The World of Duelling
It was just your average day in Ponyville, the sun was shining, the town’s ponies were selling, trading and going about their days, either working or relaxing, and for the schoolhouse, this was no exception.
The bell above the school house rung and Cheerilee smiled to the ponies who sat at their desks, waiting to be dismissed. Three years, it had taken for them to learn to leave on her word, not the bell’s. “Okay everypony, have a good weekend and I’ll see you all on Monday.”
They all cheered on those last words, especially since she hadn’t set any homework, and had all rushed out into the playground. They were all of the age where they didn’t need their parents to come pick them up, being a good thirteen in the trusting community of Ponyville, so they could go home at their leisure.
However, since the new card game that Discord created had been introduced, the school kids decided that they’d make the playground their own little duelling community.
Duel Monsters was a game all about the fun of fighting each other without actually fighting, to utilise the cards in one’s possession in any way they see fit, which was as chaotic as it sounded, which is why Discord was so thrilled when it took off. He was so delighted that he actually used most of his time creating new cards over the years and allowing the ponies to create businesses around the game.
In a way, you could say that Discord had become something of a role-model, though he still has the tendency to ‘prank’ ponies and tease them, but these days they learned to treat him as one of their own.
Today, with no homework, the school ponies knew there was no rush to go home and could spend a good majority of the Friday afternoon here.
Sweetie Belle was one of these ponies. However, rather than taking part herself, she decided to watch the unfolding of her friend Button Mash’s duel.
(Button Mash lp.900 Hand: 2 deck: 27)
(Snips lp.300 Hand: 0 deck: 23)
Button looked at the card he just drew and grinned, looking to his face-down and the Elemental HERO Bubbleman on his field, while also glancing at the White Dragon Ninja on Snips’s. (Elemental HERO Bubbleman lv.4 atk: 800 def: 1200) (White Dragon Ninja lv.7 atk: 2700 def: 1200)
“Alright Snips, now you’re in trouble!” Button declared, placing one card down onto his duel plank, designed and infused with Discord’s chaotic magic to make illusions of the cards he created. “I play Polymerization to fuse my Bubbleman with Avian!” He announce, a green feathered human man appearing next to the armoured blue one, before they were absorbed into a spiralling purple vortex.
Snips flinched back, already knowing how bad fusions were, especially in Button’s deck. But, when he looked to his human ninja, with a spirit of a white, serpentine dragon around him, he calmed down. “Bring it on!”
“Oh it’s already brought, since now I can summon my Elemental HERO Mariner!” Button declared before, out of the vortex, appeared an aqua coloured man with two chained anchors attached to his arms. (Elemental HERO Mariner lv.5 atk: 1400 def: 1000)
Snips sighed a little, chuckling. “Alright, you got me. I thought that monster would be way stronger!”
Button just grinned, pointing to his face-down. “He doesn’t need to be Snips, so long as I have a face-down out in my spell and trap card zones, he can hit directly!”
“What?!” Snips cried out as the man jumped ten feet into the air, towards him.
“You heard right, so Mariner attack! Anchor away!” Button announced, causing the man to grin, throw his left arm out causing the anchor to fire, hitting Snips dead centre in his chest.
Though, since they were just illusions, Snips didn’t actually get hurt.
(Button Mash lp.900 Hand: 0 deck: 27)WIN
(Snips lp.0 Hand: 0 deck: 23)LOSE
Snips sighed as his monster faded, while Button winked and declared. “That’s game!”
“Yeah, you win again Button. But I got way closer this time,” Snips said, causing Button to laugh and nod.
“You bet you did, just a little more and you may get me next time!” Button replied, shaking his hoof. “Same time next week?”
“Always!” Snips nodded, trotting off towards a pink filly with a tiara on her head holding a pen in her mouth with a yellow coated, bow adorned pony next to her.
Button turned to Sweetie Belle and smiled. “Hey Sweetie, how’s it going?”
Sweetie Belle smiled in reply, nodding in greeting. “Pretty well, I see you won again.”
“Yup, my heroes and I are certainly working up a winning streak!” He answered, before asking. “So how about you? How’re your duels going?”
“Huh?” She responded, looking at her duel plank, which Discord made to go around somepony’s neck like a necklace when not in use. “Oh…well uh, they’re going…okay…”
“Okay?” Button mimicked, tilting his head to one side. “You sound like you’re not too sure.”
“Well…uh…” Sweetie continued, before faking shock and pointing over his shoulder. “Hey look! A distraction!”
“Where?!” Button exclaimed, excitedly looking around to look for it while Sweetie Belle made her escape.
After a few seconds, Button raised his eyebrow and turned round, responding as he did so. “I can’t find the distraction Sweetie Belle,” He then noticed that she wasn’t there and sighed. “Foiled again.”
“So you’re saying you’re 13th place,” Diamond asked, looking over the list to see that Sweetie Belle was, indeed, in the thirteenth position on the table.
Applebloom rose an eyebrow. “And ya care, why exactly?”
Sweetie Belle sighed and slumped to the ground. “Because Button’s in 6th place! I’m seven places below him! How could I say that without embarrassing myself?!”
The rich filly and farm filly looked at each other and shook their heads. “Sweetie Belle, Button’s one of the nicest ponies I know, he’s not going to care where you are on the leader boards,” Diamond tried to console her, but Sweetie Belle shook her head adamantly.
“No, I need to get higher in the leader boards!” She responded, as if that were the only answer to her problems.
“Uh, we ain’t gonna change ya score for ya, you know?” Applebloom said, before the thought even crossed the white Unicorn’s mind. She, in turn, huffed.
“I know that! I’ll just challenge the stronger duellists! Like you Diamond!” She announced. Diamond looked down to the list again, then looked up with a deadpan look.
“I can’t duel today, Sweetie Belle, Applebloom and I are on list duty,” She answered, holding the piece of paper up. The school foals thought it’d be unfair to have two ponies hold the list at all times, so they cycled who’d keep an eye on it each day.
Sweetie Belle groaned and smacked her face with her hoof. “Then who am I supposed to face?! Everypony else is busy!”
“How about Snails?” Applebloom asked, pointing over to the lanky, yellow Unicorn colt, looking around. “Ah think he’s lookin’ fer a game.”
“But…Isn’t he, like, 12th?” Sweetie asked, getting a nod out of Diamond.
“Yeah, but it doesn’t matter who you face, you just need some wins under your belt,” She responded, before grinning. “Besides, you really think you can beat duellist number one?”
“Um…Hey Snails! Want a game?!” Sweetie Belle yelled, avoiding the subject completely.
As she left, Applebloom rolled her eyes at the pink filly. “Sometimes Ah wonder why we’re friends.”
Diamond just grinned and hugged her. “Because you love me!” She teased.
“Okay, I’ll make the first move, if you don’t mind of course?” Snails asked, looking over his cards.
“I’m okay with that,” Sweetie Belle answered, drawing her own after her duel plank had unfolded in front of her. Since both players were a good distance apart, this meant a duellist could just place their cards in front of them and not tire their hooves out.
“Okay, let’s do this!” He declared as a counter of the sides of their duel planks went up to eight thousand.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 5 Deck: 35)
(Snails LP: 8000 Hand: 5 Deck: 35)
“And I’ll start with my Pinch Hopper in attack mode!” As Snails said this a large, green grasshopper emerged onto the field. (Pinch Hopper lv.4 ATK: 1000 DEF: 1200)
Once she saw the monster, Sweetie Belle flinched back and gave a shock squeal. “BUG!”
Button, who was on the side lines, blinked in confusion turning to Scootaloo, who had come over to join him. “Uh, explanation?”
The orange Pegasus sighed and explained. “It happened when we were trying to get spelunking cutie marks. A spider had nested in her mane and now she freezes up if you even say the word bug.”
Snails shook off the weirdness and played another card. “I now activate Multiplication of Ants. This lets me tribute my Pinch Hopper, to summon two Army Ant Tokens in defence mode.”
Suddenly, Pinch Hopper started to turn brown and decay before, out of the carcass, appeared two black ants that squatted down in front of him. 2x (Army Ant Token lv.4 ATK: 500 DEF: 1200)
Then Pinch Hopper burst open wider and a giant, metal coated beetle crawled onto the field. “And when Pinch Hopper is sent to the graveyard, I can special summon an Insect-Type monster in my hand, like Metal Armored Bug!” (Metal Armored Bug lv.8 ATK: 2800 DEF: 1500)
“I’ll end my turn there,” Snails said, not noticing Sweetie Belle gazing at the monster looming over her and the Ants in horror.
After a couple of seconds, Snails rose an eyebrow. “Um…It’s your move Sweetie Belle.”
The white Unicorn shook her head and nodded, drawing silently.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 6 Deck: 34)
(Snails LP: 8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 35)
“Alright, first I’ll activate the field spell, Sanctuary in the Sky!” She announced as the field around them suddenly turned into open skies, clouds passing them every so often and a large castle right behind them.
Scootaloo grinned and looked over at one of the clouds. “I love this field spell. It’s really peaceful.”
“Yeah, and now she won’t take damage in battles involving her Fairy-Type monsters!” Button cheered.
Sweetie then played another spell. “I now activate Valhalla, Hall of the Fallen!” Just behind her, a throne surrounded by red curtains appeared. “Now, if I have no monsters in play, I can special summon a Fairy-Type monster in my hand like Aria the Melodious Diva!”
Sat on the throne, a women with purple hair, pink skin and orange/dark purple clothing appeared, a harp shaped wing on her back. (Aria the Melodious Diva lv.4 ATK: 1600 DEF: 1200)
“And now she’ll destroy an Ant Token with soothing lullaby!” Aria smiled and started to sing a calming tune, causing the Ant to fall asleep, falling through the clouds and to its doom.
Button flinched as he watched the display. “What a way to go.”
“I end my turn with that.”
(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 3 Deck: 34)
(Snails LP: 8000 Hand: 3 Deck: 34)
Snails drew his card and played it down. “I summon Bee List Soldier!” From beside him, a bee holding a trident with a red bandanna appeared. (Bee List Soldier lv.1 ATK: 500 DEF: 400)
“Now he’ll carry himself and my Army Ant Token out of the game, sending both to the grave, to draw two cards,” He explained, in his usual laid back way, as the bee grabbed the ant and carried them away.
“Now I activate Verdant Sanctuary,” Suddenly, from below, a large tree sprouted up, showing an abundance of nests and crevices for insects and the like to hide. It covered about half of the field, much to Scootaloo’s annoyance.
“And now Metal Armored Bug will attack and destroy Aria!” Snails announced as the beetle swiped at the fairy. However, Aria sung a calming tune, causing the bug to stop. “Uh…What’s going on?”
“That’s Aria’s ability!” Sweetie Belle replied, excitedly. “See, if Aria is special summoned, all my Melodious monsters can’t be destroyed by battle and can’t be targeted by card affects!”
“Oh, okay,” Snails replied, motioning with his hoof for Sweetie Belle to make her move. Sweetie Belle blinked.
“Huh, I was expecting more of a reaction than that. Draw,” She said, picking up her card and lying it down.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 4 Deck: 33)
(Snails LP: 8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 32)
“I summon Solo the Melodious Songstress!” Next to Aria, appeared another women who was seen wearing a red and blue outfit with golden highlights. (Solo the Melodious Songstress lv.4 ATK: 1600 DEF: 1000)
“And now she’ll attack your overgrown pest!” She declared as the Songstress started to dance and sing, the musical notes flowing towards the bug.
“Um…Sweetie Belle? My monster has more attack points,” Snails pointed out, looking up at his 2800 attack point monster. Before realizing another fairy on top of it.
Sweetie Belle grinned, allowing her confidence to grow a little when she picked up the card with her magic to show him. “That’s why I used the effect of Score the Melodious Diva. If I discard her, your bug’s points drop to zero!”
“Whoa! That’s an OP card right there!” Scootaloo yelled as the blue haired, pink clothed girl giggled, singing a light tune causing the bug to wince in confusion from the two songs going on at once. (Metal Armored Bug lv.8 ATK: 2800-0 DEF: 1500)
He then fell out of the tree and hit another branch, painfully, causing him to shatter on impact.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 33)
(Snails LP: 8000-6400 Hand: 2 Deck: 32)
Though after he was shattered, a shadow suddenly crawled out of one of the crevices of the tree and rested next to snails, much to Sweetie Belle’s horror. “When you destroy an Insect monster in battle, I can add another Insect to my hand, so long as he has the same level. I choose to add Doom Dozer to my hand.”
“Fine, but Aria is going to attack you directly! Soothing lullaby!” Sweetie declared, Aria doing as she was told and singing her tune to Snails, causing him to smile stupidly at the sound.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 33)
(Snails LP: 6400-4800 Hand: 3 Deck: 31)
“And I’ll end my turn!” Sweetie announced. As she did, Snails snapped out of his stupor long enough to use his face-down.
“I activate the trap card DNA Surgery!”
“Ah jeez, this is bad!” Button said, causing Scootaloo to raise her eyebrow at him. “DNA Surgery turns all monsters on the field into whatever type of monsters Snails chooses.”
“Uh oh,” Was all Scootaloo could say before Snails announced his choice of typing.
“I choose Insect Type!”
Suddenly, Solo and Aria cried out in pain/terror as they suddenly grew antennae and transparent, insect like wings. Their eyes turning into that of a fly’s, causing Sweetie Belle to jump back and hide behind her hooves in fright.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000 Hand: 2 Deck: 33)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 4 Deck: 30)
“I now activate Insect Barrier! Now your Insect Type monster can’t attack!”
“What?! But all of my monsters become Insects!” Sweetie Belle cried out as a large, yellow laser shield appeared.
“Exactly. Now I can banish my Bee List Soldier and Metal Armored Bug to summon Doom Dozer!” A loud crash suddenly echoed and, from behind Snails, branches and debris from the tree crashed down as large, red centipede like monster appeared. (Doom Dozer lv.8 ATK 2800 DEF: 2600)
“Now he’ll attack Aria!”
“Aria still can’t be destroyed in battle!” Sweetie Belle responded, sighing in relief. That relief was short lived, however, when Doom Dozer shoved Aria right back into her, causing her to trip over.
“No, but since Aria is an Insect now, your Sanctuary in the Sky won’t protect you from damage anymore. And when Doom Dozer deals damage, you’re forced to discard the top card of your deck to the graveyard.”
Sweetie got back to her hooves and grunted as she did as instructed.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 8000-6800 Hand: 2 Deck: 32)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 2 Deck: 30)
“I now set a monster in defence mode and end my turn.”
“This is looking really bad! Sweetie going to need a tough monster to take out Doom Dozer now that she lost her stalling card,” Button commented. Scootaloo took no notice and called out.
“Don’t worry Sweetie, you can do it!”
(Sweetie Belle LP: 6800 Hand: 3 Deck: 31)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 1 Deck: 30)
“I can special summon Sonata the Melodious Diva in the presence of another Melodious monster!” As she said this, another mutated fairy appeared, this one green and blue. (Sonata the Melodious Diva lv.3 ATK: 1200 DEF: 1000)
“You don’t need to worry too much about her though,” She mentioned, causing Snails to raise an eyebrow.
“Because I can now tribute her and Solo to summon Mozarta the Melodious Maestra!” Two of the mutated fairies became multi-coloured portals that allowed another, much larger, mutated fairy in play. This one, however, had large, butterfly wings instead of transparent ones and only had antennae. (Mozarta the Melodious Maestra lv.8 ATK: 2600 DEF: 2000)
“Hey Button, isn’t that the card you gave her?” Scootaloo asked, curiously. Button grinned.
“Yup! Thought she’d like it and she does have a really sweet ability!”
“Once per turn I can special summon a Light-Attribute, Fairy-Type monster from my hand. The only down side, if you can call it that, is that I can’t use anything but Light monster’s effects,” She continued to grin as she picked up a card. “And your DNA Surgery only affects the card on the field, not in my hand, so I can still summon Shopina the Melodious Maestra!”
Then, beside Mozarta, appeared another fairy turned insect. This one shared the butterfly wings, but still had the same eyes and antennae. (Shopina the Melodious Maestra lv.7 ATK 2300 DEF: 1700)
“And her ability lets me return Score the Melodious Diva to my hand!” Sweetie finished, nodding for Snails to make his move.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 6800 Hand: 1 Deck: 31)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 2 Deck: 29)
“I flip summon Needle Worm!” Snails announced as a small, purple caterpillar like monster revealed itself before firing five sharp thorns at Sweetie Belle’s deck, forcing them into the graveyard. (Needle Worm lv.2 ATK: 750 DEF:600)
“I get it, Snails is milling her out of her cards so that she has less to deal with his big monsters!” Scootaloo said, looking at the worm.
“Yeah, when Needle Worm is flipped face-up, he takes out the top five cards of Sweetie Belle’s deck,” Button answered, casting a worried glance over at Sweetie Belle. “And Doom Dozer isn’t helping, either.”
“Now I summon my second copy of Bee List Soldier!” He announced as it appeared, before carrying off Needle Worm. “And I’m sure you know the drill by now. So now I can banish Needle Worm and Bee List Soldier to summon two copies of Aztekipede, the Worm Warrior!”
Out of the forest crashed two green centipedes that stood next to the larger, red one. 2x (Aztekipede, the Worm Warrior lv.4 ATK: 1900 DEF: 400)
“Now I’ll have all three attack your Aria the Melodious Diva!”
“Huh? Why would you…” Sweetie Belle mumbled before she realised something important. “I forgot to switch her into defence mode!”
Button and Scootaloo both face-hoofed as Aria and Sweetie were struck three times.
“Oh and Aztekipede also forces you to discard a card from the top of your deck when he deals damage,” Sweetie groaned as three more cards joined her pride in the graveyard.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 6800-6500-6200-5000 Hand: 1 Deck: 23)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 1 Deck: 27)
“I’ll now set a card face-down and end my turn!”
“My turn then…Darn it!” She exclaimed when she spied Score in her hand. She shook out of it and drew.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 5000 Hand: 2 Deck: 22)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 1 Deck: 27)
“Okay, first I’ll switch Aria into defence mode…”
“Too bad she won’t stay that way. I activate Final Attack Orders!” Snails declared, the trap in question flipping up. “Now all of our face-up monsters are forced into attack mode!”
To Sweetie’s shock, as soon as she had ducked a little, she had stood right back up. Sweetie sighed and set a card face-down. “I end.”
(Sweetie Belle LP: 5000 Hand: 1 Deck: 22)
(Snails LP: 4800 Hand: 2 Deck: 26)
“I summon Arsenal Bug in attack mode!” A strange, flying yellow bug with a shield and sword flew beside one of the Aztekipedes. (Arsenal Bug lv.3 ATK: 2000 DEF: 2000)
“That’s pretty strong for a level three monster, don’t you think?” Button asked, confused by how powerful it was.
“Yeah, but if there isn’t another Insect Type monster around, he’ll only have one thousand attack points,” Scootaloo answered.
“Now I’ll have them all attack Aria!”
As they all hit, Score appeared over Doom Dozer. “Score reduces Doom Dozer’s points to zero! Not getting me again that easy!”
The two songs drained the power of Doom Dozer (Doom Dozer lv.8 ATK 2800-0 DEF: 2600) before he fell and crashed through the tree line, being destroyed. A shadow appeared, however.
“I can now add another Doom Dozer to my hand.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 5000-4600-4300-4000 Hand: 0 Deck: 20)
(Snails LP: 4800-3200 Hand: 2 Deck: 25)
“I’ll end my turn by playing this card face-down,” Snails concluded, a card appearing behind his three bugs.
“Alright, now Sweetie Belle has control!”
“I don’t think so, Button, she still can’t attack,” Scootaloo replied, looking over the field.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 4000 Hand: 1 Deck: 19)
(Snails LP: 3200 Hand: 2 Deck: 25)
“I activate Light of Intervention! This forces all set monsters face-up!” Snails declared, grinning. “Which means you can’t play defensively at all!”
“Fine, but I still have a move to make. And first I’ll tribute Aria to advance summon Elegy the Melodious Diva!” Aria turned into the portal and a green hair, purple dressed woman took her place. (Elegy the Melodious Diva lv.5 ATK: 2000 DEF: 1200)
Snails rose an eyebrow. “Uh, now I can beat your monsters in battle.”
“True, if you can get past Score, because Shopina adds her back to my hand again,” She grinned, her face-down now flipping up. “Now I’ll activate Melodious Illusion. See, while Aria was in play I couldn’t use this card. But now I can, so first I target one Melodious monster on my field, like Mozarta!”
Suddenly, Mozarta’s wings became their usual, green and yellow and her antennae disappeared. And behind her, another copy of her stood, but transparent. “Now thanks to Illusion, she’s unaffected by your spell and trap cards this turn, so she’s no longer an Insect!”
“Uh oh,” Snails said, looking over his cards.
“Uh oh is right, since she can now take out one of your Aztekipedes!” She said as Mozarta sung a long, low note before suddenly rising it to a fever pitched, high note, shattering the monster.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 4000 Hand: 1 Deck: 19)
(Snails LP: 3200-2500 Hand: 2 Deck: 26)
“And Illusion has one more effect!”
“What effect?” Snails asked, curiously.
Sweetie Belle grinned as the transparent image of Mozarta charged the other Aztekipede. “It allows Mozarta to attack twice! So now she’ll attack Aztekipede number two!” She then placed Score back into the graveyard. “And by discarding Score, your monster’s points drop to zero!”
Score sung her usual tune, causing Aztekipede to start to fall asleep. (Aztekipede, the Worm Warrior lv.4 ATK: 1900-0 DEF: 400)
Then Mozarta sung her low to high not song, causing Aztekipede to cry out and shatter.
(Sweetie Belle LP: 4000 Hand: 0 Deck: 19) WIN
(Snails LP: 2500-0 Hand: 2 Deck: 26) LOSE
“Alright Sweetie Belle!” Scootaloo cheered, rushing her and hugging her side, causing the Unicorn to give a startled yelp.
“Scootaloo!” Sweetie Belle cried out, trying to get out of the hug. “I thought you didn’t like being mushy!”
Scootaloo, now realising what she’s doing, let go and brushed herself down. “I don’t, I just tripped!”
Button rolled his eyes and hugged Sweetie Belle from the other side, causing her face to light up. “You did great!”
“What am I, some sort of teddy bear?” She responded, smiling over at Snails. “Good game but next time, no more bugs please.”
Snails smiled, lazily, and trotted towards Diamond and Applebloom.
Meanwhile, in the oldest part of the Everfree Forest, seven ponies wearing large, black robes obscuring their features were seen, surrounding an altar, chanting a strange, olden saying.
“Greatest power from deep within,
Let our strength rest with him,
Tangle our fates for his power,
And release him in their darkest hour!”
On and on they chanted before the item on the artefact exploded with a small amount of dark magic, showing the item as a dark red horn.
“He still does not have enough power!” A voice cried out in anger. “Even with the strength of the old ones, he still hasn’t the power!”
“Perhaps, then, we should harvest some?” Another, more feminine voice replied. “The old ones may require some power from other, good natured beings.”
“Okay, but somewhere close please! I don’t feel like taking another trek through the freezing wastes again!”
“Don’t worry, there’s a place nearby…” She replied with a grin, unfolding a map and pointing to a town…
…a town named Ponyville.