• Published 30th Apr 2016
  • 9,302 Views, 976 Comments

My Little Pony: Friendship is Numerous - Monty Eggman



Based on the Equestria Girls movies and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, this series tells the story of Sunset Shimmer in her quest to locate a series of dangerous cards that corrupt those who find them. It's time to Duel!

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RANK 12: Duel History 101:

Author's Note:

I made this episode for the few remaining people reading this that still may not really know much about Yu-Gi-Oh!, particularly the anime and manga. The facts and stories told here are based on my own observations of the first three series (Original, GX, and 5D's), and it may or may not be totally accurate. Of course, this story DOES take place in an alternate universe, so I feel that it doesn't have to be totally accurate, but I did my best to get it all as close as possible.

So for people who still have not watched the show or read the manga, here's a quick glimpse of the world of Yu-Gi-Oh!. For those who already know it, consider this a refresher course. And don't worry, there's some really interesting stuff that happens towards the end, so even if you know it all already, there's still something new to see.

RANK 12: Duel History 101:
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THE STORY SO FAR...:
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In Canterlot High School, every student is wild over the world's most popular trading card game: Duel Monsters! Every day, players of the card game, known as "Duelists", go head-to-head to see who among them is the best around. Among the Duelists in attendance at CHS, one of the best is a young teenager named Sunset Shimmer, a girl from another world...

After Twilight Sparkle, the Princess of Friendship, entered the home world of Sunset Shimmer to aid her and her friends in collecting the Numbers, the group of teenagers did everything possible to aid Twilight in learning how to play the game. Sunset Shimmer helped her inter-dimensional friend build her first Deck, Rarity and Fluttershy purchased a Duel Pad and Duel Gazer for her, and Applejack and Pinkie Pie played a Duel against each other so that their friend could see how a real game was played.

After their game, Twilight and Rainbow Dash immediately competed in a Duel with each other. This was the young Princess's first-ever Duel, and though things got off to a rocky start, Twilight was able to impress her companions by putting up a fierce fight against her cyan friend. Despite her best efforts, however, Twilight could not defeat Rainbow Dash in her first Duel. However, there were no hard feelings between them, and the young Princess was excited to play another game very soon.

Twilight has gotten off to a good start in learning the mechanics of Duel Monsters, but her training has only just begun. Now, today, the Princess of Friendship will continue her lessons during a very special trip...

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It was 6:30 in the morning throughout the city of Canterlot. It was Monday, meaning that all the schools were ready to begin another week of lessons for the arriving students. In the large, fancy apartment building that towered over Jump Street within the city, the residents inside were either still asleep or just getting up to begin their day.

In room number 14, the apartment where Sunset Shimmer currently lived, loud snoring sounds could still be heard from inside. The snoring was coming from none other than Twilight Sparkle, Sunset's best friend and (for the moment) her new roommate. Clad in light purple pajamas, the young Princess was sprawled out all over Sunset's queen-size bed, still in a deep sleep. She was even too tired to realize that Sunset had already gotten up out of bed and was making breakfast for them both.

The red and yellow girl, still in her sleeping clothes, walked over to the bed and looked down at her snoring friend from another world. In Sunset's arms was Spike, a purple puppy dog (but really a dragon) that had come with Twilight when they left Equestria to enter this world. Staring at the purple-skinned girl, Sunset then asked Spike, "Is... she always like this in the morning?"

"More than you'd think." answered the puppy. "All of her studying and Princess duties really wear her out, even though she never admits it. So yeah, she's kind of a heavy sleeper..."

"Wow... I knew she was busy every day, but even I never imagined that it would take this much of a toll on her..." Sunset stated. Chuckling a little, she then added, "Of course, we did get a little crazy having fun at the carnival yesterday, not to mention that we spent a lot of time on her Duel Monsters training as well..." After Spike hopped out of her arms and onto the bed, the red and yellow girl told him, "Well, be that as it may, we can't let her stay snoozing here forever; we've got school today."

"Not to worry, Sunset... I'll handle this." Spike told her confidently. Smirking a little, he then walked over to Twilight, stopping right next to one of her ears. He then shouted, "Twilight!! Twilight!!! You've gotta help us!! Tirek's on the loose again!!!"

"WHAT?!?!" screamed the young Princess, quickly waking up from her deep snooze. The shock of what Spike told her caused her to jump out of bed so quickly, she ended up clumsily falling off. "Woah!! WAAAUUUGH!!!" she yelped before hitting the carpet and landing on her back. Rubbing her back and let out a strained groan, she put on an annoyed face and said to her dragon/puppy companion, "Spike!! That wasn't funny! I thought I told you to stop doing that!"

"Hey, it's not my fault that you sleep like a rock every night." Spike informed her. "I don't know how else to get you up every day."

"Maybe... but we're still gonna talk about this later..." Twilight responded, dusting herself off a little.

"Good morning, Twilight." Sunset Shimmer greeted her.

"Um, yeah... Good morning, Sunset." the purple teen replied. "I just wish mine started off a little better than this..."

"Well, while I don't approve of the way he woke you up, Twilight," the red and yellow girl told her friend, "we had to get you up somehow; after all, we've gotta get to school today, remember?"

Twilight gasped a little. "Oh right...! I almost forgot about that! It's been a long time since I've been in a school, I'm not used to going back there... I hope I didn't delay you for too long, Sunset..."

"Aw, don't worry about it; we've still got plenty of time before Pinkie comes by to give us a ride." Sunset said to her. "Still, we don't want to take too long, so I just whipped up something quick for us to eat. How about some Honey Bunches of Oats?"

"Oats?" asked Twilight as they both left the bedroom. "I thought you didn't have that sort of thing here...? When I was in Sugarcube Corner during my first visit here, I asked for some, and they didn't seem to know what I was talking about..."

"Well, it's not like the kind that's in Equestria, but... well, you can hardly taste the difference." Sunset informed her. "You'll like it, I'm pretty sure of it."

The two of them sat down at the dining room table to enjoy their breakfast cereal. And Twilight found that she did enjoy what Sunset had prepared for them both, and the additional honey taste made it even better. After they were both finished with their morning meal, the two washed up and got their clothes on for the day. By the time they were finished, the clock showed that it was now 7:06 a.m. Not long after they looked at the clock, Sunset's cell phone began to ring.

Taking the phone off of the table in front of her television set, Sunset tapped the screen with her thumb and spoke into it, saying, "Hello? ...Oh! Hi, Pinkie Pie! ...Yeah... yeah we're all ready to go... Okay... okay, we'll meet you in front of the building... Good... Okay, bye." Tapping her phone to end the call, the red and yellow girl said to Twilight, "Alright, let's get going; Pinkie's right outside, so let's not keep her waiting."

"Sure, let's go." Twilight replied. She then asked Spike, "Are you going to be okay while we're gone, Spike?"

At that moment, the two girls saw the little puppy walking on his hind legs while holding a bowl of popcorn and a can of Colta-Cola with his forelegs, using them like arms. "I think I might manage..." he casually said as he made his way over to the TV. Sunset and Twilight looked at each other and shared an amused grin before leaving the apartment. Spike placed the items on the L-shaped couch before hopping onto it himself. He then stretched out, picked up the TV remote, and switched on the device, ready to enjoy his day.

Outside, Sunset and Twilight walked through the apartment building's doors to exit the structure. Upon stepping onto the sidewalk, the pair saw Pinkie Pie standing there in front of them, her pink Volkswagen Beetle still running. "Hi, girls!!" she cheered, waving to them with both of her hands.

"Hi, Pinkie. Good morning." Twilight greeted her politely.

"Yeah, good morning." Sunset chimed in.

"It sure is!" the pink-skinned girl told them both. "It's such a bright and sunny day today, and I get to spend the ride over to school with two of my best friends! So I'd say that calling it a 'good morning' is an understatement!"

"Well, it's good to see that you're as chipper as ever, Pinkie." stated the red and yellow girl. Sunset then opened the passenger's side back door of Pinkie's car and gestured to Twilight to sit on the seat inside. After the purple teen did so, Sunset walked around to the other back door and entered the car from there. Pinkie then walked back over to the driver's side door and sat down in front of the steering wheel. Once everyone was settled in and buckled up, the pink teen then shifted the vehicle into drive and began heading towards the school.

On their way over, Sunset decided to pass the time by talking to Twilight about various things. Of course, one of the things that she always liked to discuss with her Princess friend was what she was up to in Equestria. "So," she began to ask the young Princess, "anything new going on in Equestria? Any other friendship problems or anything big like that?"

"Well, there is one thing that's been on my mind for a while..." Twilight began, speaking in a slightly solemn tone of voice. "Though, I'd hate to talk about it for fear that it might spoil this good morning so far..."

"How so?" asked the red and yellow girl.

Twilight did not respond at first, as she was still contemplating over whether or not she should talk about what was bothering her. After thinking about it for a few seconds, she made her decision: "...No, maybe it would be best if I told you; perhaps you might be able to help me figure out what to do about it..." she said.

"I'll... try my best." the red and yellow girl told her. "So what's up?"

"Well, a while ago," Twilight began, "my Ponyville friends and I traveled to this really strange village; one that we've never been to before. When we got there, we met with a whole bunch of ponies that seemed just as bizarre..."

"Bizarre how?" asked Sunset.

"Well, according to what they told me," the purple girl continued, "they claimed that they were convinced into giving up their cutie marks..."

"You're kidding me...!" the red and yellow girl replied in shock. "That really happened? What could have possibly made them want to do something like that?!"

"Well, there was this Unicorn that governed the village that talked them into doing it." answered Twilight. "Her name was Starlight Glimmer; and she said that she wanted to create a society where everyone was equal to one another... But she did so by using a magic spell to steal the cutie marks of everyone who lived there and sealing them all away... And unfortunately, that nearly happened to my friends and I as well..." The young Princess shuddered a little, thinking about the brief moment when she had everything that defined her taken away.

"That's... that's incredible..." Sunset stated. "Not you and your friends losing your cutie marks, of course, but... I had never even known that there WAS a spell that would do such a thing!"

"Neither did I..." Twilight responded. "We almost lost our marks forever... But when it was revealed that Starlight had not done the same thing herself and given up her cutie mark, everypony realized that they had been lied to. So they destroyed the container that held everyone's marks and sent them back to their rightful owners before running her out of town. Since then, I've heard that they've been doing much better in their little village and are trying to help each other put the whole ordeal behind them..."

"And what about Starlight?" asked Sunset. "What became of her?"

"Well, unfortunately, she managed to get away before they could punish her for her actions." the purple-skinned teen answered. "She hasn't been heard from since... but I have a very bad feeling that she's hiding somewhere, just waiting for a chance to get back at me and the others for foiling her plans... And I have no idea what I'll do to stop her if she does come back..."

Sunset Shimmer and Pinkie Pie were pretty stunned after hearing about the rogue Unicorn that had nearly succeeded in eliminating everyone's cutie marks forever. As an eerie silence filled the car, the red and yellow girl then thought about everything that she had heard, trying her best to offer advice to her inter-dimensional friend. "...Well, based on what you've said," she spoke up, "it sounds like this Starlight Glimmer seems to have some sort of grudge from the day you met her."

"But how?" asked Twilight. "I didn't even know her until I met her in that town..."

"I don't think it's a grudge against you or your friends in Equestria, Twilight." Sunset informed her. "I think she seems to hate the idea of cutie marks in general."

"Really?" asked the young Princess. Thinking back to that day again, she then added, "Yeah... yeah, you might be right about that! Now that you mention it, I do seem to recall Starlight saying things that suggested that she didn't like cutie marks... And that would explain why she was trying to get rid of them! But... what could make her dislike them so much? I don't get it..."

"Weeeeeeeeeell, if I could make a TEENY-tiny-little guess..." Pinkie Pie suddenly chimed in, "I'd probably say that something really super-upsetting must've happened to her that made her feel that way!"

"You think so?" asked Twilight.

"It's a safe guess." Sunset told her purple friend. "After all, the only reason I became a total jerk was because of something that upset me back when I was in Equestria. I thought that no one, not even Princess Celestia, was on my side and I began to feel hated and alone..." Smiling, she then turned over to Twilight and said to her, "But then you showed me that things didn't always have to be that way; thanks to you and the others, I was able to see that the only person that made me feel alone and friendless was myself, and I was acting the way I was because I didn't want to confront that sort of truth... But once I did, I was able to forget my grudges and finally move on with my life... And now I can finally feel happy about myself and others once all that anger and hatred went away."

"I'm glad that you feel that way, Sunset." Twilight replied with a smile. "And I was happy that I had a hoof- excuse me, HAND in helping you out."

"Thanks for saying that." the red and yellow girl told her. She then stated, "Y'know... now that I think about it, this Starlight Glimmer that you've told me about is, well, probably not that different from me."

"Why do you say that?" asked the young Princess.

"Well, if what Pinkie said is true," Sunset explained, "that something from her past caused her to develop a grudge against the world, then perhaps what you did for me might work as well on her, too. I think the only thing she needs is to learn that she doesn't have to feel alone and angry all the time... If she can learn about what it means to be a good friend and be able to care for someone besides herself, I think she'll figure out just how silly it is to cause so much unnecessary problems for those around her."

"You really think so?" asked Twilight.

"I'm pretty sure of it." Sunset said confidently. "And I know you'll be the one to show her that, Twilight. After all, you're the Princess of Friendship."

Twilight was quite pleased to hear that Sunset had so much confidence in her. To the red and yellow teen, it seemed that doing something like teaching Starlight about the Magic of Friendship was no problem at all, even though the task seemed daunting. The young Princess then smiled and said, "I'll do my best, Sunset. You can be sure of that."

"I know you will." the red and yellow girl responded, putting her hand on Twilight's shoulder to comfort her.

Just then, Pinkie Pie told the two of them, "Okay!! We're here, everybody!" The party-loving teenager then pointed ahead once the high school was within sight.

Pinkie parked her car in the parking lot, right in the shade of a very large tree. Once she and her two passengers left the vehicle, Sunset then said to Twilight, "Well, we'd better get inside, then. Even though classes won't start for another 30 minutes or so, we should go in and let the Principals know that you're gonna be here for a while."

"Smart idea." agreed the young Princess. "Let's go."

"Have a good day, you two!!" cheered Pinkie as she waved goodbye to her friends. After they left, the silly girl then walked over to her trunk and opened it, revealing that there were lots of car decal stickers inside. Afterwards, she then sped around her vehicle, removing all of the stickers that were already on it and replacing them with new ones in what seemed like a millisecond. "There we go!" she said to herself. "I was in such a hurry to drive Sunnie and Twilight over to school, that I had almost COMPLETELY forgot to put new stickers on my car for today!" Giggling a little, she then added, "Thank goodness I stuffed my trunk full of BACKUP stickers!! Otherwise, I'd look pretty weird." She then merrily skipped away with a smile on her face.

Inside of the school, Sunset and Twilight made their way over to the Principal's Office to meet up with Principal Celestia and Vice Prinicpal Luna. When they arrived inside, the two women were surprised and pleased to see the young purple teenager again. Sunset and Twilight told them about what was going on, that the young Princess had shown up to assist in dealing with the mysterious Number cards. Celestia and Luna understood everything and had agreed to lend their assistance to the two of them.

"Well, we're both happy to know that you'll be here to lend a hand concerning this Number card business, Ms. Sparkle." Celestia told her.

"Thank you, Prince- er, I mean, Principal Celestia." Twilight replied with a slight bow. "Sorry, I'm still not too experienced in this world's manner of speaking yet."

"Do not worry yourself, Ms. Sparkle." Luna replied. She then told the purple girl, "Now, as you remember, while you are here, you are expected to act as though you are an ordinary student, even though most of the student body and faculty know of your true identity."

"I fully understand, Ms. Luna." Twilight said to her. "Don't worry; I'll remember to keep as much of a low profile as possible."

"Very good." Celestia responded as she picked up a stack of papers in front of her. "Now... as for your arrangements here in Canterlot High, we still need to figure out which classes to put you in..." she stated to the young Princess. "But I believe that it would be best if you were to just simply be placed in the same classes that Ms. Shimmer is in."

"The same classes as me?" asked Sunset, a bit surprised.

"Exactly." Luna responded. "My sister and I feel that it would be best because this way, you will be able to help Ms. Sparkle adjust herself better here. And that task would be much easier if you were to be with her at all times, do you agree?"

"Um... I suppose that makes sense, Vice Principal Luna." the red and yellow girl answered, getting the point. "I'm okay with it if Twilight is."

"I'm perfectly fine with it." the young Princess stated. "Thank you both so much."

The two principals nodded to say that they were happy that they were able to work things out. Celestia then asked Twilight, "So, Ms. Shimmer had stated earlier in our talk that she has been teaching you how to play Duel Monsters, correct?" The purple girl nodded yes to confirm that fact. "Well then," the light-pink woman continued, "you have actually arrived in this world at a very convenient time."

"Why is that, Principal Celestia?" asked the young Princess.

"Well, it just so happens that, scheduled today, many of the classes are going to be partaking in a field trip to the Manehatten Duel Museum." Luna answered her.

"Wait... 'Duel Museum'??" asked Twilight. "There's an ENTIRE museum made just for a card game?"

"I know, it seems kind of silly at first, but that's just how big Duel Monsters has gotten." Sunset told her friend. "I've heard that it's pretty neat, so I think you might like it; I'm pretty sure I will too."

"And it may help her to learn more about the card game in general." Celestia added. "After all, the museum is famous for showcasing many of the strongest Duelists from years ago, even back when Duel Monsters was in its relative infancy."

"Really? That does sound sort of interesting, actually..." Twilight replied, thinking about it all. She then asked, "So when is everypo- er, everyBODY leaving to go there?"

"Not too long from now, as a matter of fact..." stated Luna, looking over at the clock in the room. "The buses will be departing at 9:00 a.m. and the trip will encompass a great deal of the school day." Turning to them both, she then informed Sunset and Twilight, "You had best get to your first class so as to not miss the deadline."

"Of course, Vice Principal Luna. And thank you both for sorting everything out with Twilight." Sunset replied.

"Yeah, thanks." Twilight told them as well. The two girls then left the office as Sunset Shimmer guided her inter-dimensional friend to the classroom that they had to go to.

"I guess we had better get ourselves ready for the trip as well..." Celestia told her younger sister. "After all, we had agreed to serve as the chaperones for the field trip."

"Indeed." Luna agreed. Of course, their reason for accompanying the students on this trip was because they wanted to see the section in the museum that showed off their careers as Pro Duelists (which is something that they went to see every time they went there). So naturally, the two sisters were just as excited to go to the museum as the students were.

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More than an hour later, several buses and other vehicles had departed from Canterlot High School and were on their way to the close by, yet still relatively far away, city of Manehatten. Though Canterlot City was the region's capital city, Manehatten was actually much larger in comparison, and it was very heavily populated with people. Manehatten contained all sorts of wonderful sights and places to spend time in, so there was never a dull day in this bustling city.

As Twilight and Sunset looked around their fellow classmates, it was clear that everyone was excited to see Manehatten's Duel Museum. After all, just about everyone in the school played Duel Monsters, so spending the day at a facility that catered to nothing but the super-popular card game was almost like a vacation.

"Look at how excited everyone is, Sunset..." Twilight spoke. "They seem to be really anxious to get to this museum."

"Can you blame them?" asked Sunset with a smirk. "I told you; Duel Monsters is an incredibly popular game. This will probably be the only time that you'll ever see anyone THIS excited to go to a museum."

"I'm still finding it hard to believe that there's a place like that for a card game, of all things." the young Princess told her. "Next you'll tell me that there are special schools that teach people how to play it..."

"Well, actually... that's true, too." the red and yellow girl said to her inter-dimensional friend.

"Wait, REALLY??" asked Twilight, thinking that her ears were playing tricks on her. "You're kidding!"

"I'm not." Sunset informed her. "They're called 'Duel Academies'. They were actually set up in order to help train new generations of Duelists. Yes, it sounds kinda weird, but there are people that really take the game seriously; some of them actually make a living out of winning prize money in major tournaments."

"Well, when you put it that way, I guess the whole idea of a card game school makes a little more sense... kind of." admitted the purple teen. She then asked, "Changing the subject, what's the plan when we all arrive at the museum?"

"Well, after the rest of our friends and the Principals show up, we'll all be in a group together." Sunset told Twilight. "It was Celestia's idea."

"Well, it's good to know that we'll all be able to enjoy the trip together." the young Princess said with a smile.

The trip to the museum was long, but by 11:30, the buses pulled up in front of a large building. It was silvery-blue and dome-shaped in appearance. However, it didn't look like the typical dome-shaped building: the design on the front of the structure appeared to look like a giant dragon head. On the sides of the building, away from the side windows, there was a pair of thorn-like protrusions built along the sides. They didn't seem to serve any purpose other than decoration.

Twilight stared in awe at the large structure's appearance. "Um... Sunset?" she began to ask, "is that supposed to look like a-"

"Yep. It's a dragon's head." Sunset interrupted. "More specifically, the Duel Museum was built to look like one of the most famous dragons in Duel Monsters: The Blue-Eyes White Dragon."

"Really?" asked Twilight. Looking at the structure again, she then added, "Seems a little strange to me."

"Well, Kaiba Corp funded the museum's construction AND supplied the blueprints for its design." the red and yellow girl told her friend. "They insisted that it be designed to look like the Blue-Eyes. And seeing as how the workers were getting their paychecks directly from the company, they pretty much had to build it the way THEY wanted to."

(Reminds me of how that Filthy Rich guy operates back in Equestria...) Twilight thought to herself, rolling her eyes a little.

About a minute later, one the last few buses to arrive (numbered 5D) pulled to a stop in front of the Duel Museum. When the doors opened, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Flash Sentry all departed from the bus and stepped out onto the sidewalk in front of the building. "Alright, we're finally here!" cheered Rainbow Dash excitedly. "About time!"

"Yes, we're finally here, Rainbow." Applejack told her cyan friend. "So y'all can stop askin' us, 'Are we there yet? Are we there yet?'..."

"Yeah, the only person who can say that and make it funny is Bart Simpson, Dashie." Pinkie chimed in.

"Ugh, fine... I'm sorry if that bugged you guys..." Dash replied, grumbling a bit. "I was just really excited to get here, that's all."

"Well so were we, but you didn't see ME repeating that irritating phrase over and over..." Rarity reminded the athletic teen.

"Calm down, everyone..." Flash told them. "We're here now, and that's what matters. Let's just focus on having fun, like everybody else." The boy then walked over to Twilight Sparkle and said to her, "Good morning, Twilight; glad to see that you and Sunset could make it here."

"Um... yeah, thanks..." the purple girl replied, blushing a bit. "I'm... glad to see you here as well."

Fluttershy then glanced over to her side and saw that another car, a white Mustang, had just parked itself in the parking lot. It was the vehicle that was owned by Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna. "Hey, everybody...! The Principals just got here..." she informed the others.

After parking their car, the two older women got out and walked over to the group of seven girls and one boy. "Sorry we took so long, everyone." Luna told them all. "We got caught up in a bit of traffic on the way over."

"Only because you INSISTED on taking that so-called 'shortcut', Luna." Celestia told her. "You know we ALWAYS run into a traffic jam every time we use it to come here." The dark blue-skinned woman simply huffed a little in response to her older sister's comment.

"Don't worry about that." Sunset told them. "We only just got here a while ago, so we weren't waiting that long."

"Well, that's good to know." the light-pink woman replied. "Anyway, let us all go inside; I'm certain that all of you are just as excited to see the Duel Museum as much as we are."

"You know it!" Rainbow Dash said in her usual ecstatic tone. "So let's go already!" The rest of the group nodded and walked into the dragon head-shaped building together.

As the group of ten walked into the enormous museum's foyer, the first thing they saw were a trio of large statues on a circular pedestal. The statues were of three very powerful-looking figures: The first of the three was a tall human man wearing a purple costume and a pointed hat, also carrying a long, green staff. The second statue was of a muscular human man in what appeared to be a silvery-white bodysuit with a curved horn on the top of the head area, a blue "jewel" on the chest, and long, red lines running all over it. The third statue was of a giant, white dragon with silver wings, sky-blue parts on its body, and a deep purple chest area. The dragon's head appeared to resemble the shape of a starship.

"Wow... those guys look so cool..." said Rainbow Dash as she stared at the three statues.

"I know, Rainbow..." Rarity commented, also in awe of the sight before them. "The detail on them is absolutely perfect!!"

"So, are those supposed to be Duel Monsters?" asked Twilight.

"Not just ANY ol' monsters, Twi." Applejack informed her. "Those statues are of three of the most famous monsters in all of duelin'!"

"That's right." Sunset chimed in. "They were considered to be the best of the best." Pointing to the purple-wearing man first, she then told her inter-dimensional friend, "That guy right there is the Dark Magician, a very skilled Spellcaster. Rumor has it, this magician or one like him served one of the great Pharaohs of Egypt."

Luna then pointed to the man in the bodysuit and told everyone, "Next, there's Elemental HERO Neos, a powerful member of a team of Duel Monsters superheroes. The Elemental HEROs all had the ability to merge with each other and combine their powers, but Neos's otherworldly powers were particularly strong, and his ability to fuse with others was much more advanced."

"And last, but certainly not least," Celestia added while pointing at the dragon statue, "there's Stardust Dragon. This powerful beast was one of the six Signer Dragons, which were rumored to have fought a legendary battle against forces from the Netherworld long ago." She then stated, "Each of these three monsters were wielded by three of the strongest Duelists to have ever picked up a card."

"Who were they?" asked Twilight.

"You'll see soon enough." the light pink woman told her. "They each have their own special exhibits here at the museum, so we'll all get to see more about them in due time." Walking with Luna towards a hall on the right side of the room, Celestia then told everyone, "But first, I think it would be good if we started at the very beginning, and learn about the game's origins. So if you would all follow us, please, we can get started."

"Sounds good to me." Twilight replied as she began following the two Principals into the next hallway. The others followed her soon after.

The next section of the museum contained all sorts of ancient-looking artifacts, many of them Egyptian-like in appearance. Of course, there were artifacts that came from other ancient societies, like Ancient Greece and even the Roman Empire. Many students and other patrons were glancing around this section, such as Lyra and Bon Bon. Even Zecora had taken time off from running her curio shop to check out the museum, and she waved hello to Sunset and the others as they passed her by.

While the collection was impressive, Twilight was a bit confused. "I don't understand..." she told them. "If this is supposed to be museum about Duel Monsters, then why are there so many ancient-looking items here?"

"Yeah, what's up with that?" asked Flash Sentry. "What's the connection between these artifacts and a trading card game?"

Before another word could be said, Rainbow Dash suddenly spotted someone else in the room that she immediately recognized. "Hey guys! Look!" she said to the rest of the group while pointing ahead. "It's Gilda!"

The others looked in the direction that the athletic teen was pointing, and sure enough, they saw the dark-skinned girl from Griffonstone High School looking at some ancient stone paintings. Standing next to her was a smaller teenage boy. It was none other than Martin, the nerdy student that had once been possessed by Number cards until Sunset and Gilda managed to break the cards' control over him. It appeared that he was speaking with Gilda and showing her some of the artifacts on display.

"You're right, Dashie!" exclaimed Pinkie Pie. "And Martin's with her, too!" Without hesitating, the silly pink teen ran towards the two of them, calling out, "Hey Gilda!! Martin!! Over here!!!"

The two Griffonstone students glanced over to see Pinkie running towards them, along with the rest of Sunset's companions. Smiling, Gilda said to them, "Oh! You guys! Good t' see ya here!"

The rest of the group soon joined Pinkie Pie in order to greet their friend from another school. "Same here, Gilda." Rainbow told her. "I didn't know your school was comin' here too."

"Well, it wasn't exactly a planned trip..." the Griffonstone girl told them. "There's a gas leak at school, so we all came over here to the Duel Museum while it's gettin' fixed up."

"I see..." Sunset told her. "Well, in any case, it's good to see you two again."

Pinkie then walked over to Martin and asked him, "How've you been, Martin? Has Gilda been treating you well?"

"Y-yeah, she has actually." the slightly timid boy responded. "She's kept me safe from all of the other bullies at school, just like she said she would..."

"It's not that hard, actually." Gilda remarked. "I made it very clear to everyone at Griffonstone that I wasn't going to let ANYONE pick on him. And since no one at school wants t' get on my bad side, they got the message, crystal-clear."

"Gilda's been real good at helping me out, so I decided to help her out with her schoolwork as a way of saying thanks." Martin added. "We've had regular study sessions ever since, and her grades have improved tenfold!"

"Yep, Gramps was pretty shocked by how great my last report card was, I was praying that he wouldn't have a heart attack after seein' it." Gilda noted.

"Well, I'm glad to see that you guys have become such good friends with each other." stated Sunset. "And I'm glad I was able to help you two out back then."

Twilight looked at the dark-skinned girl and said to herself, "So that's what the Gilda in this world is like..."

"You know her, Twi?" asked Applejack, overhearing the young Princess.

"Sort of; I've met her counterpart in Equestria." answered the purple girl. "But the last time that I saw her, she acted liked a total jerk to everypony when she came to visit Rainbow Dash."

"Well, I know she was that way when we first met some time ago, when Fluttershy faced her in the Inter-school Duel." Rarity mentioned. "But after Gilda lost, she seemed to have seen the error of her ways and wanted to change."

"Hmmmm, that's interesting..." Twilight stated. "I heard something similar to that when my world's Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie met her again during a trip to the village of Griffonstone. They said that, after their meeting, they were able to help Gilda learn to make new friends and change her ways... And that happened a short while ago as well; I'm even willing to bet that it might have happened at the same time your world's Gilda changed as well."

"Wow... that's amazing..." noted Fluttershy. "And kind of... bizarre."

Twilight then walked over to Gilda and said to her, "Um... hello, Gilda. I'm Twilight Sparkle. Sunset and the others told me about you."

"So you're that Twilight chick I've heard about from the others here." noted the Griffonstone girl. "Pleased t' meet ya." she then greeted, shaking the purple girl's hand.

"Um, same here, Gilda." replied Twilight. It was a bit awkward speaking so kindly to someone that, in her own world, was remembered only for the bad things that she had done. However, she knew that her world's Gilda had decided to change, and either way, this Gilda was, for the most part, totally different. Therefore, she remained polite to her and shook her hand. The young Princess then turned over to Martin and asked him, "You seem to know a lot about the things in this room; could you explain to me how these artifacts are connected to a modern-day card game?"

"Sure! I was just explaining it to Gilda before all of you came by." the boy replied. "I'd be happy to tell you all about it as well!"

"That's great!" cheered Twilight as she got out a notebook and pencil. "In that case, explain away! And don't leave out ANY details!"

"Um, s-sure..." Martin replied, sweating a little. He then walked over to a sign placed in front of the display that he and Gilda were standing next to and began reading off of it. "Around three to five thousand years ago, Egyptian kings played a game of great and terrible power. According to ancient manuscripts and hieroglyphics, Pharaohs and sorcerers alike cast all sorts of spells and curses, and summoned powerful monsters to fight each other in these ancient contests. Many competed for wealth, power, fame... some even believed that the winners of these contests may have earned the right to rule the entire world."

"Woah, wouldn't that be something, huh?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"Indeed..." Rarity chimed in. "If I had that sort of power, I would give all of my subjects only the best things to wear every day! No more dirty, poor rags for anybody if I were to rule the world!"

"Well, if Ah ruled the world," Applejack told her. "Ah'd open up a whole mess o' farms in every country all over so that everybody could make a livin' off of the land!"

Twilight was pretty interested in what Martin had said so far. "So you're saying that people here believe that competitions such as this really happened?" she asked him.

"That's what it seems..." the Griffonstone boy answered. "But there's more: As time passed, all sorts of horrible things began to happen with those involved with these contests... Many consequences came to those who lost these games; ranging from serious injury... to losing their very souls. For these reasons, these contests were unflatteringly called 'Shadow Games'."

"O-o-oh... my..." Fluttershy whimpered. "That sounds scary..."

"So what happened next?" asked Gilda. "You were about t' tell me before Sunset and her friends showed up..."

"Well, eventually... these Shadow Games erupted into a war that threatened to destroy the entire world." Martin explained, still reading off of what was written on the display's sign. "It was said that a powerful evil emerged from the shadows in order to bring about an apocalypse... This evil being nearly won, but just when all seemed lost, a brave and powerful Pharaoh locked the evil magic away for all eternity, imprisoning it within the seven Millennium Items..."

"The what items?" asked Rainbow Dash.

Pointing up to the slab behind the reinforced glass window, Martin told them, "See those carvings? Those are the only remaining pieces of evidence that prove that the Millennium Items existed."

The rest of the group looked at the detailed stone carvings and saw that there were seven objects pictured upon it: A pendant that seemed to resemble a three-dimensional pyramid puzzle, a set of scales, an ankh-shaped key, a ring with a pyramid shape in the center with five needles attached to it, a small, eye-like sphere, a necklace, and a rod.

"They say that these Millennium Items held the magic that allowed the ancient Pharaohs and priests to summon monsters to fight alongside them in battle." stated the nerdy Griffonstone boy. "However, despite repeated archaeological expeditions to the tombs of Egypt, the items have never been recovered... at least not recently, that is."

"That sounds very interesting," Twilight stated, "and it does seem like there are some similarities to this and the card game... But there's still a whole lot of questions I have that still puzzle me about all of this."

"Well, work is still being done in trying to figure out whether or not the legends of the Shadow Games are true..." Celestia stated. "However, whether the stories are myths or not, there is no denying that the Duel Monsters card game was inspired by these ancient tales and creatures."

Luna, along with her older sister, began to head forward towards another room. "If you'll follow us, we can show you more of the story of how Duel Monsters was created." the dark blue woman told their group.

"But of course, Vice Principal Luna." Rarity responded. "Let us go immediately."

"Martin n' I are just gonna hang over here for a bit." Gilda told them. "Why don't we all meet up over at the Food Court after we're finished?"

"Sounds good to me!" Rainbow Dash replied. "See ya then!" Everyone waved goodbye to each before the group departed, leaving Gilda and Martin alone to continue glancing at the artifacts on display.

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Celestia and Luna led the others into another room, and the group immediately took notice of a statue depicting a tall human man with silver hair - some of it covering his left eye - and wearing a bright red suit. Surrounding him were many small monsters, all of which were various creatures depicted on Duel Monsters cards.

"Who is that supposed to be?" asked Twilight.

"That's Maximillion Pegasus." Applejack answered. "He's the creator of Duel Monsters."

"Hold on..." the purple girl began to say after hearing the name of the man. "His last name is-?"

"Yeah, I know." Sunset interrupted. "It weirded me out a little when I heard it myself."

Walking over to the signpost that had been placed next to Pegasus's statue, Celestia began reading off of it out loud: "In Pegasus's early days," she said, "he was a very well-known artist, and many of his early works were upon canvas. He was a very skilled painter, and he had a great passion for his talent."

"I can tell; these paintings certainly do look impressive..." stated Sunset Shimmer as she looked at a painting nearby the statue, which showed a picture of a blond-haired woman wearing a blue dress decorated with many pink bows.

"And mysterious..." noted Rarity. She was looking at a painting of what appeared to be a young boy with dark skin, clothed in long, white robes. Around his neck was a thick, brown string with a gold object dangling down from it. The object seemed to look exactly like one of the carvings on the stone slab that Martin had shown them earlier.

"Pegasus's father was a manager of many casinos and was immensely wealthy." stated Luna. "When Pegasus inherited his father's fortune, he wished to use that money in combination with his artistic talent in some way. He started by opening up his own gaming company, Industrial Illusions, in order to do just that. Then, not too much longer after that, he learned about the ancient legends of the Shadow Games and had traveled to Egypt many times in order to learn more about them. In time, Pegasus became so impressed by the ancient contests, that he decided to recreate the game for modern times."

"Pegasus then devoted all of his time and talent towards creating his new game." Celestia continued. "He wanted to perfectly capture the spirit of the ancient Shadow Games, but not their perilous outcomes. In other words, he wanted to craft the game in the form of something much safer that anyone could enjoy. After over a year of blood, sweat, and tears, Pegasus had finished his work, and Duel Monsters was born."

"Wow, that's amazing..." noted Twilight, still jotting down notes in her notebook, wanting to make sure that she wouldn't forget anything she had learned so far.

"Ah remember that Zecora told us about somethin' like that a couple days ago..." noted Applejack. "Ah'll admit, it seemed a bit far-fetched t' me at the time, but now, after hearin' all of this... Ah'm startin' t' wonder if all these rumors r' true..." Sunset wondered the same thing herself; for some reason, a reason that even she wasn't sure of, she seemed to think that these legends of the ancient Shadow Games were indeed truth.

"In order to create enough hype for the game," Luna then told the students, "Pegasus personally trained many skilled people to help make Duel Monsters the mega-hit that it was destined to be. He gathered together gaming experts, skillful artists, and many others to help create new cards for his game and mass-produce them for the public. He even trained the first generations of Pro Duelists at his island castle home."

"Oh yeah, I actually recall hearing about all of that..." Flash Sentry spoke up. Moving over to a set of photos that were part of the museum's Pegasus display, he then told everyone. "Pegasus traveled all over the world, searching for people that he thought would help Industrial Illusions, as well as the Duel Monsters card game, continue to prosper for many years to come. He specifically chose young orphaned children with talents that only Pegasus seemed to recognize and crafted them into some of the best designers and competitors in the whole world."

"That sounds awfully nice of him to do that for those poor little orphans..." Pinkie replied, happy to hear about that.

"But why'd he wanna go through all of that trouble?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"Well," Flash continued to explain, "they say that the reason he went looking for so many people to help him was because he had no children of his own to inherit his company on the day that he would pass away. He just wanted to make sure that his dream would continue on even after his journey ended."

"Oh my... I suppose that makes sense..." said Fluttershy.

Twilight then looked at the photos of people that Flash had been glancing at himself while talking about what he had known about the creator of Duel Monsters. Pointing to the four pictures on the display, she then asked the boy, "So... are these people here some of the orphans that this Pegasus guy tutored?"

"Yep. Sure are." Flash confirmed. He then pointed to two men that looked very much alike to each other. The one difference was that one had pink hair and the other had green hair. "These two are the Tenma Brothers; Yako and Gekko, the ones with the pink hair and green hair, respectively." he explained. "Pegasus trained them both to run the Industrial Illusions Asian offices. There, they produce the Duel Monsters cards in Asian languages such as Korean and Japanese, as well design new cards for the game in all languages. In addition, the two of them were very skilled Duelists, among some of the best in the world."

Flash Sentry then pointed to another pair of photos, showing two more young men. The one that was displayed on Flash's left had large, spiky hair and wore a large jacket with a fuzzy collar, along with a black shirt underneath and a pair of long pants. On his arm was a large, mechanical device that was colored jet-black. The photo to the right showed a man with a slightly empty-looking expression. He had short, black hair that really only covered the top of his head and a little bit of the back. His outfit consisted of a typical shirt and pair of long pants, both colored black as well, and the bottom of the shirt was opened up, showing off his midsection a little.

"Now these two guys here are among the most powerful Duelists that Pegasus tutored." Flash Sentry explained. "From left to right, they are Richie Merced and Depres Scott. What makes these two guys famous is that they were the most powerful members of an elite team of Duelists called, 'The Card Professor's Guild'."

"Card Professor's Guild?" asked Twilight, stopping her note-taking for a moment. "That sounds pretty big."

"They were, Ms. Sparkle." Celestia told her. "The Guild consisted of thirteen powerful Duelists, each with powerful Decks and strategies that were difficult to overcome. But Richie and Depres were the top two members, Richie being ranked #1. Some say that they were even the founders of the thirteen-strong guild, though they have never truly confirmed it."

"Thanks to all of the people that Pegasus trained, along with word of mouth, Duel Monsters became a smash hit practically overnight." Luna stated. "And it continues to grow in popularity to this very day, with people of all ages and regions enjoying the card game in their own way."

"I see..." Twilight replied, amazed at how much history there was to this game. "All of this is very interesting so far..."

"Well, if you think that's impressive, then you'll definitely wanna see the next room." stated Rainbow Dash. "C'mon! Let's go and see it!"

"Okay, we're moving already, Rainbow Dash...!" Sunset told her. "Believe me, we all want to go and see it."

"See what?" asked Twilight.

"Be patient, Twilight; you'll see soon enough...!" Pinkie Pie told her in a high-pitched tone of voice as they all walked into the next room.

The next section of the museum was incredibly large and full of all sorts of large exhibits. The things in the room that stood out the most were quite interesting to behold: One of the exhibits was what appeared to be a large, glass box with a doorway leading inside of it. Inside the glass box were a table and a pair of chairs. Connected to the steel base that the box sat upon were a pair of metal tubes that ran across the floor (passing by a sign that read, "Watch Your Step", placed so that no one would trip over it by accident) and hooked up to a medium-sized generator. The other object was even bigger and took up almost the entire space of the room. It appeared to be an arena of some sort with a pair of tall podiums on either side of it, one colored red and one colored blue. Placed on each corner of the arena was a large post with all sorts of reflective mirrors built on the tops of them. On both the left and right sides of the arena, the number "15" was printed in black.

"What the...?" Twilight began to say, gasping at the sheer sizes of the box and arena that were set up in the room. "What are THOSE things??"

"Those, Ms. Sparkle," started Luna, "are the birth of the Virtual Duel."

"The glass box-thingy on the right is called a Battle Sim Box." Rainbow Dash told her purple-skinned friend. "And the even bigger thing is a Virtual Dueling Arena."

"These devices were built in order to replicate real monster battles whenever two players competed in a game of Duel Monsters." Celestia explained. "They were the by-product of a partnership between Industrial Illusions and Kaiba Corporation."

"Kaiba Corporation?" asked Twilight. "Sunset mentioned something about that company before we got inside the museum. But what is this company exactly?"

"Perhaps I might be able to enlighten you with that sort of information." said a voice that sounded both British and feminine. When the others turned to look, they saw that Octavia Melody and her friend Vinyl Scratch had approached them.

"Octavia! Vinyl! Good to see you both again!" Rarity greeted them.

"Same here." said the sunglasses-wearing teen as Rainbow Dash approached her. She and Dash performed a high-five to greet each other. "Always great t' see ya guys again."

Octavia then walked over towards Sunset Shimmer in order to speak with her. "So, how are you feeling, Octavia?" the red and yellow girl asked.

"Much better, actually." the cello player replied. She then said to her, "Ms. Shimmer, I want to properly thank you for helping me when that strange card caused me to act in such an uncouth manner... As much as Vinyl may get on my nerves from time to time, causing harm to her is something I would never want to even THINK of doing..."

"Hey, don't mention it, Octavia." Sunset responded. "I was just doing what anyone else would have done." She then told the sepia-skinned girl, "Anyway, since you're both here, perhaps you can help Twilight out; she's just learning how to play Duel Monsters, and she came to the Duel Museum with us in order to learn more about it. So, do you think that you and Vinyl can lend her a hand?"

"Sure. I suppose that it's the least that I can do for what you've done for me." Octavia replied with a nod. Turning back towards the large box and arena in the room, she then explained, "You see, Twilight, Kaiba Corp is one of the biggest gaming companies in the world. They have created all sorts of gaming platforms, arcade attractions, and even theme parks, all across the globe."

"However," Vinyl butted in, "their biggest-selling products are the virtual devices that are used to play Duel Monsters, such as the Battle Box and Virtual Arena."

"And those Duel Pad things as well?" inquired Twilight.

"Yeah, those too." the electric blue-haired girl confirmed. "Kaiba Corp's partnership with Pegasus's company pretty much brought out the best in both of them, and they became household names in an instant!"

Octavia then went on to tell them all, "The Battle Box and Virtual Arenas were invented by Kaiba Corporation's CEO at the time: Seto Kaiba." She then pointed to another display on the side wall and told the group, "That is a picture of him, on that wall."

The others looked at the detailed mural with wide eyes. The figure in the wall painting appeared to be a teenage boy with short, brown hair. He wore a black shirt and pants, the latter of which was held up with a belt that had the letters "KC" engraved on the buckle. Over top of the outfit, the figure wore a large, white coat with a red-colored velvet interior stitched inside. Strapped onto his left arm was a medium-sized, metallic device. His facial expression and pose showed off a great amount of power and authority.

"Oh wow..." said Fluttershy, trembling a little. "I'm glad that's just a painting... I'd be too scared to move or even speak if Kaiba were really standing there in front of me..."

"I wish I could get the name of his tailor..." Rarity noted. "That outfit is simply ravishing!"

Twilight then looked at the device that Kaiba had on his arm and asked, "Is he wearing a Duel Pad in that picture?"

"You're close, Twi." Applejack answered. "But that thing's actually the D-Pad's predecessor: The Duel Disk."

"Duel... Disk?" asked the young Princess. "But... it doesn't look like a disc at all..."

"No, but the prototype version of the device WAS, in fact, disc-shaped." Octavia told her. Walking over to a long glass case, she then motioned the rest of the group to follow. They all saw that, inside of the case were all sorts of devices that looked similar to the Duel Disk that was painted in the mural.

The cello-player then pointed to the first of the devices, positioned on the far left, showing that it was indeed circular. Several other Duel Disks were in the display as well, including the one painted in the mural. Others included a green-scythe-like one that was called the "Chaos Duel Disk", four rounder Disks that all looked similar to each other, though some had bits of color on certain parts that consisted of either red, yellow, or blue. Next to those four was another Disk that had a more rectangular shape to it, but seemed to operate in a similar manner. Last, but not least, on the far right, was a standard-color Duel Pad, with a Duel Gazer laying next to it.

"All of these varieties of Duel Disks, as well as the Duel Pads that we use today, are all products of Kaiba Corp, and each one is more powerful, more efficient, and more realistic-looking than the last." Octavia told them.

"That's amazing..." Twilight said, staring at the machines in the case. "It's pretty neat to see how something such as this has progressed and evolved over the years..." She then asked, "So... seeing as how that picture of this Kaiba person shows him wearing one of these things, it's safe to assume he was a Duelist, too?"

"You've got it, Twilight." Vinyl answered. "In fact, Kaiba was one of the best Duelists of his time. His specialty was using high-attack monsters to overwhelm his foes in battle. His favorite cards for that job were his famous Blue-Eyes White Dragons. Back then, it was the monster to beat, and not many people were able to defeat it, let alone survive an attack by it."

"Wow..." said Twilight. She then recalled that the outside of the museum that they were in was built to look like the Blue-Eyes, according to Sunset Shimmer. She remembered that just the face of this dragon startled her a little when she first laid eyes on it.

"That being said," Octavia told the group, "there have been a handful of Duelists that were able to not only face the Blue-Eyes in battle, but even managed to vanquish it. And one of those Duelists is being presented in a display in the adjacent room."

"Really?" asked Twilight. "Then I think that we should go and check it out, then."

"That's what I was thinking." Sunset chimed in, agreeing with her inter-dimensional friend.

"Octy and I already looked around that section, so we'll just stay put right here, if that's okay with you guys." Vinyl told them.

"No problem at all." Applejack responded. "After we're all done, y'all wanna meet up with us over at the Food Court? Two other friends of ours are gonna meet us there, and well... the more, the merrier, right?"

"Sure. That's cool with me." the sunglasses-wearing DJ replied. "That cool with you, Tavi?"

"Sounds good to me." Octavia agreed.

"Well, then we'll see y'all later." the farm girl told them. "You two go off n' enjoy yerselves."

"Same to you, Ms. Applejack, and your friends as well." the cello player told them, waving goodbye as they headed off into the next room.

After Twilight, Sunset, and the others left, Vinyl then asked, "Hey, Octy?"

"What is it, Vinyl?"

"I was wonderin'..." the young DJ began, "those guys might be a while in the next room..." She then glanced up at the large Virtual Arena as she spoke. "And since this thing's supposed t' be in perfect working condition, whad'ya say about a Duel with me?"

"A Duel? With you?" asked Octavia in slight surprise. "That sounds like a great idea, seeing as how patrons are permitted to try out the arena free of charge."

"Sweet!" cheered Vinyl. "Then let's get going right away!" In a flash, the electric blue-haired girl ran towards the red podium and the lift carried her all the way up to top. Octavia calmly entered the blue podium on the other side. Before long, some of the students from both Canterlot and Griffonstone took notice and stuck around to watch their game.

The two friends placed their Decks down as the virtual projectors activated automatically. Once they were ready, they both shouted to each other, "Let's Duel!!"

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Twilight and Sunset's group walked into the next section of the museum together, a section that was arguably the most popular area of the facility. And due to the fact that many students and patrons were congregating in this room, it was an assumption that had a lot of merit. Inside the room were three more large exhibits, each one complimented with a gigantic wall painting.

The group of ten strolled over to the nearest display first, where a picture of a short, spiky-haired boy was shown on a portion of the wall right next to it. He had large, youthful eyes, and wore what appeared to be a school uniform, consisting of a shirt and pants that were both colored a deep blue. The boy wore a golden pendent with a small, eye-shaped emblem on the front of it that was connected to a chain around his neck. On his left arm was a Duel Disk that looked just like the one that could be seen in the large mural of Seto Kaiba.

Walking up in front of the large painting on the wall, Celestia told the rest of the group, "To start off our tour of this room, I can think of no better way to do so than by introducing Duel Monsters' first major champion." Gesturing her left hand towards the mural, she then announced, "Students, I present to you The King of Games himself, Yugi Muto!" Sunset and the others oooohed and ahhhhed at the sight of the legendary Duelist pictured before them.

Walking over to the sign posted next to the mural, Luna read off of it, saying, "Back in his generation, Yugi had the makings of a true champion: He was the first Duelist to ever defeat Seto Kaiba in Duel Monsters, as well as the first one to pull off the instant-win combo with the five pieces of Exodia the Forbidden One - both accomplished in the same Duel!"

"Wow... he really beat someone like him?" asked Twilight. "That Kaiba person looked very tough in his picture, but you say that this other guy beat him, just like that?"

"That's right." the Vice Principal answered her. "And it was because of that accomplishment that he was recognized as a strong Duelist by Maximillion Pegasus himself. So strong, that Pegasus personally invited Yugi to compete in one of the biggest Duel Monsters competitions ever thrown: The Duelist Kingdom Tournament."

"Duelist Kingdom?" asked Twilight, interested in learning more.

"The tournament was held on Pegasus's private island; the one that we had mentioned earlier." Rarity told her friend. "The Duelists competed with each other in order to determine who would be able to enter his castle and duel Pegasus himself for the Championship."

"From what I've heard," added Flash Sentry, "the tournament took place all over the island, utilizing a special rule that allowed certain Monster Types to become stronger depending on the field that they battled upon. Many believe that Duelist Kingdom's special field rules would eventually inspire the creation of Field Spell Cards."

"I see..." Twilight noted. She then asked, "And I can only assume that this Yugi person won the whole tournament?"

"He sure did." Sunset answered her. "He made it into the castle and went on to win the finals. Afterwards, he would then compete in an epic Duel against Pegasus. Despite the man's near-limitless knowledge of the game's strategies and overwhelming number of cards at his disposal, even he proved to be no match for Yugi. As a token of his accomplishment, he won the prize money of $200,000. Of course, since Yugi was from Japan, that money would translate into around three million yen. It was also said that Yugi was allowed one request of Pegasus as an additional prize, but what he asked of the man was known only to him and Pegasus."

"Not too long after that," Celestia chimed in, "Yugi would go on to compete in another major Duel Monsters tournament, this time hosted by Seto Kaiba. It was called 'Battle City', because the competition took place all over Yugi's hometown of Domino City. The announcement of the tournament coincided with the release of the first mass-produced Duel Disk system."

"So what was this tournament like?" asked Twilight. "What was the prize for winning?"

"Quite a grand prize..." Luna told her. "Every Duel that took place in Battle City was an Ante Duel, in which each player bet one of their cards before starting the game. And whoever won the Duel was allowed to take the card bet by the loser."

"Wow... those Duels sound pretty rough." said the young Princess.

"They are, Ms. Sparkle." Celestia replied. "Not many Duelists play with an ante rule because there are often discrepancies over which cards are considered to be equal in value. Because of the possibility of fights or arguments involving an Ante Duel, Luna and I saw fit to outlaw those types of Duels on school grounds..." Glancing over at Sunset, the Principal then added, "...WITH the exception of the Duels involving Number Cards that Ms. Shimmer participates in, of course."

"Sounds like a good idea to me." agreed the purple teenager. She then asked, "So what else went on during this tournament?"

"Well, just like in Duelist Kingdom, players had to compete against one another in order to earn a spot in the Battle City Finals." Luna explained. "Only eight Duelists would get that honor, and the road to the finals was not an easy one. Especially because many of the competitors were not exactly... well, 'honorable' Duelists."

"How so?" asked Twilight.

"Because those competitors were members of a criminal organization called 'The Rare Hunters' or 'Ghouls'." answered Celestia. "They were called Rare Hunters because they were expert thieves that would, and could, steal all sorts of rare items to sell illegally on the Black Market. As for why they had gotten their other identity as Ghouls, it was because their tactics for stealing rare items often involved considerably despicable acts."

"However, of all the items that they had been known to steal, rare Duel Monsters cards were their favorite targets." Luna added. "As for why this is so, many believe that, due to the overall smaller size of the cards, they were easy to obtain and transport, not to mention being virtually untraceable. But they didn't stop there; they were also known to create counterfeit cards to flood the markets and make them even more money, while also hurting the gaming industry as a whole."

"That's horrible...!" gasped the young Princess. "It's scary to think that there are individuals that want to do something so terrible just to earn a quick bit!"

"You said it, Twi." Rainbow Dash said with a nod. But then she smiled and added, "Luckily, after Yugi defeated their leader, Marik, at the end of the Battle City Finals, the Rare Hunters were totally disbanded. Since then, they've never been heard from again."

"That's a relief..." said Fluttershy, still trembling a little after hearing about the Rare Hunters.

"Not only did Yugi succeed in disbanding the Rare Hunters by winning the Battle City Tournament," Celestia told them, "but he also was able to obtain the three rarest, and still most powerful, cards in the entire game: The Egyptian God Cards."

"God Cards?" asked Twilight. "What are they?"

Applejack walked over to a large computer touchscreen that was set up near the mural of Yugi. "You can learn more about 'em over here, by scanning through Yugi's Virtual Deck." she told the purple teen.

"Virtual Deck?" the young Princess inquired.

"It lets y'all look through a Duelist's entire Deck and see what they used back then." the farm girl answered her friend. "Using this system to showcase a Duelist's Deck is much safer than havin' the ACTUAL Deck on display; there was a report that Yugi's Deck had once been stolen from an event held at one'a the Duel Academy schools, an' since then, the Virtual Deck System was set up so that nothin' like that would ever happen a second time."

"Makes sense to me, I suppose." agreed Twilight. "After all, if were I Yugi, I probably wouldn't like to hear that my whole Deck had been stolen..." Walking over to the screen, she then asked, "Okay, so where are these God Cards on here?"

"Here, lemme help ya out..." the orange-skinned girl said, walking over beside her Princess friend and tapping on the screen. After a while, the images of three cards showed up on the computer display: Their names were Obelisk the Tomentor, Slifer the Sky Dragon, and The Winged Dragon of Ra.

The rest of the group walked over in order to take a look at the digital versions of the one-of-a-kind God Cards. "Oh my..." said Rarity in astonishment. "They're absolutely amazing...!"

"Yeah..." agreed Rainbow Dash. "What I wouldn't give to have even just ONE of those cards in my Deck..."

"Even though they're just digital scans of the real cards," Sunset chimed in, "I can still feel a great amount of power just by looking at them..."

"So what happened to the cards?" asked Twilight. "Are they still with Yugi?"

"Some think so." Celestia answered. "Others say that Industrial Illusions reclaimed them in order to study their powers. Others say that the cards were eventually destroyed... But no one knows for sure which rumor is true, if any of them."

"What IS crystal-clear is that, God Cards or no God Cards, Yugi was one of the best Duelists of his time, perhaps one of the best overall." Luna added. "He essentially became the perfect example of what the ultimate Duelist should be: Strong, smart, but above all else, having faith in their cards and always believing that no challenege is too difficult to overcome."

"Wow... that's pretty inspiring." noted the young Princess. "And he also sounds like he would make for a good friend, too."

Celestia then led the group away from the exhibit of Yugi Moto and told them, "Yugi's legendary Duels inspired many others to follow in his footsteps, and that reason, among many others, is why the Duel Academies were built. They, too, were a product of Kaiba Corporation, and the idea for them came from Seto Kaiba himself." Stopping next to another mural, she then said, "Attending one of the first Duel Academy schools was another legendary Duelist. And his name was-"

"Jaden Yuki!" interrupted a young-sounding voice. Sunset's group looked over at where the voice had come from, seeing that it had come from a young boy with brown skin and dark orange hair with peach-colored streaks. He wore a red and white-colored beanie on his head with a little green propeller on the top of it. He wore a black shirt that showed what appeared to be pixel art of a man brandishing a powerful whip while fighting against a vampire, along with a pair of jeans and sneakers.

"Hiya, Button Mash!" greeted Pinkie Pie. "Good to see you!" Looking at his shirt, she then asked him, "Oooooh!! Is that a Castlevania T-shirt?"

"Uh huh!" replied Button. "It's one of my favorites! Yesterday, I was wearing my Gradius shirt, so I figured that I'd go with this one today."

"No way! You have a Gradius shirt?!" asked Pinkie excitedly. "I've never even SEEN one before!! You've gotta show it to me someday!"

"Um... hate to interrupt," Rainbow Dash began, "buuuuuut are we gonna continue the tour here, or are you guys just gonna sit there n' geek out all day?"

Realizing that they were holding up the others, Pinkie Pie and Button Mash stopped their conversation short. "Oopsie... sorry, Dashie." the pink girl told her while rubbing the back of her head in slight embarrassment. "You know I just can't help myself sometimes..."

Sunset walked over to Button Mash and said to him, "I had a feeling that you'd be over here at this exhibit, considering who that exhibit's about." Looking up at the wall mural, they saw a picture of another young boy with short, brown hair. He wore a red blazer and light grey pants, complimented with a pair of red and black shoes. On his arm was a Duel Disk that looked differently from the one Yugi and Kaiba had on in their paintings. It had a much rounder, smoother appearence to it, and there were parts along the rims that were red in color instead of silver, like the rest of it.

"You know it!" Button replied. "Out of all the Duelists out there, Jaden Yuki's my favorite! I know just about everything about him!"

"Oh you do, do you?" asked Luna with a smile. "In that case, perhaps YOU'D like to talk about him and enlighten us all about your favorite Duelist?"

"Sure, Vice Principal Luna!" the little boy replied. Turning back over to the mural, he then told them all. "Jaden Yuki attended one of the very first Duel Academies that Kaiba built. He got in by winning an entrance exam Duel, in which his opponent was actually one of the strongest Duel Instructors that worked there!"

"You mean... he managed to defeat a teacher at the school he was trying to get into at the time?" asked Twilight. "That's incredible!"

"I think so too!" said Button Mash excitedly. "Jaden was able to get into the school, and from there, he began winning Duels left and right, even managing to do well against some of the highest-ranked Duelists in the world! The way he used those Elemental HERO cards, the way he was able to think quickly on his feet every time he competed in a Duel; it's reasons like those that made me want to learn more about him and become a great Duelist, too!"

Looking at some of the items in the glass case next to the painting, which included a circular, golden pendent, along with what appeared to be a key of some sort, Luna then asked, "Say... about this Jaden person; wasn't he involved in some of the incedents that arose at that Duel Academy? I seem to remember some things about Sacred Beast Cards... or something called the, 'Society of Light'..."

"I've heard about them, too..." noted Fluttershy. "What are they about...? If you don't mind me asking..."

"Oh yeah, those things. Yeah, he was there at the time." answered Button Mash. Looking at a sign posted in the exhibit, he told them, "According to reports by the school's chancellor, a group of shady Duelists had invaded the island in order to claim a set of cursed Duel Monsters cards, known as the Sacred Beasts. The cards' magic was so great, they had to be sealed deep under the school and locked up tight. Although the group's leader had managed to release the Sacred Beasts temporarily, Jaden was able to defeat them and prevent their powers from causing harm to the world."

"Sounds interesting..." said Flash.

"What about the other thing that Luna had mentioned?" asked Rarity. "That light society thing, I mean."

"Well, apparently, there was this really strange man that was putting together some sort weird cult or something that he called the Society of Light." Button Mash answered. "According to rumors, he was trying to brainwash the whole school or whatever to eventually take over the world, or something like that."

"Hmmm... brainwashing every student at school with a weird magic spell in a plot to take over the world..." thought Rainbow Dash. Glancing over at Sunset, she added, "Now doesn't sound sorta famil-"

"Don't even start..." Sunset replied, a little miffed at Rainbow's comment.

"I'm just messin' with ya..." the cyan girl told her. "Lighten up a little, already." The red and yellow girl just groaned a little in response.

Button Mash then continued talking, telling the group, "Anyway, this weirdo tried to hijack an entire space satellite so that he could take over the minds of lots and lots of people! But Jaden used his Elemental HEROs to stop his plans and rid the guy of the power that controlled him! Or something like that."

"What happened after that?" asked Twilight.

"Well, from what I've heard," the boy replied, "at some point, Jaden had decided to drop out of the academy in order to travel around the world. But although he had never officially graduated from Duel Academy, he earned a reputation as one of the most powerful Duelsits of all time, inspiring a lot of new players to try playing Duel Monsters, just like Yugi did before!" Looking back over at the mural of Jaden, he added, "And I wanna be just like him one day!"

"That's perfectly fine and all," Celestia told Button Mash, "but just make sure that you don't emulate his study routine... or rather, the lack thereof."

"Uh, yes Principal Celestia..." Button responded, nodding his head.

"So where to next?" Twilight then asked the Principals.

"Well, there's one more famous Duelist to talk about in this room," stated Luna, "and he's right nearby this exhibit. If you would please follow my sister and I, we can continue on." The rest of the group nodded and said goodbye to Button Mash before heading to the next display.

Sunset and the others stopped in front of one more wall painting; the third one in the room. The mural was of a young man with spiky, black hair with yellow streaks. He wore a blue jacket with orange shoulder pads over top of a black shirt with a red circle design printed upon it. He wore a pair of navy blue pants, with orange knee pads sewn onto them, along with a pair of brown boots. On his face was a yellow line mark that rand down from his left eye all the way down to the left side of his chin. Just like in the murals of Kaiba, Yugi, and Jaden, this person also wore a Duel Disk. While it looked similar to ones that Kaiba and Yugi wore, there were a few notable differences, as if it had been slightly modified. Behind the young man was a large, red motorcycle that was quite impressive-looking.

"Students," Celestia began, "this exhibit is about one of the more relatively recent Duel Monsters champions, and I'm sure that a few of you here might already know who he is..."

"Well, duh... of COURSE we know that guy." said Rainbow Dash. "I mean, who HASN'T heard of Yusei Fudo, the greatest Turbo Duelist of all time?"

"Turbo Duelist?" asked Twilight. "What's that?"

"Well, durin' Yusei's time in the spotlight," Applejack explained to her purple friend, "a new type of Duelin' was introduced." Pointing to the object behind Yusei Fudo in the mural, she asked Twilight, "Y'all see that big motorbike in the picture?"

Twilight nodded her head yes to say that she did.

"That thing-a-ma-jigger's called a Duel Runner, or a D-Wheel as they're also known by." the farm girl answered. "Y'see, durin' a Turbo Duel, Duelists drive these motorcycles at super-high speeds, while at the same time playin' their cards and attackin' their opponents."

"So," the young Princess began to ask curiously, "you're saying that people were playing card games on motorcycles?"

"CARD GAMES ON MOTORCYCLES!!" Pinkie suddenly screamed in an excited tone. Everyone else, including the other patrons that were looking around, just stared at her. Once she realized that everyone had their eyes on her, Pinkie then blushed a little and said, quietly, "Um... sorry about that. You were saying, AJ?"

"Um.... yeah, anyway... as Ah were sayin'." Applejack continued, "the Duel Runners provided some of the most realistic Duelin' experiences ever designed at the time. Usin' a power called Ener-D, they could focus that energy into their monsters' attacks, creating a force known as 'Sense'. This Sense power increased the impact of the Duelist's attacks, among other things. But it's difficult to explain exactly what Sense is, since that power behaves differently for each Turbo Duelist."

"I see..." Twilight responded. Pointing to the picture, the young Princess then asked, "So how did this Yusei guy get into it?"

"Well, it's actually very interesting." Celestia answered her. "Yusei Fudo's journey towards becoming a legendary Duelist was a literal rags-to-riches story."

Picking up from where her sister left off, Luna told the group, "Yusei grew up in an area known as Satellite, a slum area that was located not far from New Domino City. Of course, as you would expect from the more well-off citizens of the city, they did not think too highly of the people in Satellite, considering them to be second-class... or perhaps even lower."

"Well, that doesn't sound fair at all..." Twilight noted. "Why should anyone be looked down upon or hated just simply because of where they were born and raised?"

"Well, Yusei thought that it wasn't fair either." Celestia told her. "So he made it his mission to end that prejudice forever and give the people of Satellite hope for the future. And his powerful Deck and Duel Runner were the means to achieve that lofty goal."

"Yusei gained a reputation as the strongest Duelist in all of Satellite." Sunset Shimmer told her inter-dimensional friend. "No one could beat him, not even the Sector Security agents that patrolled the slums. With the power of his Deck and his Duel Runner, Yusei was able to expose the reason why the higher-ups in New Domino were oppressing the citizens of Satellite."

"And what was that reason?" asked Twilight.

"Well, apparently, there were these sinister Duelists that called themselves the 'Dark Signers'." answered Luna. "They established themselves as the mortal enemies of original Signers, who wielded the powers of six dragons."

"Wait, I remember:" the purple teen interrupted. "Celestia had mentioned something about that a short while ago, when we saw that statue in the foyer."

"That's correct, Ms. Sparkle." the light-pink woman told her. "Yusei's Stadust Dragon was proof that he was one of the Signers, who had direct access to a legendary power, which also took the form of a dragon: The Crimson Dragon."

"It was the power of the Signers, their dragon servants, and the might of the Crimson Dragon that had defeated the Dark Signers' titanic beasts, the Earthbound Immortals." Luna then explained. "These horrible creatures, and their dark power, lay hidden underneath the town of Satellite for years. Some even say the door to the Netherworld had been formed there as the result of an accident that caused a great amount of destruction." Smiling, she added, "But luckily, thanks to Yusei and his allies, the Dark Signers were defeated and the whole world was saved from the threat of the Earthbound Immortals."

"And because of his heroism," Celestia chimed in, "Yuesi became highly respected by both Satellite and New Domino, and the prejudices between the two cites was over at last. A good thing, too: Because he would need their support to combat other threats that would plague the city, such as the terrible Meklord Emperors and their masters... And a being that was known only as Z-ONE."

"That sounds amazing..." said Twilight.

"And inspiring." Rarity added. "Yusei showed the whole world that anyone has the potential to do good and become a success. Where you were born, or what your background is, are not factors that determine who can become great and who cannot. It's what you are on the inside that truly matters."

"I can certainly agree with that." said the young Princess. Looking up at the three murals of Yugi, Jaden, and Yusei, she then told her friends, "I'm glad that I was able to come and see this place, as well get into playing Duel Monsters. After learning about the game and the people that made it so great, I'm even more excited to start playing it again!"

"Glad t' hear ya say that." Applejack said to her. "Even though people may think of Duel Monsters as just another card game, or a way for someone t' make quick cash, to many people, especially these three Duelists, it meant a whole lot more. They saw the true magic n' passion of the cards in every Duel they competed in or witnessed."

"You've got that right, Applejack." Sunset responded, agreeing with her orange friend. "And not only that, they always did their best to enjoy every Duel they played... even the ones where the world's fate was dependent on the outcome. And I like to believe that those thoughts are the reason that they became the legends they were meant to be."

Just then, the entire group began hearing grumbling sounds coming from nearby. They all looked around, but couldn't find anything. Then, when the sounds emerged again, they all looked over at Fluttershy, who was clutching onto her stomach. Looking up at all of the others, she said in her usual shy tone, "Um... I'm sorry... I guess I'm a little hungry, that's all... I haven't had much to eat yet today..."

"Yeah, me neither." stated Flash Sentry. "I could go for a quick bite to eat right now, myself."

"In that case, why don't we all head over to the Food Court?" Celestia suggested, glancing at her watch. "After all, it is around lunchtime right now."

"Sounds good to me, Sister." Luna agreed. She then asked the students, "What do all of you say to that idea?"

"I say let's go right now!" Rainbow Dash replied.

"First thing I'm gonna do is find the All-You-Can-Eat Dessert Buffet!" cheered Pinkie Pie, eager to get some food in her belly. "Let's go!!" The rest of the group nodded and headed out of the room that they were in.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

The gang of ten eventually made their way to the Duel Museum's Food Court, where many of the students had gathered together in order to have lunch with each other. There were all sorts of stands selling many different types of food and drinks. Finding a pair of large, circular tables, the group sat down, taking turns to head off towards the food stands to get something to eat. Sunset, Twilight, and Fluttershy got an extra-large garden salad at one of the stands to enjoy together. Applejack and Pinkie Pie headed over towards the All-You-Can-Eat Dessert Buffet table and each got something from there; Applejack got herself a slice of apple pie (naturally) to go along with a six-inch sub sandwich with ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pepper that she picked up earlier. Pinkie, on the other hand, got herself SEVERAL slices of different flavors of pie, including (but not limited to) cherry, blueberry, lemon meringue, pumpkin, pecan, and even rhubarb.

Applejack, holding her tray full of food, which also included a cup of pink lemonade, looked over at her pink friend and asked her, "Um, how're y'all managin' to carry all eleven of them pie plates at once?" The silly girl had one plate in each of her hands, one on top of her head, and the remaining eight she balanced on her her arms; four plates on each of them.

"Years of practice, AJ. Years of practice..." Pinkie told her, not offering much more explanation than that.

Rainbow Dash was in a hurry to have something to eat, so she got a quick meal of two hot dogs, fries, and a bottle of water at the hot dog stand. Rarity got herself a plate of pasta with rich tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese, topped off with a sprig of parsley on top. Flash Sentry got himself a ham and steak sandwich from the same sandwich stand that Applejack had gotten some of her food from earlier, while Celestia decided to have something small, settling for bowl of vegetable soup with some Italian bread on the side. Luna, however, was in the mood for something a bit bigger, ordering a pair of Sloppy Joes for herself.

Celestia glanced over at her the meal her sister chose and asked her, "You really got that, Luna? Doesn't that seem a bit much?"

"Of course I did." the dark-blue woman said, answering the question in a tone that made it seem as if the answer was obvious. "What I wish to ask is why you only ordered a tiny bowl of soup and nothing else."

"Well, we can't ALL be able to eat as much as we want and still have a small waistline..." the light-pink woman replied, hinting a little at the fact that she was a bit jealous of her younger sister being able to do just that.

Once everyone had sat down with their meals, Sunset then said to Twilight, "I'm glad that you liked coming to the Duel Museum as much as we did." Taking a quick bite from the salad that she was sharing with Fluttershy and the young Princess, she then added, "And I can tell from your face alone that you're really that psyched to Duel again as you said you were."

"I sure am!" Twilight answered before taking a bite of the salad herself. "I'm still not sure how well I'll do in my next game, but I'm determined to keep at it until I can be the best that I can be!"

"That's great to hear, darling." Rarity said to the purple girl. "And as long as you remember to enjoy yourself during that time, that's all that really matters."

"Of course, Twilight'll HAVE to start winning soon if she plans on stopping those meanie Number cards from causing a world crisis!" Pinkie Pie noted.

"Pinkie, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it." Applejack informed her. "No sooner. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to not put any pressure on Twi before she starts duelin' again."

"Oh... I'm sorry." the pink girl replied, twiddling her thumbs.

"It's okay, Pinkie Pie." Twilight told her. "I was nervous about that sort of thing even without you mentioning it... But I don't think I really need to worry about something like that too much. I mean, yeah, it'll be scary once I finally go up against somepo- er, somebody with a Number card, but I can't let something like that frighten me from trying. I just have to remember everything I learned here today, and what I learned from hearing about all those powerful Duelists; no matter how tough a situation may seem, I have to find the courage to push forward and believe that I can do it."

Fluttershy smiled a bit and said to her, "That's what everyone else told me when I had to compete in the Inter-school Duel; I was scared at first, but I was able to tough it out, thanks to all of the support my friends and the rest of the school gave to me... And I know that you'll do the same, Twilight. And we'll all be right there with you, to face these things together..."

"Thanks, Fluttershy." the young Princess told her, smiling as well. "That means a lot."

At that moment, five other people showed up at their tables to meet with the group. They were none other than the other people that Sunset and the others had talked to during their tour: Gilda, Martin, Vinyl, Octavia, and Button Mash. "Hey, guys... we're here." Gilda told them all. "Sorry it took us a while; Martin wanted to be sure that I got all the notes I needed from the exhibit that we were at."

"It's true..." the Griffonstone freshman replied, rubbing the back of his head.

"Eh, no big deal." Rainbow Dash told them casually. "All that matters is that ya got here. So sit down already." The five of them nodded and joined the others at their tables.

Luna then glanced over at Vinyl and Octavia, who had sat down next to her and Celestia. "I noticed that, as we were leaving," the Vice Principal began to tell the up-and-coming DJ, "you and Ms. Melody had a Duel. How did it go?"

"...Don't ask." Vinyl grumbled softly.

"Oh, don't be a sore loser, Vinyl. It doesn't make you look good." Octavia told her.

"Easy for you to say; you whupped me." the electric blue-haired girl responded. "How the heck Sunset beat you last time, I'll never know..."

Gilda sat next to Rainbow Dash and said to her, "Hey Dash, I nearly forgot to remind ya with everything's that's happened..."

"Remind me of what?" asked the cyan teen, taking a sip from her water bottle.

"Well, if you click on your D-Pad, they're gonna show the live stream of the Regional Turbo Duel Finals right now." the Griffonstone girl told her.

Rainbow Dash nearly gagged a bit on the water that she had been drinking after hearing that. "Aw crud! I forgot about that!!" she exclaimed. "I marked it on my calendar so that I wouldn't forget to watch it!" In a hurry, she got out her Duel Pad and switched it on.

"Turbo Duel Finals?" asked Twilight.

"Yeah, they're going on right now as we speak." Sunset told her. "Why don't we all check it out and pass the time?"

"Sounds good to me." stated Celestia as she got out her Duel Pad, which was different from most of the others, as it was oval-shaped instead of rectangular, as well as being orange in color. Luna got out her oval-shaped D-Pad as well; hers was navy blue-colored.

"Sure, it might take my mind off of getting beat in a Duel earlier..." Vinyl Scratch said as she and Octavia switched on their Duel Pads, along with everyone else. After a few minutes, everyone had the tournament live stream displayed on their screens.

"Alright! We didn't miss anything!" Rainbow said happily. "They're just gettin' started right now!" The others watched their screens to watch the Duel that would soon take place.

"Ladies and Gentlemen!" the announcer declared loudly to the audience in attendance. "Welcome, one and all, to Cloudsdale Stadium here in our own city of Canterlot! In just a few minutes, the Regional Turbo Duel Finals will begin! It has been an epic tournament so far, but of the thirty-two competitors that participated here, only two remain!"

On the large racetrack in the center of the gigantic stadium, there were two people, each standing next to an elaborate-looking motorcycle. The first one was a young man with sky-blue skin, just like Rainbow Dash's skin color. He had short, dark blue hair and bright green eyes. He wore racing gear that was mostly blue and decorated with yellow lightning bolts, along with an emblem of a smaller lightning bolt with white wings attached to it. He had on a pair of cobalt-blue finger-less gloves and a pair of black shoes. He carried a dark-blue helmet that had the same winged bolt emblem on either side of it, along with a wing-like protrusion put on top of it. His motorcycle, which was the same color as he was, had the appearance of a Pegasus, with a horse head on the front, a pair of large wings on the side, and a tail on the back end.

"Presenting, on the right," the announcer said, referring to the sky-blue man, "we have a dynamite Duelist who aced his way through the tournament with little trouble. Not surprisingly, this young man has become the favorite to win the competition. So let's all give a warm, Cloudsdale Stadium welcome to Soarin, member of the elite Turbo Dueling team, the Wonderbolts!!" The audience cheered loudly to show their support for him.

Next to Soarin was another young man with crimson-red skin and short, blond hair. He had a bandage underneath his left eye, and wore a blue and white-colored jacket, along with a pair of blue jeans and white sneakers with red on the soles. He stood next to a mostly-red motorcycle, though it wasn't as highly decorated as Soarin's. The red male seemed to scowl a little at his opponent as the announcer continued. "On the left is his opponent, hailing from Skyes Duel Academy... I present to you the Dueling Jock, Chet!" There was an applause from the audience, but it was nowhere near the praise that Soarin had gotten, making the red-colored man grumble a bit.

Soarin then looked over at his opponent and said to him, "So... you ready to get this going? Or are ya gonna turn tail and run?"

"Grrrrr... I ain't gonna run from someone like you, Soarin!" Chet told him angrily. "And after I whup you in this Duel, I'LL be the one getting all that praise from the audience instead!"

Soarin sighed a bit and told him, "Look, you may think you're hot stuff, but Dueling's much more about the passion for the game than about getting fame and fortune. I've fought lots of people like you in the past, Dueling only for their own selfish reasons, but none of them could ever beat me."

"Pffft! What-EVER, buddy." replied the red-skinned male, not really caring about what his opponent had to say. "Let's just get this goin'! I've got a Duel to win!"

The sky-blue Duelist sighed and said to him, "Suit yourself..." The two of them then put their helmets on and got onto their motorcycles.

Soarin then pressed a button on his vehicle, causing a tray similar to the ones seen on the Duel Pads to emerge. "Duel Mode Engaged..." said a female-sounding computerized voice. A screen then lit up, showing a digital display of the opposing field. Chet then did the same on his vehicle.

"The Duelists have engaged their Duel Runners and are ready to start!" the announcer declared. "So let's get this Duel started!!"

"DUEL!!" shouted both Soarin and Chet as they revved up their bikes and zoomed forward.

"In this Turbo Duel, just like with all of the others in this tournament," explained the announcer, "the Duelist who reaches the red line before the first turn gets to make the first move! And it appears that these two are fighting tooth-and-nail just to take the initiative!"

It was true: Both Chet and Soarin were neck-and-neck as they approached the red-painted line ahead of them. In the end, Chet managed to pull ahead and cross the line first. "Looks like I've got the first move!" chuckled the red-skinned Duelist (Chet: LP 4,000).

"Hmmm, not bad." Soarin replied casually. "I'll have to admit: you're pretty fast on that thing." (Soarin: LP 4,000)

(Grrrr... he's still messing with me!) thought Chet. (I take the lead, and he doesn't seem like he could care less!) Grumbling, he then shouted, "Whatever! After I smash you into the pavement, maybe THEN I'll get the respect I deserve!"

(Don't worry, you'll get that. I guarantee it...) Soarin thought, smirking a little.

Looking over his hand, Chet then announced, "I'll kick things off by Summoning X-Head Cannon in Attack Mode!!" The red Duelist's first monster was a blue and yellow-colored robot that floated in the air, wielding a pair of strong cannons (X-Head Cannon: Level 4 / ATK 1800 / DEF 1500).

"Then, I'll play the Continuous Spell, Frontline Base!" Chet then told to his opponent. "Now once per turn, I can Special Summon one Union Monster from my hand that's Level 4 or lower!" Taking out another card from his hand, he then said, "So now I'll bring out my Y-Dragon Head!!" His second monster was a red-colored dragon robot that flew through the air on its lightweight metal wings (Y-Dragon Head: Level 4 / ATK 1500 / DEF 1600).

(Ah... so this is your strategy... I see.) thought Soarin.

"And now I'll Summon Z-Metal Tank!!" Chet shouted, putting a third monster card onto the field. This robot was also robotic in appearance, colored yellow with a small body attached to a pair of large tank treads (Z-Metal Tank: Level 4 / ATK 1500 / DEF 1300).

"Wait a second," said Twilight as they watched the Duel on their Duel Pads, "how did he do that? I thought you can only Normal Summon once per turn."

"In a normal ground Duel, yes." stated Gilda. "But in a Turbo Duel, there's a special rule that allows the player that's in the lead to Normal Summon twice each turn."

"That's right, Ms. Gilda." Celestia chimed in. "That's one of the reasons why expert use of the Duel Runner is equally as important in a Turbo Duel as the actual Duel itself." Twilight found the information very interesting as she continued to watch the game.

"And now, I banish my three Machine monsters in order to Summon my ace card!!" Chet shouted as he removed the three monsters he had just Summoned and placed them into his deck box. "XYZ-Dragon Cannon!! Crush this wimp into dust!!"

The red Duelist's three monsters then docked onto on another, connecting to each other and combining their individual powers into a single, super-powerful entity. After their merging, a pair of cannons came out of Z-Metal Tank, ready to fire at anything that moved and turn it into vapor.

*******************************

XYZ-Dragon Cannon
(Fusion-Effect Monster/Machine-Type/LIGHT/Level 8/ATK 2800/DEF 2600)

"X-Head Cannon" + "Y-Dragon Head" + "Z-Metal Tank"
Must first be Special Summoned (from your Extra Deck) by banishing the above cards you control. (You do not use "Polymerization".) Cannot be Special Summoned from the Graveyard. You can discard 1 card, then target 1 card your opponent controls; destroy that target.

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"And there it is!!" shouted the announcer. "The monster that helped carry Chet all the way to the Finals, and he managed to Summon it right on his first turn!"

"Yeesh, buddy... going all-out right from the get go?" asked Soarin. "Didn't anyone tell you that patience is a virtue?"

"Say what ya want, jerk... but this Duel's mine!" Taking a card from his hand, the red-skinned Duelist announced, "I equip my Dragon Cannon with the Gravity Blaster Spell Card!" After playing the card, a pair of silvery-gray blasters attached themselves onto each of his Fusion Monster's cannons. "Now, once per turn, I can raise my Dragon Cannon's attack power by 400 permanently! Which I'll do right now!" At that moment, the blasters energized his monster with bolts of orange light, making it more powerful (XYZ-Dragon Cannon: ATK 2800 + 400 = 3200). "Now just TRY and get past him, buddy!" Chet taunted.

"Heh... better watch what you wish for, kid." Soarin warned his opponent while keeping his smile. "You just might get it." He then placed his fingers on his Deck, ready to draw. "It's my turn!" he shouted as he drew his card.

(Peheheh... not even a Wonderbolt can take down my Dragon Cannon, especially since I got it out right on my first turn!) Chet thought, feeling oh-so-sure of himself. (This game's over!)

Soarin looked at the card he drew (Hmmm... Ego Boost...) he thought to himself. He then looked at the rest of his opening hand and said to himself, (With this hand I can... Yes! I can!) Placing his drawn card into his hand, he took out a different one and said, "First, I play the Spell Card One for One, which lets me Special Summon a Level 1 monster from my hand or Deck by sending another monster from my hand to the Graveyard!" After sending one of his cards to the Graveyard, he then announced, "I Summon the Tuner Monster, Jet Synchron from my Deck!"

Soarin's first monster was a white-colored jet rocket that flew down from the skies above before taking its place besides Soarin's Duel Runner. The cone attached to the front of the engine's turbine had a pair of red eyes, and even had a pair of arms and legs built onto it, which folded out once it showed up on the track (Jet Synchron: Level 1 / ATK 500 / DEF 0).

"So what? That puny thing can't fight my Dragon Cannon!" Chet informed his foe.

"Yeah, but my monsters never fight alone!" Soarin told him. Taking out another card from his hand, the sky-blue Duelist shouted, "I Summon another Tuner! Come on out, Junk Synchron!!"

A second monster then emerged from a blue portal that materialized itself beside Soarin. It wore orange armor and what appeared to be a pair of glasses. A white scarf was around its neck, and it had a "hat" that appeared to actually be a discarded metal pot (Junk Synchron: Level 3 / ATK 1300 / DEF 500).

"After Junk Synchron is Normal Summoned," Soarin explained, "his effect lets me revive one Level 2 or below monster from my Graveyard!"

"But that won't work!" Chet argued. "I couldn't have possibly sent any of your monsters to the Graveyard yet! It's only the first turn!"

"Hmmm, you don't get it, do you?" asked the sky-blue Duelist. "Did you forget that I had to send one of my monsters to the Graveyard in order to activate One for One?"

"Urk!" The red male had forgotten that his opponent had done that earlier, or more accurately, wasn't really paying much attention.

Pulling out a card that emerged from his Graveyard slot, Soarin shouted, "I Special Summon Speed Warrior in Defense Mode!" After placing the card on the field, a violet portal formed next to Junk Synchron. Out of the portal came a man wearing silver armor and racing on a pair of inline skates (Speed Warrior: Level 2 / ATK 900 / DEF 400).

"No way!" Chet gasped, not believing what was happening. "You got three monsters out, too?!"

"Yeesh, buddy... what d'ya take me for?" Soarin asked rhetorically. "I'm not even close to being done yet!" Looking at his hand once more, he then added, "Since I've got a Junk monster out on my field, I can bring out THIS guy! Go, Junk Servant!!"

The sky-blue man's fourth monster was a short, red-armored person (its gender wasn't known). It emerged onto the field, placing itself besides Junk Synchron (Junk Servant: Level 4 / ATK 1500 / DEF 1000).

"Unbelievable!" shouted the announcer. "Soarin was trailing behind when this started, but now he's managed to Summon even MORE monsters than Chet has! I'd be worried if I were him!"

"Yeah! He's gonna do it!" cheered Rainbow Dash, getting excited.

"Uh, what IS he going to do?" asked Twilight.

"Just watch." Sunset instructed her. "You're about to get your first look at a Synchro Summon!"

"Synchro-what?" asked the purple teen.

Pointing up into the air, Soarin then cried out, "I tune Jet Synchron, Level 1, to Junk Servant, Level 4!!" The jet engine monster then began to glow as it transformed into a small, white light that flew into the air, coming back down as a green ring that surrounded the other monster. It then transformed into four more balls of light within the ring (Level 1 + Level 4 = Level 5). "Clustering stars fuel the jets that pierce the heavens! Become the path its light shines upon!" chanted Soarin. "Synchro Summon!! Come forth! Level 5! Jet Warrior!!"

The ring and light spheres were then engulfed by a column of light. When the light vanished, a monster with black armor now appeared on the sky-blue Duelist's field. It looked very much like a small jet plane, having a pair of smaller jet engines instead of one larger one. It's arms and legs looked much stronger than Jet Synchron's and it seemed more than capable of battle (Jet Warrior: Level 5 / ATK 2100 / DEF 1200).

"Hmph, that guy's nothin'!" Chet told his enemy. "His attack points are way lower than my monster's!"

"That doesn't matter, because I'm using Jet Warrior's effect!" Soarin informed his opponent. "By successfully Synchro Summoning him, I can target any card you've got on the field and return it to your Deck!"

"HUH?!? What'd you say?!" asked the red-skinned Duelist, shocked.

"I'll use the effect to send your XYZ-Dragon Cannon back to your Extra Deck!!" Soarin declared. In an instant, Jet Warrior flew up in front of Chet's powerful monster and revved its turbines in reverse, sending high-speed gusts of wind towards it. Despite its weight, the wind was powerful enough to blow it right off of the track and out of sight. As a result, the card it was equipped with was destroyed and sent to the Graveyard, leaving nothing left on Chet's side of the field.

"Aw, C'MON!! I just Summoned him!!" the red-skinned Duelist complained with a slight whine.

"That's how things go in the Pro Leagues, kid." Soarin informed him. "But I'm not quite finished yet!" Raising his hand into the air again, he shouted, "Now I tune Junk Synchron, Level 3, to Speed Warrior, Level 2!!"

Junk Synchron then grabbed a small, green handle built onto its armor and pulled the cord it was attached to. This caused the monster to glow and transform into a trio of lights. They flew up into the air and came back down as three green rings that surrounded Speed Warrior and turned it into a pair of light spheres (Level 3 + Level 2 = Level 5).

"Gathering wishes, pool into my engines and propel us towards victory!" the sky-blue male chanted. "Race towards our dream with unparalleled speed! Synchro Summon!! Accelerate! Level 5! Accel Synchron!!"

Once more, a column of light emerged and out of it came a red motorcycle that rode beside Soarin's Duel Runner. Twilight looked at the second motorcycle and saw that it looked EXACTLY like the one in the painting of Yusei Fudo. Then, the bike jumped into the air and transformed into a robotic creature, forming arms and legs, with parts of the motorcycle becoming its armor. It then floated in the air beside its controller, ready for action (Accel Synchron: Level 5 / ATK 500 / DEF 2100).

"Another Synchro Monster..." said Chet, sweating a little. Shaking off his uneasiness for a moment, he then said to his foe, "So what?! Even if they both attack, I'll still have some Life Points left!"

"That's where you're wrong, kid." Soarin told him, still smirking. "I've still got one more move to make, and it'll show you just how much difference there is between our skill levels!" Pointing to his newly-Summoned monster, he then explained to his opponent, "You see, Accel Synchron is a very rare type of card; it's not just a Synchro Monster... it's ALSO a Tuner Monster!"

"What?! That can't be!!" protested Chet.

"Oh my goodness..." Octavia said as she and the others watched. "A Tuner Synchro Monster... I've heard of them, but I have never SEEN one before..."

"Simply astonishing...!" Rarity added, also in awe. "What does he plan on doing with it, I wonder?"

"Just watch, guys; you'll see." Rainbow Dash told them all.

"Now..." began Soarin, "I tune Accel Synchron, Level 5, to Jet Warrior, also Level 5!!" The motorcycle monster then transformed itself back into its vehicle mode and sped forward, glowing with an intense light. It then split into five pink-colored lights that shot ahead in what seemed like an instant. After that, five red rings came from BEHIND Soarin, surrounding his other Synchro Monster, making it appear as if the lights did a lap around the world in only two seconds. Jet Warrior then began glowing a bright red before splitting into five small, white lights as well (Level 5 + Level 5 = Level 10).

Chet looked behind him and saw that his opponent was right on his tail and gaining on him. "Huh?! How's he moving this fast?!" the red male screamed, getting more worried by the second. He tried to move as fast as he could, but he couldn't shake the sky-blue Duelist off his trail.

"Gathering power that dwells inside my fist, transform into a will that can shatter even steel!" Soarin chanted loudly. "Become the path its light shines upon! Accel Synchro!!" As he said those words, after-images of him began to form behind him, creating an impressive display. "Appear, Level 10! Stardust Warrior!!"

After the end of his Summoning Chant, there was a blinding flash of light that filled the stadium. When the light vanished, a powerful, towering giant now flew beside Soarin. The man wore armor that had a dragon-like appearance to it, colored white and silvery blue, and was even complimented with a pair of large, mechanical wings. The warrior's helmet looked almost like a spaceship, and it brandished a pair of large fists that looked like it could smash just anything.

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Stardust Warrior
(Synchro-Effect Monster/Warrior-Type/WIND/Level 10/ATK 3000/DEF 2500)

1 Tuner Synchro Monster + 1 or more non-Tuner Synchro Monsters
During either player's turn, if your opponent would Special Summon a monster(s): You can Tribute this card; negate the Summon, and if you do, destroy that monster(s). During the End Phase, if this effect was activated this turn (and was not negated): You can Special Summon this card from your Graveyard. If this card is destroyed by battle, or if this face-up card you control leaves the field because of an opponent's card effect: You can Special Summon 1 Level 8 or lower "Warrior" Synchro Monster from your Extra Deck. (This Special Summon is treated as a Synchro Summon.)

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"N-n-n-no way..." Chet said meekly, shuddering as he saw the powerful monster looming over his head.

"Awesome... An Accel Synchro Summoning...!" said Gilda, impressed by the move.

"Ah thought it was just a myth..." said Applejack.

"They're not, Ms. Applejack." Celestia told her. "Accel Synchro Summons are an advanced version of the typical Synchro Summoning. They can only be used when all of the Material Monsters are also Synchro Monsters, such as in the case of Soarin. They are not always easy to accomplish, but the results are often worth the trouble."

"Wow..." said Twilight in astonishment. "Just when I thought I'd seen everything in this game, it throws me another curve-ball..."

"That's Duel Monsters for ya." Sunset told her. "There's always something new around the corner, whether it's a new card or a new ruling."

Back at the Duel, Soarin took out one more card from his hand and shouted, "I now attack directly with my Stardust Warrior!!" As his monster gathered up light energy into its fists, the sky-blue Duelist played his next card and added, "And at this moment, I activate the Quick-Play Spell, Ego Boost! This'll grant my warrior one thousand more attack points, putting its power just high enough to take out all of your Life Points in one attack!!" (Stardust Warrior: ATK 3000 + 1000 = 4000)

"WHAT?!? No WAY!!!" screamed Chet. He realized that he was indeed correct about the Duel ending quickly. He just didn't think that he'd be the one that would lose.

"Now!! Stardust Warrior, attack!! Cosmic Fist!!" The mighty warrior then clenched its fists, both of which were glowing bright white and thrust them forward. As he did, Soarin then began closing the distance between him and Chet, his Pegasus-like Duel Runner also glowing brightly. "Prepare yourself!" Soarin shouted. "You're about to be hit with the full force of my Sense!!!"

Chet sweated even more, having nothing to say as his opponent darted slightly off to the side and pulled ahead.

Speeding forward, Soarin then yelled, "Go!! CROSS SENSE!!!!" And with that shout, Stardust Warrior slammed it's fists right into Chet, knocking him and his Duel Runner for a loop and causing him to crash into a nearby wall. Though his gear, along with the durability of his vehicle prevented him from taking serious injury, his Life Points weren't nearly as lucky (Chet: LP 4,000 - 4,000 = 0) (WINNER: Soarin).

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"And just like that, it's all over!!" the announcer declared. "With an amazing One-Turn-Kill, Soarin has won the Duel and the Championship!!"

"YEAH!! Soarin won the Duel!! I knew that other guy wouldn't stand a chance!" Rainbow Dash cheered.

"That was incredible!!" chimed in an astonished Twilight. "How did he manage to send the other player crashing into the wall like that?! I thought the monsters weren't real..."

"While the monsters are just Augmented Reality images," explained Martin, "the energy from their attacks react to the Ener-D power that helps fuel the Duel Runner. The impact from a Turbo Duelist's Sense energy becomes stronger or weaker depending on many conditions, such as speed, the strength of the monsters and their owners, as well as many other factors. Take what Soarin did, for instance..."

"What about it?" asked Vinyl.

"Well," the Griffonstone boy told her, "Before Soarin initiated his attack, he drove his Duel Runner directly behind his opponent's. That's because the air resistance is the weakest there, so it makes it very easy for him to accelerate."

"Ah, so that's why he was able to move even faster!" Button Mash realized.

"Exactly." Martin confirmed. "By driving his Runner into his opponent's Turbo Stream - the area right behind him - Soarin amplified the power of his own Sense in order to take him down."

"Hmmm... I think I get it." Luna responded. "By using the energy in the Turbo Stream, he made the most of that energy to strengthen his own Sense." She then asked, "What is it that he called it? 'Cross Sense'?"

"Ah think that's what he called it." Applejack answered, trying to remember.

"I thought so... that's why it sounded familiar." the Vice Principal replied. "Cross Sense is an incredible power that only one other Turbo Duelist had ever managed to master... and that was Yusei Fudo himself."

"Really?" asked Rainbow Dash. Thinking for a bit, she then stated, "Then again, it's a widely-known fact that Soarin's a huge fan of the guy... In fact, they say that he got into playing the game after watching all of Yusei's past Duels."

"Based on all of that," Celstia chimed in. "it appears that Soarin... could possibly be trying to become the next Yusei Fudo. In fact, Soarin's Deck seems to use many of the same cards..."

"Well, if he's tryin' to be like that Yusei guy, he's just gotten himself in a loooooong line of other Duelists wanting to do that same thing." Vinyl noted.

"Maybe, but I think he's got what it takes." stated Sunset Shimmer confidently. "It seems like he's made quite a bit of progress on it already, and he can only get better." She then glanced at the screen as Soarin happily waved to all his fans in the audience. Sunset then began to wonder how well she could do if she decided to give Turbo Dueling a try...

Sunset, Twilight and the rest of their friends, now joined by Gilda, Martin, Octavia, Vinyl, and Button Mash, later left the Food Court together to enjoy the rest of the tour. They eventually made their way to the section that Celestia and Luna had wanted to get to during the whole trip: The exhibit that showcased their former careers as Pro Duelists. Twilight and the others were amazed to see the exploits of their Principals during their dueling career. They spent quite a lot of time looking around the exhibit, while Celestia and Luna simply stood there, smiling as they looked at themselves on the wall murals and remembering how much they had enjoyed themselves back then.

Of course, no museum about Duel Monsters would have been complete without a gift shop that sold cards and other dueling supplies. Celestia and Luna took their group to the shop so that they could all purchase some souvenirs and some new cards. In fact, the two Principals allowed all of the students a gift of up to five Duel Monsters booster packs, which they would pay for (any additional ones had to come out of the students' own wallets). Naturally, the Canterlot High students were more than ready to accept the gift, and Griffonstone's Principal, Mr. Gruff, decided to do the same for his students as well. In the end, everyone from both Canterlot and Griffonstone High enjoyed their trip.

Once the field trip had ended, all of the students boarded the buses, heading back to their respective schools. Once all of Canterlot High's buses dropped off their students, Sunset and the others said their goodbyes for the day, promising to meet up again at school tomorrow. They went their separate ways for now, with Sunset and Twilight heading back to the apartment. The trip to the Duel Museum taught them a lot about the game, as well as many other things that they knew would help them in the future. And with many more Number cards scattered all over the city, they knew that they would need all the help that they could get...

-- To Be Continued...

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