at 5000, “Sacrifice my two Momonga to summon my Dark Magician! Now, get ready for this. I ran into those magicians I won it from after I started wondering, and we decided to do a bit of trading. And I got this,” she held up a card, “Dedication through Light and Darkness!” The Dark Magician began to glow. The intensity of the glow became so severe; the Dark Magician was obscured in the light. When the light faded, another Magician replaced the Dark Magician. “Say hello to my Dark Magician of Chaos” Kaomi grinned, “Attack with Ultimate Silence!” Kaomi ordered. From the tip of this new spellcaster’s rod, beams shot at the Obsidian Knight, dissolving it, “Your move.”

“Impressive monster, A small smile crept across Aura’s face as her Life Points fell to 3000, “But I’m afraid I’m going to win this. I play four cards face-down and end my turn.” Four Spell and Trap cards appeared before her.

“Dark Magician of Chaos,” Kaomi shrugged, “Attack.”

“Reveal my face-down Trap cards, two cards titled A Hero Emerges, bringing forth my Millennium Shield in defense mode, and,” Aura smiled even wider, “My Millennium Sword.” A sword, much like the red-and-gold shield, appeared. It had a long gold blade and a red hilt with an Eye of Anubis marking on the hilt.

“Millennium Sword?”Kaomi stepped back.

“I told you there were thirty new cards in my possession. Some were deck-worthy. It’s amazing, the Millennium Shield and the Millennium Sword have reversed stats. Isn’t that so madly interesting?” Aura smiled, “I take it you pass your turn?”

“No,” Kaomi slid another face-down card, “Now go.”

“Good. I play my Witch of the Black Forest and play my spell, Remote Detonation! I destroy my Witch, allowing me to get the great Polymer Beast, and my spell Fusion Sage will let me get Polymerization.”

“AHH! All these new cards!” Kaomi screamed in frustration.

“You don’t know the half of it. Here goes Polymerization! Combine Millennium Sword, Millennium Shield, and have my Polymer Beast become a Black Luster Solder, to create the Millennium Luster Solder!” The monster resulting from the fusion was similar to the Black Luster Solder, but in gold armor, and armed with the Millennium Sword and Millennium Shield. “Because these are still by Battle City< rules, my monster can’t attack you, so go.”

“Great”, Kaomi drew. Nothing… unless… she schemed, “I play Pot of Greed.” She drew two more cards, YES! Let’s rock and roll! She thought, “I switch my magician to defense mode and set three cards face-down. Go.” She said, slightly despondent. She had plenty of Spell and Trap cards, but her acting was profound. She truly seemed hopeless.

“Millennium Luster Solder, ATTACK!”

“Reveal my trap cards, Mirror Force and Zero Gravity, returning my Magician to Attack Mode.” The Millennium Luster Solder flew at the Dark Magician of Chaos, which pointed its rod, and the Solder disappeared. “And on my turn, Monster Reborn!” Kaomi grinned, “Millennium Luster Solder, ATTACK!”

“Reveal Trap Card, Regulation of Tribe! Warriors may not attack.”

“Dark Magician, hurt her, just a bit.”

“Reveal Mirror Wall!” Aura smiled as her Life Points fell to 1600. She could not pay to keep the Mirror Wall, so it went poof, “Come on, luck!” she drew, “I play the De-Fusion spell card, destroying your Solder, and I place a monster in defense mode. Go.”


“Reveal my Millennium Crusader One, getting a Millennium Crusader Two from my deck.” The one Crusader shattered, and reformed into a slightly different one, “Here goes my Millennium Shield and Sword spell card, allowing me to return Millennium Shield to my hand, and I sacrifice my Crusader to play it. Go.”

“Sorry, Aura. Reveal Curse of Fiend.” Kaomi pressed the activation key.

“Not again.”

“And sacrifice my Magician for my Ryu Kokki.” A mass of skulls rose out of her magician, “And I play Scroll of Bewitchment, making your Shield a Fairy so my monster can deal damage to it. Kokki, attack!” The mass’ fist crashed into the shield, sending prices flying across the street.

“Perhaps you should trade in those credits you just earned. “Aura suggested, closing her eyes.

“Hey Aura,” Kaomi outreached her as the holograms disappeared, “You’re good. Let’s work together. We cold do a lot of damage here.”

“Okay…” Aura smiled thinly.


A woman in a silver robe ran up to Alan-Tax, “Sir, first finalist, Xavier Dyson.”

“Send a confirmation request to his Duel Disk, then send a hit.” Alan ordered.

Sevanos smiled, “Only a matter of time now. Perhaps I should go earn my victories.” He walked down the street.

Raven, now having accumulated three of his seven points, searched for his next challenge. “Yo! I saw you at Battle City; you took out my friend, Willow. You got a card of hers, and I want it back.”

“Your intentions are noble, but I’m in no mood to trade.” Raven shrugged, apologetically.

“I’m not ax’in ya to trade. I’m tellinya I’m gonna take it from ya in a Duel!”

“Fine, you’re welcome to try.” Raven launched his disk.

“And I will, yo.” The man launched his, “I’m Mike, Willow’s friend.”

“Raven Vaniver.” He drew, “I’ll lead with my Polymerization, combining my Forgiving Maiden and Marie the Fallen One. Since I’ve really nothing to loose and perhaps a lot to gain by this, here comes De-Fusion!” Marie and the Maiden combined, then separated, “Because instead of Saint Joan, I sacrifice my monsters for the Guardian Angel Joan.” The tow monsters were replaced by another Joan, this one in a white and gold angelic garment, with wings of light on her back and long gold armbands flapping in the wind.

Ehhh,” ‘Mike’ drew. “Right. Here goes a monsta in defense mode. Go!”

“I play my Sacred Crane in attack mode.” A bird flew from the card on Raven’s disk. “Joan, attack his monster” Two beams of light shot from Joan’s hands and straight through the Giant Solder of Stone. Raven’s Life Point counter soared to 5300.

“How?” Mike stood, dumbfounded.

“My Joan adds your destroyed monster’s attack power to my Life Points.” Raven explained as his bird pecked Mike’s Life Points down to 2400.

Mike drew, “Oh, you good.”

“I take it you do nothing?”

“I’ll do somethin’ all right.” Mike shut down his disk and charged at Raven.

“Stop.” Raven ordered in a deep, commanding tone. Mike did not heed this warning, and as Mike sent his fist at Raven, Raven’s hand met ti and held it, “To loose by such a margin is disgraceful, and doubly so when dueling for a friend’s honor, but that does not justify your actions. Learn this lesson, vile being.” Raven pushed away Mike, “Mind Shatter!”

Mike grabbed his head. He felt intense pain, and fell to the ground, “What the hell are you?”

“I am Raven Vaniver, Solder of the Pharaoh.” Raven turned away, “Soon the light of justice will penetrate the hate that clouded your judgment and forced you to attack me. I apologize for the painfulness of it all, but such a drastic change cannot be done without a little pain, you know.” Raved drifted away. He struggled to understand the force that took over, and how he knew these things. Then he remembered what Shadi said:

Take this. It is a pendant like the one Sevanos has. You can use it to unlock power equal to his. It’s a shard of the God's Tear crystal. The crystal was used by the sorcerers of to commune with Shadow Realm easier and focus their power."

“Holy God! That was the power inside this little jewel?“ Raven eyed his pendant closely.

“Lord Barbas!” the girl from earlier had obviously been running about the headquarters. “Have you seen Lord Alan-Tax? I must report to him.”

“I’ll take him a message. What is it.

“The present finalist count is up to five. The most recent; one Shuyin Beolve.” She reported.

“Thank you. Is Lord Sevanos one of the five?” Barbas inquired.

“Yes sir. All seven in less than an hour and a half!” reported the girl.

“Good. What time is it?”

“Approaching eight, sir. It’s darkening on the streets now.” She reported.

“Eight? That leaves only four hours to get nine more finalists. We’ll cut it close.” Barbas shook his head, “I’ll go report this to Alan.”


Night was falling. The cries of duelists trying to be among the top sixteen rang thought the city. Summon, sacrifice, activate, trigger, reveal! Some residents no doubt were a bit annoyed, but Raven, now needing but one more win, disagreed. The passion and conviction and determination of other duelists kept his spirits high. “Hey!” he shouted, recognizing someone, “Kid! You’re Arkith, aren’t you?”

Arkith smiled back, “Well, well, well, if it isn’t Kaomi’s little friend. How have you two been?”

“Fine.” Raven scowled.

“You don’t like me much, do you?”

“Can’t say I do.”

Heh, can’t say I like you either. So let’s settle it.”

“I needed some foolish person to suggest that so I could get along to the finals. This is a breeze.”

“You think so, eh? Then let’s duel!” Arkith launched his disk. As did Raven.

“I’ll go first.” Raven drew, “I play a monster in defense mode. Go.”

"Here goes move one out of the twenty moves you have to defeat me. Begin the Final Countdown!” Arkith smiled as above him twenty balls of fire appeared, and on his Life Point counter, the display changed to 2000. “And for good measure, a monster in defense mode.”

“The difference our monsters is, Arkith, I had a plan when I played mine.” Raven watched one go out as he drew, “I play Soul Exchange and cross-sacrifice our two monsters to summon my greatest monster. What always has been and always will be my best, my greatest, my soul card. Go to, Tyrant Dragon! By my card’s effect, I cannot attack, so go.” Another fireball vanished. Eighteen.

“I play two cards face down and send in Swords of Revealing Light.” Swords flew at Raven’s monsters, and the seventeenth extinguished

“Blast!” Raven drew. “I’m bound. I’ll throw this in defense mode-“

“Trigger trap card, Pyro Clock of Destiny!” smiled. Sixteen and fifteen vanished. “Which will trigger my other Pyar Clock!” Fourteen and thirteen vanished.

“Go.” Number twelve vanished. Eleven remained.

“Sadly, I timed things poorly, and caused my own Swords to extinguish, or did I?” he grinned, “As you ponder that, I’ll defend and set my third and final Pyro Clock, so you can go.” That eleventh fireball vanished.

“Tyrant Dragon, ATTACK!”

“Revealing my Apprentice Magician. I believe you can attack my new monster, too, correct?”

“I will. Attack!”

“That was Magician of Faith, getting my Swords back. Thank you. It’ll also trigger Pyro Clock.” Ten, nine, and eight vanished. “I defend, play Swords, and end my turn.” Seven vanished. Only six of the twenty fireballs remained. Unless the Swords were destroyed, Raven would not be able to win.

“Here goes nothing, Card Destruction!” he gladly tossed his hand, and milled, “Get ready for this one Arkith. I may just finish you sooner than you think. But for now, I end my turn.” Six vanished.

“I pass. Only two more cycles, Raven.” Five vanished.

“Four turns left, all bound by swords, only have to do 2000 points of damage. Odds of success low. Really low. I like it.” He drew, and smiled, “Cause I work well under pressure. Here goes Heavy Storm!” The Swords vanished, “And sacrifice my monsters to summon Barrel Dragon. This dragon can destroy your monster without ever attacking it. Charge up for Plasma Burst!” One cannon came to power. Another failed to activate. The final cannon was hesitant. Both duelists watched the gauge intently. Finally, after a pause that seemed like years, the gauge turned red. A failure. “I set one card and end my turn.”

“Same here.”< Four and three vanished.

“Try again!” ordered Raven “Charge for Plasma Burst!” This time, all three gauges seemed eternally slow. Raven knew if he failed this time, it was over. One green light. Arkith watched, knowing if the next light turned green, it was over for him, save his back-up plan. Gauges Two and Three light together. The colors were a unanimous green. The cannons were charged. “Go, Plasma Burst!” The three cannons fired, crashing into the defending Mask of Darkness. “Now, Barrel Dragon, Attack!”

“Reveal Negate Attack!”

“Reveal Seven Tools of the Bandit!” Raven’s Life Points fell to 3000, “OBLITERATE!” Two and one vanished with the other holograms. “Not bad Arkith.”


“Sir!” the girl ran to Alan in quite a hurry, “Raven Vaniver. He’s the eighth finalist. Only eight more before midnight”

“Raven, eh? Send our esteemed guest’s disk a hit.”

“Skip the confirmation procedure?”

“Yeah. Skip it.”



Arkith stepped back, and if it weren’t for the fact it was on his arm, Raven would have too. Raven’s disk began to glow. A holographic Sevanos appeared before Raven.

“Congratulations Duelist. You are one of the Top Sixteen. Please report to the headquarters of the 108 Stars of Destiny just outside of town. A map will now be provided for you, constantly projected onto the central Monster Zone of your Duel Disk. Our Orbital Tracking System will show your location in comparison to Stars HQ. Please report there in a timely manner, to get a room for the night and trade in your Victory Credits.” That hologram vanished, and the map appeared on his disk.



Raven walked the half-hour to the headquarters in a futile attempt to clear his mind. But, what surprised him was the number one thing on it wasn’t fate, or Sevanos, or Duel Monsters. It was Kaomi. As he approached the enormous building, his mind was filled with questions. Was she already there? Would she show up? Was she safe? These flowing through his mind, he walked into the Grand Hall. Two men in blue robes greeted him, handed him a map and keycard, and turned to walk away. “Wait.” Raven halted them, “Where are other Finalists hanging out?”

“The V.I.P Conference Room, the ‘Rose Room’, on the fifth floor. The card shop is on this floor, and Duelist Suites are on the twelfth floor. The first round will commence tomorrow morning promptly at eleven. Those will be held in a special arena on Basement Level Three. All Operations Floors and offices, those are floors seventeen all the way up to thirty, are restricted. The Information Office is the office right next to the elevators on this floor. If you have any further question, ask them there.” The one on the left said. They both left.

“Okay. That was more than I cared about.” Raven sighed, and proceeded to the elevators. The doors of the elevator slid open, and he quickly pressed ‘Floor 5’. The elevator hummed slightly. It rose at a decent speed. Raven was pleasantly surprised by the lack of crappy music, or music altogether, in the elevator. It have him the ability to think. He made note of doors on both sides of the elevator, but this did not concern him. He wanted to see who was here. The doors he had entered, the front doors of the elevator, slid apart. Fifth floor. He proceeded through a hall of conference rooms. The Lavender Room, The Oak Room, The Green Room, the Blue Room, et cetera. This continued for some way until he found some red-carpeted stars on the right side of the hall. The Rose Room. The doors were made of pure oak, with gold handles. This room seemed luxurious, and he hadn’t even opened the door. He, almost timidly, did. The room was lavishly decorated in crimson, gold, and other hues of majesty. The chairs were downright regal. Seven of them were filled. He saw Sevanos, and shot him a dark glare, then, he continued to scan the room, which fell silent as he entered. Most he did not recognize.

Before he could create descriptions, Shuyin stood and walked over. He extended a hand, “Congratulations, Raven.”

“Have you seen a woman by the name of Kaomi Itat?” Raven asked, shaking Shuyin’s hand.

“Lady Itai has yet to complete her seventh victory. I will have you notified when she does. Even better, Alan-Tax, my personal assistant, will go pick her up in my car.” Sevanos grinned.

“Thank you.” Raven said, reluctantly.

“I understand your lack of trust, given what a certain turban-wearing meddler told you. But the girl will not be harmed. So do not fear.” Sevanos stated. “I will go speak with Alan-Tax.”

Raven sat at the table. It was hardwood. Oak, he guessed.

“She’ll make it.” Shuyin nodded, “Don’t worry.”

Over the next while, others arrived. Cid, his old friend Alexander, Arkith, Some Aura girl who claimed to have been separated from Kaomi, an odd fellow named Lios who was an apparent acquaintance of Cid and Alexander, Willow arrived although Quinn never showed, and there was a long break once eleven o’clock hit. Who would be the final two?


Kaomi stood on the darkened street, her Seiyaryu shining brilliantly before her. “Mystic Flame!” she ordered. Seiyaryu’s fireball destroyed the defending Celtic Guardian straight off. “Your move.”


Eleven fifteen. Sevanos burst through the doors into the quiet room. No one spoke; some held their breath for friends to make it.


The Dark Hole in the sky absorbed Seiyaryu. Kaomi’s eyes narrowed, “You’ll pay for that.”


Raven had gotten up and began to pace. Two spots left. Both had to win by midnight. He checked the clock. Half an hour remained.


Kaomi felt this duel drag on. She wasn’t quite sure of the time, but she knew there wasn’t much of it. She drew. Her Life Points were down to 2750.


Eleven forty. Raven stopped when Sevanos’ cell phone rang. He ran to Sevanos with a great speed.

“Thank you, Barbas.” He addressed the group, “We have fifteen.”

“The newest?” asked Raven, nervous and eager.

Illarya We don’t have a last name for her, but it isn’t Itai.” Sevanos said, with a hint of pity, “She still has twenty minutes.”

“Nineteen.” Shuyin corrected him.

“Yes, so it is.”


Kaomi and her opponent were both down to 2000 now, both their fields clear. Kaomi examined her hand; she had nothing, “Card Destruction.” She threw her hand in the Graveyard and drew a new one.


Eleven fifty-three. No reports.

“She’s never going to make it.” Aura said.



>“Dark Blade, destroy the defensive monster” Kaomi ordered.


Eleven fifty-six.


“My Turn” Kaomi drew, “Although you have one monster, my Dark Blade can’t finish this even if I manage to destroy it. So here goes my Monster Reborn! Come back to me Seiyaryu!” Kaomi called.


Eleven fifty-eight.


“Dark Blade, eliminate the defensive monster!”


Eleven fifty-nine.

“God, tell me she’ll make it.” Raven sat down, his head in his hands.


Seiyaryu, OBLITERATE!”


“She didn’t make it…” Raven choked back tears.

Sevanos’ cell phone rang again.

Raven looked up.

“Yes.” A pause, “Understood. I’ll go give the farewell speech to those who didn’t make it and round up our people who failed to make it back here, Mister Pryce, for example. You go take care of Number Sixteen.”

“Sixteen?” Raven said, with a hint of excitement.

“At exactlyeleven fifty-nine and fifty-nine seconds, Kaomi Itai defeated her seventh opponent.” Sevanos reported to the group with a smile, “Congratulations again, Lord Vaniver.”

Raven sighed with relief, “She scared the hell outta me.” He forced a laugh; “I gotta go trade in my credits. How many packs do we get? Twenty-one?” He drifted out of the room.

“See how tore up he got about her?” Aura smiled when Raven and Sevanos were out of earshot.

“Yeah…” Cid shrugged.

“Well, it’s sweet, is all.” Aura closed her eyes.

“You don’t think…” Shuyin looked oddly at her.

“Nah.” Arkith sat back.

“Yes, I think so. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to assume…” Aura explained calmly.

“I’m going to bed.” Alex left, followed by .


Raven ran to the front door as Kaomi walked in. “Kaomi!” He stopped right in front of her. Alan-Tax breezed past both, “I know it’s only been a few hours, but-“

“I missed you too. A lot happened, eh?” Kaomi walked past him toward the shop.

“You know, just one second of delay on your part and you wouldn’t be here.” Raven smiled, “But I had faith right down to the stroke of.”

“What time is it now?”

Twelve fifteen.”

“I’m off to bed after I trade in my credits.”

“Me too.”



Sevanos stood in his office. He took a moment to ensure that he was alone, and slid aside a large painting behind his desk. It revealed another room, empty save the walls, which had exact images of ancient tablets on them. Egyptian tablets. The far wall contained three tablets. The Sacred Tablet, on display at Domino Museum, which displayed the struggle between the Pharaoh and Sorcerer. The one on the right displayed Tiamat, one of the Pharaoh’s High Priests, raising a small armada to destroy a cell of ancient magical terrorists. The final tablet on that wall displayed a great dragon, the Final Incarnation of Tiamat, setting the cell ablaze, save its leader, Seros, who the dragon decapitated. There depicted was Seros’ final vow: he would return for vengeance. Death was only the beginning, after all. Sevanos approached the three tablet images. None was more than paint on the dark walls of the room, but each felt so real. He placed his hand upon Seros’ Tablet, the one on the left.


“All proceeds as planned, my liege.” Sevanos reported to an invisible leader.


“Good. And, you understand how this will work. You must loose these upcoming finals to Raven Vaniver. Only then can I begin to corrupt his soul.” Replied a voice in Sevanos’ head. “Once that is done, he will take care of my vengeance for me! It’s only a matter of time. Fate is on our side, Sevanos!”


“Yes, Master Seros.”


“What is that saying, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’? Well, we can be thankful for that, can’t we?” laughed the voice. “Let the finals begin!”




A call rang in Raven’s suite. He answered it.


“Wake-up call by order of Lord Sevanos. It’s nine-thirty and breakfast is available in the Rose Room. If you’d like, we’ll just call you back in an hour to proceed to the arena.”


“Thank you, but no. I think I’ll enjoy some breakfast.” Raven hung up and left his room.




No one spoke above a whisper at breakfast. Tension was thick. Kaomi and Raven left the room for a more private conversation. They walked to the elevator.


Kaomi, I doubt there’ll be time to talk between phases of the finals. There’s something I want to explain.” Raven began. He told her of Shadi, Sevanos, the ancient past, and what happened to Mike.


“I see. I could almost sense it on you.” She explained, “Some sort of power.”


“There’s something else. Losers of these ‘Shadow Games’ are banished to the darkness of the Shadow Realm.” Raven sighed, and stopped walking, “Kaomi, I’ve been meaning to tell you something, and since I’m probobly only three hours away from another plane of existence, and I may never be able to talk to you like this again, I might as well say it now.”


“What is it?” she asked.


Kaomi, if I don’t make it, know that I loved you all along.” He paused, ”And know that I cannot let you face Sevanos, because I cannot loose you, even if I’ll loose myself soon enough anyway. Promise me, you’ll stay in this realm, and I promise you I’ll come back.”


“It’s a deal.” Kaomi closed her eyes, “I would like a bit of time to put everything together in my mind.”


“You’ve all the time in the world.” Raven continued to the elevator, and turned back, walking backward so he could face her, “Of course, if you and I should face off downstairs, we won’t let this talk get in the way.”


“Of course.” Kaomi watched him turn away again and enter the elevator.




Raven entered the arena. Hw must have been the last save Sevnos, Kaomi and Aura to arrive.


“Time?” he asked.


A woman with long dark hair, blue highlights in the front, and a slightly blue forehead, with eyes an inhuman hue of blue, dressed in combat armor, and, as several other finalists were, wearing a pendant of a small, black metallic cube replied, “It matters not. At any time we may begin and at any time I may hail victorious.”


“And you are?” Raven shot her a glance.


Illarya, God-King of the Primordium.” She replied.


“Impressive title.” Raven sighed.




Kaomi and Aura walked together. Aura looked at her, “Something wrong?”


“It’s Raven.” Kaomi sighed, “If he looses against Sevanos, he’ll be banished to some Shadow Realm or something. All I know is I may never see him again. I guess I’m just now realizing how bad that’d be. I don’t think I could go on without him.”


“So, you two care for each other?”


“Well, yeah. I guess…”


“So, let that hold you together. A solid bond like that can take the rigors of long-distance. Well, transdimensional, I’m not sure, but I’d imagine it would work.” Aura suggested.


“You’re a good friend, Aura.” Kaomi smiled, “Let’s head down.”




Sevanos entered the room last. He addressed everyone. “Alright, in an effort to speed things up, the first round will consist of four double-duels. The team breakdown is as follows, selected randomly by my personal assistant Alan.” Sevanos paused, “Kaomi Itai and Aura Leathe versus Lios Helos and Arkith Panzer.” The four stepped aside, “Raven Vaniver and Shuyin Beolve versus Willow Rose and Avron Sesna.” One of the people, a male, with the cube pendant, stepped aside with Willow, Raven, and Shuyin. “Xavier Dyson and Edmond Duke versus Cid Orlandu and Alexander Retta.” Two men with pendants stepped aside with Cid and Alex. “And finally myself and Illarya-“


“God-King of the Primordium.” She added.


“-God-King of the whatever she said, verses you two.” He pointed to a man and a woman with those dammed pendants. “Kaomi and Aura v. Lios and Arkith, you’re up.”


As the other twelve took seats in the stands surrounding the playing platform, Alan-Tax, took a central position. He would be the Executive Arbiter of these finals. Of course, all rulings and so forth would be done electronically, but Alan would bring a human presence, and would serve as a master of ceremonies, more or less.




In a control room on the twenty-first floor, the girl, named Opaka, and Barbas sat at computer consoles.


“Virtual systems ready.” Opaka reported.


“Activate holographic projectors and uplink duel disks into central computer.” Barbas ordered


“Projectors on, uplink engaged.” She replied.


“Set Life Point counters to 4000.”




“Cameras on; raise lights.”




As the four duelists took positions on the floor of the arena, a ring of light on the floor around them lit, shining up at them.


“Ambiance lighting. How nice.” Lios smiled, “Someone likes to put a bit of mood in their duels.”


“Trust me, no amount of light in the world will change the mood of a duel with Sevanos.” Kaomi shot Sevanos a cold stare.


“What are we waiting for?” Arkith called impatiently.


“Let Round One commence!” Sevanos called from the stands, causing holographic fireworks above the field.


“That!” Aura drew, “Let’s rock, Kaomi.” She turned her glance to Arkith and Lios, “Here goes nothing. First, I play this field spell card, Portal of Millennia. This gives all my millennia-old monsters a bonus.” A bright Eye of Anubis appeared on the floor in the center of the arena, “I’ll throw this face-down and I’ll defend with this monster. Go, Arkith.”


“I will” Arkith drew, “I’ll just play a defensive monster for now. Go.”


“I’m afraid I won’t be as passive, Arkith.” Kaomi smiled, deviously, “Go, my Skilled Dark Magician! And I’ll play this Spell card, Red Medicine. Raising my Life Points to 4500.” One of the three gems on the Skilled Dark Magician’s robe lit.


“What just happened?”


“I just got a Spell Counter.” Kaomi explained. “I place two cards face-down and have my Magician attack Arkith’s monster!”


“HA!” From the defending card rose a stone solder.


“What’s so funny, Arkith?” Another of the three gems lit, and the blast from the Magician’s rod turned the Giant Solder of Stone into rubble. “You see, my Magician cast a little spell, this one.” Her fase-down card revealed a Rush Recklessly. “I’ll play two more cards face-down and end my turn.”


“What happens if you get all three Spell Counters?” Lios demanded.


“Believe me, you don’t wanna know.” Kaomi grinned.


“Then I won’t let it stay long enough to find out.” Lios drew, “I play Dark Hole!” A vortex began to form.


“Reveal my card, the Ancient Rod of Silence!” Aura activated it, sending a magician’s rod made of solid gold into the vortex, causing it to collapse.


“I’ll pass.” Lios grumbled.


“In that case, now’s the time!” Kaomi said, just as Aura went to draw, “My Skilled Dark Magician is a bit less skillful that some. For example, the spell it’s about to cast will give it great power. Dark Magical Transformation!” Kaomi watched her Magician change forms into her mighty Dark Magician of Chaos. A card slid out of Kaomi’s graveyard, “By my new magician’s effect, I get one spell from my Graveyard now too.”


“And it’s still my turn. I reveal my Bubonic Vermin. I’ll now get two more defensive rats and sacrifice the first for my Millennium Shield.” Aura smiled as the ancient shield appeared; its Eye of Anubis shined brightly as it’s defensive value soared to 3700.


“My turn.” Arkith smiled, “I play five cards face-down and end my turn. Itai, you’re on.”


“Wow. You’ve got nothing. I think it’s time to roast you, Arkith. I’ll play my Rush Recklessly. Now, Dark Magician of Chaos, Reckless Silence!” A series of orbs crashed into Arkith with a red-hot force.


Hehehe. Thank you, Itai.”


“Thank me, Arkith? You have 500 Life Points left!” Kaomi laughed.


“Monster Reborn!” Called Lios, laughing, “And Dedication through Light and Darkness!” He revived the Dark Magician and instantly transformed it, “And I’ll return Monster Reborn, and re-revive the Dark Magician.” Next to his Dark Magician of Chaos, Kaomi’s Dark Magician reappeared. “My Magicians will destroy Aura’s rats.” The magicians launched attacks, shattering the rats.


Aura smiled, “It’s time to see one of my favorite strategies. I set two cards face down, switch my Millennium Shield to Attack Mode, and play the Shield and Sword spell card. Now, roast the Dark Magician of Chaos!” The Millennium Shield slammed into the Dark Magician of Chaos, and shattered it. Lios’ Life Points fell to 3100, “Go, Arkith.”


“Your shield returns to normal, meaning it only has 700 Attack points right now, so here comes my Gale Lizard. Gale Lizard, blow that shield out of existence and deal 700 damage.” Arkith ordered.


“Reveal trap card, Mirror Force.” cried Aura, activating her card.


“Reveal Zero Gravity.” Arkith saved his monster and his partner’s by switching them to Defense Mode.


Kaomi drew. My Dark Magician of Chaos is stuck in Defense Mode like their monsters, so all I can do to attack is summon another monster. She thought. Then she got an idea. “I play a monster in defense mode and set two cards face-down. Go.”


“Pass.” Lios stared intently at his hand.


“I place my Opticlops. Now, my monster will destroy the Gale Lizard.” A large fiend sliced up the lizard.


“Reveal trap card, A Hero Emerges, summoning my Sword Hunter.” He grinned, “Now on my turn, Sword Hunter will attack you!” The knight sliced and diced the Opticlops, and its attack power rose to 2600 as Aura’s Life Points fell to 3400.


“Mi turn. My Dark Magician of Chaos will go on the offensive, and the monster I reveal is my Dark Blade, which I sacrifice to summon Ryu Kokki. Kokki, destroy the Dark Magician, and Dark Magician of Chaos roast that Sword Hunter.” Kaomi smiled, “Isn’t that 300 Life Points now, Arkith?”


“I’ll begin. I play a monster in defense mode. Go.” Lios shot Aura a glance.


“What are you doing!Arkith screamed.


“Have faith.” Lios smiled.


“I play Monster Reborn, and sacrifice my tow monsters to summon the Millennium Sword.” Aura smiled, “Slash away, and finish Arkith.”


“Negate Attack!” Arkith revealed one of his cards.




“YES!” Arkith laughed as he played the card he drew, “Reversal Quiz!” all the cards on Arkith’s field exploded, “Now, Kaomi, if I can guess what kind of card this is,” he gestured to the top card of his deck, “you and I will trade Life Points.” He paused, “Trap” he grew it, and revealed it to the rest. Final Countdown.


“My turn.” Smiled Kaomi, “I play Nimble Momonga in attack mode, and I attack Arkith directly!” Kaomi ordered the assault.


“You idiot, you cost us this duel!” Lios screamed at him.


“Now, Kokki, destroy his defensive monster and Chaos attack him directly.”


Lios drew as his Life Points hit 300. “No way…”


“That’s all from you. Millennium Sword, finish him off!” Aura ordered.  Lios fell to his knees as the great sword sliced away the last of his Life Points.


“The winners!” screamed Alan-Tax, “Kaomi Itai and Aura Leathe!”




Raven, Shuyin, Willow and Avron took their places.


“Begin.” Sevanos called.


“Ok, I will.” Raven smiled, “I summon my Breaker the Magical Warrior. I’ll throw these face-down as well.” Raven smiled.


“I defend and set two cards face-down.” Willow waved Shuyin on.


“Time to kick this up a notch.” Shuyin drew, “Start your countdown to demise. I play the Twilight Mage in defense mode and three cards face-down. Go.”


“Wow. I’m shaking.” Avron drew, “Have a try at my Gemini Elf.” Two elves lunged at the Mage.


“Negate Attack.” Shuyin smiled.


“My turn.” Raven drew.


“Activate Covenant of Growth, transforming my Twilight Mage into an Apocalyptic Sage.” Shuyin watched his caster become more aged and menacing.


“And I play Fissure.” The ground opened and swallowed the Skilled White Magician. “Breaker, attack!”


Willow drew as her Life Points fell to 2100.  “I place one card face down and activate Card Destruction.”


No! Raven wanted to scream, My Dark Magician!


“And reveal my face-down Monster Reborn.” She shot a glance at Breaker, “And to make sure that thing gives me no troubles, reveal Exhausting Spell.” The Dark Magician Girl appeared on Willow’s field. “Dark Magician Girl, attack Breaker with Murky Burning.”


Raven’s Life Points fell to 3300.


“Time for me to clean house.” Shuyin drew, “Now, Apocalyptic Sage, destroy the Dark Magician Girl.”


“Reveal Magic Cylinder.” The Dark Magician Girl held a cylinder in front of her.


“Reveal Seven Tools of the Bandit.” Raven called.


“Reveal Shift.” Willow searched frantically for another option, “Direct at Gemini Elf!”


“WHAT!” Avron screamed.


“Shut up and take it like a man, Avron.” Willow yelled, “It’s only 600 points of damage.”


“See, not even that matters.” Shuyin smiled, “Activate Higher Power. Transforming my Apocalyptic Mage into my Ultimate Magician. And now, here is your end. I play the Forbidden Spell – Ultima.” Shuyin laughed, “Ultimate Magician, use Ultima Magic!” From the tip of his magician’s rod, a green orb flew to the center of his opponents’ fields. “My Ultima is an instant victory spell.” The orbs exploded, reducing both players to zero.


“Holy mother of-“ Raven watched the explosion grow more bright and intense until the holograms shut down and Willow and Avron fell to the ground.


“Have a nice day.” Shuyin left the arena.


“The winners!” announced Alan, “Shuyin Beolve and Raven Vaniver.”




The next four took positions.


“Let’s make this quick.” Alex nodded to Cid.


“Yeah. Let’s toast and roast these suckers.” Cid smirked.


Orlandu and Retta v. Dyson and Duke. Begin.” Called out Sevanos.


Alex drew, “Oh, yeah. We’re gonna rock the broccoli. I play the Black Luster Ritual, discarding these two, and activate Monster Reborn on my Gaia the Fierce Knight. Set two cards face-down. Go, Edmond.” Alex smiled.


“I’ll play Dark Hole.”


“Magic Jammer.” Alex threw another card out of his hand.


“Defend. Go.”


Orlandu drew. “I play a monster in defense mode and allow Alex to reveal his card-“


“-Polymerization. Fusing Gaia the Fierce Knight and-“


“-Curse of Dragon-“


“-to from Gaia the Dragon Champion!”  They both called as Gaia mounted the mighty Curse of Dragon.


“Set three cards. Go, Dyson.” Orlandu smiled.


Dyson drew. “I’ll play the Little Windguard.” The tiny guardian appeared in front of him. “Attack the defensive monster.”


“You attacked Troop Dragon. You should know this about my dragons, they replenish.” As the one Troop Dragon exploded, another rose to take its place.


Windguard, defend.”


“Now, my monsters; destroy theirs!” Alex ordered.


“My turn.” Duke drew. “Defend.”


“I play this monster, and activate Pyro Clock of Destiny allowing me to flip it. Revealing my Summoner of Illusions! This monster will transform one monster into something else for a turn. Something truly great.” The Troop Dragon began to glow brightly and transform. Another Troop Dragon appeared as the first finished its transformation. It became the Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon. “Now I activate Polymerization combining my Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon-“


“-and my Black Luster Solder-“


“-to form Dragon Rider!” both called.


“And another Pyro Clock will let me attack. Dragon Rider, finish Dyson.” From each Blue Eyes mouth shot a powerful blast, and the Black Luster Solder shot a fourth blast of energy, knocking Dyson right out of the arena. Orlandu turned to Duke, “Just give up.”


“No way!” Duke threw another monster in defense mode.


“Whatever you say…” Alex shook his head, “Snatch Steal!” one monster moved to Alex’s field, “And I’ll sacrifice it for the Lava Battleguard. Lava, destroy the last monster. Gaia, attack directly.


Edmond Duke’s Life Point display read 1400. “I can at least buy myself another turn. Defend against the Dragon Rider’s assault.”


“No, you can’t. Remember my final Troop Dragon and my Summoner are still here. Well, I’ll sacrifice them both for my Red Eyes Black Dragon! Red Eyes, attack! Dragon Rider, OBLITERATE!” Duke was thrown from the arena.


“The winners!” Called Alan, “Cidofolos Orlandu and Alexander Retta.”




“Time to show you the meaning of pain.” Sevanos laughed, “Embrace the darkness, fools!” A cloud of shadows surrounded them, “Let us begin.”


The four drew.


“I’ll go first.” Sevanos reached for his deck.


“It is pointless for us to continue.” Illarya looked at him, “I will commence my turn by playing this.” She placed the Left Arm, the Left Leg, the Right Leg, the Right Arm, and finally Exodia himself.


“Oh, great Illarya, why do you do this to your own servants?” One of her opponents cried as the great colossus began to form.


“You are weaker than I. This is a victory for the Abyss.” Illarya turned from them.


“The ‘Abyss’…” Sevanos shot her an odd glare.


“It is none of your concern.” Illarya walked off as the shadows faded and consumed their opponents.


“The winners…” Alan shrugged, “Illarya and Sevanos.”




A voice came from the announcement system: “There will be a half hour break before the quarter finals. During that time, the next arena will be prepared and your respective opponents will be selected.”




Sevanos entered the control room for the tournament to see Opaka and Barbas at computer terminals. “I need information, Barbas.”


“On what?” Barbas called up a search engine.


“You’re going to use Google?” Sevanos asked.


“Everything is on Google.” Barbas shrugged.


“Find information on a group known as the Abyss. And cross-reference with the name Illarya.” Sevanos ordered.


“I’ll have everything for you by the semi-finals.” Barbas reported, pleasantly.




“Raven!” Kaomi ran up to him. “I don’t know what to say about earlier. But I do know that I’m not about to loose you to that psychopathic Sevanos. That much is for certain. So, I’m going to stand by you. Whatever you are about to face, I’m gonna face it with you.”


Kaomi, that means a lot. But I can’t let you. This is my fight.”


“Screw destiny, Raven! Let me help you!” Kaomi screamed at him.


“If all goes right, stay away from the finals, Kaomi.”








“Remaining finalists, report to Floor Thirty for the next round.” The much-anticipated announcement came.




“Alright, people.” Alan stood in front of a large pair of metal doors, “Past here is the stairs to the roof. There is an arena set up there for the remainder of this tournament. Hope your not afraid of heights. When your not dueling, you’ll be in this room watching on these monitors,” he gestured to television screens, “Now, the first match will be Shuyin versus Ilarya. That’ll be followed by Alex versus Raven, Kaomi versus Sevanos, and Cid versus Aura.” Alan walked through the large doors, Illarya and Shuyin right behind them.


Each duelist shot a glance at his or her opponent.


Raven then approached Kaomi, “Be careful.”


“Like you need to tell me.” Kaomi closed her eyes and let memories consume her:


 Kaomi, I’ve been meaning to tell you something, and since I’m probably only three hours away from another plane of existence, and I may never be able to talk to you like this again, I might as well say it now.”


“What is it?” she asked.


Kaomi, if I don’t make it, know that I loved you all along.” He paused, ”Also know that I cannot let you face Sevanos, because I cannot loose you, even if I’ll loose myself soon enough anyway. Promise me, you’ll stay in this realm, and I promise you I’ll come back.”


“It’s a deal.”


“We had a deal, didn’t we?” Kaomi asked, visibly ill at ease.


“I suppose we did. Sadly, it seems fate got in the way.” Raven looked depressed, “If he does anything to you, I swear I’ll banish him forever, and I’ll get you back. I swear it.”


More memories flooded Kaomi:


“Something wrong?”


“It’s Raven.” Kaomi sighed, “If he looses against Sevanos, he’ll be banished to some Shadow Realm or something. All I know is I may never see him again. I guess I’m just now realizing how bad that’d be. I don’t think I could go on without him.”


“So, you two care for each other?”


“Well, yeah. I guess…”


“So, let that hold you together. A solid bond like that can take the rigors of long-distance. Well, transdimensional, I’m not sure, but I’d imagine it would work.” Aura suggested.


“You’re a good friend, Aura.” Kaomi smiled, “Let’s head down.”


“Raven, I care about you a great deal. No matter what happens, let knowing that strengthen you. Duel for me.” A tear formed in her eye, “If that turban dude, Shadi or whatever his name was, was right, I’m going to loose this duel.  And then I go to that Shadow Realm place like those two guys who lost to Illarya and Sevanos.”


“I’ll save you.” Raven clenched a fist. “Damn fate. Damn destiny. Damn it all! I’ll save you, Kaomi.”




Shuyin smiled, peering at his hand. “This’ll be fun.”


“Indeed.” Illarya replied.


“I’ll go first. I activate Dark Designator.” A shadowy hand reached into Illarya’s deck, “This will add Exodia the Forbidden One to your hand. Now, I play Card Destruction.”


“Not bad, mortal.”


“And now, here goes my Cannon Solder in defense mode. And a little something face down. Go.”


“I play Vorse Raider.” Illarya said, emotionless. “Attack.”


“Zero Gravity.” Shuyin smiled, “Something I picked up watching other duels.” He drew, “This’ll hurt ‘em. Scapegoat!” four small goats appeared before him, “And sacrifice all my monsters wilth my Cannon Solder, including my Solder himself. Cannon Solder, inflict 2500 points of damage! And, go.”


“I will” her Life Points fell to 1500. “Set one card and have Vorse Raider attack.”


“Ouch.” Shuyin replied, sarcastically, as his Life Points fell to 2100. “I play Mystical Elf in defense mode.”


“Reveal Destiny Board.” She said, still emotionless, as F appeared above her. “And with that, let us take our game to a new level.” A cloud of darkness consumed them.


Shuyin cursed reputedly under his breath.


“Now, sacrifice Vorse Raider for the Summoned Skull.” A skeleton emerged on her field, “Skull, attack.”


“No…” Shuyin drew, “Wait, yes! Go, Heavy Storm!” A gust tore away the set cards on the field, and blew the Destiny Board into the realm of shadows. “And I play Tribute to the Doomed, discarding my Big Burn to destroy the Summoned Skull.” He smiled, “Go.”


“You have finished yourself. You no longer have a hand.” Illarya commented. “I summon Yata-Garasu. My Yata attacks, and you can no longer draw. You’re locked.” She reported, as Yata struck him endlessly. The shadowy world faded, Shuyin with it.




“I promise you, Alex, this won’t take long.” Raven stood opposite Alex, “Let’s Duel!”


“I play my Goblin Attack Force! Your move.” Alex grinned.


“Wipe that stupid grin off your face.” Raven ordered, “Activate Soul Exchange and Tribute Doll so I can bring forth the tyrant Dragon!” Raven smiled. “What are you waiting for? Go already.”


“Okay. I defend. Go.”

“Summon my Dancing Fairy. Fairy, attack him.” Three tiny faries blasted away the defending warrior, and the fireball from the great Tyrant Dragon followed.


“That’s not nice!” scowled Alex as his Life Points fell to 1100. “Defend.”


“Spell card, Stop Defense.” Raven slid onto his field The Big Shield Gardna rose. “Tyrant, finish him!”


“Wow…” Alex watched the fireball plow through his monster, “I must really suck to loose this bad.”


“Yeah…” Raven nodded. “Better rework your deck.”




Sevanos laughed manically as he drew his first cards. “Let’s follow Miss Illarya’s shining example.” Shadows surrounded them.


“Bring it!” Kaomi drew. “No? Than I will. Go Swords of Revealing Light.” Swords flew at Sevanos, binding him. “And send out my Dark Blade. Fair to warn you, your Shadow Games can capture you too.” Kaomi smirked.


“Fine, then.” Sevanos drew. “I play a card face-down and my Jinzo #7! Little Number Seven can attack you directly. Of course, I can’t attack, so go.”


“Okay. Dark Blade, attack!” ordered Kaomi.


“Reveal Gravity Bind!” The Dark Blade was unable to move. “Now, to enhance my Jinzo, I play the spell Seven Completed. This raises my monster’s attack power by 700. Still can’t attack, so go.”


“I play a monster in defense mode. End my turn.”


“That’s right. Here’s another Seven Completed.” Sevanos laughed.


“Shut up, maniac.” Kaomi shot a glance at her hand. It was a long shot, but it would work. “I play Cost Down, allowing me to summon my Patrician of Darkness! And now, I play these two spell cards, Demotion! Each lowers my Patrician’s level by one, meaning it’s not bound. Destroy J-7.” Kaomi ordered.


“Not bad.” Sevanos’ Life Points fell to 3900. “But you won’t get much farther. Heavy Storm will blow my bind away, and these two cards-” he set tow traps face-down, “-will ensure my victory.”


“Nice bluff, Sevanos. If both my monsters attack, you’ll be down to 100 Life Points. So, do it!” Kaomi ordered.


“No bluff, fool.” Sevanos laughed. “Reveal my two traps, Mirror Force and A Hero Emerges, bringing forth my mighty Wingweiver!” A six-winged angelic figure fizzled into existence. “And this wonderful Winged Messenger will attack you.” A beam struck Kaomi down.


“These holograms are a bit too realistic for my taste.” Kaomi coughed.


Itai, you fool! They’re not holograms anymore.” Sevanos laughed, “In this realm they’re very real. And there ready to consume your mind.”


“Let me feed ‘em something else.” Kaomi struggled to her feel. Her Life Points at a tiny 1250.


“You realize it is fated that you loose this.” Sevanos shrugged.


“Screw fate. I make my own destiny.” Kaomi drew. Nothing.


“You see? Call it whatever you will. Fate. Destiny. Karma. Whatever you believe, believe this. Life runs along a proper course. This course in unchangeable. This course in infallible. You fate is to be consumed by these shadows. You can’t fight it. Why try? It only causes stress, and gets you nowhere. Just follow your course. As long as fate isn’t fought against, life runs smooth.” Sevanos lectured, as he drew, “It is all predetermined. To do anything that isn’t your fate is pointless, not to mentionimpossable.”


As Sevanos drew and examined his hand, Kaomi’s mind turned to more memories.


Raven and Kaomi walked into the game shop selling the Duel Disks.


Kaomi Itai. Let’s see.” The man typed away, “Three stars, Seiyaryu is the rarest card. Approved.”


“And him?” Kaomi asked.




“Raven Vaniver.”


“We have no records of him.”


“He’s good. Better than me. He has Tyrant Dragon.”


“Tyrant Dragon? Well, we can make an exception.” The man grinned slyly.


A smile spread across Kaomi’s face. A light charged in the hands of the great angel, but she swam in her sea of memories.


The cloaked stranger drifted up. "Duelist Itai." his voice was deep and forceful. His face was shrouded in shadow. "I saw you on the boat to Duelist Kingdom. You were trading with a man named Lios. Lios was my friend, and told me of a good deck. I searched for you on the island, but I only met you on the mainland. Now is my chance to see your amazing deck."

"No." Raven stopped him, "I am a duelist, too. First you beat me, then you beat Kaomi!"

"Raven!" Kaomi felt pure shock.

"How will I be respected as a Duelist if I never duel?" Raven asked her.

“Raven!” Kaomi cried as the blast grew to full charge, “Raven, if you can hear me, I do love you!” tears shot from her eyes, “RAVEN!” The blast crashed into her. Kaomi was thrown back, and she vanished into the abyss.




Kaomi!” Raven watched on the television. “KAOMI!” Raven’s pendant began to shine brightly. He clenched his fists and let out a scream His scream the sum of all the rage and anger and sadness felt by all of mankind. His fists became as the righteous weapons of a divine avenger. “Kaomi!” he violently released his hands, aimed at the screen. The screen instantly exploded in a small fireball. “I promised to save you.” He breathed heavy as he fell to the ground. “I’ll save you.” He lost consciousness.




Raven awoke to see Kaomi standing above him. “Raven?” she stood above his bed. “The Semi Finals will happen soon. It’s almost six o’clock.” She explained, “You’ve been out for a good five hours.”


Kaom-“ he struggled to form a thought.


“She’s gone.” Raven blinked. It was Aura. Not Kaomi. Raven sighed.


“He’ll pay.”


“You and I square off in the semi-finals.” Aura pointed out, “I’ll try not to hold back, but…”


“Don’t. If anything, I’ve got to hold back. If I give it my all, that might happen again. So, why so long between phases?”


“Well, you totally destroyed the deck monitor with that Shadow Blast of yours.” Aura explained.




“Something I read after a Google search for ‘Shadow Realm’.”




“You’ve got some power, Raven. Just focus it. Save Kaomi.” Aura closed her eyes. “I can’t beat you, you know that.”




“Are you ready to go topside?” Aura offered him a hand.




“OH!” Aura pulled out her deck box, and drew five cards. “Seiyaryu, Dark Magician of Chaos, Dark Blade, Millennium Shield, and Thunder Dragon. She told me you’d need these should anything happen to her in her duel with Sevanos and asked me to deliver them too you.”


Raven held the cards, and tears formed again, but these tears subsided to a great blazing fire in Raven’s eyes. “He’ll pay.”




“So, what have you got on her?” Sevanos sat in a chair next to Barbas at his computer.


“Here we go.” Barbas pulled up a web page. “It says; ‘The Abyss. A group believing in a connection between mystic powers of ancient Egypt and Duel Monsters. Their goal is to unify the two, and they believe the resulting power will bring about the end of the world. And during this total destruction, the Agents of the Abyss, their twenty-one leaders of this organization, can save the world from ruin and make it theirs to command.’ As for Ilarya; ‘The one who presides over the Agents of the Abyss, the first of the twenty-one, is know simply as Illarya. She has earned the self-appointed title God-King of the Primordium. Those in the group (borderline cult) known as The Abyss regale her as the ultimate mistress of the Shadow Arts of Egypt. The abilities taught to the ancient sorcerers.’ It also says the Abyss is characterized by small black metal cube pendant things. Several finalists had those.”


“This is big.” Sevanos read with great interest.


“And if it’s right, you’re in deep trouble.” Barbas looked up at him.


“I can defeat a God-King.” scoffed Sevanos, “What of Vaniver?”


“Did a search on that nifty ability of his. ‘Shadow Blast’. Creates a massive surge of energy. Used normally to summon monsters into the Shadow Realm and isn’t supposed to be useable in this realm.’ So how did he use it?”


“In his emotional state, his power goes uncontrolled.” Sevanos smiled, “All the easier to corrupt.”


“Yeah, corrupt away, but put a cap on his power-o-meter. That thing isn’t meant for this world. What if he summons a monster into this realm? Huh? Destroys the HQ?” Barbas grew concerned.


“I’ll get the Mystics right on it.” Sevanos walked out of the room.


“Fifteen minutes till six.” Opaka reported.


“New monitor on-line?”








Raven stood in the room outside the Arena, pure rage in his eyes. He stood wearing a black T-shirt, black jeans, and a black leather trench coat.


Sevanos entered, smiling. “Hello, old man.”


“Let’s get this over with, peroxide-head.” scowled Raven.


Illarya merely stood aside, “Are you ready, Sevanos?”


“Are you, Miss God-King?” scoffed Aura.


“Let’s get this over with. Raven versus Aura.”


“No.” Aura deactivated her Duel Disk, “I can’t stand in Raven’s way.”


“Duel me.” Raven almost commanded.


“Alright…” Aura reluctantly drifted onto the rooftop arena.




Raven launched his disk, “Expect a quick defeat. I have to end this fast. Fast and honorable. So let’s duel!”


“I can’t in good conscience stand in your way.” Aura drew, “But if you want honorable…” she shook her head, “Go, Millennium Shield and Sword, allowing me to add the Millennium Sward to my hand. Now I play my Dark Elf in attack mode. Go.” A dark-skinned elf rose before her.


“Set two cards face-down and play Exchange!” Raven and Aura met at the center of the field “I’ll take your Millennium Sword.”


“I’ll take your Dark Magician.”


“Fine. Your mistake.” Raven smirked. “Go.”


“Dark Elf! I pay 1000 of my Life Points to allow you to attack! Assault him now!” Aura’s counter fell to 3000.


“Reveal Negate Attack!” Raven smiled, “Here goes a monster in defense mode. Go.”


“Sacrifice my Dark Elf for Millennium Shield in defense mode.” Aura sighed, “Go.”


“Reveal my Bubonic Vermin. As any good plague, my Vermin multiply!” Three Vermin appeared on his field, “And sacrifice two to summon Millennium Sword. Now, my Millennium Sword is fine alone, true, but here is a little added support. Activate Rush Recklessly. Now, my sword, attack!” The Millennium Sword sliced through the Millennium Shield. “Now, to ensure my Magician remains safe, Card Destruction.” He threw his hand away, “Go.”


“Spell card; Dark Hole!” Raven guarded himself as the Millennium Sword was swept off the field. “Defend.”


“Defend all you want. Here goes my spell. Monster Reborn! Come on back, the Seiyaryu I just discarded!” The shining pink dragon appeared before him, “For all of the rage of mankind. For all of the vengeance to be served. For Kaomi. I stand strong! Seiyaryu, attack!”


“Millennium Crusader! Replace yourself!” A solder wearing Eye of Anubis-adorned armor vanished, being replaced by a facedown card. “Now I’ll reveal it. Allowing me to create a chain of Crusader Summoning, filling my field.” Five slight variations on a single theme of solder appeared.


“Aura, this is it.” Raven smiled, “Activate Change of Heart and Tribute Doll, allowing me to summon my Barrel Dragon in defense mode, and switch Seiyaryu to Defense as well!” The great metal dragon rose.


“I can still keep my defenses up!”


“Sure you can. Set this and end my turn.” smirked Raven.


“I play Opticlops in Defense-“


“Make that Attack, go Zero Gravity! And to really make you mad, Staunch Defender! All your monsters must attack Seiyaryu. Meaning, that each is destroyed, and their suicide runs affect your Life Points. You’re done.” Raven smiled as the Crusaders each attacked, and each fell to Seiyaryu’s Mystic Flame.




Sevanos, in his flowing white robes matching his snowy-white hair, stood opposite the odd Illarya. “I’ll have you know, my good God-King,” he began, “I’ve researched you. I know about your ‘Abyss’, and I gotta say, you’re a crappy leader. You take out two of your own to forward your own cause. You freak.”


“Prepare to eat your words!” A world of shadows consumed them, “But this Shadow Game shall show you just how powerful I am. No parlor tricks like you pull. This will be a quality Shadow Game. As we each summon monsters, a unique strain will be placed upon our minds. As monsters are played, and attacks are made, the strain will increase.”


Like a truck, a light hit Sevanos. He floated alone for a moment and heard a familiar voice. It was Seros. Allow me to take over! Screamed inside Sevanos’ head. “No!” Sevanos clutched his head, screaming back, “I can take care of myself. And once this is over, I will be free of you! To live my life as I see fit!” Never, Sevanos, The voice replied, because after this, you’ll cease to be. Sevanos screamed in pain as the more powerful Seros took over, transforming Sevanos into his most powerful from. His hair jet out at odd angles and seemed longer. A glowing Eye of Anubis formed on his forehead. He seemed to radiate power and both good and evil at once.  Most odd, wings of white light appeared on his back. He had become his ultimate form, Yami Sevanos.


This new being, not man nor spirit, stood opposite a stunned Illarya. “You shall not get between me and my fate.” He roared, in a harmony of Sevanos’ and Seros’ voices.


“What did you do?” demanded the startled Illarya.


“I embraced those outside myself.” Replied the harmony of voices that was the voice of Yami Sevanos.


“It matters not. We shall duel.”


“That sounds about right.” laughed Sevanos, as he drew, “Here goes my first move, Hysteric Fairy!” A mad laughing angel appeared before the Yami.


“I defend with this monster.”


“I defend with this monster.” The Yami replied, mockingly, as he defended, “Fairy, attack!” An arm, bound by a chain, shattered.


“I play Gemini Elf! Gemini Elf, destroy the defending monster.” The elves hit the Arsenal Summoner.


“Fool, you have guaranteed your defeat. That card allows me to obtain my Guardian Angel Joan.” The Yami laughed manically, “I’ll set one card face down and play Card Destruction! Now I activate Monster Reborn!” from his Graveyard, the Guardian Angel Joan formed on the field, “Joan, attack!”




“Activate the Autonomus Action Unit, returning your Elf, and sacrifice it and my Fairy for Wingweiver,. My Angels will obliterate you! And with your Life Points, go your mind!”


“How did you survive the strain of those monsters?” Illarya stared in shock as the angels flew at him.


“You underestimate the power of my new form. My Yami form is supreme in power, God-King.” Yami Sevanos laughed as he exited the arena. Illarya was no longer in the arena.




“That’s a Yami.” Explained Aura, “According to what I’ve read, it is a mergence of a millennia-old being with oneself through use of Shadow Powers.”


“Looks dangerous.” Raven watched on the screen.


“It is.” Aura sighed, “Look, you’re going to have to use this power to defeat Sevanos now. So you better focus.”


“Got it.”


“Then it’s time.” Aura escorted Raven to the metal doors, “Let ancient energies flow through you. And may fortune favor the foolish.”


“Right.” Raven nodded. He exited.




Ahh! The Pharaoh’s Servant.” Yami Sevanos looked over his shoulder, shadows now dissipated.


“I’m no one’s servant.” Scowled Raven, “It’s time, Sevanos, to get Kaomi back!” he screamed. The shadows reformed. Raven’s eyes radiated a bright glow as his hair seemed blown by an unfelt wind. An Eye of Anubis began to glow on his forehead, and wings of darkness shot from his back. His voice did not change, but found courage, determination, and strength like none Raven had ever felt. He was now a Yami as well.


“You’re not as weak as I thought, Tiamat.” Sevanos laughed manically.


“It’s Raven now.” Raven’s stare was full of hate.


“Then let us go!” Sevanos launched his disk. “I place a monster in defense mode and end my turn.”


“Fight like a man.” Raven demanded, “I play Soul Exchange, offering your monster to summon my Millennium Shield, a gift from the woman you heartlessly stole from me!”


“Cowering behind memories and big sheets of metal.” Sevanos scoffed. “I pass my turn.”


Raven carefully examined his hand. He found a sudden ease in forming stragities, and seeing combinations he had not before seen, “Graceful Charity!” He drew, not looking at the cards, hoping for a high-powered monster. No such luck. “Go.”


“Defend.” Sevanos smiled.


Raven drew again. Marie the Fallen One wasn’t going to help him.  “Summon my Dark Blade. Go.”


“Go? Okay. I’ll defend and set this face-down.”


“Sacrifice Dark Blade and Millennium Shield for Seiyaryu! Now, Mystic Flame!”


“Reveal Negate Attack!” Sevanos drew, “It’s been fun, old man.” He rose the card he drew into the air, “Sacrifice Hysteric Fairy and Shining Angel to summon Guardian Angel Joan!”


“No!” Raven clenched his fist.


“Joan, attack!” Sevanos ordered. Raven’s Life Points fell to 3700, as Sevanos’ rose to 6500.


“I activate Polymerization, combining my Marie the Fallen One and Forgiving Maiden to from the Saint Joan!” Raven called, an angelic warrior, similar to the Guardian Angel, but in combat armor with a large sword, appeared before Raven. “And I play four cards face-down. Go.”


“I will,” Sevanos set three cards face-down, “Go, Raven.”


“I have to thank you for these new packs, Sevanos, they are so useful. One more face-down card. Go, psychopath.”


“I will. I set this card. Now, let us see who was better prepared. Guardian Angel Joan, attack!”


“Go, my Negate Attack!”


“Activate Trap Bind!” A beam of light trapped the Negate Attack card. “Now your Negate Attack is bound until my trap is destroyed!”


“Then let’s destroy it. Dust Tornado!” Raven called, his dark wings stretching.


“Not bad, old man, but here goes Haste! Hast allows me to attack regardless of other circumstances. And my last Trap, the Reinforcements, raises my attack by five hundred.” The Angel struck down the Saint.” Sevanos’ Life Points soared to 9300.


“I still have three face-down cards, Sevanos.” Scowled Raven, as his life points fell to 3200.


“I have a lead of over six thousand points on you, old man. It’s over.”


No, Sevanos. Raven smiled, thinking to himself, My Self-Destruct Switch will lower us both to zero as long as I increase your lead by at least another thousand, and that lovely Heart Reborn card will raise my Life Points to 2000, meaning I’ll win. “Activate!”


“WAIT!” Kaomi screamed in his head. “Don’t lower yourself to his level!”


“It’s fate.”


“So what?”


“Activate my spell card Autonomous Action Unit, reviving the Hysteric Fairy in defense mode.”


“Pathetic.” Sevanos scoffed.


Don’t do it, Raven. I don’t want to see this man corrupt you.


“And activate!”


Please, Raven. I love you!


“Activate?” Sevanos cocked his head, his harmonic voice sounding a bit startled.


“This is it, old man, the end of this duel. So activate your switch and your face-down card to defeat me.” He laughed manically, “It is fate. Dare not stray from it. You must follow through. Defeat me.”




“It is fate.”


“Activate Self-Destruct Switch, and use my Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy my Heart Reborn trap card. Now, for the destruction.”


“But! You can’t! It’ll be a draw! You can’t draw in this game!”


“A great person, one five thousand times better than you’ll ever be, gave me the most sound advice I’ve received to date. Screw fate.” A red button materialized on Raven’s Duel Disk, “Good-bye, Sevanos.” He winced as he slammed his hand down on the red trigger. From Raven’s disk a massive explosion consumed the field. Both Duelists were knocked down, and both their Yami forms wore off.




Raven did not wake within the hour. Nor did Sevanos. Neither woke until early the next morning.  Raven slowly sat up in his bed in the room he had prepared in the Star Building. He saw Aura beside him. She shook her head. Without so much as a word, he bolted out of his room. It was time to speak to Sevanos.




Raven breezed past security straight into Sevanos’ empty office. He approached Sevanos’ desk to note a crack in the wall behind the painting behind Sevanos’ desk. Raven approached it and slid it aside. There, Sevanos stood. Alone.


“Raven…” Sevanos looked at his hands, “All I’ve done was at his hand. I am sorry.”


“Who?” Raven asked.


Seros. My ancestor.”


“I see.”


“I meant you no harm. All souls my ancestor claimed must now be freed.” Sevanos closed his eyes.


“What of them?”


“All will forget my atrocities, if that’s what you wish, Lord Vaniver.”


“Yes. This shall be none more than a tournament. “


“To fabricate a past is hard, Raven. We will both need to take care of it.”


“Agreed. And what of Seros?”


“He left me. Reeling from your actions. He mentioned something about The Abyss.”


“The what?”


“The Abyss. Illarya’s organization.”


“She’s insane.”


“Yes, she is.”


“She must be stopped.” Raven pointed out.


“Mr. Vaniver, are you purposing an alliance?” Sevanos smiled.


“The enemy of my enemy is my friend, Sevanos.”


“Then may we be the best of friends, Mr. Vaniver.”




Raven exited Sevanos’ office to see Kaomi. Instantly, they embraced.


“You stood strong. You didn’t cave to the pressure.” Kaomi smiled.


“I didn’t care who won. I wanted to save you. With no Sevanos, that’d been a bit harder. But what about Shuyin?”


“Aura says he’s been back since Illarya went down.” Kaomi smiled, “Raven, I…”


“Don’t speak. This is our moment, Kaomi.” Raven held her tightly, “I’ll not loose you again.”


“That’s right.” She replied, shedding tears of joy. She composed herself, “So, what next?”


“Everything. The entire world. Summer’s a week off, and we got quite the mission over the summer.”


“Tell me about it.”


“Later. Now, we return to life as normal.”


“One last thing, Raven…” Kaomi looked deeply into his eyes, “Why do I remember, Aura remembers, Illarya remembers, Shuyin remembers, but that’s it?”

Sevanos and I decided it was important to keep your memories in tact. Some others may be reinformed later, like Orlandu, but just you guys for now.”


“I see.”



class=SpellE>Kaomi. What I said before the Finals…”


“Don’t speak. I know.”


“I do. I care too much about you.”


“And I, you.”


“Let’s go, Kaomi. Off into the sunset, or whatever we’re supposed to do now…” Raven smiled as he and Kaomi walked off.

End of Part two

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