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Chapter 5: Blow for Blow
Kaiba smirked [K LP: 1000]. 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.
“That ends my turn,” Joey said, surveying the last card in his hand [J LP: 600].
Kaiba drew a card and smiled. “You can’t hide now,” he said. “I sacrifice my Kaiser Seahorse in order to summon Vampire Lord [2000/1500].” The warrior was replaced by a purple vampire dressed in dark colors. “Vampire Lord, attack his monster.”
Vampire Lord flung its cloak out of the way and jumped at Joey’s Gearfried, tackling it to the ground and destroying it [J LP: 400]. “Now,” Kaiba said, “because Vampire Lord damaged your Life Points, you must discard a Magic card from your deck.”
Joey picked his deck from his Duel Disk and looked through it. He was startled by how few cards remained in his deck. This duel had been going on for a long time. He finally took Polymerization and put it in his Graveyard, then shuffled his deck and returned it to his Duel Disk.
“My turn,” Joey said. He was aware of the danger now. Because of Kaiba’s Trap card, his monsters couldn’t be in defense mode and protect his Life Points anymore. If he didn’t draw a monster stronger than Vampire Lord, he could lose in the next turn.
“I have you now, Joey,” Kaiba said. “I know how weak your monsters are. You can’t possibly draw a monster stronger than mine.”
“Attack points can be misleading sometimes,” Joey said, looking at the card he just drew. “A monster’s effect can make it very strong. Let me show you! I set one card facedown and summon Time Wizard.”
“But Baby Dragon isn’t on the field,” Tristan said.
“That’s true,” Joey said. “I normally play Time Wizard as a Magic card, but it can also be played as a monster.” The multi-colored magician [500/400] stepped onto the field. “Not only can I attack with this monster, but I can also still use its effect. Go, Time Roulette!”
The pointer on Time Wizard’s wand started spinning. The entire duel rests on the outcome of this spin, Joey thought. If it lands on a skull, I’m doomed.
It doesn’t matter what he gets, Kaiba thought, crossing his arms. This is a futile attempt to out-duel me.
The spinner gradually slowed, clicking along a couple times before stopping to rest on a red stopwatch.
“All right,” Joey said. “Now Time Wizard will age your field a thousand years, destroying all of your monsters.”
A vortex of swirling light and images of clocks appeared around Kaiba’s monster. Vampire Lord cried out in surprise, but eventually those cries faded and there wasn’t a trace of the vampire left.
“Now, Time Wizard,” Joey said, “attack Kaiba directly.”
As Time Wizard moved towards him, Kaiba uncrossed his arms and pushed a button on his Duel Disk. “That’s more Life Points than I want to lose,” he said, “so I’ll activate Negate Attack and prevent your attack from hitting me.”
The Trap card flipped face-up and Time Wizard was bounced back onto Joey’s field. “If you insist,” Joey said. “That’ll end my turn.”
“My move,” Kaiba said, drawing a card. “And now my Vampire Lord will be reborn onto the field.”
“Oh man,” Joey said as a black coffin materialized onto the field, “I forgot about that.”
The coffin lid creaked open and Vampire Lord flew out. “Now, my vampire,” Kaiba said, “attack his Time Wizard and drain the rest of his Life Points.”
“Not if I can help it,” Joey said. “Activate Silver Dollar. Since my monster has less than 1000 attack points, this Trap card will protect it from your attack.”
Vampire Lord’s punch was blocked as a small coin appeared in front of Time Wizard in the path of the attack. “The wild flailing of a duelist who knows that he’s going to lose,” Kaiba said.
“This duel isn’t over yet,” Joey said. “I can still win.”
“Seto’s rarely this determined to beat somebody,” Mokuba commented.
“Same for Joey,” Tristan said. “Neither of them wants to lose.”
“My turn,” Joey said. He smiled when he saw which card he drew. “Now, Time Wizard, let’s work your magic again!”
“It won’t work for you a second time,” Kaiba exclaimed.
“We’ll just see,” Joey said. “I’m feeling lucky.”
The spinner rotated around, slowed, and then stopped squarely on a skull mark.
“Oh no,” Tea said. “Now his monsters will be destroyed.”
“And he’ll lose Life Points,” Yugi added.
A time vortex appeared on Joey’s field and sucked Time Wizard into it [J LP: 150]. Kaiba laughed. “That’s what happens when you rely on luck,” he said.
But Joey’s face was unfazed. “It’s all right,” he said. “I was only hoping to get a direct attack. My plan will work anyway.”
“What plan?” Kaiba asked.
“Like all great plans, it’s a simple one,” Joey replied. “I’ll summon Goblin Attack Force and kick your butt!” A large group of green goblins brandishing clubs [2300/0] sprung out onto the field and rushed towards Vampire Lord. Kaiba’s monster was overwhelmed and crushed to the ground [K LP: 700].
“Since I destroyed Vampire Lord in battle,” Joey said, “it won’t be reborn to the field next turn. Also, though my monster normally goes into defense mode after attacking, your Trap card makes it stay in attack mode, so I can attack you with it again next turn! I’ve used your own Trap card against you.”
Kaiba was actually shocked. He kept his face steady, but his mind was racing furiously. None of the cards in his hand would be able to help him. He needed to draw a good card next turn or he was finished.
“How does it feel to be in the same situation I was a couple turns ago?” Joey said.
Kaiba smiled. “It makes me relieved that such a turnaround is possible. My turn.”
He pulled a card from his ever-decreasing deck and looked at it. It was a little risky, but it could work. “Out of curiosity,” he said, “how many cards do you have left in your deck?”
Joey pulled his deck from his Duel Disk and counted the cards. “Eight,” he said, replacing his deck.
“And I only have seven,” Kaiba said, “which means that I’ll run out of cards before you do.”
“It’s not the manliest way to win,” Joey said, “but it’s still a win.”
“Then I’ll have to defeat you before then,” Kaiba said, and I know just the way to do it.
“I summon Pitch-Dark Dragon [900/600] and set two cards facedown,” Kaiba said. “That ends my turn.”
All right, Joey thought, he’s finally run out of powerful monsters. If I attack, I can finally win this duel. But then he hesitated. However, I have those two facedown cards to worry about. Kaiba knows that he’ll lose if I attack, so those cards must be to protect his monster, or to defeat me. An attack would be risky.
He drew a card from his deck and smiled. This could be just the card I need. It would mean losing my monster on the field, but it’s worth it if I can get rid of those Traps. This could be my one shot to beat him.
“For my move,” he began, “I’ll sacrifice my Goblin Attack Force in order to summon Jinzo!” The sleek, shiny android [2400/1500] rose onto the field with its arms crossed. “Not only is my Jinzo a strong monster, but its special effect will destroy every Trap card on the field.”
Jinzo’s eyes activated and red beams shot out, crossing Kaiba’s Final Attack Orders and facedown Crush Card and destroying them. Kaiba growled at Joey’s luck.
“I see what your plan was,” Joey said. “You were going to destroy every powerful monster left in my deck, making me run out of cards before you.”
“And preventing you from fighting back,” Kaiba added. “A chance bit of luck saved you.”
“What can I say? Lady Luck likes me.”
“Will you hurry up and finish your turn?”
“Certainly. In fact, it’s time to finish this duel.” Joey made a dramatic pose and pointed at Kaiba. “Jinzo, attack Kaiba’s monster and eliminate the rest of his Life Points.” Jinzo formed a ball of cybernetic energy in its hands and fired it at the black dragon.
“Joey’s gonna win!” Tristan shouted.
“Not yet,” Yugi said. “Kaiba’s remaining facedown card will save him.”
“You know what that card is?” Tea asked.
“Yep,” Yugi replied. “Kaiba’s Crush Card combo wouldn’t have worked unless it was that Magic card.”
“I’m sorry, Joey,” Kaiba said, “but we’re not done just yet. I activate my facedown card, Shrink. It will reduce your monster’s attack points by half for this turn.”
Jinzo’s attack withered away slightly before hitting Kaiba’s monster. It was destroyed anyway, but Kaiba was still in the game [K LP: 400].
Joey grumbled. “At least I can get you next turn,” he said.
“Wrong,” Kaiba replied, drawing a card. “Now that my Final Attack Orders Trap card is gone, monsters can defend themselves again. I summon Twin-Headed Behemoth [1500/1200] in defense mode and end my turn.”
The two-headed purple dragon wrapped its wings around itself and looked at Joey. He huffed and drew a card. Great, he thought, I don’t even have enough Life Points to use this card. And if I remember that Behemoth’s effect correctly, attacking it won’t do much good. Still, there’s nothing else to do.
“Jinzo, attack his dragon,” he said. The android released another cybernetic blast and wiped out Kaiba’s monster.
“And now,” Kaiba said, “my monster returns to the field.” The shattered pieces of Twin-Headed Behemoth reassembled themselves and the monster [1000/1000] sat without a scratch.
“Don’t worry, Joey” Yugi called. “It can only do that once. On the next turn, you can destroy it.”
“No, he won’t,” Kaiba said, drawing. “It only needed to last one turn, long enough for me to sacrifice it.” The purple dragon faded away in a flash of light. “Now, I summon Kaiser Glider.”
The large yellow hunchbacked dragon [2400/2200] stepped onto the field and roared in welcome. “That doesn’t worry me,” Joey said. “It can’t defeat my Jinzo without destroying itself in the process.”
“That’s where you’re wrong again,” Kaiba said. “My dragon’s special effect is much like your Kishido Spirit that you used earlier. Kaiser Glider is not destroyed if it attacks a monster of equal attack strength.”
Oh no, Joey thought. There goes my Jinzo.
“Kaiser Glider,” Kaiba said, “wipe the field of that monster.”
Kaiser Glider’s fireball tore through Jinzo’s cybernetic blast and set the robot on fire. Joey’s Life Points were unaffected [J LP: 150], but he didn’t have any more monsters in his deck capable of defeating Kaiba’s monster.
“Yay, big bro!” Mokuba shouted.
“It’s over, Joey,” Kaiba said. “I know your deck. There are no monsters left in it that can save you.”
“Wrong,” Joey said, looking at Kaiba with eyes full of determination. “A True Duelist will never give up until the very end. As long as there are cards left in my deck, I can fight. I learned that from Yugi.”
The corner of Kaiba’s mouth twitched up in a smile. Perhaps you are more than a simple duelist…
“My turn,” Joey said, drawing a card. He smiled when he saw it. “It’s time to bring this duel to its climax. I play the Magic card Last Chance. It can only be activated when we both have ten or less cards in our deck, which we do. Now, we draw every card in our deck, but don’t worry. Last Chance’s second effect prevents us from drawing cards at the beginning of our turn.”
“So,” Kaiba said, taking the five remaining cards in his deck, “the winner will be the person who uses these last cards most effectively.”
“Exactly,” Joey said, drawing his five cards.
to be concluded…
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