Duelists of the Friendship Cup
Mystical Bestiary – Rarity vs Sunny Flare (Part 1)
-Rarity Life Points: 8000-
-Sunny Life Points: 8000-
Sunny Flare’s portrait lit up on the duel screen.
“Marvelous.” Sunny drew her opening hand and flipped a card out from it. “I shall summon ‘Hazy Flame Cerbereus’.”
A circle of fire lit up in front of Sunny. From within them rose a large three-headed dog, its entire body made of flickering orange and red flames. The three heads looked at each other before turning forward to growl at Rarity (2000/200). Sunny sniffed. “I’m allowed to summon the Level 6 Cerbereus without a tribute, by sapping its attack strength by half.” Cerbereus groaned as its body lit up red, the flames of its mane dying down (2000 → 1000). “I end my turn.”
“Very well.” Rarity drew with a flourish, looked at her card, and held it out. “I’ll begin with this Spell card, ‘Crystal Bond’. This lets me add a Crystal Beast monster from my deck to my hand, and then a Crystal Beast with a different name is placed in my Spell and Trap zone.” Rarity tapped on the screen of her duel disk and picked up the two cards that ejected. “To my hand I’ll take ‘Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus’ and in my Spell and Trap zone I’ll place ‘Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth’.” A bright orange gemstone with a shadowed form inside it materialized in front of Rarity in a cluster of light orbs.
“Next, I summon Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus in attack mode!” A blue gemstone appeared in front of Rarity and shattered, a winged white horse flying out of the shards (1800/1200). “When my pegasus is summoned, I can place a Crystal Beast monster from my deck in the Spell and Trap zone.” Another card ejected from her deck into her fingers. “I’ll place ‘Crystal Beast Topaz Tiger’ in play.” Beside her orange gemstone manifested a yellow one. “And then, another Spell card, ‘Crystal Beacon’. Since I have two Crystal Beasts in my Spell and Trap zones, I can summon a third from my deck.”
Rarity’s deck lit up in red light. “Come on out, ‘Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle, in defense mode!” Within the rays of light appeared a small purple quadruple with large red eyes and a round red gem on its tail. It jumped down in front of Rarity and mewled (300/300). Rarity smirked. “When Ruby Carbuncle is Special Summoned, all of my crystallized Crystal Beasts in the Spell and Trap zone are released! Amber Mammoth and Topaz Tiger, I summon you!”
Ruby Carbuncle held up its tail and cried. The gemstone on its tail lit up red and shot beams of energy into the yellow and orange gems behind it. The gems glowed brightly and shattered. From the orange gem came a large mammoth, a circular amber stone on a crest on its forehead (1700/1600). A white tiger with a horn and a collar studded with yellow gems stepped from the rubble of the other gem (1600/1000).
Sunny’s eyebrows lifted. “An array of formidable monsters. And all on your first turn, as well? Impressive.”
“Thank you.” Rarity put a hand to her chest and gave a small bow of her head. “I think you’ll find the beauty of my Crystal Beasts is best appreciated up-close! Topaz Tiger, attack Hazy Flame Cerbereus!” Topaz Tiger roared and charged forward, paws padding over the grass. “When my Topaz Tiger attacks a monster, it gains 400 attack points!” The tiger (1600 → 2000) reached Cerbereus and pounced, claws extending from its paws. Cerbereus reared up and was knocked onto its back, and Topaz Tiger slashed it apart.
-Sunny Life Points: 7000-
Sunny sniffed and reached to her duel disk. “When Hazy Flame Cerbereus is destroyed, I can add a ‘Hazy’ card from my deck to my hand.” She held up her card. “I’ll take this, the Continuous Spell card ‘Hazy Pillar’.”
“Very well. As for me…” Rarity flung out her hand. “Sapphire Pegasus and Amber Mammoth, direct attack!” Sapphire Pegasus spread its wings and conjured an orb of blue energy between them, and Amber Mammoth generated an orange orb between its tusks. The two flung their heads forward and fired the orbs across the field, two circling each other before exploded around Sunny Flare
-Sunny Life Points: 3500-
Rainbow Dash pumped her fist. “Alright, and just on the first turn!”
“That’s our Rares!” Applejack called. The rest of the Canterlot crowd cheered loudly.
“Thank you, thank you.” Rarity turned to the bench and bowed. “But please, stay your praise, for the duel is not yet over.” She turned back to Sunny and smiled. “With those attacks I shall end my turn.”
Sunny rolled her tongue in her mouth as her duel disk ejected her card for her turn. “Your showboating is unearned.” She reached down and drew her card.
Rarity gave an indignant huff. “Bold words for someone who lost half their Life Points on the first turn.”
“True, your move was a good one. But you’ve left your field open to counter-play, and you’ve no idea what cards are in my hand.” Sunny’s lips curled in a small smirk. “Style is not nearly as important as substance, and unfortunately you only have the former. I’ll show you the latter.” She reached to her hand and picked up a card to slide into her duel disk. “I activate the Continuous Spell card Hazy Pillar.”
The ground behind Sunny split apart. A glowing, wavering pillar of bright orange fire rose up from it, the top flickering and snapping the air. “As long as this card is in play, any Hazy Flame monster I may summon requires one less tribute for their summoning.”
She flipped another card out of her hand and swung it onto her card tray. “Since I now need no tributes for it, I’ll summon the Level 6 ‘Hazy Flame Sphynx’ in attack mode.”
A large fireball emerged from the Hazy Pillar and floated in front of Sunny. The flames expanded and grew into a form laying on the ground, and then receded to reveal her monster. A beast with the body of a lion and the head of a woman lounged on the grass, her mane a field of orange and red fire. Jeweled blue and yellow regalia covered her forehead and neck (1900/1900).
Sunny smirked and reached to another card. “I now activate the Spell card ‘Card Advance’. This allows me to look at the top five cards of my deck and place them back on top of the deck in any order I wish, and I’m also afforded an extra Tribute Summon this turn.” Sunny’s cards ejected from her duel disk, and she picked them up and fanned them out. She let out a small giggle. “Oh my, I didn’t expect to have luck like this on my side. This duel may be over quicker than I thought.”
Rarity huffed and put a hand on her hip. “Just place your cards.”
“Very well.” One by one, Sunny put the five cards back on her deck, and rolled her neck when she was done. “Now that that is done.” She gestured a hand to her monster. “I activate the effect of Hazy Flame Sphynx. Once per turn I can guess if the top card of my deck is a Spell, Trap, or Monster card. I then reveal and discard that card, and if I guessed correctly, I can summon a Fire monster from my hand or Graveyard.” She put a hand on the top of her deck and smirked. “I have a very strong hunch that the top card of my deck is a Monster card.”
Rarity scowled. “So that’s what you were up to. Clever.”
“I know.” Sunny drew and held up the card. She press a hand to her cheek. “How fortunate for me! It is a monster, ‘Hazy Flame Hydra’. Hydra now gets discarded, and I can summon a monster.” She pursed her lip. “Although, my Hydra is now in the Graveyard and is a perfectly fine card itself, why get rid of it so hastily? I use the effect of Hazy Flame Sphynx to revive my Hazy Flame Hydra!”
Hazy Flame Sphynx turned its head and opened its mouth to shoot a column of fire at the ground. The flame formed into the shape of Sunny Flare’s monster and dispersed to reveal it, a writhing mass of red serpentine necks topped by pairs of red jaws with glowing eyes (2300/200).
“Next, the effect of Card Advance allows me to conduct an additional summon this turn. I summon ‘Hazy Flame Mantikor’, and by the effect of my Hazy Pillar, I shall do so without needing a Tribute.”
A swarm of fireballs floated out of the pillar of fire and congregated, growing into a quadrupedal form and dispersing. A large red lion with leathery wings crouched in front of Sunny, its mane a ring of orange fire (2200/300).
Sunny laughed and pointed forward. “Now begins the counter-attack! Hazy Flame Sphynx, attack Crystal Beast Amber Mammoth!”
Hazy Flame Sphynx leaned its head back and shot a jet of fire from its mouth. The fire struck Amber Mammoth and knocked it through the air, the beast trumpeting as it struck the ground and exploded.
“Next, Hazy Flame Hydra, destroy Sapphire Pegasus!” The Hydra’s heads turned to face each other and summoned an orb of fire between them. The orb launched forward and engulfed Rarity’s monster in a flash of light.
“Finally, Hazy Flame Mantikor, attack Topaz Tiger!” Sunny’s Mantikor roared and leapt through the air, pouncing on Topaz Tiger. It lifted its paw and extended claws of flickering orange fire, slashing through Topaz Tiger and into the ground, the monster scattering into specs of orange light.
-Rarity Life Points: 6800-
The Crystal Prep stands cheered as Sunny tossed her hair and winked at them. “I do hope your menagerie of mangy mammals enjoyed their time on the field. Short and sweet is the best way for monsters to be summoned.”
“I disagree.” Rarity lifted her monsters from her duel disk. “Mine won’t be going very far at all. Whenever my Crystal Beasts are destroyed, I can place them in my Spell and Trap zones as Continuous Spell cards.” In front of her, blue, yellow, and orange particles of light swirled around each other, forming large gemstones with the shadowed form of Rarity’s monsters inside them.
“Yes, and then once you come up with a way to Special Summon Ruby Carbuncle again you can call all of them back.” Sunny sighed and shook her head. “They are annoyingly persistent pests. Fortunately, I know exactly how to get rid of them for good.” She sneered and held a hand into the air. “I overlay my Hazy Flame Hydra and my Hazy Flame Mantikor! Using my two Level 6 monsters, I construct the overlay network!”
Rarity’s eyes widened.
Sunny Flare’s two monsters turned into orbs of orange light and swirled into a flaming vortex above her, red light gleaming from the center. She spun in place as she reached to her duel disk, her hair and skirt flying through the air. “Using the serpent of fire and the lion of fire, I spark the kindling that will light the flames of malice!” She stopped with her hand in place, a card ejecting into her fingers. “Xyz Summon.” She swung her card out and onto her duel disk with one swift motion. “Take flight, Rank 6, ‘Hazy Flame Basiltrice’!”
The Hazy Pillar behind Sunny blazed hotter as a shadowed form appeared within it. With a loud screech, a massive avian monster flew out of the flames and circled the field, two balls of orange light orbiting it. Wings of fire and gold swept through the skies, feathers in blue and orange and red rustling and a long serpent’s tail flicking the air in its wake. The monster touched down behind Sunny on six claws and raised its chest proudly, red eyes blazing beneath a golden crown and a hair of blue fire (2500/1800).
Rarity swallowed heavily, a hand to her chest. “It’s magnificent…”
“Yes, it is, isn’t it?” Sunny looked up at her new monster looming over her. “You’ll get a chance to get an up-close view next turn, I promise you. But for now, there is the business of my Hazy Flame Hydra to attend to. When my Hydra is used as an Xyz Material, the monster I summon with it gains an additional Xyz Material, in the form of another Hazy Flame Monster in my Graveyard. I choose my Hazy Flame Cerbereus.” A third ball of light rose from Sunny’s duel disk and joined the other two orbiting the Basiltrice.
“Then, I’ll use Hazy Flame Basiltrice’s special ability. By detaching an Xyz Material from it, I can banish a monster on your side of the field or in your Graveyard.” Sunny sniffed. “I think I’ll get rid of that hairball eyesore I left alone thus far!”
Rarity gasped. “Carbuncle!”
Hazy Flame Basiltrice opened it beak as one of its orbiting lights flew into its mouth. With a law caw it snapped its head forward, a beam of bright orange light lancing across the field. Ruby Carbuncle mewled as the light consumed it, its forming shattering under the blast. Rarity grit her teeth and looked away, raising an arm to block her eyes.
Sunny smirked. “I do believe that’s one Crystal Beast that won’t be rejoining us in the near future. I do hope you aren’t particularly partial to rubies. Or winning duels, for that matter.”
Rarity glared across the field as she lowered her arm. “Thank you for your concern, but I don’t need it. I’m quite capable of dueling without the need for an opponent’s pity.”
“I disagree, but we can discuss that after I beat you.” Sunny looked at the cards left in her hand and slipped one into her duel disk. “For now I’ll set a card end my turn.”
“It’s about time!” Rarity drew her card and looked down at it. She raised her eyes back to Sunny Flare, and then Hazy Flame Basiltrice above her. She put her card into her hand and swept her eyes between them.
Rainbow groaned. “Come on, Rares, just grab another Carbuncle from the deck! You gotta be running more than one!”
“Which won’t be of much help,” Sunset interrupted. “If she can’t get rid of Sunny’s monster now, Sunny will use the Basiltrice’s effect next turn and banish another one of Rarity’s monsters. Unless she can ensure it’ll be safe, summoning another copy of Ruby Carbuncle is one of the worst moves she could make.”
Fluttershy bit her lip. “Does she have anything at all to take it down?”
“I’m not sure.” Sunset shook her head. “Rarity’s a great duelist, but she’s always relied more on field advantage than brute force attack power.”
On the field, Sunny leaned to the side and looked past Rarity. “Your friends got chatty all of a sudden. I think they’re worried that you don’t seem to know what to do.”
“Actually, I was pondering the best way to get rid of that burning eyesore.” Rarity smiled sweetly. “But if you’re curious as to what I was thinking, then let’s just get on with it. I activate the Spell card ‘Crystal Promise’. This lets me summon one of my crystallized Crystal Beasts back to the field.” Rarity snapped her fingers. “Sapphire Pegasus, I release you!” The blue gemstone shattered and the winged horse flew out. “Since I summoned Pegasus, its effect activates again, letting me place ‘Crystal Beast Ruby Carbuncle’ in my Spell and Trap zone.” A gleaming purple gem materialized in line with Rarity’s other crystals.
“Next I shall set a monster in defense mode.” She held up another card. “Finally, I shall activate the Equip Spell card ‘Crystal Release’. By equipping this card to my Sapphire Pegasus, it gains eight hundred attack points.” Small clusters of gems in various colors appeared around Sapphire Pegasus and attached themselves to its wings, the horse rearing up (1800 → 2600).
Sunny glared. “Should I be worried?”
“Not if you aren’t particularly partial to winged monstrosities!” Rarity snapped back. “Sapphire Pegasus, attack and destroy Hazy Flame Basiltrice!” Sapphire Pegasus flapped its wings and rose into the air. The gems on its wings lit up in rainbow light, and it snapped its wings forward, sending a volley of energy bolts in seven colors across the field.
“I don’t think so.” Sunny rolled her eyes and tapped her duel disk’s screen. “I’ll activate my Trap card ‘Slip of Fortune’. This negates your attack and banishes Hazy Flame Basiltrice until the next turn.” Basiltrice turned into a ball of flame and was drawn into the Hazy Pillar. Pegasus’ attack flickered out and vanished in the air.
“A costly move.” Rarity looked at the display of the field on her duel disk. “You’ve lost the monsters attached to Basiltrice.”
“A small price to pay to keep it in play.” Sunny shrugged. “It’ll be back next turn ready to attack.”
“I’m aware.” Rarity slid another card into her duel disk. “I set one card face-down and end my turn.”
She lowered her arm and took a breath. “I’m not out of this duel, not by a long shot.”
“Not yet, but artistry takes time, and I’m just getting warmed up.” Sunny let out a small chuckle. “You haven’t even seen what my deck can really do.”
“Funny,” Rarity replied. “I was thinking much the same thing.”
Twilight let the door to the auditorium door swing shut behind her and stepped forward to the aisle in front of her. The room was largely full of students watching the duel outside via a projector directed at a large white cloth draped from the rafters to make a screen. She idly glanced at the duel in progress.
No, focus. You need to get to the bottom of this before the tournament ends. She turned her head to either side and found what she was looking for.
Leaning on the railing running along the top of the isles, a girl with silver hair and pale blue skin watched the duel with a small frown, her arms folded with a finger tapping on her elbow.
Twilight moved toward her. “Excuse me.”
The girl turned her head and her expression fell. “What do you want?”
“You’re Trixie, right?” Twilight stopped in front of her. “I’ve been looking for you.”
Trixie gave her a suspicious look. “Why?”
“I need to ask you some questions.” Twilight reached into her uniform and withdrew a notepad and pen.
“Sorry, the Great and Powerful Trixie doesn’t do interviews.” Trixie sniffed and tossed her hair. “But feel free to follow me on EweTube, MyNook, blah blah blah.” She began to walk past Twilight to the door when Twilight put a hand out on her arm.
“It’s not an interview,” Twilight said. “Please.”
Trixie jerked her arm away. “What do you want?”
“I need to know some things about the winner of the last Autumn Crown tournament at this school,” Twilight said.
Trixie burst out laughing, drawing looks of annoyance from a few students sitting nearby. “Oh, that’s rich.”
Twilight lowered her hand, confused. “Why?”
Trixie gave her a sideways look. “Is this some sort of scheme of yours, like a trap or a sting or something? Or do you just get your jollies off pretending to be an idiot?”
“I didn’t come here to be insulted.” Twilight put a hand to her temple and sighed. “I just need to know some things. Like how come there’s no official records of who the tournament champion was, or why Sunset and her friends won’t talk about them.”
“Oh, gee, I dunno, let me think.” Trixie put a hand on her chin and cocked her head in an exaggeration of pondering the question. “Maybe it’s a cover-up, because they don’t want anyone to know who won.”
“I’ve reached the same conclusion!” Twilight exclaimed. “They won’t say anything, but you will, won’t you? We can work together on this, expose the… the whatever-it-is they’re doing.”
Trixie dropped her hand and scowled. “You’re funny. Not.”
Twilight recoiled. “Huh?”
“If you want me to be silent, then fine, I’ll keep my mouth shut. It’s not like anyone seems to care anyway.”
“Care about what?” Twilight hissed.
“About how a Crystal Prep duelist pretended to be enrolled here and steamrolled everyone.”
“They did?” Twilight gasped and looked away, her mind racing. Her eyes darted around. “That would explain almost everything. It would certainly explain why Sunset and her friends don’t want to talk about it, and why all the records of the duelist who won would be erased from the school website.”
“Okay, seriously, what are you up to?” Trixie put a hand on her hip. “You’re either really good at playing dumb, or you aren’t playing.”
“Play what?” Twilight shook her head and turned back to her. “What? You know who it was?”
Trixie rolled her eyes. “Sure I do, Trixie faced her in a duel and lost during the top sixteen. Though I can’t remember quite how, I’m fairly certain it involved cheating. Not me, of course, I don’t need to cheat to win, but she definitely did.”
“Who is she?” Twilight pleaded. “All video records of their duels are gone, but if you just give me a name, I can investigate this further.”
“I’ll do you one better than a name.” Trixie pulled out her phone and began to swipe through it. “Trixie’s fans posted pictures of her spectacular dueling. Strangely, most of the pictures seemed to be corrupted. But there is one that survived, before the duel actually started and Trixie had just made her entrance.” Trixie held her phone out. “Voila.”
Twilight looked at the photo, taken from someone standing behind Trixie as she bowed to an applauding crowd. Her eyes traced to the other side of the image where Trixie’s opponent stood in the background.
She grabbed the phone from Trixie’s hand and held it closer to her face, her eyes going wide.
“That… that’s…” She tapped the photo to zoom in, the person opposite Trixie a bit blurry but still recognizable. “What was her name?”
Trixie’s phone clattered to the carpeted floor.