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Chapter 4: Who Plays His Cards Best
“Your goats won’t last long,” Kaiba said [K LP: 1300]. “I summon Vorse Raider [1900/1200] and have all three of my monsters attack three of yours.”
When the barrage was done, Joey only had one blue Scapegoat left on the field, sleepily oblivious to the destruction going on around it. That one monster wouldn’t be enough to protect him the next turn.
“My turn,” Joey said [J LP: 1000]. C’mon, he thought, it’s time to turn this duel around. He drew a card and looked at it. He still wasn’t off the hook yet.
“Once again, my Dangerous Machine will activate,” Joey said.
“There’s no way you’ll get the same result three times in a row,” Kaiba said. “You’re bound to get a negative result soon.”
“But not this time,” Joey said as the rotating numbers stopped on “5”. “Now, I get to destroy one of your monsters.”
“What?” Kaiba asked in outrage.
“That’s right,” Joey said. “Say goodbye to your Dragon Cannon.”
A red beam shot out of Joey’s machine and pierced through Kaiba’s monster, shattering it to pieces. Perhaps I should have destroyed that Dangerous Machine with my Dragon Cannon earlier, Kaiba thought, instead of waiting for it to backfire on him.
“And then,” Joey said, “I’ll play the Magic card Roll of Fate. This card rolls another die. Depending on the result, I’ll get to draw that many cards and then remove that same amount of cards from my deck.”
“What is it with you and dice?” Kaiba commented.
“Yeah,” Tristan said, “you’re gonna give Duke a run for his money.” Joey glowed at the compliment. “Too bad he always beats you at Dungeon Dice Monsters,” Tristan continued.
“Hey!” Joey protested.
“Pay attention to the game, Joey,” Yugi said. “You just rolled a three.”
“Oh,” Joey said, turning towards Kaiba. “That means that I draw three cards” – which he did – “and remove three cards from play.” He noted the three cards he removed before slipping them into his pocket. “Now, Kaiba, my counterattack begins.”
“Finally,” Kaiba said.
“I summon Panther Warrior [2000/1600] in attack mode,” Joey said, “and sacrifice my last Scapegoat so that he can attack.” The blue goat turned into a glowing ball of light and was absorbed into the purple panther’s sword. “Now, I attack your…wait a minute.”
“What’s wrong?” Kaiba asked.
“I was about to attack your Blade Knight,” Joey said, “but then I remembered your monster’s effect. It gains 400 attack points when you have only one card in your hand. If I attacked it with my Panther Warrior, they would tie. So, I’ll attack your Vorse Raider instead.”
Kaiba didn’t show a bit of worry as his monster was defeated [K LP: 1200]. “Is that all?” he asked.
Suddenly, Joey got a strange look on his face. He squinted his eyes and stared intently at Kaiba. “What is it?” Kaiba asked incredulously. Joey started counting on his fingers slowly, and then a wicked smile spread across his face.
“I’ll set this card facedown,” Joey said, still smiling, “and end my turn.”
What is he up to? Kaiba wondered. Is he bluffing again?
“My move,” Kaiba said, drawing a card. “I sacrifice my Blade Knight in order to summon Luster Dragon #2 [2400/1400].” Kaiba’s knight disappeared and was replaced by a tall emerald dragon whose body shone in the sunlight. “Attack Joey’s panther, my dragon.”
The dragon reached out and swallowed Panther Warrior in one gulp. Joey [J LP: 600] grimaced at this turn of events. Kaiba’s Blue-Eyes wasn’t his only monster to worry about. Hopefully, his facedown card would help.
So it wasn’t a Trap, Kaiba thought. “I end my-”
“Wait a minute, Kaiba,” Joey said. “Before you end your turn, I’m gonna activate my facedown card first.”
“It’s the Magic card Card of Sanctity,” Joey said as the virtual card flipped upward.
Kaiba shrugged his shoulders. “So we both draw until we have six cards in our hands,” he said. “What good did it do you to wait and activate it now?”
“Don’t you know what turn it is?”
“No, I-” Suddenly, the answer hit him. “It’s the fifth turn after I played Card of Demise.”
“Exactly,” Joey said, smiling broadly. “While I get to keep the cards I draw, you’ll have to discard all of your cards.”
“Oh no,” Mokuba said.
“Excellent strategy, Joey!” Yugi shouted.
“Way to go!” Tristan added.
Kaiba laughed. “Why do I keep underestimating you?” he said, drawing five cards from his deck. “You found a way to unbalance a balanced card. However, your strategy isn’t perfect. I can still save some cards by setting them on the field.” He slipped two cards into his Duel Disk. “I set two cards facedown and end my turn.”
As Kaiba discarded every card in his hand, Joey thought he caught a glimpse of one of the cards. “Did you just discard a Blue-Eyes?” Joey asked, grinning.
“Yes, I did,” Kaiba said. “You defeated my third Blue-Eyes before I even summoned it.”
Joey giggled. “All right,” he said, “now I don’t have to worry about your Blue-Eyes anymore.”
“Until I draw my Monster Reborn,” Kaiba added.
“Whatever,” Joey said, drawing another card to add to the six in his hand. “All right, Dangerous Machine, it’s time to destroy another of his monsters.”
“You can’t tell it what to do,” Kaiba said.
“No, but I can ask.”
“Well, your request failed. You rolled a one.”
“Aw, man,” Joey said. “That means I have to discard a card from my hand.”
Kaiba smiled. Finally.
“That’s not all you’ll be discarding,” Kaiba said as Joey removed a card from his hand, “for I activate the Trap card Power Balance. Since I have no cards in my hand, this card will make our hands equal by making you discard half of your hand and making me draw the same amount of cards.”
Joey frowned as Kaiba drew three cards. Kaiba had dealt with his great idea with little effort. Joey grumbled and discarded three more cards from his hand.
“Don’t worry, Joey,” Tea said, noticing his sad expression. “You’re not done yet.”
Joey smiled a little. “I summon Gearfried the Iron Knight [1800/1600], set a card facedown, and end my turn,” he said.
I know that this is a Trap this time, Kaiba thought, drawing a card, but I can’t do anything about it. “I summon Kaiser Seahorse,” he said. A sea warrior covered in blue armor and wielding a strange spear [1700/1650] appeared on the field. “Luster Dragon, attack his Iron Knight.”
As the dragon reached over to snatch another of his monsters, Joey smiled. “I can’t let you do that,” Joey said. “Go, Kunai with Chain!” The Trap card flipped up and a chained Kunai shot out and intercepted Kaiba’s monster, forcing it to back down. “This card lets me change your monster into defense mode.”
Good, Kaiba thought. It wasn’t a serious Trap.
“Wait,” Tristan said, “doesn’t that card also normally turn into an Equipment card for one of Joey’s monsters?”
“Yes,” Yugi said, “but Gearfried can’t have Equipment cards, so only Kunai with Chain’s first effect was able to happen.”
It was good enough, Joey thought.
Kaiba surveyed the cards in his hand. An idea occurred to him. “I’ll set one card facedown before ending my turn,” he said.
“All right,” Joey said, “it’s time to destroy your monster. But first, don’t forget my Dangerous Machine.”
The numbers spun around and came to rest on “6”. Joey’s eyes widened and he could only muster an “eep” before the machine exploded and clouded his side of the field with smoke.
Kaiba laughed, a more sinister laugh. “Looks like your luck ran out. Your machine just self-destructed.”
Joey grimaced and swept the smoke away from his eyes. “I’ll still destroy your monster,” he said. “Gearfried, attack his Luster Dragon!” He smiled. “My attack is higher than your monster’s defense.”
“Then I’ll just switch my monster to attack mode,” Kaiba said. “I activate my Trap card, Final Attack Orders. This changes every monster on the field to attack mode.”
Joey whimpered as Luster Dragon stretched up from its crouch and roared at the approaching monster. Gearfried’s gonna lose, he thought. In desperation, he looked at his hand, and he saw a way out of this.
“Luster Dragon, destroy his monster,” Kaiba ordered.
Suddenly, a black cloud appeared above the battling monsters and a bolt of lightning shot down, striking Gearfried. “What just happened?” Kaiba asked.
“I activated my Magic card, Lightning Blade,” Joey said. “It gives my Warrior monster a one-turn 800 point attack increase. So, now it’s stronger than your dragon!”
The electrified Gearfried cut through Kaiba’s monster with ease [K LP: 1000]. “Looks like I foiled one of your plans, too,” Joey said.
Kaiba smirked. He had lost one fight, but not the war. His Final Attack Orders card would stay on the field, preventing Joey from placing monsters in defense mode. His stronger monsters would eventually win.
to be continued...
Note: The timing of the discard effect of Card of Demise is different from the movie, because I wrote this chapter before I saw the movie and by then it was too late to rewrite this duel. Also, Lightning Blade is an Equipment card in the game but was treated like a one-turn increase in the show, so I treated it here as such.
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