Den of Darkness and Light
Cody, Leo, Fiona, and Chronos were causally walking down the street. Cody was holding his latest prizes in his hand, seemingly quite pleased with himself.
He said, “Oh, yeah, baby! I scored my first win in the Cyber Clash Tournament. If only Kain could see how awesome my victory was.”
Leo replied, annoyed, “Don’t get so excited, Cody, there’s still a long way to go. Plus we still have to be careful. There may be more Shadow Stalkers roaming around, so last thing we need is an unexpected attack by Lucifer’s newest pawns. So try to simmer down. Yes, it was a great Duel, that’s true, and you managed to bust a major cheater, but Django has taught you to stay calm and focused and not stroke your ego. And the last thing you need is Kain nearby, or you can say goodbye to Red-Eyes or your remaining two Heroic Champion monsters.”
Chronos chuckled, “Even so, Leo, you gotta give Cody props for exposing that psychic fraud for what he is: a cheater. Not to mention he got a Jinzo out of it, which is a very powerful and useful monster. But you are right about two things: this tournament has just begun, and with Shadow Stalkers roaming around, we have to be careful. We’re not as strong as Django is, and he’s good at shutting a wider range of tactics down, including cheating ones, with ease, so we do need to stay alert. If anything remotely related to Lucifer is in this tournament, then it’ll have several twists and turns that we won’t like.”
Fiona added, “Good point, Chronos. But we’re all in it to win as well, so let’s do our best regardless. But like you and Leo said, we do have to maintain an air of caution, otherwise those Shadow Stalkers, or worse Number 96, will pounce on us. And the last thing Django needs is more loved ones at someone else’s mercy. But, for now, let’s focus on strengthening our position in the tournament and make it to the finals. We’ll worry about Shadow Stalkers when we have a better idea of what we’re up against.”
Nodding, the group of four continued their way down the street. It wasn’t long before someone shouted at them.
“Hey! You four! I’m talking to you!”
When he was level with them, he was revealed to be a young adult with smooth brown hair, matching eyes that almost seemed to have dragon-like pupils, and a smirk that showed extended canines.
He said, “You four look like easy prey. So let’s see if you wimps have what it takes to take on Drake Arch, the Master of Dragons! Or are you little crybabies who are too scared to lose your cards. You two little runts look especially wimpy. Taking one of you two down would be a breeze.”
Leo snapped, “Hey! No one calls us wimps, fang face, or you’ll be sorry! And don’t call yourself the Master of Dragons. It’s pretty obvious that title belongs to Kain. But if you want a fight, then try your luck against my dwellers of the deep!”
Drake laughed, “You expect to beat me with fish sticks? I should’ve brought tartar sauce, because you’re as good as cooked! Fine, I accept. What’s the wager?”
The older twin stated, “I wager my Tidal, Dragon Ruler of Waterfalls and a Star Piece. And you?”
Drake grinned, “A Dragon Ruler card? That’ll go real nice with my other Dragons. Fine then, I wager the king of my deck: my Light and Darkness Dragon, and a Star Piece. This Duel shouldn’t take too long, as I’m about to turn your fishies into a fish fry!”
Leo grinned, “Don’t count my finned friends out just yet, or you will be dragged down to the bottom of the ocean in their jaws! So let’s do this!” He armed himself with his Infinity Disk, “Infinity Disk, locked on target!” Followed by his Duel Gazer, “Duel Gazer, target acquired! It’s time to sink or swim, dragon boy!”
Though surprised to see Leo with an Infinity Disk, Drake wasted no time equipping his standard D-Pad and Duel Gazer. The others donned their Duel Gazers, standing on the sidelines.
“Augmented Reality Visual link established.”
Both drew their starting hands, Life Points at 4000.
“Let’s Duel!” they said in unison.
Cody called out, “You can do it, little buddy! Show this dragon dipstick your terrors of the deep!”
Fiona added, “Sink your teeth into him and shred him to pieces! Teach him for underestimating you!”
Drake stated, “Since I’m superior to all of you, I’ll take the first move. I Draw! I summon Totem Dragon to the field in Attack Mode!”
A new monster appeared. Totem Dragon looked more like an ancient civilization-styled turtle than a dragon. Its main body was a round shell-like structure with a shield on its back, four stubby legs extending out from it, and a thick tail. It had two very large wings, more than four times its width, and an extended neck with a round head equipped with blocky teeth and a red crest. It was a Level Two monster with stats of 400/200.
“And I think I’ll place these two cards face-down on the field. And finally, I activate the Spell: Card of Safe Return. Here’s how it works for you weak-minded people. Every time a monster is revived, I can draw one card from my deck. Wish you had that option available to you, don’t you, squirt?”
Leo huffed, “Big deal, like I care. My denizens of the deep will put the bite on you and your dragons. So if you’re quite done, it’s my turn, I Draw!” He took a different card from his hand, “I activate the Field Spell: A Legendary Ocean! This mighty field will wash away any hopes you have at winning this Duel!”
A massive tidal wave washed over the whole field, submerging them in an Augmented Reality ocean that had an ancient underwater city in it. Cody quickly tried to hold his breath, gaining odd looks from Fiona and Chronos.
She sighed, “Uh… Cody, you can stop holding your breath. This isn’t real water. It’s Augmented Reality, remember? So you won’t drown.”
Cody quickly released his breath before saying in a confident, though visibly embarrassed, way, “I knew that. I just wanted to make things interesting. Yeah.”
Chronos said mentally, “Cody’s a good Duelist, no doubt, and just as good as a friend, but it appears that he’s not always the quickest to realize certain things, like Field Spells enhanced by Augmented Reality. But that’s what we like about him, and he keeps things interesting.”
Leo continued, “This ocean will be your underwater grave. For this field not only doubles as an Umi Field Spell, but along with the 200 Attack and Defense boost, the Levels of all WATER monsters in the hand and field are reduced by one. Which means any monster that I have in my hand that is Level Five can be summoned without a Tribute. And, oh, look, I just happen to have one right here. Say hello to my Terrorking Salmon, in Attack Mode! This fish is about to filet your Totem Dragon!”
Glaring from the depths was a pair of glowing eyes, which then shot out of a hiding place before revealing itself. Terrorking Salmon was a fiendish, monstrosity of a salmon. Its large body was mostly encased in grey skeletal-like armor with fanned, almost claw-like fins, a brushy tail, glowing eyes, and a hooked mouth. It was a Level Five monster with stats of 2400/1000, but due to the Field Spell, it increased by 200 to 2600/1200.
The older teen instructed, “It’s time for a feeding frenzy! Terrorking Salmon, attack Totem Dragon! Drag it down to a watery grave!”
Terrorking Salmon shot like a torpedo at Totem Dragon. It snapped its hooked mouth on Totem Dragon’s neck, and started to drag it down into a crevice in the ruins. Shortly after the last of Totem Dragon vanished, there was a sickening CRACK, followed by a flurry of sparkles, before Terrorking Salmon swam back up to Leo’s field, seemingly satisfied. Drake glowered at Leo as his Life Points dropped by 2200 to 1800.
The young teen stated, “I place two cards face-down on the field to end my turn. Let’s see if your dragons can match my beasts of the ocean’s depths.”
Drake stated, “Don’t get cocky, kid. You made one good move. But that’s the last good move you’ll make! I Draw! First I’ll activate Totem Dragon’s ability! If it’s in my Graveyard and I control no monsters, I can Special Summon it to the field, but it will be banished when it leaves the field. But that won’t matter shortly. So I bring back my Totem Dragon in Attack Mode!”
The Graveyard Portal opened up, allowing Totem Dragon (400/200) to emerge from it and take its place on the field.
“Next, my Card of Safe Return activates. Since I revived my Totem Dragon, I get to draw one card from my deck.” He drew a card, looked at then said, “I think I’ll activate my two Traps now. First off is my Imperial Iron Wall! This prevents us from banishing any cards! So that means, even if my Totem Dragon is removed from the field, I can call it out as many times as I want. My second Trap is also a nasty one: Dragon’s Rage. If a Dragon monster I control attacks a monster you control in Defense Mode, then I can inflict piercing damage to you! So your chances of winning just got slimmer. And, just to keep you on the ropes, I’ll activate my Dragon’s Gunfire Spell! Here’s how it works: if I have a Dragon on my field, I can either deal you 800 points of damage or destroy a monster you control with 800 Defense Points or less. Sadly, your Salmon has 1200 Defense Points, but even without the power boost, it would still have 1000, so I think I’ll use the first effect! Say goodbye to 800 Life Points, runt!”
A fireball was shot from Totem Dragon’s mouth. It slammed into Leo, knocking him back, his Life Points dropping by 800 to 3200.
“But the burn doesn’t stop there. I activate Hinotama! Say goodbye to another 500 Life Points, kid!”
Fireballs rained down upon Leo, slamming into him. He was thrown back, smoldering slightly, his Life Points dropping by 500 to 2700.
Leo asked, “Are you quite done yet?”
Drake smirked, “Not even close. I activate another Spell: Block Attack! This switches your Salmon into Defense Mode. Now it’s time to make a filet out of it.”
Terrorking Salmon shifted positions, curling up slightly as it switched from Attack Mode to Defense Mode.
Chronos said, “That’s not good. Now Drake can use Dragon’s Rage more effectively, as Terrorking Salmon’s Defense is much lower than its Attack, even with the boost from A Legendary Ocean. Which means Leo could be in some trouble if Drake summons a strong Dragon monster.”
Drake laughed, “I told you that you couldn’t keep up with the big boys! Now I Tribute my Totem Dragon, which counts as two Tributes for a Dragon monster, in order to summon the king of my deck: Light and Darkness Dragon, in Attack Mode!”
Totem Dragon vanished from the field, but was replaced by a new dragon. Light and Darkness Dragon was a large, muscular dragon whose body was equally divided up down the middle into two colors: black and white. Its white wing was adorned with feathers, while its black one was a more traditional dragonic wing. It was also sporting two tails, colored the same way as each respective side of its body. Its head had several spines in their respective body side’s color, glowing eyes, and a muzzle full of sharp teeth. It was a Level Eight monster with stats of 2800/2400.
Drake laughed, “Meet my ultimate monster! You might as well give up, kid, as your fishies are about to be gutted!”
Leo stated, “Not a chance. I activate the Trap: Fish Depth Charge! All I have to do is Tribute a Fish monster on my field and I can destroy one card on the field. So I will…” but was cut off.
“Not so fast, squirt! My Light and Darkness Dragon’s ability activates! Once per chain, it lowers its Attack and Defense by 500, but then it negates and destroys the card played. So even though my dragon will become weaker, it’s still more than able to destroy your floppy gilled friend.”
Light and Darkness Dragon’s power dropped by 500 to 2300/1900, but this caused Fish Depth Charge to crackle and shatter, leaving Leo annoyed.
“Now my mighty dragon, destroy his Terrorking Salmon! And take a nice bite out of his Life Points while you’re at it!”
Light and Darkness Dragon charged up an attack and fired a beam of energy. It easily shredded Terrorking Salmon to ashes, sending Leo flying back, his Life Points dropping by 1100 to 1600.
He stated, “I’m not done yet. I activate the Trap: Call of the Haunted! So I can bring back my Salmon and…” but was cut off.
Drake stated, “You twit! My Light and Darkness Dragon will put a stop to that! By lowering itself by another 500 points, it will negate and destroy your Call of the Haunted. Too bad, but your fishy will remain as a dinner entrée for my dragon.”
Light and Darkness Dragon’s power decreased by another 500 to 1900/1400, but this caused Call of the Haunted to crackle and shatter, closing the Graveyard Portal in the process.
“That about wraps up my turn, but you’ll be finished just as soon as my next turn start. So save yourself some embarrassment and just hand over your Dragon Ruler monster to me right now.”
Leo growled, “Never. I will never lose to a bully like you. I will show you here and now, right on this turn. I Draw!”
Cody turned to Chronos, “Hey, Chronos, can Leo get out of this? As every time he uses a Spell, Trap, or Monster effect, that Light and Darkness Dragon will just keep negatin’ them. How can Leo fight back against a monster that keeps blocking his cards?”
Chronos replied, “Actually, beating Light and Darkness Dragon lies within its special ability. You see, in order to negate and destroy an effect activated, it must sacrifice 500 Attack and Defense Points. That is not optional, either, so that can backfire on it. I think Leo already knows that, so he may try to use it to his advantage. Remember, the power drop is permanent, or at least until it is destroyed or flipped face-down. So if Leo can weaken it enough, destroy it, and then take out Drake all in this turn, then he can win.”
Leo grinned, thinking, “Chronos is a sharp as ever. I already have a plan to turn that dragon into fish food. Well, more accurately, bear food. All I need to do is activate one more card effect, and that dragon will be weakened enough to take out in one shot. So here I go.” He then said aloud, “I activate the Spell: Foolish Burial! This card allows me to send any monster from my deck to the Graveyard. So I’ll…” but was cut off.
Drake smirked, “Too bad it won’t happen, kid. For my Light and Darkness Dragon’s ability activates once again! So say bye-bye to your Spell.”
Light and Darkness Dragon’s power dropped by another 500 to 1400/900, but this caused the Foolish Burial Spell to shatter.
“Tough break, kid. You’re all out of options.”
Leo grinned, “Don’t be so sure about that, dragon dung, as I wanted you to do that. You see, the Attack and Defense loss of Light and Darkness Dragon is permanent, so all I had to do was keep weakening it until it was weak enough to take out with any monster I have. And I just so happen to have one right here that will destroy your dragon and all hopes you had of winning this Duel! I summon Mother Grizzly to the field in Attack Mode!”
A new monster appeared. Mother Grizzly looked just like its namesake: a grizzly bear, armed with sharp claws, teeth, and glowing eyes. It was a Level Four monster with stats of 1400/1000.
“Now it’s time to shut your overgrown lizard down! Mother Grizzly, attack Light and Darkness Dragon now!”
Cody sputtered, “But both monsters’ Attack Points are the same! It’ll just result in a Double KO! What good would that do?”
Fiona stated, “Don’t forget, Mother Grizzly is an Elemental Searcher, like UFO Turtle and Mystic Tomato, which means when its destroyed in battle and sent to the Graveyard, Leo can call out another monster from his deck.”
Leo grinned, “That’s right, sis. So when these two beasts clash, it’ll destroy them both. But, since Light and Darkness Dragon won’t be on the field anymore, my Mother Grizzly is free to use its power. So let the brawl begin!”
Mother Grizzly launched several slashes from its claws at Light and Darkness Dragon, gouging its body with several claw marks. Light and Darkness Dragon responded with a blast from its mouth. After that attack hit the giant bear, both monsters were destroyed, leaving Drake a little worried.
Leo gained an even broader grin, “Now for the fun part. When Mother Grizzly is destroyed in battle and sent to the Graveyard, I can Special Summon one WATER monster from my deck with 1500 or less Attack to the field in Attack Mode. And I know just which monster to summon. My good friend Double Shark! You’re about to become chum for my shark!”
His Infinity Disk ejected a card, which he played right away, summoning a new monster. Double Shark looked like two identical sharks merged together by the belly, making it perfectly symmetric. Its streamlined blue body was armed with sharp fins, a double split tail, two pairs of glowing yellow eyes, and a canister where the two sharks’ upper jaws met. It was a Level Four monster with stats of 1200/1600.
Drake, although surprised at first, then started to laugh, “You nitwit! That monster is not remotely powerful enough to take out all my Life Points this turn! That means on my next turn I can wipe that finned freak out and take you out of the tournament!”
Leo replied casually, “Are you sure about that? There’s a reason why this monster is called Double Shark. It can attack TWICE during each Battle Phase! So my killer from the deep is about to turn you into fish food! It’s over, punk! Double Shark, attack him directly! Then swim back around and give him another solid chomp to seal the deal.”
Drake could only cry in horror as Double Shark charged in, biting down at his middle, reducing his Life Points by 1200 to 600. Double Shark then zipped off, turned around, and charged in, slamming its double jaws into Drake, causing him to be sent flying back as his Life Points dropped down to zero. A “Win” screen showing Leo appeared before the Augmented Reality vanished, taking everything with it. When Drake sat up, Leo was smirking above him.
“Okay, now fork it over. You owe me a Light and Darkness Dragon and one Star Piece.”
Drake replied, “Uhh… how about I give you a rain check?”
Chronos gained an angry expression, his eyes glowing, and started to levitate Drake into the air.
He snarled, “You agreed to the terms, punk! Leo won fair and square, so don’t try to cheat him out of his victory. So act like a man, hand over the Star Piece and card, and accept your defeat. Or else.”
Terrified, Drake stated quickly, “Okay, okay! Here, my Light and Darkness Dragon and my only Star Piece! Just let me down, please!”
Chronos gently placed him on the ground after Leo collected his prizes. Drake then quickly scrambled away from the group in fear.
Chronos blushed, “Sorry, guys, I don’t mean to get nasty, but if Leo had lost, that punk would’ve made sure that Leo held his end of the bargain. So I had to change his mind. But I admit I didn’t like doing that. I’d rather not use force, but some people can only learn things the hard way. But please forgive me for that aggression, it doesn’t suit me, so I feel a little ashamed of myself.”
Fiona said soothingly, “It’s fine, Chronos, so no worries. You’re just helping your friends, like a good friend would. We greatly appreciate what you do for us, so don’t worry about it. It just shows that you’re protecting what you care about, even if it makes you act out of character for a moment. Right, guys?”
Cody nodded, “Fiona nailed it on the head. You’re just bein’ a good friend to us, Chronos, so don’t worry about it. We need all the help we can get, so havin’ powerful allies like you and your family is vital to our cause. So don’t worry ‘bout a little show of aggression, as like you said, some jerks need to learn things the hard way. Not like he would’ve been willing to give up his card and Star Piece to a young teen willingly. So don’t worry about it, buddy.”
Chronos smiled, “Thank you, all of you. I’ve never had such wonderful friends before. So thank you for your support.”
Leo smiled, “Now, with one more victory under our belts, let’s get going! More Duels await us! So let’s go gang!”
Next Chapter: Gem of Roses