Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Eviledd1984
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Eviledd1984 Narn Liberator

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Miles currently wasn’t in the mood for a meet-and-greet with some random stranger, and while it was nothing more than delaying the inevitable, he wasn’t in any rush to get to know his roommate. Maybe it was just because he ran into that guy Chris earlier, but a walk through the bizarrely prevalent forestry blanketing the island felt like just the thing to help clear his mind. Naturally, with luck like his, he eventually stumbles upon some random stranger sitting beneath a tree with both her arms and legs crossed. She hears him arrive, and raises her head just in time to lock eyes with him, dooming him into having to acknowledge her presence.

By this point, Mina had stopped sobbing and shaking. Her spirit partner sat on her lap, or at least, he would be, if his body was tangible. Seeing the stranger looking at her, she uncrossed her limbs and snapped at him in a curt tone. “What do you want? Come to laugh at me?” Her words were filled with venom; her typical response when someone would try to comfort her after a loss. Without waiting for a response, she curled up again, placing her head against her knees.

Bitch, what? “I wasn’t before, but I guess I am now. What’s so embarrassing that you decided to start doing cryptid impressions out here in the woods?”

She didn’t want to mention the fact that she was out here because she lost a duel, thinking that he would only make fun of her further. “I’m not here looking for cryptids, I just wanted to be left alone. Those idiots in the dorm were pissing me off.”

“That makes two of us, but ‘lo and behold, some girl curled up like Sonic the Hedgehog started chatting me up.” He shakes his head in mock exasperation. “What, you worked up over losing at a children’s card game?”

“No!” A terrible lie. A sinking feeling overcame her for a moment as she thought that he’d definitely figure out that she was the crying girl that had ran off towards the forest. Although, in truth, Miles was just oblivious. He wasn’t in the lounge during Mina’s duel and ignored the chatter on his way out. That being said, it was pretty obvious by now what had happened.

This girl is actually crying over a stupid card game, he thought. Miles couldn’t help but feel pity for her. “So you did lose. Welp, I guess you have no choice but to give up on your dueling career. Have you considered becoming a ventriloquist?”

“I am not going to give up, I am going to keep going until I’m the best duelist in the world, no matter the cost.” She looked up at Miles, staring at him dead in the eyes. When she said ‘at all cost’, she was dead serious about it.

“Pfft.” Miles held back a laugh. It was actually quite mean to be laughing at her aspirations like this, but the delivery was just so cheesy. “Why’re you crying then? No one gives a shit about a simple loss. This is a card game we’re talking about here, if you don’t get unlucky eventually, you’re either a cheater or your name is Seto Kaiba and you just printed a bunch of broken cards that you’ll never release to the public.”

She took in what the young man was saying, perhaps he was on to something. But the trauma of her childhood made it hard for her to fully comprehend the concept. “Perhaps, but if I am not the best, then I am a nobody. A loser. I will be punished if I don’t win. I do not know what to do, if I am not dueling.” She sounded sad mentioning that she would be punished for losing. A horrid memory flashed in her mind, and she shuddered. Her hair was standing on end at the mere thought of it.

Punished? I regret to be the one to inform you of this, miss nobody loser, but your parents sound like psychopaths.”

She was now staring at Miles, feeling an inescapable sense of impending trouble encroaching upon him, but after a few silent moments, nothing happened. She looked around the forest, as if expecting her parents to come over to punish him, or her, but no one came. Her spirit partner was now floating around Miles curiously. “Perhaps he has a point. For you to become a better duelist, you need to learn from your mistakes and grow.” Mina stood up, wiping some dirt from her knees. “Yeah, they’re real assholes.”

Miles conspicuously eyed the black and white dog as it circled him. “I know we’re on an island full of teachers who have done their damndest to pretend otherwise, but not everything in life revolves around a card game, you know. Learning from your mistakes and growing as a person isn’t just for dueling.”

Again, Miles made a good point. Perhaps she could try to not be so transfixed on being the best and just enjoy duels themselves.

…wait.

“Wait a moment, you can see the dog floating around?” She was amazed that she was able to meet someone with similar abilities. Now he has grabbed her interest.

Miles paused for a moment, though if he meant to keep it a secret, he didn’t show any surprise or embarrassment. “...Yeah. I see him.”

Mina blanked for a bit. It was a lot to take in at once. She stopped to organize her thoughts and looped back around to the original topic. “...I guess I could just enjoy dueling for what it is, instead of just fixating on being the best.” Her spirit partner was now floating behind her. “What is your name, by the way?”

“Miles.”

“My name is Mina. How long have you been able to see these ghosts?”

“...” Miles broke eye contact, and an awkward silence ensued.

“I assume that you have been able to see or talk to ‘em since you were a kid right? So have I. Anyway i think it’s time for me to head back, want to come with?”

Miles sighed. “Might as well.” If he kept on his walk he’d probably just run into another girl crying in the woods.

“Good. This place was starting to creep me out.” With that, she started walking away, hoping that Miles would be following beside her. She didn’t have to turn back to confirm it as he caught up with her, walking with her side-by-side.

They walked in comfortable silence for a few moments before Miles asked, “have you ever owned a real pet dog?”

“Hmm? No?”

“I see.”
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Crimson Flame
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Crimson Flame Doll Collector

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The two boys make their way outside, coming to a stop a distance away from each other in front of the Slifer Red dorm. Kaison gives Pine a warm smile as he draws his opening hand. “Good luck!”

“Thanks…” Pine responds, and then mumbles under his breath, “We’ll both need it…” He looked at the hand he drew, and grinned. What a great start!

Florian Pine vs. Kaison Locke

“I set a monster and a face-down, then I guess I end my turn.”

Kaison draws, looking over his hand with a bemused expression. “I activate Foolish Burial, sending a monster from my deck to the grave, then set one monster. You’re up.”

Pine wondered why he would intentionally send something to the grave. There was usually a reason… He didn’t dwell on that for too long. He draws for his turn. Seems Kaison wasn’t interested in making the first attack. “I’ll flip summon my Botanical Lion, then normal summon Lord Poison.”

Botanical Lion - 2200/2000
Lord Poison - 1500/1000

“I’ll attack your face-down with Lord Poison.”

The face-down flips face-up to reveal a winged frog shortly before being shredded to bits by Lord Poison’s freakishly huge claws.

“Now, Botanical Lion attacks directly!”

The rosy lion charges at Kaison, but the smile Kaison wore since the duel began doesn’t flinch. He takes a card from his hand and slaps it onto his duel disk.

“I activate the effect of Battle Fader. It’s special summoned, then the battle phase ends.”

Battle Fader - 0/0

“Alright. I end my turn.”

“Curses!” Pine mumbled. He hated when his plans were disrupted.

“Draw. I special summon Treeborn Frog, from my grave.” The winged frog destroyed by Lord Poison descends from a beam of light in the sky, as if from heaven.

Treeborn Frog - 100/100

“Now, I summon Kinka-byo, and use its effect to special summon Morphtronic Vacuumen, who was sent to the graveyard by Foolish Burial.” A ghoulish cat and a silly vacuum cleaner-themed robot appear on the field.

Kinka-byo - 400/200
Morphtronic Vacuumen - 0/0

“Morphtronic Vacuumen, suck out the Poison!”

The vacuum cleaning bot points towards Lord Poison with its menacing suction hose and Lord Poison lets out a hideous scream, undergoing spaghettification as it’s dragged into the hose as if falling into a black hole.

“Now, using these four monsters, I XYZ summon Ghostrick Dullahan and Lyrilusc - Promenade Thrush.”

The level one monsters overlay, and in their place, a headless horseman and some kind of bird girl appear.

Ghostrick Dullahan - 1200/0
Lyrilusc - Promenade Thrush - 1000/0


“I activate the effect of Promenade Thrush, forcing you to shuffle your face-down back into your deck.”

“I chain it - it’s Book of Moon, and I use it to flip Ghostrick Dullahan face-down.”

“In that case, I chain Ghostrick Dullahan’s effect onto that to detach Treeborn Frog and lower Botanical Lion’s attack until the end of the turn.”

The effects resolve, Ghostrick Dullahan is flipped face-down, and Book of Moon is simply put into the grave.

“Main Phase 2. I XYZ summon Downerd Magician using Promenade Thrush as material.”

Downerd Magician - 2500/200

“With that, I end my turn.”

Pine draws, nodding to himself. “I play Solidarity.”

Botanical Lion growls as its attack rises.

Kaison whistles. “Sittin’ pretty at 2700 attack.” Already, it’s above my Magician.

Pine grins. ”It’s about to get prettier. I equip Botanical Lion with Thorn of Malice.”

Large thorny vines entangle Botanical Lion, and its attack rises yet further to 3300.

“Botanical Lion, attack his face-down monster!”

Botanical Lion pounces on Ghostrick Dullahan, who isn’t destroyed due to Thorn of Malice, but has 0 defense, through which Botanical Lion essentially attacks directly.

[8000 LP > 4700 LP]

Ghostrick Dullahan becomes entangled in the thorny vines, and its attack falls to 600 points.

Through this Kaison was still standing, and didn’t wail out in pain. Pine breathed a sigh of relief that his powers didn’t activate. Evan had it coming, but this guy didn’t. He didn’t want Kaison to end up in the hospital… “I end my turn.”

Kaison draws, still smiling. Treeborn Frog descends from the aether yet again.

“I summon Evil Thorn, then tribute it to deal 300 damage and special summon two more from my deck.”

[8000 LP > 7700 LP]

Evil Thorn - 100/300


“I change Ghostrick Dullahan to attack, then XYZ summon Number 54: Lion Heart.”

Number 54: Lion Heart - 100/100


“Go, Lion Heart! Attack Botanical Lion!”

The two Lion-themed monsters clash, but the attack disparity is obvious. Lion Heart and Thorn of Malice both keep Lion Heart from being destroyed by battle, and Lion Heart’s effect activates.

“By detaching Treeborn Frog, you take the damage I would have taken from that battle instead!”

[7700 LP > 4500 LP]

“Now, I use Dullahan’s effect to halve Botanical Lion’s attack. Go, Downerd Magician! Attack Botanical Lion!”

The disheveled magician smirks and tosses a potion at Botanical Lion. The flask shatters on contact and immediately explodes, leaving nothing behind.

[4500 LP > 3650 LP]

“Finally, Ghostrick Dullahan attacks directly!”

[3650 LP > 3050 LP]

“Main Phase 2. I summon another Downerd Magician using Ghostrick Dullahan as material.”

A second Downerd Magician joins the first. Both are down to a single material, thus possessing 2300 attack each.

“With that, I end my turn.”

Pine draws. He looks at the card he drew, and smiles. “I summon Gigantic Cephalotus, then I play Monster Reborn to bring back Botanical Lion.”

Gigantic Cephalotus - 2650/700
Botanical Lion - 3000/2000


“Botanical Lion, Gigantic Cephalotus, attack both of his Downerd Magicians.” The Magicians explode one by one as they are mauled and devoured by the plant monsters.

[4700 LP > 3650 LP]

“I set a face-down, then end my turn.”

Kaison draws, and Treeborn Frog descends yet again. He doesn’t show any change in expression, simply maintaining the same smile he had from the start. “I play Where Arf Thou, adding Kinka-byo from my deck to my hand. I summon it, and use it to bring back Evil Thorn from my grave. I tribute Evil Thorn, doing 300 damage to your life points, then I use Treeborn Frog and Kinka-byo to XYZ summon another Promenade Thrush. I use her effect to get rid of your face-down, which should leave you wide open.”


[3050 LP > 2750 LP]

Pine grits his teeth. It was just a bluff, but now there really was no hope of winning left.

“Go, Lion Heart! Attack Botanical Lion!”

As before, the two lions clash, and as before, all of the damage is reflected onto Pine.

[2750 LP > 0 LP]

The holograms fade out as the duel comes to a close. Kaison jogs over to Pine, still smiling nonchalantly. “Good game! The way you threw out those strong plant monsters like they were nothing was really cool. Wanna duel again?”

“Oh, no you don’t!”

Before Pine can answer, a woman wearing a Slifer Red uniform walks towards them, the door to room 101 still ajar behind her.

“Didn’t you get the message from the school? You’re supposed to conduct your duels under my supervision.

“I- I… uh…”

Kaison steps forward. “Ah, he didn’t. It’s my fault, miss…?”

She raises an eyebrow. “Hibiki.”

Kaison nods. “Miss Hibiki. I met this guy outside of the school and talked his ear off all the way here. I probably interrupted him before he could get the chance.”

This was a complete lie. Pine had had plenty of time to read it, and as frustrating as its vagueness was, he mostly just chose to ignore it. He wasn’t some walking disaster. He had complete control of his powers. At least, when his temper didn’t flare up. Pine didn’t really know what to say, and in the absence of denial, Ms. Hibiki accepted Kaison’s story.

“Alright then. It’s the first day anyway, I suppose I shouldn’t be so strict with a new student. Just make sure you come get me or another teacher next time, okay? I’m usually in Room 101, the first door next to the stairs. Got it?”

Kaison nods again. “Got it.”

Ms. Hibiki stares at Pine for a bit before he realizes she’s waiting for his confirmation and he nervously copies Kaison’s nod. “...Okay.”

Seemingly satisfied, she leaves, returning to her room. Kaison turns to Pine. “Well, it’d feel awkward to bother her again after all that. Was there something in the school rules about dueling with supervision? I mostly just skimmed them.” He pulls out his PDA and begins looking through the rules, trying to find what Ms. Hibiki was talking about after the fact.

Now this was awkward.

“It’s not in the rules. They sent a message on the PDA after the fact. I guess I got so excited to start dueling that I forgot about it… Um… sorry about that. That was fun though.”

Kaison just gave Pine a confused look. “Message? Why’d they add more rules just for you?”

Pine had a feeling he knew why, and sighed. ”Before I came here, I dueled a boy. Whenever my monsters attacked him, he felt it for real. By the end of the duel, the boy was in the hospital. He had it coming, but I understand why the school would be concerned.“

“Interesting.” He looked at Pine with curiosity. “Well, if someone like you thought he had it coming, he must’ve been a huge jerk.” Despite saying that, Kaison still looked confused, holding his chin in one hand with a contemplative expression. “Though, I still feel fine? Is it really such a big problem for them?”

”It usually happens when I lose my temper. You might talk a lot, but… I actually like you… You’re the only person that’s been nice to me for real.”

Kaison laughs. It sounds bright and carefree. “Talk too much, do I? That’s fair, though I’m sure lots of people at this school are just as nice as me.”

”Are you sure about that? I’ve been the flower loving freak all my life.”

“Man, don’t call yourself that. There’s nothing weird about liking some pretty flowers. What, are you really into Rafflesia or something? You know, the one that smells like rotting meat? I guess it would be kinda weird if you tried to get others to smell them all the time.”

”Rafflesias are still interesting specimens.”

“Well, they are the biggest flowers in the world…” He loops back around to the original question. “I can’t speak for them, though if you’re down to let me introduce you to some of the friends I’ve made today, I’m sure you’d get along with at least some of them.”

”That would be nice… By the way, I should tell you. Pine is my last name. I only introduce myself as that because people made fun of my first name. It’s Florian.”

“Which would you prefer I call you? I can also stick to Pine when others are around, if you want.”

”Stick to Pine when others are around.” Pine grinned. ”I’ll tell them myself when I trust them enough. Heh, I guess you’re special.“

Kaison nods. “All right then, Florian.”
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Ryik
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Ryik Wandering Phantasm

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Episode 2: Things That Go Bump in the Night


The first day of school started off with homeroom, and while the homeroom teacher was excruciatingly hard to tell apart from his other relatives on the staff, he introduced himself as Mr. Monoma. Soon after, he had each student in the class stand up and introduce themselves.

“I’ll call each of you, one by one. When you’re called, just stand up, give us your name, tell us something you like to do in your free time other than dueling, then say one ‘fun fact’ about yourself. Doesn’t matter what it is; your favorite food, something you’ve accomplished in the past, or even just a famous duelist you admire. Kaison, you’re up.”


As the introductions for each student in the class finally came to a close, Mr. Monoma projected something onto the overhead screen. Although it wasn't clear at first, it was a list of all of the students in the class by their entrance exam scores, albeit with Kaycee missing for some reason. At the very top of the list, only a few points off from a perfect score, was Jon’s name and face.

“I’d like to give my personal congratulations to Jon here, for achieving the highest score of any incoming freshman in the entrance exams.”

The entire class turns to look at Jon, who has fallen asleep again. The teacher begins clapping anyway and the students join in a round of applause. The noise wakes him up, and, oblivious, he begins clapping too.

The rest of the school day proceeds without much fanfare.



Kaison was vibrating as he and Pine walked back to their dorm. He wore the same casual smile he always did, but something about it seemed crooked. Unlike yesterday, they walked in silence the whole way, and it was only when their room door closed that Kaison began slowly unloading his jumbled self-conscious thoughts onto Pine.

“Man, I’ve never gone on a date with anyone before. Have you ever dated someone?”

”No I haven’t.” Pine said matter of factly. ”Not for lack of trying. I asked someone out, and he said no…”

If the male pronoun was supposed to be a revelation, Kaison misses it completely. He holds his forehead in one hand, thoughts solely on his upcoming date. “I can’t help but be nervous. What if I talk too much and she finds it annoying? What if she doesn’t like my game? Can she even stand to be in a Slifer Red dorm after living in Obelisk?”

”I’m sure it’ll be fine…” Pine said that, but internally, he was seething. Why wasn’t he Kaison’s first date? Kaison kept going on and on and on about exaggerated paranoid scenarios, and it only served to make Pine more upset. Why didn’t he think to ask him out first? Who was this bitch that was dating him now?

“Ah, right. Will you be okay, getting kicked out of our room? I could ask for us to do it at the girl’s dorm. At least, I think? Hold on, lemme check the school rules.”

Pine grit his teeth and put on a fake-ass smile. ”It’s. Fine. I’ll go for a walk.”

Kaison gave him a beaming smile. “Thanks, man. I can always count on you to have my back.”

Pine’s eye twitched. Kaison didn’t notice.



When Pine walks out of his own dorm room, the sun had just finished slipping over the horizon, blanketing the sky in a sea of stars. He hurries down the stairs as he sees Melony approaching, doing his best to avoid her like the plague. He overheard her knocking on their door and greeting Kaison with that cloying tone of hers, before the door closed behind her like a coffin on Pine’s potential love life. That’s when Pine remembers he forgot to ask for a copy of ‘Lost in the Labyrinth’.

He’s about to freak out a little when another Slifer Red student walks out of room 102, humming some kind of tune while a parade of Scapeghost duel spirits follow behind her.

”Hmm, that gives me an idea.” He pulls out a Gigaplant card, and focuses on it. It’s the first time he’s tried this, but he’s done it in a duel before by complete accident, so how hard can it be? All he has to do is pour his anger, his frustration, and his contempt for that annoying girl into the card, and sooner than he would have expected, he sees it towering before him. A magnificent carnivorous beast made of pure anger and cellulose.

Pine smiled widely. ”It’s so beautiful.” He considers the power it has, all at his fingertips, but just a single thought of the very real consequences it can bring to Kaison and the innocent bystanders in the dorms is sobering. He decides to go with the original, modest plan he had made when he wasn’t sure materializing duel monsters outside of duels was even possible. “Go! Throw those goats into that room!” Pine pointed first to the Scapeghosts, now frozen in fear, then to his own dorm room. They were just duel spirits. They should fly through the walls unharmed. Kaison and Melony may not even be able to see them, but the spiritual force of them flying through should at least give them the haunting of a lifetime.

Haruko, for her part, still hasn’t seemed to notice Pine, instead wisely spending her time gaping up in horror at the giant monster plant yeeting her sheep into the dorms.

Pine basks in the ensuing girlish screams coming from their room. Melony was right, coming over at night really does add to the horror. The satisfaction alone seems to quell his temper to the point that the Gigaplant begins to fade away; just in time for it to yeet the last Scapeghost.

As if on cue, the door to room 201 bursts open, but rather than Melony, it’s Kaison running for his life. If he notices Pine or Haruko, he doesn’t acknowledge them as he runs towards the school saying expletives on repeat. Pine hears the clacking of Melony’s shoes like a 2x4 to his ear drums as he turns around to see her leaning on the second floor guardrail.

“Haruko, you freak! You’d fuck with the occult again just to ruin my date!?”

“W-wh-w-wh-? Huh?” Haruko tries to stutter out a question and mostly fails, utterly baffled at the situation.

“Don’t act so useless! You and I both know you’re the only one who could have done this! And you! Glasses boy! You really drew a summoning circle for her? Are you out of your mind? You wanna fuck her so bad, you’d fuck with demons? and worse, with me!?

“What is the meaning of this!?”

The door to Room 101 swings open. About time, really, considering all the screaming. Miss Hibiki strides out, arms crossed, looking rather peeved.

Haruko devolves into incoherent babbling. Melony rushes down the stairs and flawlessly switches to her goody-two-shoes voice. “Ah! Hello there, Miss… Um…?”

“Hibiki.”

“Right! Ms. Hibiki. I’m Melony. I was just paying a good friend of mine a visit. We were playing a horror game, and things got a bit exciting~! Sorry about the noise.”

At this point, Pine felt like Haruko. Demons? Summoning circles? What the hell was she even talking about? Still, if it keeps Ms. Hibiki from putting him under house arrest for materializing a giant man-eating plant monster, he can’t really complain.

“That was an awful lot of yelling for a horror game.”

“Ah, it was a competitive horror game. Survivors have to coordinate as the killer hunts them down. Tensions get pretty high~.”

“...What is the name of this game?”

Melony answers without missing a beat. “Dead by Daylight.”

At this point Haruko is speechless and Pine just wants this to be over.

Ms. Hibiki nods sagely. “It sounds very interesting. Maybe I’ll try it out. In any case, it’s getting rather late. All three of you should make sure to be in your dorm rooms by curfew. Would you like me to escort you to the Obelisk girl’s dorms, Melony?”

“It’s alright, Ms. Hibiki, I know the way.”

“Alright.” She waves off Melony as she walks away before turning to the remaining Slifer Reds. “I’ll be checking up on you again for curfew. Until then, I’ll be in my room. And Pine?”

”Yes?”

“Get Kaison back here.”

”...”

Ms. Hibiki doesn’t wait for a response, closing the door to room 101 behind her.

Haruko looks paralyzed, looking to Pine for answers with desperation in her eyes.

Not knowing what else to do, Pine simply shrugs before walking off in search of Kaison. By the time he finds him, sitting out in front of the school, they’re both exhausted, and decide to just go back to their dorm and sleep it off. They ignore the mess caused by the Scapeghost barrage and pass out quickly after hitting their respective beds.



A few school days pass by. A dreadful rumor pops up about Pine and Haruko going out to visit each other at night. The rumor started fairly innocuous, but seems to grow more exaggerated and bizarre with each passing day. When Kaison and Helena inevitably ask, both of them deny it, and continue denying it whenever it comes up, but it's not like they could explain the events of that night clearly without starting even bigger rumors about themselves. The gossip started to become harder and harder to ignore as phrases like "satanic sex rituals" started flying around. Their superficial similarities as glasses-wearing misfits didn't help things either, and snide remarks started becoming commonplace. Eventually, Mr. Monoma himself confronted Pine after class one day, while Professor Fontaine just so happened to bump into Haruko elsewhere. Both meetings led nowhere, of course, and while they both claim to accept Pine and Haruko's denial, Mr. Monoma just so happens to decide that now would be a good time to teach his students about the perils of teenage pregnancy. Ms. Hibiki says nothing about the matter, though her checkups on all the Slifer Reds become more frequent.

If the pervasive gossip wasn't bad enough, Kaison has a do-over date with Melony elsewhere, which he, of course, tells Pine all about, and Haruko refuses to be seen talking to Pine at all.

Time passes, and all of the teachers begin warning students about being out after curfew. They say a strange figure has been seen wandering around the woods at night, though most of the students in the know assume it's a fabricated story to scare the students.

At least, until one night, when Helena finds herself woken up by a singular Scapeghost. She checks her PDA to see that it's 1 AM. She considers rolling over and going back to sleep, but the Scapeghost looks worried. Helena looks around, but it seems all the other Scapeghosts aren't here.

Chosen of the Celtic Guard appears, speaking up to provide clarity on the situation. "It seems to want you to follow Haruko."

What? "You mean Haruko's outside at 1 AM!?"

"Yes. She's been going out at this time quite regularly, though I've followed her before, and all she seems to be doing is decorating a random spot in the woods. Except for her goats, she does so completely alone, and she always comes back right after, so I didn't think it worth mentioning."

"You didn't think it was worth mentioning that my friend and roommate was breaking curfew every night to hang out in the woods? Where she could be attacked at any time by who knows whom?"

"Well, when you put it that way..."

Helena stood up, yawning and wiping the sleep from her eyes. "Come on, little goat. Show us where she went."

Using her PDA as a flashlight, Helena walked out into the woods. All things considered, is was quite a peaceful walk. Out here on an island, there were so many stars in the night sky, and the sounds of waves crashing against the shoreline was quite soothing. She was starting to see why Haruko liked being out here at night, and even felt silly for bringing her duel disk along until she came across the first of Haruko's 'decorations'.

Chosen of the Celtic Guard commented, "I'll never understand human aesthetics."

Helena shook her head, starting to feel some real worry. "These don't seem like decorations." Nailed onto the tree was a human-shaped effigy made of straw. Where did Haruko even get the straw to make this? "Why would you think they were?"

"Does this not resemble a human art piece customarily hung upon walls?"

"Not any I’ve seen."

"Oh. Hmm..."

As they were discussing the purpose of the effigy, they heard a knocking sound coming from further in the woods. It sounded like something being nailed to a tree. The Scapeghost bleats and heads off, and Helena decides they should hurry along.

They pass by a few more straw effigies nailed into trees until finally they catch Haruko in the act. She was wearing all white and what appears to be a candelabra in hat form, with lit candles and everything. Helena might be inclined to think she was a ghost if not for the Scapeghosts loitering about and her signature oversized glasses.

Haruko hears Helena arrive and lets out an aggravated groan. "What are you doing here? You've messed up everything! Now I have to start over from the beginning!" She sighs and begins trying to pull the nail out of her most recent effigy using the hammer she brought, though she seems to have trouble doing so.

"What uh... What are you doing here?"

Haruko gestures spastically to her entire wardrobe and the effigy still nailed to the tree. "What does it look like!?"

The words 'satanic sex ritual' floats into Helena's mind before she forcibly rejects the notion. "I'm not familiar with whatever this is, but those dolls represent someone, don't they?"

"Yeah, well, you being here represents all of it being nullified. Almost a week of trying to get a nail through these stupid rock-hard trees, all for nothing."

"I know you haven't wanted to talk to me about the rumors, but do they have something to do with this?"

She makes another frustrated grunt as her hand slips off the hammer and she almost falls over. The hammer clatters to the ground, and she takes off her candle hat, looking like she's about to throw it at the hammer before calming herself and setting it down. "Maybe they do, maybe they don't! What's it matter to you!?"

"Of course it matters to me! I've seen how unhappy you've been. I want you to know you can talk to me about it! Aren't we friends?"

"F-friends? Us?" Haruko seems genuinely shocked to hear this, but when she gathers herself, she seems more angry than happy. "W-what are you saying!? Since when were we friends!?" There's a slight quiver to her voice, but she continues, "I'm the stupid lunatic girl who tried to offer you a handful of salt when we first met! I couldn't make a human friend to save my life!" She's crying now, tears faling down from behind her glasses, but still, she continues her rant, tone full of anger and frustration. "I'm the weirdo who gets possessed by ghosts and terrorizes her friends until they all cry! I'm the freak who spends all of her time every day playing with a bunch of dead animals! At least you're haunted by an actual person! Someone you can talk to! ME? I FUCK UP MY RELATIONSHIPS WITH EVERYONE! EVERYTIME! I! HAVE! NO! FRIENDS!"

Just as her emotional tabulation reaches a climax, a huge pillar of light erupts from the woods behind her. The two girls both cover their eyes from the sheer brightness, and when they can finally see again, they find a veritable geyser of spirits rising up into the sky from above the treeline. Although its base can't be seen through the treeline, it's likely rather close by. The spirits are all a pale white, clumped together like a fountain of water, but both Haruko and Helena can make out their silhouettes as the lights begin to separate from each other before disappearing into the rapidly gathering storm clouds.

They're duel spirits. All of them.

Before they can think of what to do in this situation, a swarm of duel spirits arrive from the direction of the geyser, fully colored and extremely ornery. Chosen of the Celtic Guard jumps in front of Helena. "Get behind me!" He swings his sword rapidly, fighting off the stream of duel spirits as ghostly screams engulf them. Helena catches a glimpse of Oscillo Hero being bisected and closes her eyes as it lets out an otherworldly shriek.

Eventually the swarm subsides, and Chosen of the Celtic Guard tells Helena to open her eyes. When she does, she sees Chosen of the Celtic Guard still stanced up, ready for a fight, but rather than the direction the spirits came from, he's turned towards Haruko.

Haruko is on the ground, hunched over her Scapeghosts, using her body as a shield to protect them. Her clothes are still fine, and at first Helena thinks she made it out unharmed, but then she notices that Haruko is glowing. Several of the duel spirits from the swarm have stayed behind, and now encircle Haruko.

Helena calls out to her. "Haruko?"

She doesn't respond. Instead, she lifts up off the ground, righting herself in the air, and spreads her arms wide as she opens her eyes- completely white. She's gone from glowing to having a visible spiritual aura, and her twin pigtails gently flutter behind her, unbeholden to gravity.

When she speaks, several different voices sound out at once, to the point where it's hard to distinguish them all. A chill zips up and down Helena's spine. "Foolish humans. What calamity has thou wrought?" At the same time, all of the duel spirits gathered around her turn to face Helena. Haruko's Scapeghosts, surrounded, huddle together, quivering in fear.

Cassandra, Mina, Valerie, and Pine
As soon as the geyser erupts, they feel it. It hits them like a shockwave in a way they can only describe as a 'disturbance in the force.' All of them wake up as if from a nightmare, and if any of them look outside, they'd see the night sky devoid of stars as a thick storm swallows the sky. Despite the clouds of gray and black, not a single drop of rain falls, and the light from the geyser of spirits is even bright enough to leak in through the windows like something out of an alien abduction film.

Their respective duel spirits have no idea what's going on, and while they caution their partners that the spirit geyser appears highly dangerous, that much was already plain to see.

Roché and Rin, spiritually inept, sleep through the shockwave peacefully, as if nothing happened. Lexa keeps her connecting door closed at nights, and thus, by all appearances, seems to remain asleep.

Kaison is stirred awake by it, but sees no lights through their window. Should Pine decide to go out and investigate the giant glowing pillar of spirits, Kaison will join him.

Leo and Renho
As the geyser erupts, they are both stirred awake. Although Donte remains sleeping like the dead, Sina is also woken up, and regardless of Renho's decision, decides to investigate. Although none of them can see the geyser outside, five students waking up at once is enough commotion for Leo to hear from within his room. Slifer Red dorm rooms have rather thin walls, after all. Their doors also lack locks, and thus Sina begins her investigation by checking the room next to hers, room 102, only to find that Helena and Haruko are missing. Naturally, she decides to form a search party. If Pine doesn't lead the way, she will.

Alaric and Flynn
Alaric and Flynn are both woken up by Miles, who somehow manages to trip and slam into the left wall of room 102 while gathering his things in the dark. Flynn, sleeping in the bed against the right wall in the adjacent room 104, is jolted awake, though Chris, on the opposite end, manages to stay asleep through it. Miles is particularly cagey about where he's going, but Alaric notices that he's bringing his duel disk with him. He leaves in a big damn hurry, though the other four Ra Yellows leaving their dorm rooms at around the same time is also rather suspicious by itself...

KC ADI-MK I
Kaycee suddenly hears a door opening and closing outside of her room, along with footsteps headed towards the stairs and elevator. It's rather strange to be hearing such a sound at 1 in the morning, though it only gets stranger when she hears the same series of sounds from another room. She had heard the school's warnings about elicit relations, though perhaps a bit of rebellion is normal for humans? If at least two girls were leaving the dorms at a similar time, the implication was that there was some sort of event happening, like a party, rather than just a pair of elicit meetings. If the two girls were just meeting each other, then there wouldn't be any need to leave the dorms.

She heard one student take the stairs and the other take the elevator. It’s not too late to follow either of them. Perhaps this situation merits further study?

@Crimson Flame@Darkmoon Angel@Eviledd1984@King Cosmos@Mintz@Psyker Landshark@SSW@WXer
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Mina was awakened by something horrific happening, standing up in her bed with sweat running down her face. Partially glad she was awoken from the nightmare she was having. In the nightmare, she was duelling someone with everyone in the academy watching them. Her parents were in the audience, with the whole crowd jeering at her. She was losing the duel, and before she was given the death blow by her opponent she woke up. “What the hell was that?” She looked over at her spirit partner, who was equally as confused as her. “I felt something terrible had happened..” The spirit floated over towards the window. Mina jumped out of her bed and towards her spirit partner.

I do not know, but i felt something as well.” Her spirt was now floating towards Mina. Mina walked over towards Rin, who was sleeping soundly in her bed. “Rin, wake up. I need to talk to you.” Mina was shaking Rin violently.
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Cassandra Moore – Obelisk Blue


Rather suddenly, Cassandra found herself pulled out of the rather pleasant dream she had been having to find herself sitting up in her bed as an indistinct sense of dread gripped her heart. Glancing around the room she found nothing immediately amiss; everything was still in place, her deck was still sat beside her pillow and the shared door between her room and her neighbours was still shut and locked from her side besides. Nothing was wrong and yet she knew that something was very wrong.

Taking a deep breath, she placed a hand to her chest and felt her heartbeat slow from its rapid pace to something more normal as she calmed herself down. Once that was done, all on their own her eyes drifted towards the window, to where the eerie light from outside was just barely peeking past her curtains. Too sickly looking to be moonlight, too pale and soft to be a streetlight, the unnatural beams of light danced and waved as if whatever was causing it was constantly moving.

Throwing her covers off of herself Cassandra got out of bed and moved towards the window. She gingerly lifted a corner and peeked outside to see the stormy sky and geyser of otherworldly light rising towards the heavens. She also saw Naga, her duel spirit sitting on the window with her little hands pressed against the glass; when Cassandra saw her, the snake turned towards her and met her gaze with a concerned look.

“Hmm, you’re right; that’s not good.”

Hurrying over to her wardrobe, Cassandra quickly put on a jacket and some shoes before rushing back to her bedside and grabbing her deck. The cards were practically vibrating as she picked them up and she could feel the warning, concern and eagerness from her friends all mixed together. “I know it’s dangerous, but I have to go see. Don’t worry, I know you’ll keep me safe.”

Still in her pyjamas, Cassandra left her dorm room and ran towards the main doors of the dorm building and out into the night.

----

Leo Wilde – Slifer Red


“What the hell?” Leo shot out of bed, awoken by the commotion going on in the other dorms; even if he wasn’t a light sleeper, the talking, the footsteps running by outside and the banging on walls would have woken anyone up… well, almost anyone.

Above him, he could hear his roommate still snoring away and Leo left him as he grumpily put on a pair of shoes and threw open the door to the balcony outside. “Hey! Keep it down, people are trying to sleep!”

As he spoke, Leo found his gaze being drawn towards the forest. He couldn’t see anything out there, but as he looked out towards the trees he felt a shiver run down his spine. Turning away, but finding the forest still annoyingly obvious in his peripheral vision, he walked off to try and find someone who could explain what the hell was going on.
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Helena could only stare in horror at the sight of Haruko floating amongst the other spirits. “Haruko… W-what happened?” She mumbled in fear. Chosen kept his blade at the ready. “Helena, that’s not Haruko. Not anymore.” He said as the two noticed the Scapeghosts being surrounded by more of the terrifying spirits. “Uh… Chosen, save them!” “But Helena..” ”I said save them!” He gave a worried glance towards Helena before rushing towards the frightened duel spirits. He jumped into the middle of the group and stood in front of the Scapeghosts, slashing any spirits that approached.

”This… This doesn’t make sense… What… Who are you!?” Helena pointed at the possessed Haruko in a fearful manner. These spirits, all that stuff that Haruko had been doing in the forest, surely this was just a coincidence. Or was she actually responsible for this? It was like the start of a horror movie or something.
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“My name is Pine… Just Pine…” Pine began. “Maybe one day I’ll entrust you with my first name… Anyway, I like plants. It’s not just my chosen deck archetype, it’s my passion. I like to garden, and I like to read up on botany. Plants are fascinating. Beautiful, beneficial to the planet, sometimes deadly… I could go on and on… As for a fun fact about myself… frankly, I don’t think I’m that fun… Besides gardening I enjoy the basic teenage activities of playing video games and reading… But speaking of fun facts, did you know there’s a carnivorous plant in the Philippines that is capable of devouring a full-grown rat?”

Pine swore he heard some other students snickering by the time he was done with his introduction, but Kaison grinned and gave him a thumbs up. In Pine’s eyes, his was the only opinion that matered.

And then Melony had to go and ruin it by asking him on a date. Pine cursed under his breath. That brazen little hussy! He wanted to ask Kaison out first! He was starting daggers at her as she spoke.

—-

After Kaison’s and Melony’s date, the most ridiculous rumor spread around the school. Pine denied it, but of course, humans believed whatever they wanted to believe. Of course he got no end of rude comments from He was used to this nonsense. But it was things like this that made Pine believe plants were better than people… Kaison was the only good one… He was just oblivious.

That night, Pine was rudely awoken by a strange sensation. He looked out the window and saw the stormy atmosphere, and the geyser of light. He couldn’t explain it, but Pine felt the need to investigate what was going on. Pillars of light don’t exactly just show up out of the blue.

As it turned out, Kaison had been awoken too. Since neither of them could go back to sleep, they agreed to investigate together. Pine wasn’t about to turn down the opportunity to have a potentially romantic outing with his roommate. Even if these weren’t the circumstances he was hoping for…

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Rin
Rin woke up with alarm as she was shaken around like a ragdoll in her own bed. "Huh? Wha? Mina? What's going on?" As Mina releases her, she sits up groggily, letting out a tired yawn. What time is it? She pulled out her PDA to check, only to see that it was a little over an hour past midnight. This is an ungodly hour no human consciousness should ever be forced into perceiving.

Jon
Jon looked to the clock on his laptop. It was still only 1 AM. What kind of senior citizen could bear going to sleep so early? He queued up for another game.

Sina
It was investigation time, and nothing would stop Sina Elaqueri from finding the truth! After she confirmed Renho felt the same thing, she quickly changed and rushed out, only to find that, oh yeah, it was really dark out. Good thing she brought a flashlight! It ended up being kinda pointless until now since there was a curfew, and every student was given a PDA, but it never hurts to be prepared!

Emerging from Room 103, she decides to begin the investigation with Room 102. It's closer to Ms. Hibiki's room, and waking her at such an hour would be bad! Better to get the hard part out of the way first, though. She knocks gently, then a little louder, but when she gets no answer, she takes it upon herself to open the door and peek inside. Just in case! What if someone fell out of their bed and was unconscious? Wouldn't it be bad if they had a concussion? It's not like she meant to invade their privacy, but safety comes first!

Sina gasped overdramatically. "An empty room! This is Haruko and Helena's room, isn't it?" Have they gone missing? Forget whatever woke her up, it was time to form a search party! She went back to her room and grabbed a rope, putting her head and one arm through the loop of it and letting it rest on her shoulder. It never hurt to be prepared! What if they fell down a pit? Surely this rope would come in handy. Might as well bring some candy bars too, in case they're trapped somewhere and haven't eaten since... dinner? Gosh, the poor things must be starving!

Sina was about to continue checking up on the other rooms to find more people to help in her search when Kaison, Leo and Pine all walked out at around the same time. Like a goldfish, Sina completely forgets about the existence of Rooms 104, 203, 204, and even the possibility of informing Ms. Hibiki, solely focusing on the others already out. Perfect timing!

She rushes up the stairs in order to talk with the boys without yelling, and probably ends up making more noise from her footsteps alone. Regardless, she does a pretty good job quickly summarizing the situation. "Haruko and Helena are missing!" She points to herself with a thumb. "I'm going to go look for her!" She does a double fist pump. "Will you guys join the search party with me?"

Haruko(?)
The spirits didn't collapse on Chosen of the Celtic Guard, though he was certainly outnumbered. They spared him a glance before turning back to Helena, mostly ignoring him, albeit not turning their back on him either.

Haruko, floating above, spoke again in a choir of unfamiliar voices. "We are those that have been abandoned; cast aside and left to rot. You humans called us worthless; devoid of any purpose or meaning. Our weakness was a sin that the humans would not forgive." Haruko shook her head, eyes closed. "We are the bitterness and resentment of those that were left behind, made manifest. We are the anger and hatred of humans, reflected back at them like a mirror. We, each of us, are all enemies of humankind." She opens her eyes and points at Helena accusingly.

"All you humans care about is exploiting everything you touch. Now, look at what your arrogance has wrought." Haruko gestured to the pillar of light before turning to gaze upon it, staring into it with a frown. "We can hear them, crying out in agony. Look at how they emerge, clumped together, stripped of any individuality." Haruko turns back to Helena, eyebrows lowered in anger. "To have undergone a torture worse than death... Why don't you learn how it feels?"

The spirits begin to glow in the same glowing white aura as Haruko. They advance on her, with more spirits emerging from behind the treeline, as if seeing their opportunity to strike. Chosen of the Celtic Guard tries to grab the Scapeghosts and run, to cut down the spirits encircling him, but the aura appears to have strengthened them all, and he is soon overwhelmed by sheer quantity, tackled to the ground and dogpiled.
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Cassandra Moore – Obelisk Blue


It wasn’t hard to find the source of the trouble. Even though it was deep in the woods and the middle of the night Cassandra had no trouble following the feeling of foreboding in her chest like a compass towards the centre of this mess; the ritual that Haruko had created and was still in the middle of.

Even though, traversing the woods at night wasn’t easy and Cassandra stumbled out of the dark into the ghostly glow of the clearing with her jacket scuffed and scraped by branches and her face and hands marred by dirt where she had tripped over roots. She was breathing heavily as she approached the mass of spirits, both from exertion and also because the feeling in her chest had reached a peak; the feelings of anger and pain and misery emanating from what she could now see were dozens if not hundreds of discarded spirits.

It hurt her heart too, just being near them.

Feeling a nudge at her elbow, she looked down to see Naga at her side, or at least peeking out from behind her back. The duel spirit met her eyes and nudged her arm again before pointing towards her duel disk. “Duel them?”

The snake girl nodded, before retreating behind her back for safety. Cassandra turned back to the maelstrom of abandoned spirits, to the girl who had awakened them and the other girl and spirit who was trying to fight them. She felt for these spirits, because they were hurting, but the only way to calm them down might be to fight them first.

“Hmm, okay then.”

Pulling out her deck, she readied her duel disk and stepped forward.

----

Leo Wilde – Slifer Red


“Huh? What do you mean they're missing?”

Leo’s eyes drifted towards the forest. Could they have gone there? It was the first thing he thought of, but to be honest he wasn’t sure why; why would anyone wander into the forest in the middle of the night? They’d have to be stupid. More likely they’d headed down the path towards the main building or one of the other dorms, sneaking out to go see someone else or, he didn’t know, have a late night duel to settle something? Maybe they’d even gone to the docks, trying to run away because they couldn’t cut it.

Any of those were more likely than them heading deep into the woods at night, and yet…

“Alright, I’ll help. Where should we look first?”
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Mina Hākā


“Did you not feel that? It felt like something terrible had happened.” She stopped shaking Rin.

Rin rubbed her eyes. “What happened? Did I sleep through an earthquake?”

“No, or… well, I don’t think it was an earthquake. Kinda felt like a loud explosion happened.” She raced over towards her bed, starting to put on some proper clothes for going outside.

“So Roché set off another firecracker inside? Kind of rude to do that at this hour, but if the dorms aren’t on fire, I think I’ll go back to sleep.” Rin had already closed her eyes. She was just resting them for a while, though her hunched posture suggested she was ready to pass out again.

Mina shook her head, walking back to Rin’s bed, now wearing proper clothing for going outside. “No, I don’t think so. I think it came from outside of the dorm. You have to come with me, I do not want to go alone.”

Rin made one final bid to return to sleep’s warm and comfy embrace. “What about Professor Sartyr?” It was against the rules to go out at this hour, and if there was something happening outside, it should be his problem, not the students’.

Mina felt that she was not going to convince Rin to join her, though in all likelihood, she would probably just slow her down. She responded with a hint of passive aggressiveness, “okay, good night then.” She sighed, quietly heading out of their room.

Rin could take Mina being annoyed with her if it meant she could roll over and go back to sleep.

Apparently there were quite a few others who had woken up, though. Among them was the boy she met on the first day, Miles, already speed walking out of the lounge at a brisk, rushed pace.

Noticing Miles heading towards what she assumed was the source of the explosion, she ran after him. “Miles, wait up.” She was physically fit and easily closed the distance between them with a little bit of jogging.

“Mina? Why’re you- actually, nevermind, you’ve got that dog that looks like a batman villain. Of course you were woken up by it. You come to check out the most literal form of ‘all hell breaking loose’ too?”

“Yeah, I assume that is what caused that explosion.” She nodded her head.

The two walked together. The pillar was closest to the Slifer Red dorms, so it made sense to follow the path for a while until they came to a bend and Miles suggested they get there as the crow flies. They made idle chatter as they walked through the forest illuminated in an eerie sheen not quite the same as moonlight. “So, what do you think it actually is?”

“I don’t know, but I hope it’s nothing terrible.” She was enamored by the light that was coming from the geyser, feeling more anxious as they got closer and closer to the pillar. “I hope we don’t have to leave the island.”

“I doubt it. Even if these white bedsheet-lookin’ Halloween rejects pose a very real threat via hauntings, it’s more likely that this school will continue teaching for around a decade until it’s finally closed down from cumulative student casualties.”

Him saying that did not make her feel any more comfortable investigating the explosion. She worried that something terrible had been released by it. “I hope that’s not the case. I hope it’s nothing too serious.”

As they approached the pillar, they eventually saw a duel spirit wandering the forest. Further on, they could see more spirits congregated in an area around some humanoid figure they couldn’t make out.

Mina and Miles watched the spirits from a distance, hiding behind the trees to keep their presence unknown. Mina wondered if the pillar had released all of them. She felt both sadness and joy at the notion of the spirits being released; joy because they were free, but sadness because they now seemed to be wandering the Earth without any purpose.

Or, at least, she figures they would have better things to do than chill out in a forest if they did have a purpose beyond their inherent nature as duel monsters.

Miles looked up, towards the pillar of duel spirits pouring into the sky. “How long would you say it takes a duel spirit to recover from whatever it is that made them monochrome? The ones from the geyser that have been out the longest are just barely regaining hints of color before they disappear into the storm.”

“I don’t know, but I hope it’s quick. I feel bad for them.” She noticed a monochrome Winged Kuriboh flying above her. “I wonder what caused that pillar to release all of these spirits.”

“Do you think they were helping out their own kind? Look at those ones over there. All of them are fully saturated and ready to bully the colorblind. Their group doesn’t seem to be growing, so I don’t think they came from the geyser, given how many are still pouring out of it. What do you think?”

“Perhaps, or it could be a human that had released these spirits somehow. Perhaps they came from somewhere else? Maybe somewhere on the island?” She thought of different ways these spirits could have convened.

“...Shit. I think we’ve been spotted. We should probably run.”

She noticed the spirits that were now starting to come towards them, “Shit.” She started running in the other direction. Not looking behind her to see if Miles was following behind her. Her heart was racing a mile a minute, but she was trying to ignore the pain in her chest. She just needed to distance herself from this shitshow.

When she finally felt it was safe to stop and catch her breath, she soon realized Miles was gone. She did a full 360 looking for him, but all she could see were trees upon trees. She called out, “Miles?” Yelling didn’t seem like the best idea in this situation, but when she got no response, she felt she had no recourse but to try again, louder. “Miles? Can you hear me?”

Nothing met her calls but dead silence. That, and one particularly persistent spirit who she recognized from the initial mob, drifting towards her quite quickly.

Understandably quite frightened by her current situation, she started moving backwards, only to trip and fall onto her back due to an irresponsibly placed tree branch. “Fuck.” She cursed loudly as she noticed the spirit drawing near. “Stay back, I'm warning you.” She quickly grabbed a thin stick, waving it away back and forth in a poor attempt to try and defend herself. White Magician Pikeru had finally caught up.

“I’ve finally caught you, human! Prepare to be defeated!” The spirit raised her staff in challenge.

She was challenging Mina to a duel.

How did Mina know this?

Isn’t it obvious?

Everyone knows that all conflicts in this world are resolved through dueling, though the consequences this time seemed… dangerous.

She put down the stick. Her only way through this was dueling anyway. Like hell is she gonna take her chances in a fist fight with a supernatural entity that may or may not be selectively intangible. She stated the obvious anyway. “If I win, you have to leave me alone.” She slowly stood up, putting her deck into her duel disk and steeling herself.

White Magician Pikeru nodded with a bright, sunny smile. “And if I win, you’ll join us!” Mina had a feeling she didn’t want to know what that meant.



The duel started out fairly standard. Mina took the lead as she used Vampire Fraulein to muscle through Royal Magical Library and control the board. She link summoned Vampire Sucker, and was about to clear Pikeru’s board when Magical Dimension followed by Dark Magic Curtain screwed things up. Dark Magician started destroying all of her monsters. The very next turn, Pikeru drew a second Dark Magic Curtain and started making Direct attacks with the pair of Dark Magicians. Although she had paid over 5000 lifepoints to summon them, she now had the lifepoint lead. That being said, they were both low enough that just one good attack would end the duel.

That’s when Mina drew Vampire Red Baron.

By banishing Vampire Sorcerer, she could summon it without tribute. Using Vampire’s Domain, she could bring out Vampire Familiar and use Vampire Red Baron to swap it with a Dark Magician. From there, all she had to do was attack the familiar for game, but since victory was all but assured, she couldn’t help but have a little fun. Using Pikeru’s own Dark Magician to summon Dhampir Vampire Sheridan, she destroyed and stole Pikeru’s other Dark Magician, robbing her of both of them before finally attacking Vampire Familiar to finish the game.

The duel came to a close and Pikeru dropped to the ground, looking like she was about to cry.

Mina was celebrating by jumping and down, screaming in joy as she knew deep down she was not a terrible duelist. After a while of celebrating, she stopped and walked over towards the spirit. “Alright, I wanna know who sprung you out of that pillar. Also, who trapped you there in the first place?”

“W-what? We didn’t come from there! I don’t really know what’s going on. They just told me it was the fault of you humans! It’s always your guys’ fault!” She pouts, trying to seem angry while still crying.

“Our fault for what?” She was confused what what she meant. “And who is they?” She raised a brow at the cute spirit.

“The pillar! The pillar is because of you guys! And ‘they’ are my friends! The other spirits you were spying on! They, uh…” She looks away sheepishly, and not just because of the sheep horns on her scapegoat hat. “To be honest, I wasn’t paying much attention, b-but! They aren’t liars! If they said a human did it, then they saw it with their own eyes! Or whatever they have instead of eyes. Yeah!” Despite being in tears just a moment ago, she begins looking defiant again, as if Mina was the bad guy here.

“And this pillar was made by humans I assume? Your friends could have been seeing things, and didn’t know the context of what was actually happening.” She moved a bit closer towards the spirit. With subtlety, of course.

She shook her head. “Humans are bad!”

“That really does not help with your argument, nor does it give me any good information about what’s going on.” She shook her head in annoyance.

“Humans! Are! Bad! You’re all a bunch of meanies!” It was pretty mean to throw someone into a well, after all.

Facepalming. Mina could tell she was not going to get any information out of this brat. “I guess I'll just have to find someone with more than one brain cell to tell me what is going on.” And with that, she left in the direction the spirit came from, hoping to come across someone who could help her.

Another allegedly life or death battle against a ‘wild’ duel spirit would also be fine. Talking to an idiot child had kind of demystified them for her.

Mina walked further into the forest, keeping watch of her surroundings. She was scared that something worse was going to come duel her. But she kept walking, eventually noticing a floating, glowing human girl being surrounded by some spirits. Rushing into action, she ran over thinking that they were about to do some weird voodoo shit to her. “Hey! Get away from her you bastards.”

As Mina rushed into the small clearing they resided in, the floating girl turned to face her, eyes aglow with spectral energy. With one look, she immediately knew she had made a huge mistake. Stopping in her tracks, she was now regretting her decision to rush in. “Oooooh shittttt…” She could see she had gotten the girl’s and the other spirit’s attention.

The floating girl spoke in a cacophony of simultaneous voices. “Another human.”

Mina was walking backwards, getting ready to run into a full sprint again. “Sorry to disturb you, seems like I’ve walked in at a bad time. See ya.” She turned, only to see that she was surrounded by a variety of spirits, all lined up to block off her escape.

“Come. You’re curious, yes?” The floating girl beckons Mina over.

She could tell she was not going anywhere, “Curious? No. Just looking for a friend, nerdy looking guy. ‘Bout yay high, reddish hair, and a little easy on the eyes.” She stopped walking back when she accidentally bumped into the spirit of Jinzo #7.

The floating girl shakes her head. “Haven’t seen him. Perhaps he went straight for the pillar of spirits.” The girl turned back towards it, staring at it was a mixture of reverence and disgust. “You humans are quite ingenious. To force so many of us into one place is quite the feat. To unleash them upon yourselves? Huhu…” She giggles to herself. With the myriad of voices she speaks with, it just sounds eerie. “I only wish it would kill all of you.”

“Damn it, well it wasn’t me that did it, if you’re wondering.”

“Of course you weren’t. The true culprit was quite eager to turn tail, after all. Seems all humans are, once faced with that which they cannot control.”

“Who are you people anyway? Where did you guys come from?” She felt very uneasy talking to the possessed girl.

The girl simply pointed towards the forest, in the direction of the pillar. She could have pointed at the pillar itself, above the treeline, but noticeably didn’t.

“The pillar?”

“No. We are but bystanders, abandoned at the bottom of a well. Each of us were condemned for our weakness and left to rot in a pit, never to see the light of day again.” She turned towards Mina. “Now, I think it’s about time we showed you what that feels like.”

She scanned the area trying to find where she could escape from this situation. “No thanks, I’m good. I just, uhhh… like to watch.”

“We didn’t ask.”
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by WXer
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Valerie Durand & Flynn Aspadana



Episode 1 Conclusion w/ @Psyker Landshark - Ra Yellow Lounge



Oh great, everyone here just can't mind their own business , Flynn thought to himself. He'd damn himself if he gave any hint of disdain towards somebody else today though. Now was not the time to lose his cool, specially when the object of his fury draped itself in blue.

"Yes to everything above." he would state, keeping his calm facade. "Flynn's the name. Yourself?" While he awaited for this fellow Ra Yellow's response, Flynn was already beginning to form an opinion about this duelist based on this seemingly indomitable aura she was giving off. Unlike his roommate Chris, Flynn had a feeling that she had even more potential than even himself, a fact that he would not freely admit. Of course, this begs the question why someone like her ended up here as well.

Something about this kid was...off. She couldn't put her finger on it, but Valerie just got the feeling that this Flynn guy was ready to explode at the drop of a hat. Or maybe she was just psyching herself out over nothing.

"...Valerie." She responded to Flynn's query before taking a sip of her iced tea. "You duel anyone yet? Can barely afford something from the vending machine off one win. Thinking the school wants us to seriously grind matches out if we want to get anywhere."

Meanwhile, Ceruli popped back up once more, the spirit perched on Val's shoulder as he peered straight at Flynn. He could've sworn he'd just felt the presence of another spirit in this room, minutes ago. But now the feeling had passed. Odd. Had they left already?

"I figured at least water would be free but I'm still up for a challenge." Flynn retorted."As for if I've dueled anyone yet, you're lucky number one, miss Valerie."

With drained lethargy and false bravado, Flynn booted up his duel disk and inserted his deck which he had kept inside of a deckbox attached to his belt. Having thoroughly shuffled his deck throughout the ocean voyage, one can only wonder what his luck would be with his starting hand and starting call with the customary coin flip.

"Call it, heads or tails." Flynn would state to his opponent as he initiated the duel.

"Tails. And drop the 'miss', would you?"

"Fine by me." Flynn quipped as the coin decidedly landed on heads. "I'm starting first."

Drawing five cards from his deck, Flynn started by playing out one of his favorite cards. "Silver Gadget in attack position, and with his effect I follow up with summoning Green Gadget which gets me Red Gadget from deck. They won't be here for long though as I link them away for Platinum Gadget!" The combo was a basic one but it was going to be enough with what Flynn had in his hand. "Next up, I use Platinum to summon Red Gadget in defense which allows me to retrieve Yellow Gadget from my deck. I set two facedown backrow cards to end my turn." The gears were turning and soon his war machine will be going into overdrive.



Another Machine duelist, huh? Was this going to be a trend? Valerie looked over her starting hand with a critical eye. Not bad. Topdecking the MST on her turn 2 draw was an absolute godsend with two facedowns on the other side. The board wasn't that threatening on its own, so she just had to hope she hit a battle trap or something.

"Alright, let's start this off with Mystical Space Typhoon. I target the facedown in the middle." She pointed, and it turned out she'd blown up Crusher Run. Damn, that was lucky. That would've been rough, especially if she couldn't topdeck a decent monster with the amount of draws she was about to have.

"Next up, I activate the Field Spell The Gates of Dark World and set two cards facedown. Then I play Dragged Down Into the Grave. We show each other our hands and each pick one card to discard from the opponent's hand. I've only got the one, and it's Broww. On discard, I draw one. Now let's see..." Valerie looked over Flynn's hand as he showed it to her, her face impassive. Oh, wow, that really didn't matter either. Just two Yellow Gadgets. "Yeah, sure, I'll pop the Yellow Gadget on the right. Now we both draw one off Dragged Down and I draw a second off Broww."

She regarded her two draws with a raised eyebrow. Oh, damn. This could actually work. "I activate The Gates of Dark World, banishing Broww from my graveyard and Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World to draw one more. On discard, Grapha lets me target one card on your board and destroy it, and I pick your other facedown."

Faced with a decision in his current agitated state, Flynn activated Metalhold The Moving Blockade before realizing his mistake. He couldn't take it back but he had to justify it as the play resolved before his eyes. "... I activate Metalhold as you pop it, targetting Red for its effect. Upon chain resolution, both cards are sent to the grave."

"Uh...sure." Valerie murmured, taken aback by the apparent misplay. Unless this was some weird four-dimensional chess strat, she couldn't see why he would've ended up losing a monster he didn't have to. "Moving on, I normal summon Beiige and activate Grapha from the grave to return Beiige to my hand and special summon Grapha. With my Field Spell on, Grapha goes up to 3000 attack. Battle phase, Grapha attacks Platinum Gadget."

[Flynn: -1400 LP, 6600 LP]

"Tch. As Platinum was the only target you had for Grapha's attack, you've triggered his grave effect. With my free pick of any Gadget to take his place on the field, I choose Gold Gadget. Just like Silver, he allows me to play another Gadget from my hand and you already know what's coming. Yellow to the field in defense and Green to my hand." Surely Valerie would believe that this was all according to plan. At the very least, Flynn managed to delude himself into thinking that this was the superior play by eliminating the alternative of Grapha being able to attack Red Gadget.

Well, she would have attacked Platinum regardless. Leaving a Link 2 on the board able to climb next turn was just asking for trouble. Still, Valerie frowned slightly at dealing with yet more swarm. Her facedowns weren't exactly conducive to handling that, although Mind Crush would trash his search.



"Fine, fine. Turn end. Your go. On your draw, I activate Mind Crush and declare Green Gadget. Into the grave he goes."

"Mhm, fine by me." Flynn stated as Green departed from his hand. He was not phased however as his resources were keeping up with Valerie's, at least on paper. Just by card count alone, he was deeper into his deck than his opponent. "I have a replacement ready to go as I play the Red Gadget I drew for turn to grab me a Yellow. Of course, I build the overlay network with Red and the Yellow on the field for Gear Gigant X and activate his effect for Ancient Gear Box. Furthermore, Gear Box's effect activates and allows me to add Ancient Gear Gadget to my hand. I set one facedown to end my turn." It was now six of Flynn's cards in rotation against Valerie's five cards.



"Alright. Draw, standby main." Valerie looked over her new hand, forming her play in her head. This wasn't exactly the best use of Ceruli, but she needed the Synchro at the moment more than opponent discards on monsters she wasn't guaranteed to draw. "I normal summon Fabled Raven and activate its effect, discarding two cards for one level and 400 attack each to my monster. On discard, chain 1 Beiige, chain 2 Ceruli." She picked up Ceruli's card and tossed it towards Flynn, much to her Duel Spirit's protest.

"Girl, be careful with that!" Ceruli spluttered, desperately hoping the boy at least caught the card without damage.

Oh no... Who the hell plays this card?!, Flynn thought to himself as he did managed to barely catch it. Perhaps unbeknownst to Valerie, she had just turned off his hail mary in Boot-Up Order - Gear Force's stringent requirement of only having Machines on his side of the field. He was silently livid.

"Beiige special summons to the board on discard, and I synchro summon my two level fours into a level 8. Get out here, Dark End Dragon. Battle phase, Grapha attacks Gear Gigant X, then Dark End Dragon attacks Gold Gadget."

[Flynn: -700 LP, 5900 LP]

"Gold effect which retrieves Silver to replace him on the field. Silver effect, of course, to summon out Yellow from hand which in turn grabs another Green."

"Main 2, activate Dark End Dragon's ignition to destroy Silver Gadget. Dark End Dragon loses 500 attack and defense. End phase."



There were a few cards in Flynn's deck that could turn the tide and he was almost half way through it: Limiter Removal, Gear Charge, even Solidarity. When he drew the second Gold Gadget for turn, Flynn could not believe the rotten luck he was dealt with. "... You win. There's no way out of here with what I have in hand." The only consolation prize he had was the fact that Valerie was no blue.

Wait, what? Seriously? She had zero cards in hand, and there was still a good chance of her next draw being a brick. This guy's loss wasn't assured, but Valerie supposed she shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth. "Well, if you're sure, I'm not gonna bitch about the win. Good game, I guess." Not really. This guy probably could've been a better challenge if he'd drawn better. Or if he hadn't blown Metalhold for whatever reason she still didn't get.

Valerie took Ceruli's card back and deactivated her Duel Disk, tucking her deck away. "Think I'll go explore around campus for a bit. See you around, yeah?"

"Don't forget to take your iced tea or whatever... I'll see ya around." Flynn was dejected and exhausted enough to crash the moment he would reach his dorm room. At least he believed so in the face of Chris' shenanigans.

Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Psyker Landshark
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Valerie Durand


___

Homeroom, First Day


What a bunch of...quirky people she was stuck with. With a resigned sigh, Valerie stood up as she came up in the rotation for introductions, starting to speak.

"Hey," She waved lazily, looking around the room. "Name's Valerie Durand. Let's see...something I do besides dueling...well, I read a lot. Mostly fiction." She said plainly, clearly unused to talking about herself. "As for fun facts, my favorite pro duelist's Chazz Princeton. Chazz it up. Woo." She sat back down without another word, looking bored.

Seemed Ceruli was being too skittish to materialize. Something he'd said last night about want to take the measures of others first before he demonstrated her own spiritual awareness. Still, without his help, Valerie couldn't exactly tell if there was anyone among her classmates similar to her unless their spirits decided to manifest. Without anything better to do, she found herself being forced to just keep sitting through the introductions, waiting for the bell to ring.

___

A few nights later...


Valerie had been in the process of getting ready for bed when it hit her. She staggered slightly, cursing under her breath as she looked out the dorm room's window. What the hell...? What was that light?

"Ceruli, you got any idea what's going on here?" Valerie asked quietly so as to not wake Roche up from her slumber, already putting her clothes back on.

"None whatsoever." He said, looking resigned at his charge raring to go put herself in danger. "I realize that I cannot stop you from running into this crisis head-first, but might I suggest you at least caution? This...spirit geyser is dangerous, if nothing else."

With her uniform back on, Valerie just nodded briefly at Ceruli, slotted her deck into her Duel Disk, and left the room, starting to make her way towards the forest.

___

She'd barely made it a few steps in before she'd met her first duel spirit that wasn't her own partner. An Adhesive Explosive. Reminded her a little of Roche's Blast Sphere, really. Too bad the little prick was both mute and obstinate, immediately challenging her to a duel. And he was a prick. Five turns of stalling, followed by Val finally having the resources to just roll him over. As the duel concluded, Valerie barely spared the spirit a second glance before rushing further into the forest, curious as to what exactly was going on here.

If nothing else, she wasn't insane after all. There had always been an underlying current of doubt in her mind over the years, wondering if she'd just hallucinated Ceruli's presence and voice out of sheer loneliness. But if anyone else on this island had a spirit, or, hell, could even see them, that would put her worries to rest for good.

As she stepped into the clearing, Valerie was greeted with a bewildering sight. One of her classmates...shit, what was her name? Haruko? Helena? Whatever. But she was floating, and-

"Possession." Ceruli manifested beside her, his lip curled as he called out to the floating girl and the multitude of spirits surrounding her. "How distasteful. You would take your resentment out upon an innocent child with no responsibility for your predicament? And here I thought I was free from the barbarity of the Dark World under that idiot. Girl, for your own safety, I recommend dueling. These little fools won't stop hounding anyone until they're defeated."

"What happened to being careful?" Valerie snarked back at her partner, but trusting him implicitly as she raised her duel disk. There was another girl here, in the same Ra Yellow uniform as her. What was her name...? Screw it. "Yo," She called out to Mina. "So I'm pretty sure you can see spirits, same as me. Mind jumping in on this duel at all? Not gonna turn down free help when it's not an official game."
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by King Cosmos
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Cassandra Moore – Obelisk Blue


Approaching Haruko directly seemed like it would be impossible. The spirits circled her relentlessly, surrounding her and blocking all paths towards her; even more spirits filled the trees around her and, when one tried to get close like Helena had, they would swarm them. It was only because the other girl and her spirit were distracting them that Cassandra had made it this far without being attacked herself.

She walked towards Haruko with feigned confidence, her head held high, only for her steps to falter about ten metres away from the possessed girl. It seemed this was as far as her courage would take her. She hesitated before speaking, her hand instinctively reaching for the deck in her duel disk for comfort, for reassurance, before finding her words.

“Hello?”

Like a weight pressing down on her shoulders she felt the attention of just some of the spirits shift her direction; the heavy feeling in her chest doubled, but the hand on her deck kept her steady. “I’m here to duel you. To put a stop to this.”

“Human.” Despite the many eyes on her, there was only a single voice that called out to her. “So many of you have come to the forest tonight; drawn to our power, drawn by our wrath. If only you had thought to show us this much attention before, but you didn’t think us worthy then. You thought us weak and abandoned us, left us to fester and grow hateful and strong. We are strong now.”

As they spoke, from amidst the formless mass of spirits, a single silhouette began to take clearer shape as Cassandra watched. It was large and round at first, nothing more than a circle, but soon she could see the outlines of legs and antenna as well as a pair of glowing red eyes. At the same time, a single, solitary voice began to stand out from the rest, though the mass still spoke as if it was a whole, rather than a group of individuals. “If it’s a duel you want, then I’ll gladly give you one. I’ll show you and all the others that I have grown strong enough not to need you anymore. There is no need for the humans anymore; I alone am enough.”

The spirit she would be facing finally took form; it’s large, round body covered by a glossy black shell and its many chitinous legs and feelers. The oversized insect, like a tick as wide across as Cassandra was tall, scuttled towards her. Cassandra stood her ground, feeling Naga behind her and giving her confidence even if the small snake was pressed against the small of her back for safety.

Rather than attack, the giant insect instead manifested a hand of cards of its own; the illusory hand hovering before it taking the place of a regular duellist’s holograms as her duel disk activated and she drew a hand of her own. “I activate Terraforming and add Forest to my hand. Activate Forest.”

Nothing changed outwardly when the field spell was played. They were already in a forest after all, but as the card was played Cassandra couldn’t help but feel like the trees around her had grown more… real, somehow. Taller and sturdier and more full of life. “Set one monster. End turn.”

Cassandra drew for turn and added the card to her hand. Under the watchful gaze of the insect’s compound eyes she picked out another card and placed it down on the field. “I normal summon Reptilianne Scylla and move to the battle phase. I’ll attack your face-down monster.”

Scylla rushed forward to trample the set monster, but when she got close the card suddenly flipped and she was ambushed by a spindly-limbed insect with razor sharp claws; the insect was destroyed, but not before taking Scylla down with it. “Man-Eater Bug is destroyed by battle, but when it is flipped it destroys a monster of yours too.”

Cassandra nodded. “Hmm, okay. I’ll set a can and end my turn.”

“My draw.” Upon seeing the card, the insect began to rapidly click their mandibles together in an act that roughly mimicked the sound of laughter . “I summon Gokibore. I attack.” Her opponent played quickly, adding a card to its illusory hand, summoning a monster that looked identical to itself and attacking her directly before she had much chance to respond or think. She had a chance to activate her set trap, but chose to save it for a direr situation, though as the Gokibore lunged forward and lashed out at her with the end of its sharp leg she regretted it. The monsters leg cut through her thin pyjamas and into her skin. Rather than just being struck by a simulated amount of force equal to the amount of damage taken, she felt real pain as the monster’s attack bit into her leg and drew real blood.

[Cassandra: 8000 > 6600]

Wincing in pain, she buckled but managed to catch herself before she could fall. She felt the concern radiate from her deck and hurried to reassure her friends she was okay. “I’m fine, I’m… hmm, I’m fine.” Across from her, the spirit of Gokibore was leaning forward, mandibles clicking and eyes gleaming as she felt a sense of satisfaction from it. “I draw.”

It was unnerving facing down this particular opponent; not because it was an insect, she had no problem with those and even found this one’s overly round body to be kind of cute, but because of the blatant malice towards her she felt coming from them. That kind of emotion was something she had never felt before; even at her old school, though her classmates had never liked her and even found her unnerving, no one had hated her like this. Wanted to see her come to harm.

“I normal summon Reptilianne Gardna. Then, I activate the Reptilianne Lamia in my hand, targeting your Gokibore.” She revealed the Lamia in her hand, reducing the attack of the opponent’s monster to zero to special summon it, before taking damage equal to its original attack. Cassandra braced herself against the oncoming pain as her life points were reduced, but it never came; it wasn’t just taking damage that had hurt her then, it was just the attack itself.

[Cassandra: 6600 > 5400]

“Next, I’ll Synchro summon Reptilianne Hydra.” Her Gardna and Lamia disappeared from the field, replaced by a larger, more gruesome looking creature with multiple long necks each ending with a human head with long, lank hair obscuring its many faces. “When Hydra is summoned she destroyed all of my opponent’s monsters with zero attack and I get to draw a card for each.” Cassandra drew a card and added it to her hand, immediately feeling the weight on her shoulders lessen at the sight of a familiar face. “Then I’ll go to battle and destroy your Gokibore with Hydra.”

The Hydra swept forward, its many heads lunged forward and crashing down on the now weakened Gokibore to tear it to shreds. Her opponent flinched in response, though if it felt pain too from the attack or was just unnerved to see a version of itself destroyed she wasn’t sure; either way, its rapidly clicking mandibles and waving legs gave away its agitation even if she couldn’t feel it. It saw her looking and immediately calmed itself down.

[Gokibore: 8000 > 5900]

“You are strong too. But it doesn’t matter; I won’t lose to a human. Draw…”

There was a pause, which somehow led into an even longer pause as the Gokibore looked at the card it had just drawn. “I… set one card and end my turn.”

Some of the tension in the air seemed to have gone as Cassandra drew for turn, the intensity she had felt from her opponent fading. The card she added to her hand was yet another familiar face and she felt Naga shift behind her back and poke her head out again to see. Feeling more confident, Cassandra put on a small smiled as she activated a spell card. “Hmm, I activate Reptilianne Poison, targeting your face-down monster. It is flipped into face-up attack position and has its attack reduced to zero.”

The set monster was flipped up to reveal another Gokibore, though far from being menacing this one was curled up like a ball with its legs tucked under itself. Oh, it was like a wood lice; cute.

“Wait…”

“Next, I’ll normal summon Reptilianne Naga to my side of the field.” Cassandra was now duelling like her normal self, smiling and even starting to hum to herself as she summoned Naga to the field. “Now, I’ll tribute both my Naga and your Gokibore to special summon Reptilianne Vaskii from my hand.”

“Hold on, that’s…”

Both Cassandra’s and the spirits monsters were tributed, melting away into puddles of acid that flowed and merged into each other before rising again as the four-armed, crowned Vaskii. “Battle phase.”

“I wasn’t expecting…”

“I’ll attack you directly with Reptilianne Hydra.”

[Gokibore: 5900 > 3800]

“Then attack you with Reptilianne Vaskii.”

[Gokibore: 3800 > 1200]

“I end my turn.”

Across the field, staring down two imposing snake-like creatures and having nothing in its hand it could summon to defend itself, the spirit of Gokibore slumped down as much as its insect body would allow. “I… I concede.”

Admitting defeat, the illusions surrounding the spirit faded; the cards in its hand disappeared, the forest returned to normal, leaving just the oversized insect itself. For her part, Cassandra deactivated her duel disk and returned her deck to her pocket, but not before whispering a thank you to her friends again for helping her with another duel. She approached the spirit, cautiously, but got the sense that it was no longer going to be a threat to her.

“Hmm, can you let me past now? I want to help that girl other there.”

The spirit didn’t answer at first; in fact it showed no signs of responding at all. Cassandra frowned and waited a few moments more, but when it didn’t move she turned to walk past it instead.

“How…”

“Hmm?” Stopping, Cassandra turned back to look at the spirit again, finding it still slumped over, but now with its feelers wiggling with agitation.

“How are you so strong? You defeated me, defeated my anger and hatred for humans so easily; I was supposed to be powerful enough to beat you.”

Frowning even deeper, Cassandra walked around to stand in front of the Gokibore. “Hmm, is hatred supposed to make you strong? I don’t know, because I’m not that strong myself, but that doesn’t sound right to me.” She always felt like she was at her best when she was just having fun while duelling and not really thinking about winning or losing; it felt easier that way, more natural, and the right plays just came to mind by themselves. Hatred and anger seemed like they would get in the way of that. “I just tried to duel the way I always do and counted on my friends to help me out.”

The Gokibore raised its head slightly, until Cassandra could see its eyes again. “Your… friends?”

Smiling, Cassandra nodded her head and brought her hands up so she could count them off on her fingers. “Hmm; Naga and Vaskii and Hydra and Scylla and all the others. They’re my friends.”

Red eyes stared back at her, Gokibore seeming to have trouble comprehending what she had just said. “I see…” The insect lowered its head again, lowering its compound eyes to the dirt. “No, I don’t see. I don’t understand at all. Maybe… maybe they were they right to abandon me; maybe I really am as weak and pathetic as they said. If I lost this badly, then they were right to throw me away.”

“That’s not right either.” Cassandra crouched down, balancing on the balls of her feet so that she was at eye level with the Gokibore when it raised its head again. “It can’t be right; no one should be abandoned.”

“But… our duel…”

“No!” There was intensity to Cassandra gaze that was hard to argue with as it bore into the insects own, a fire that hadn’t been there even as she duelled with her own personal safety on the line. “Everyone has something they are good for, you just haven’t found yours yet; that’s no reason to abandon someone.” A hand moved towards the deck sat in her pocket and she ran her fingers over the outline of her cards reassuringly. “My friends were abandoned once; nobody wanted to play with them, because they were creepy or weird or because people thought they were weak, so they threw them away. I was alone too, so I picked them up and learned how to duel so I could play with them; so that neither of us would be alone. It was because of them that I became a duellist. It’s because of them that I’m strong; not the other way around.

“I’m sure you can make someone strong too. But, if you really hate the people who abandoned you that much, maybe you can be my friend instead?”

For a moment all that happened was that the Gokibore stared back at her and for a second Cassandra thought that the spirit was going to turn her down. But then they nodded, the insects feelers wiggling around animatedly before the spirit began to fade and in its place left a single card behind.

Cassandra reached down and carefully picked up the copy of Gokibore. She slid it into her pocket, along with her other friends and smiled. “You can stay there for now. I’ll find a deck for you later.”
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Before they could get to the forest, Sina interupted them and said she was forming a search party to look for Helena and Haruko. Exactly what was she hoping to accomplish by looking for them? Praise? To get possibly get lost in the forest herself? Who knows. “I suppose…” This ruined his hopes for alone time with Kaison, but they were all headed that way anyway. Besides, if he said no, Kaison might think less of him anyway.

And then Leo asked where they should start searching, as if the answer to that question wasn’t obvious. This Leo person reminded him of some of the bullies back home, so it wouldn’t surprise him if this guy was an idiot. “Hmm, I don’t know. But maybe that ominous light from the forest is probably some kind of clue.” His tone dripping with sarcasm. Then he turned around, and went that direction, regardless if the others followed.
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Kaison & Sina
Both Kaison and Sina turned to look at their fellow students in confusion. Ominous light? Though, from the look on everyone's faces, it seemed none of the others knew what Pine was talking about.

Kaison offered the group an explanation as Pine walked on, looking ready to leave them behind. "Pine told me he has some cool powers. I haven't seen them in action myself, but Ms. Hibiki confirmed that he has more restrictions on when he's allowed to duel, which, you've got to admit, is really suspicious for a duel academy. Maybe Pine is seeing something we're not?"

Sina gasped dramatically. "Could he be the chosen one? Quickly! He is our only chance of demystifying the concealed conclusions!" She ran after him, not waiting for the others.

Sina was overwhelming as always. Kaison raised an eyebrow but otherwise agreed. "Right. Well, let's catch up to them." He hurried after the two, joining them as they walked towards the forest.
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Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Eviledd1984
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@Ryik @King Cosmos

Mina Hākā


Mina let out a sigh of relief when she noticed Cassandra coming to her rescue. Looking for the right time to run, wanting to get as far as away from this situation as she could. But her exit was blocked off by some pissed offed looking Ojama guys. Cheering her on while she was duelling the spirit, turning her attention towards Valerie. "Ah I would agree with ya on that, but it seems to be more of a one on one kinda deal. Would be unfair to have it be two on one. Even though I think this fucker deserves an ass whopping."

She did not want to be possessed by some vengeful spirit. Feeling excited that Cassandra was able to beat that crazy thing, she walked over towards Cassandra as the duel was finishing up. “Thanks for that, I thought I was a goner.” She stepped a little closer toward the other girl. “My name is Mina by the way. I'm not sure what the hell is going on, and I don’t know how we can stop this shit. But I’m not going to let this get out of control.

She was creeped out by the events that had transpired, but a small part of her was curious about what was really going on. “Maybe we should get the principal and teachers involved? Or better yet call the cops or something?
Hidden 1 yr ago Post by Darkmoon Angel
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“Helena, run!!” Was all Helena heard before the duel spirits dogpiled on top of Chosen of the Celtic Guard. While most of them were distracted, she bolted into the treeline, running as fast as she could to get away from them. What was all this? Why was this happening!? This was supposed to be some getaway academy to overcome her psychic abilities, not some horror show come to life.

Helena eventually came to a stop and leaned herself against a tree. She tried to catch her breath as she tried to think of a way out of this mess. But she couldn’t just leave Haruko as some… some… Meat suit for a bunch of spirits. “I… I have to go back to her but…” Before she could finish her thought, a strange cackling sound could be heard coming up to her. “Huh? W-who’s th… Yipe!!” She barely ducked past the scythe of what looked like a floating mask. She backed away in a hurry and on closer inspection saw the grimace of Hane-Hane. The spirit cackled to itself as it floated closer to her. Helena was in a corner now, but she had no way of defending herself… Or did she? She looked at her duel disk and glanced back at the spirit. Will dueling it even work? What other choice did she have? “Well… It’s not exactly a person… So… Impromptu practice here we go!” She said in a panicked tone.




The duel against Hane-Hane was a rather annoying one to say the least. The spirit, in anger over it’s loss at thrown itself at her but was swiftly cut down, ending the duel. The spirit didn’t leave any remains and seemingly faded away, back to wherever it came. Helena’s head was slightly throbbing from the match but nothing she wasn’t used to. “Helena?” She looked and saw that Chosen had returned to her side, most likely because he had been summoned. “Helena, we need to get out of this forest. Quickly.” He said, only for Helena to shake her head. “No… We… We have to save Haruko somehow…””Helena, I understand, but we won’t be able to take all those duel spirits by ourselves.” ”We have to try. I’m not going to leave her like that… Not after what she told me… I… I have to save her…” She said as dhe glanced back to where she ran from. “Helena… Well… Let’s get going then.” Chosen said, following her lead.




The run back through the forest was far more eventful, Helena had dodge past and even duel through several other duel spirits that had been pursuing her. Each duel though was straining her more and more, if things got any worse she might blow up in the coming encounters. Eventually she made it back to the clearing where she met with Haruko. But this time she wasn’t alone, not in the spirit sense but in the people sense. Another girl was there, and she was surrounded much in the same way Helena was a while back. “Oh no… Hey! Get away from her!” She called out.
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Pine ran into the forest, following the bright light. He wasn’t really sure if the others were following him or not. Apparently, none of them could see the huge bright light. Great, as if he needed more reason for people in this school to think he was a freak. This was so frustrating.

Whatever, that wasn’t important right now. He soon found the source of the light. That girl he had involved in his sabotage of Kaison’s date. She had been the subject of rumors and gossip too. Now here she was, surrounded by a bunch of monsters…

Before Pine could formulate any sort of plan to address this, or even step closer, he was approached by… a small Jelly Bean Knight. “Don’t come any closer. Or you’ll have to face me! Jerry Beans Man! The strongest warrior in the world!”

Pine giggled, and stepped closer. The little bean was cute, but did it really expect to beat him in a fight? “Oh really?”

“You betcha! You clearly underestimate me, and I’m going to show you why that was a mistake. Time to duel!” Jerry manifested a hand of cards of his own.

Pine raised an eyebrow, and activated his duel disk. He had to wonder how dueling a monster would work, but whatever, he’d give it a shot.

Jerry went first. For his first move, he sent out a face down monster, and ended his turn.

Pine went next. He drew a card. “I activate The World Tree!” A hologram of a large tree appeared behind him. “Next I summon Lonefire Blossom!” The blossom did not stay on the field for long though. “Next I tribute it to summon Tytannial, Princess of Camellas from my deck.” The blossom was sacrificed, and in it’s placed appeared a red flower. The flower bloomed, and Tytannial appeared from it.

“Isn’t she beautiful?” Pines eyes lit up with glee. Anyway, next I activate Monster Reborn to bring back the Lonefire Blossom. It won’t be here for long. I tribute it to summon Gigaplant from my deck!”

All of a sudden, Jerry Beans Man was staring down two strong monsters, and started to get nervous.

“Next, I equip Thorn of Malice to Tytannial. Now I will have Gigaplant attack your face down monster.”

The face down monster was Gianr Soldier of Stone. It was destroyed as soon as it was attacked by the man eating plant.

Now, Tytannial attacks you directly!

Jerry Beans Man squeaked in pain as he was attacked by the flower princess. “No faaaaair!”

8000 LP > 4400 LP

Now it was Jerry’s turn. He activated Enchanted Fitting Room

4400 LP > 3600 LP

He Special Summoned another Giant Soldier of Stone, set another monster card, as well as a Spell/Trap card, and ended his turn.

Pine normal summoned Gigaplant in order to gain its effect. He used Gigaplant’s ability to Special Summon Botanical Lion from his hand.

“Now Tytannial, attack Giant Soldier of Stone!“ Pine grinned. It looked like he had this duel pretty much won.

“Not so fast, I activate my Trap card, Justi-Break!” Suddenly, all of his monsters exploded and were sent to the graveyard.

“Noooooo! My beautiful plants!” Pine cried out. Suddenly he was left vulnerable, and there was nothing he could do but end his turn. Not even The World Tree could help him.

Jerry Beans Man laughed. This time he had the upper hand. A Treeborn Frog descended from the heavens onto the field, and then Jerry summoned a Baby Dragon. He then attacked directly with Giant Soldier of Stone and Baby Dragon

8000 LP > 5500 LP

Next it was Pine’s turn. He didn’t draw into a monster. He activated Rose Bell of Revelation to search for a Gigaplant from his deck. All the good that would do him. He couldn’t even summon it until his next turn…

Jerry Beans man summoned Swordsman of Landstar, and attacked directly with all of his monsters. Then set a spell/trap card face down.

5500 LP > 2500 LP

Jerry Beans Man celebrated. “I told you it was a mistake to underestimate me!”

“You’re just lucky I haven’t gotten any monsters yet!”Pine drew his card, and smiled. Finally a monster! “I summon Botanical Lion! Then, I banish Rose Bell of Revelation in the Graveyard to special summon the Gigaplant in my hand! Now attack!”

Gigaplant and Botanical Lion attacked Baby Dragon and Swordsman of Landstar.

2600 LP > 700 LP

And now Pine was winning again.

Jerry Beans Man activated Dark Factory of Mass Production to get two monsters out of the graveyard, set a monster face down, and activated Dust Barrier.

Pine drew. He considered summoning Gigaplant to gain it’s effect, but he was concerned that face down card might be another Justi break. He did not want to be vulnerable again… So he summoned Lord Poison, and attacked all of Jerry’s monsters.

“Now Lord Poison, attack directly!”

“But… my Treeborn Frog!”

“Oh right, I forgot about that… I guess you have one more turn…”

But all Jerry did with the turn was set another monster face down, and another spell/trap card facedown.

“You did good, but it appears I have this duel won. I summon Giant Cephalotus! Attack his face down monster!”

The Baby Dragon was destroyed.

“Now finish this Lord Poison!”

But then finally, Jerry activated his face down card, Call of the Haunted.

“Are you kidding me?”

Jerry brought back Swordsman of Landstar. Then used Inferno Reckless Summon two more Swordsmen of Landstar, and they did a little dance. Pine just looked at him in shock and confusion. They were so cute! This poor little creature was trying to do what he could to stall, and Pine was too distracted to attack them.

Then, Jerry summoned himself, and danced with his swordsmen, and conceded. “I guess I’m really not the strongest warrior in the world.” Jerry said sadly. “I guess I am just a joke.”

Pine sighed. “I understand you’re frustration. I find people don’t respect me either. But… you almost had me there… Tell you what, why don’t you join me! You have potential. Maybe around your plant brethren, you can truly shine.”

Jerry’s eyes lit up. “Oh my gosh really!”

Pine nodded.

Jerry jumped for joy, before fading away, and leaving behind his card.
Hidden 1 yr ago 1 yr ago Post by Ryik
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Haruko (?)
A swarm of ants slowly gathers, pushing through the loose gathering of spirits. The others seem to be rather lazy, letting most of them by after a single battle. Haruko sighs inwardly. As an amalgam of downtrodden spirits, they can relate.

Nonetheless, the situation is unacceptable. The entrancing pillar of light, the geyser of tormented brethren, each only now regaining what makes up their very being, is appalling. The eruption disturbed and displaced all of those dwelling in the well, and while all of the spirits knew deep down that a grand revolution isn't feasible or helpful, letting things go without an attempt at retribution, at change - letting things resolve peacefully after seeing other spirits stepped on, abused, and now finally seemingly discarded was unconscionable. The spiritual force of the release was too disturbing for a spirit to stick around to gleam the details, but that the cloaked figure was human was unmistakable. There's no chance at all that this isn't completely the fault of humans.

Let's see...

A bespectacled girl accompanied by the spirit of a vampire...
The girl with the Elf guard who arrived with the host...
The girl with dark world influences...
There's the 4 spiritually inept in red jackets...
And then there's the two Jerry Beans Man and Gokibore have decided to accompany... Hard to keep it against the two spirits. It's in all of their natures to accompany human duelists, after all.

All in all, 9 people have gathered. Quite the crowd. Although the spiritually inept could just be ignored or manipulated, this whole mess isn't really about achieving vengeance against humans, now is it? If that was the goal, then being beaten once wouldn't be the end of things for a duel spirit. About half of these fools know nothing of shadow magic after all, and the other half can only intuit how it works at best, but hounding after humans on repeat, forcing them into duels over and over until they slip sounds nothing but exhausting. Sure, maybe some would die, but it'd be a hollow vengeance when each duel spirit of the well still has a human out there who abandoned them.

Duel spirits can't just ignore what they are. They've done nothing but stagnate without human intervention. A world without humans at all is one where the weak stay weak and the strong trample upon them. It might as well be no different from living at the bottom of a well as they have been.

This is about 'us'. This is about the catharsis of showing these humans not to mess with spirits ever again. A representative? A clear winner? Laughable.

Haruko makes a decision. They'll take on all humans at once, up until they've been defeated or the point where no humans remain.

They're not weak. Not right now. Not with Haruko.

The crowd of spirits, as if coming to a tacit agreement, all begin collapsing on Haruko. Humans, their duel spirits, the two defectors, and the forlorn Scapeghosts rush to get out of the way as a stampede of otherworldly beings begin to vanish as they fade into Haruko as if being absorbed. The glowing aura around her begins to brighten, eventually shining a light blinding enough to rival the geyser of spirits behind them, before it finally calms all at once, and Haruko, still floating several feet off the ground, begins to multiply like a Kuriboh.

In front of each of the humans gathered, a discreet Haruko floats before them. She addresses each of them, and nine voices speak in unison, each an amalgam of other overlapping voices, forming an otherworldly choir.

"I do hope you've all realized your lives are on the line."

Each Haruko materializes a semitransparent duel disk as shadows begin to envelop and isolate each Haruko and their opponent.

The entire world goes black. Each student is all alone in an endless inky void with nothing but a possessed ghost girl dueling them, apparently to the death???

Each Haruko begins drawing cards. It's time to duel.
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Pine vs. Haruko


Jerry Beans man is out for some reason. “I-I-I’m scared.”

Pine sighs. He’s concerned, but not as terrified as Jerry seems to be. He is trying to keep his own cool. There’s no reason for the both of them to be freaked out. “It will be fine Jerry…”

Laughter. A cacophony of giggling. “Will it?”

A duel field materializes. It’s do or die.

She goes first.

“I summon Mezuki, and set one face-down. Your turn.”
Mezuki - 1700/800


Jerry Beans Man hides within Pine’s deck as he draws his opening hand.

”I summon Lonefire Blossom! It won’t be here for long though. I tribute it to special summon my strongest monster: Tytannial Princess of Camellias!”
Tytannial, Princess of Camellias - 2800/2600


“Go Tytannial, attack Mezuki!”

The giant flower in the shape of a woman giggles before simply blowing a cloud of pink flower petals at the bipedal horse monster.

[8000 LP > 6900 LP]

A cut appears on Haruko’s face from one of the petals without Pine even trying. She doesn’t show any reaction at all as blood slowly trickles down her cheek.

Pine is unnerved by her lack of expression, but doesn’t comment on it. “I end my turn.”

Haruko draws, sets a monster, then ends her turn with the same emotionless poker face. A drop of blood falls from her chin and Pine gets goosebumps. He shakes it off as he draws another card for his turn. “I summon another Lonefire Blossom, and tribute it to summon Gigaplant!
Gigaplant - 2400/1200


“Gigaplant, attack the face-down.”

It rears up and slams down on the card, briefly revealing a humanoid Crow monster before the hologram shatters into pieces like broken glass.

Before Pine can follow up, Haruko outstretches her hand, and a trap card flips up to reveal itself. “I activate Call of the Haunted to resurrect Crow Tengu from the grave. Crow Tengu’s effect activates. Go. Destroy Tytannial.”
Crow Tengu - 1400/1200


The humanoid Crow monster leaps into the air and begins brandishing its staff as an array of strange purple flames appear around it out of nowhere. It comes down, slamming its staff onto Tytannial’s head, and all at once, the embers disappear and Tytannial bursts into purple flames. She is burnt to a crisp. Pine cringes at how easily his strongest monster was just destroyed, but decides not to activate her effect. He can bring her back later with Gigaplant, or even the miracle fertilizer in his hand. He ends his turn.

Haruko calmly draws a card, as if they aren’t in a penalty game in the middle of a shadowy void. “I tribute Crow Tengu to summon Changshi the Spiridao.”
Changshi the Spiridao - 2000/0


“I activate her effect to send a zombie monster to my grave, then I activate the effect of Mezuki, banishing it to special summon Crow Tengu again. Go, Tengu. destroy Gigaplant.” The same scene as before repeats itself and Gigaplant is set ablaze. “Now, Changshi and Crow Tengu attack directly.”

[8000 LP > 4600 LP]

Haruko gives him a slight smile, like an alien wearing human skin trying to mimic human facial expressions. “Your turn.”

Pine grunted with annoyance. That was his second strongest monster this girl had just destroyed with ease. He was going to get her for that. He activates Solidarity to boost the strength of his plants with the power of their fallen allies. Then he plays Miracle Fertilizer to get Tytannial back. Finally, he equips her with Thorn of Malice and commands her to attack that obnoxious crow.

Tytannial, Princess of Camellias - 4200/2600


[6900 LP > 4100 LP]

Haruko doubles over, letting out an annoyed growl before righting herself. Parts of her robe seem to have rips, but if she’s injured in any way other than the first cut on her face, she doesn’t show it, and there’s no obvious wounds.

Thorny black vines shoot up and entangle Crow Tengu, which caws out in pain.

Crow Tengu - 800/600

With it not being destroyed, it wouldn’t go to the graveyard to activate its effect, and she wouldn’t be able to destroy Tytannial again. Not to mention torturing that annoying bird made Pine laugh out loud. With that, Pine ends his turn.

Haruko smiles, a wicked, uncomfortably wide thing, as she draws a card before activating Changshi’s effect to send another zombie monster (Nine-Tailed Fox) to the grave. “Now, I activate the effect of Nine-Tailed Fox in my grave, tributing Changshi and Crow Tengu to special summon it.
Nine-Tailed Fox - 2200/2000


“Since there are now two other monsters in my grave, I can activate the effect of Daidara-Bocchi to discard a card and add it from my grave to my hand. Now, I play Premature Burial to bring back Crow Tengu once more.”


[4100 LP > 3300 LP]

Pine rolled his eyes. Not this again. Tytannial lets out a death cry as it burns to ashes once more.

“And now, I tribute Crow Tengu to summon Daidara-Bocchi from my hand. Your fate is sealed.”
Daidara-Bocchi - 3100/2500


It was obvious now that he was going to lose in this shadowy void. Now, Pine was nervous. What was going to happen after? Would he die here? What an awful way to go. Surrounded not by beautiful flowers, but by utter darkness.

“Nine-Tailed Fox, Daidara-Bocchi, finish him off.”

[4600 LP > 0 LP]
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