• 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 15: Green Eyes on the Prize:

Author's Note:

This Rank was originally intended to be Rank 13 and intended to be Twilight's first Duel against a Number holder. However, it was pushed back because I hadn't yet finished the real-life version of Trixie's Deck. So I planned on pushing back the Rank until I could complete it. Luckily, I didn't have push it back far, so go ahead and enjoy another epic battle involving Twilight and Trixie!

RANK 15: Green Eyes on the Prize:
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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...

Sunset Shimmer began playing the game some time after last year's Fall Formal, and since then, she became one of the strongest Duelists not only at her school, but also in the city. She entered many tournaments, both minor and major, and played against many different Duelists and their Decks. Many Duel Monsters enthusiasts took notice of her skills and became eager to see her dueling prowess first-hand; either as a spectator or as an opponent.

Sunset, however, does not take all the credit of her success for herself. She has stated on numerous occasions that her expert Dueling is a result of the strong bond with her friends, as they had helped her get into the game and taught her everything they know. In addition, they are always there to cheer her on during her many Duels, giving their friend the good vibes that she needs to win.

Sunset always appreciates the support that her friends give her, and shares her success with all of them. And now Twilight Sparkle, Sunset's friend from Equestria, is witnessing her friend's stellar dueling for the very first time...

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"It's my turn! I draw!" Sunset shouted as she drew a card from her Deck and placed it into her hand. The red and yellow girl was currently in the middle of a friendly Duel with one of her fellow students. The student's name was Crimson Napalm, a male student that had light-grey skin, bright-red hair done up into a Mohawk, and light-blue eyes. His outfit had the appearance of a punk rocker, consisting of an olive-green shirt with a skull on it, black pants and boots, a pair of spiked wristbands, a shiny belt, and black earrings.

Off to the side, Twilight Sparkle was watching the Duel closely along with her friends Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity. From out of Twilight's backpack, Spike, the dragon-turned-puppy, watched Sunset's Duel, wondering what was going to happen next. Normally, he stayed in Sunset's apartment, but Twilight insisted on taking him along, believing that he was becoming a bit of a couch potato.

"Wow... this is so exciting!" Twilight said in an impressed tone of voice. "I know you told me Sunset was good at this game, but I never imagined she was this strong!"

"She sure is, huh?" Rainbow Dash asked rhetorically. "Now you can see why everyone at school says that she's the best Duelist around."

"I sure can..." the young Princess agreed with a nod. "I hope I can be that strong soon... After all, being good at this game is the only way that I'll be of any help to you all with this Number card business."

"You're doing just fine, Twilight!" Pinkie Pie told her encouragingly. "After all, you were able to get one Number card already! You and Sunnie will be able to get all the rest in no time!"

"Pinkie is right." Rarity chimed in. "Don't be so worried about how your next Duel will progress. Just do your best out there, and you won't have any problems!" Fluttershy meekly smiled and nodded to say that she agreed with the fashionista.

"...Okay. I'll do it." Twilight responded, feeling better about it already. "I promise I won't let you all down!"

"That's the spirit, Twilight!" cheered Spike. "Now THAT'S more like the Princess of Friendship that I know." Twilight blushed a little, happy to hear that from him.

"Let's get back t' watchin' Sunset's Duel." Applejack suggested. "She's about t' make her next move."

At the moment, both Sunset and Crimson were pretty close in Life Points (Sunset Shimmer: LP 800) (Crimson Napalm: LP 600). It was clear that the Duel wasn't going to last much longer, but who would come out on top was anyone's guess. On Sunset's field, she had Shard of Greed face-up (Shard of Greed: Greed Counters 1), and Crimson had two face-down cards out.

After looking over what she had in her hand, Sunset then declared, "I'll Summon Chronomaly Mayan Machine in Attack Mode!" After she played her monster, it appeared on the field as some sort of ancient-looking lawn mower with a creepy-looking face on the front of it (Chronomaly Mayan Machine: Level 3 / ATK 1500 / DEF 700). "Next," she continued, "I'll play the Spell Card Double Summon, which lets me Normal Summon a second time! So with the help of my Spell Card, I'll call up Chronomaly Crystal Skull, also in Attack Mode!!" Sunset said to her opponent before playing her next card. In an instant, her shiny skull monster appeared on the field, its eyes glimmering in the sunlight (Chronomaly Crystal Skull: Level 3 / ATK 900 / DEF 600).

"Alright!" cheered Rainbow Dash. "She's bringin' out her Xyz Monster!"

"Go for it, Sunnie!!" screamed Pinkie Pie, pumping her fist into the air.

"I overlay my Level 3 Mayan Machine and Crystal Skull to create the Overlay Network!!" shouted Sunset as her two monsters transformed into a pair of lights - one orange and one yellow - and were drawn into a red Summoning Portal. "Ancient armored warrior of another world, stand at my side and display your mysterious power!!" Sunset chanted. "Xyz Summon!! Emerge from beyond! Rank 3!! Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut!!"

When her chant was done, the red and yellow girl's purple-armored Xyz Monster leapt out of the portal and took its place beside its master, arms folded out in front of itself (Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut: Rank 3 / ATK 2100 / DEF 1000 / OLU 2).

"Alright...! Sunset's going to win...!" Fluttershy said softly, but happily.

"Sure seems that way." Applejack added. Twilight wasn't too sure, however. She suspected that Crimson Napalm had something planned, since he didn't seem to be very worried.

Sunset was also a bit cautious as she looked over her opponent's field. While she saw that Crimson had two face-down cards, they had been on the field for several turns, and he had never activated them in response to her earlier attacks. The red and yellow girl decided that it was worth the risk and shouted to her monster, "Crystal Chrononaut!! Attack Crimson directly!!" The powerful armored monster then leapt forward, its arm outstretched for a mighty punch.

"Not gonna happen!" Crimson Napalm shouted in a grungy British accent (much different from how Octavia spoke). Playing a card from his hand onto the field, he then announced, "I Special Summon my Battle Fader, in Defense Mode!!"

The girls gasped a bit as a bizarre-looking monster appeared on Crimson's field. It had a demon face on the front, with a dangling pendulum attached to it. It had a pair of black arms, with one of them having a shiny bell attached to it (Battle Fader: Level 1 / ATK 0 / DEF 0).

"When you try and attack me directly," Crimson explained, "this guy jumps out of my hand to protect me! And the best part is that, when I Summon him that way, he ends your Battle Phase automatically!"

"Rrrgh! No...!" Sunset responded, disappointed that her attack was so easily stopped. Having no other moves, she had no choice but to end her turn.

"Now it's my turn! I draw!!" Crimson declared as he drew his next card. After he got a look at it, he then smirked and said, "Looks like there's gonna be a new champ here in CHS! 'Cause I'm about to end this Duel!"

"Oh dear... I do hope he is bluffing..." Rarity said to her friends, getting a little worried.

"I don't think he is, Rarity..." Spike told her, also concerned.

"Now I'll release my Battle Fader..." the punk-rocker boy began, banishing his monster from play (due to its effect), "...and Summon me best monster! The mighty Skull Archfiend of Lightning!!"

In an instant, a bolt of lightning struck the spot where Crimson's first monster used to be. Afterwards, a large amount of lightning shot out from that spot like a geyser, sending sparks all over the place. Eventually, a towering figure began to form from out of the electrical storm. When it fully appeared, it looked like a gigantic skeleton creature with large horns, sharp claws, and a pair of mighty wings (Skull Archfiend of Lightning: Level 6 / ATK 2500 / DEF1200).

"Is... is that the Summoned Skull?" asked Pinkie Pie, shaking a bit.

"Nope... that's the Skull Archfiend of Lightnin'." Applejack corrected her. "He's LIKE the Summoned Skull, but a heck of a lot meaner!"

Fluttershy hid her face behind her backpack and said, trembling, "P-p-p-p-please t-tell me when it's gone...!"

Sunset was astounded, but not scared as she told her opponent, "Your monster might be powerful, but he won't be able to attack my Crystal Chrononaut. My monster's ability will send the damage right back at you if you even try to strike him!"

"Oh, I'm well aware of that, Sunset." Crimson told her. "But I have a back-up plan!" Taking a card out of his Graveyard, he then announced, "I banish Breakthrough Skill from my Graveyard to use its effect, which lets me negate the effect of your Chrononaut!"

"Oh no!" shouted Sunset as a flash of light struck Crystal Chrononaut's mirror and shattered it, preventing its use.

"Too bad, Sunset..." the punk rocker told his opponent, "That's seven years' bad luck for you, startin' now!" He then gave an order to his monster, telling it, "Skull Archfiend!! Use your Lightning Attack and destroy her monster!!" The powerful Archfiend let out a frightening growl as it shot a blast of electricity at Sunset's monster, blowing it to pieces.

"Oh no!" shouted Twilight. "Are you okay, Sunset?!"

"Urrrgh... I am for now." the red and yellow girl answered (Sunset Shimmer: LP 800 - 400 = 400). "But if he gets off another attack like that, I'm done for..."

"Actually, I won't need to attack you next turn to beat you." Crimson Napalm told her. "Thanks to me Trap Card here." Flipping one of his face-down cards face-up, he then said, "I activate Battle-Scarred!!"

"What does that do?" asked Sunset.

"Well," Crimson explained, "in order to keep my Skull Archfiend on the field, I have to pay 500 Life Points durin' each of me Standby Phases. But thanks to this card, you also have to pay the cost as well!" Sunset gasped a little after hearing that.

"That means that if Sunset doesn't beat him next turn, she'll lose once he starts HIS turn!" stated Rainbow Dash.

"Oh dear..." whimpered Fluttershy.

But Twilight wasn't about to believe that her friend would lose that easily as she shouted to her, "Don't let him get to you, Sunset!! You can still win this!!"

After hearing her friend's words of encouragement, the red and yellow girl smiled and responded, saying, "Don't worry about a thing, Twilight! I'll take him down, no sweat!"

"Oh really?" asked Crimson, confident that he'd win. "Well, don't get your hopes up! I'm gonna beat you and there ain't a thing you can do about it!"

"If that's what you think, then prepare to be disappointed!" Sunset Shimmer said as she drew her next card (Shard of Greed: Greed Counters 1 + 1= 2). Once she got a look at it, she saw that it was The Supremacy Sun, her rarest card (not counting the Numbers of course). Smirking, she then said to Crimson, "I activate Shard of Greed's effect! I send it to my Graveyard and draw two more cards!" And once she did that, she put on a happy expression, satisfied with what she had drawn. "Ready to lose, Napalm?"

"Huh??" asked the punk rocker, confused.

"Since you have a monster on the field and I don't, I can Special Summon Chronomaly Crystal Bones from my hand in Attack Mode!" the red and yellow girl declared as she played her card, calling up her shiny headless skeleton monster (Chronomaly Crystal Bones: Level 3 / ATK 1300 / DEF 400). "And because I did," she continued, "I can then Summon any other Chronomaly monster from my hand or my Graveyard to join it! And I choose Crystal Skull!"

"No way!! Two at once?!" asked Crimson Napalm.

"You've got it." Sunset replied with a smirk as her Crystal Skull returned to the field. "And now I'm all set to Summon something that your Archfiend won't be able to beat!"

"But... she couldn't be goin' for another Crystal Chrononaut..." thought Applejack. "She only has one in her Deck..." The farm girl then gasped and asked, "Wait! Is she gonna Summon-?"

"I think she is." Rainbow interrupted, already knowing what Sunset was planning.

"Summon what?" asked Twilight. "What's she going to Summon?"

"Just watch..." Rarity told her. "You have to see it to believe it." The young Princess nodded and watched the Duel eagerly.

"I release both of my monsters in order to Summon my ultimate monster!!" the red and yellow girl declared, removing both of her newly-Summoned monsters and sending them to the Graveyard. "Celestial being at the center of our star system! Arise and bathe the world with your blazing light!!" Sunset chanted. "Come forth, The Supremacy Sun!!"

At that moment, a tower of white and yellow flames poured out in front of Sunset Shimmer, eventually forming into a new shape. Seconds later, her most powerful monster appeared, shining brightly as the Sun itself (The Supremacy Sun: Level 10 / ATK 3000 / DEF 3000).

"No way...!!" Crimson said in disbelief. "You have THAT card?! How?!"

"Let's just say it's a trophy of my accomplishments as a Duelist." Sunset simply replied. "Right now, be more worried about the fact that your monster's attack power is weaker than mine is. Which means that you won't be winning this Duel after all."

"B-but even if you attack me, I'll still have one hundred Life Points left!" protested the punk rocker. He then looked at his remaining face-down card and thought, (Not only that, I've got Call of the Haunted on me field, which I can use to bring back me Skull Archfiend!)

"Not once I play this card, you won't." Sunset responded, taking out one of the other cards that she drew. "I play Big Bang Shot from my hand! This card grants my monster 400 additional attack points - just enough to wipe out your Archfiend AND your Life Points in one blow!" After playing the card, a pair of metallic braces appeared on The Surpremacy Sun to enhance its power (The Supremacy Sun: ATK 3000 + 400 = 3400).

"Aw NO!!" shouted Crimson.

"Yeah! Alright, Sunset!!" cheered Rainbow Dash. "Now let 'im have it!!"

The red and yellow girl nodded in agreement before turning back to face her opponent. "Surpremacy Sun! Attack Archfiend of Lightning! Solar Big Bang!!!" And with that order, Sunset Shimmer's most powerful monster charged up an incredible amount of fiery energy between its hands and shot it straight at Crimson Napalm's giant demon monster, blasting it to ashes.

"Arrrgh!!" groaned the punk rocker teen. "I don't believe it... I lost...!" (Crimson Napalm: LP 600 - 900 = 0) (WINNER: Sunset Shimmer).

"Yeah!! She did it!!" cheered Applejack. "Sunset won the Duel!!"

"I just knew she'd pull it off in the end!" Rainbow Dash added.

"I'm just glad that scary Archfiend monster is gone..." Fluttershy noted, still trembling a bit just thinking about it.

Sunset then walked over towards her opponent and shook his hand. "Great Duel, Crimson." she told him. "You certainly didn't make that win easy, I'll tell you that."

"Yeah, thanks." the punk rocker said in a sincere tone. "Now I can see why you're the school's best Duelist; you're beyond tough." Smirking a little, he then added, "But I'll beat you next time! That is, once I fix up me Deck, that is."

"I'm always up for another challenge, Crimson. I wish you the best of luck." the red and yellow girl replied with a smile.

But as Sunset and Crimson shook hands and the others cheered, there was one more spectator to the Duel whose presence was unknown to them all. It was none other than Trixie Lulamoon, who was watching every move and listening to every word closely. "Hmph...!" she huffed to herself, "She's the school's best Duelist is she? Well, we'll just see about that! I'll expose you for the sham you truly are, Sunset Shimmer... So says the Great and Power-!" she then stopped when she realized that she was speaking too loudly. Taking a deep breath, she then whispered instead, "...So says the Great and Powerful Trixie...!" The light-blue teenager then left the area and headed into the school's front door.

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Trixie sat by herself at a smaller table in the school cafeteria, tapping her lunch tray with her fork, but not eating much of her meal. She was in deep thought over what she had seen and heard during Sunset's Duel earlier in the morning. Dropping her fork onto her tray, the light-blue teen groaned to herself and said, "Rrrgh! I can't stop thinking about it!! I can't stop thinking about that card Sunset used this morning! That Sun card!!" Growling a little, she added, "That was the card that I lost to her!! I must get it back, no matter what!!"

Regaining her composure for a moment, Trixie sighed and said to herself, "But the problem is HOW I will get that card... Although it pains me to admit this, Sunset is much stronger than she was in the past, and she was quite strong to begin with... At my current power, there is no way that I can win that card back!" Rubbing her temples vigorously, she told herself, "But there must be a way for me to crush her! What is it that makes her powerful?! What does she have that I do not?!?"

At that moment, Sunset Shimmer entered the cafeteria for her lunch period. Walking along with her were Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Fluttershy. The five of them were chatting with each other as they made their way to the line leading into the kitchen. Trixie noticed them coming and quickly stopped talking to herself so that she could listen to what they were saying.

"I just gotta say it again: That Duel you had with Crimson was awesome!" Rainbow Dash told her.

"Thanks, Rainbow." the red and yellow girl replied. "I enjoyed it too." She then glanced over at Twilight and asked her, "What did you think of it?"

"It was incredible!" the young Princess answered. "You played that Duel so well! I had heard that you were the best player in this school, but seeing you dueling with my own two eyes was an altogether different experience!"

"Well, I didn't get that good overnight." Sunset informed her inter-dimensional friend. "I had to practice dueling for quite a long time. Luckily, my friends were a big help in that department."

"Well, we didn't do THAT much, honestly." Applejack said in a modest manner. "Y'all seemed to have a natural knack for duelin' in your bones."

"I agree..." Fluttershy chimed in. "You picked up on the rules and strategies so quickly, it was almost frightening..."

"Not as frightening as it is to anybody facing her." Rainbow noted. "Especially when she busts out that super-powerful Sun card that she's got. I dunno where she got it, but it seems to be a natural fit for her Deck."

"Well, it sure seems to be." Sunset replied, rubbing the back of her head a little. Though no one heard it, the comment that Rainbow Dash had made elicited a slight growl out of Trixie.

"I did notice something a little peculiar, though." Twilight spoke up, putting her pointer finger up to her chin. "Why didn't you use any of your Number cards against Crimson? You probably would have won much more quickly if you did."

(Number cards...?) Trixie asked in her mind. (That sounds familiar... Of course! I remember now! At the last Fall Formal!)

"Probably." Applejack began to say. "But Sunset chose not to use any Number cards against someone who didn't have even one."

"It's true." the red and yellow girl confirmed. "I only use the Number cards against someone that I know is using Numbers themselves. I felt it wouldn't be fair to give myself an unfair advantage by doing that. Besides, if I did use a Number against a non-Number holder, it would make the Duel way too easy, and where's the fun in that?"

"That's very nice to hear that, Sunset." Twilight told her friend. "I'm glad to know that you play this game fairly and not give yourself too much of an advantage. You've certainly learned quite a bit since the last time I was here."

"I try my best each day." Sunset simply told her. "Anyway, let's hurry up and get our food before it's too late." The other girls nodded to agree with her and stepped in line together.

Meanwhile, Trixie was thinking about their discussion, specifically the part about the Number cards. "I see now... That is what Trixie must do..." she grinned to herself as she got an idea; an awful idea...

"Trixie got a wonderful, AWFUL idea!" Pinkie Pie said suddenly.

"Hm? What did you say about me?" asked the blue teen, looking over at the silly pink girl with narrowed eyes.

"...Um, nothing." she replied. "Nothing at all! Just... carry on with your mean, evil plan!" And with that, Pinkie left the cafeteria for an unknown destination, leaving Trixie to her thoughts.

Sometime after school was done for the day, Trixie walked outside and sat on a bench just across from the parking lot, pondering over her plan to defeat Sunset Shimmer. "Number cards..." she said to herself. "Trixie had almost forgotten about them. During that Duel that took place at the last Fall Formal, Sunset and Rarity used them. And they certainly appeared to be very powerful..." Smirking to herself, the light-blue teen stood up out of her seat and added, "That is what I need to take that upstart down! I need a Number card of my own! One that's more powerful than any of hers!!"

Pausing for a moment, her smile faded when she realized a slight problem with her plan. "There's just one thing..." she mumbled as she sat back down on her bench, "I have no idea what one of these cards would look like, much less where I could find one. Trixie shall require some assistance if she plans on getting what she desires... Almost anyone shall do."

"Man, you totally killed out there at baseball practice!" said the whiny-sounding voice of a young boy nearby. Trixie, hearing the voice, looked up and saw Snips and Snails walking across the grassy area in front of her.

"Sure did, Snips!" Snails replied to his buddy's comment, waving a wooden baseball bat around. "I'm willing to admit that I ain't good at thinking really, really hard... But nobody can beat me at baseball!"

"Yeah, if only that Duel we had with Sunset last month was a baseball game," Snips told him, "then we probably could've beaten her!" Sighing, the pudgy boy added, "Aw well, those Numbers that we had were pretty lame anyway, so I don't feel too bad about losin' 'em."

(Numbers?!) thought a surprised Trixie. (They had Number cards?! And they both dueled Sunset?!) Humming to herself and forming a smirk, she then said to herself, "Trixie believes that she has found the assistance she needs..." The teen girl then got up out of her seat and started walking over to the two boys.

Snails glanced over to the side and saw Trixie walking towards them. "Hm? Hey, Snips," he said to his friend, "Look over there..." He then pointed to the girl coming their way.

"Huh?" asked Snips as he looked in the direction Snails was pointing. "Isn't that Trixie? Why's she comin' over to us?" His buddy shrugged his shoulders to say that he had no idea.

Once she made her way over to the pair, Trixie said to them, in a sweet and innocent-sounding voice, "Why hello there, Snips! And hello to you as well, Snails. I am so happy to see you both!"

The two boys looked at each, confused. "You are?" they asked in unison.

"Why of COURSE!" the teenage girl answered them. "I was actually hoping to run into you two today!"

"Uh... why's that, Trixie??" asked Snails.

"Because I have something that I need to do, but Trixie cannot POSSIBLY do it all on her own..." Trixie told them, putting on a bit of a dramatic show. "I need the assistance of two nitwi-... er, I mean... two BRIGHT young boys such as yourselves! If you can help me out with just one teeny-tiny little thing, I'll make it worth your while! So what do you say?"

Snails, eager to help a pretty girl, was about to open his mouth to speak. But at that moment, Snips grabbed his friend's mouth, keeping it shut. "Hold on a sec!" the pudgy blue-skinned boy said to her. "The last time we helped out a pretty girl, she turned out to be a total jerk! Gimme one good reason why we should believe that you'll be any better than Sunset was!"

"Ah yes, I had almost forgotten that you used to play patsy to Sunset Shimmer... Pardon Trixie's slight lapse of memory." the light-blue girl replied. "However, I can assure you that I am very much different from her. In fact, I am quite displeased with her myself, and if you'll help me, you'll finally get back at her for what she did to you both..."

The two boys weren't sure if they could believe her, but they were quite swayed by the fact that Trixie seemed to want to get a piece of their old boss as well. Snips then looked over at Trixie and asked her, in an unsure tone, "You PROMISE that you'll treat us better, Trixie...?"

"Why of course I promise!" the teenage girl replied. "You have Trixie's word!" Unbeknownst to the two boys, Trixie had her fingers crossed behind her back as she said that.

Snips hummed a bit more to himself, pondering about what they should do. "...Alright then, we'll help ya." the pudgy boy replied, letting go of Snails's mouth. The orange-skinned boy rubbed his mouth area, as it was a little sore from Snips's grip.

"Excellent! I knew that I could count on you both!" Trixie cheered. Bending down so that she was at eye-level with them, she then said, "Now, as for what I need you two to help me do... I need you to find me a Number card."

"Number card?" asked the two boys.

"Indeed." Trixie replied back. "I had heard rumors that you two had some a while back."

"Yeah, we did!" Snails told her. "But... uh, then we kinda lost them."

"It's true, Trixie." Snips chimed in. "When two guys with Number cards Duel, the winner gets all the loser's Numbers."

(Hmmmm... interesting...) thought Trixie. (This could work out even better than I hoped it would...) Putting that thought aside for the moment, she then asked the boys, "So... where, pretell, did you find your Number cards? What did they look like?"

"Uh... I'm not really that sure..." Snails told her, scratching his head.

"Ugh...! You really don't remember, Snails?!" asked Snips. "We found them in YOUR backyard!"

"Oh yeah!! That's right!!" the slow-witted boy responded. Scratching his head again, he then asked, "Now how'd I forget that...?"

"Oh yeah! There's one other thing ya gotta know;" the pudgy boy then told Trixie, "when we found our Number cards, they were totally blank at first!"

"Blank? You must be kidding me!" Trixie replied, not believing them.

"But it's true!" Snails rebutted. "Then, after we picked them up, there was this weird purple cloud, our heads hurt a little bit, we heard some kinda strange voice, and then... they weren't blank anymore!"

Trixie wasn't sure that what they were saying was true, as it seemed way too far-fetched. Still, she concluded that it was the best lead that she had, so she decided to go along with it for now. "Very well... I suppose blank-headed information is better than none at all..." she muttered to herself. She then told the boys, "Very well then... since you seem to know what these Numbers look like, you can lead the way... However, once you find one, I must be the one to pick it up, understand?!"

"Yes, ma'am! Understood!" the pair replied obediently. The two boys then went on ahead, looking all over the school grounds for any remaining Number cards.

Trixie then chuckled to herself, saying, "Now I see why you chose these two dolts as your cronies, Shimmer. They'll do anything you tell them to do! And once they locate a Number card for me, your former minions will be your undoing!"

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For the next several minutes, Snips and Snails searched the school from top to bottom, looking for a Number card that had yet to be claimed by someone. Though they searched everywhere, the boys couldn't find anything. Trixie, following close behind them, was beginning to get impatient. "Rrgh...! Haven't you two found anything yet?" she asked them with a slight scowl. "Trixie felt as though we should have found a Number card already!"

"Hey, this ain't as easy as it looks!" Snips told her. "We're doin' our best here!"

"Yeah!" Snails added. "Tryin' to find one of these Number card thingies is like trying to find a hay in a needlestack!"

"Uh... you mean NEEDLE in a HAYstack." the pudgy boy corrected his buddy.

"...Ohhhhhhh... oh yeah, that makes a LOT more sense..." the orange-skinned boy responded with a chuckle.

"Would you two cut it out?!" Trixie scolded. "We cannot afford to waste any more time! I need to find a Number card as soon as possible! I refuse to believe that there's not a single one left in this entire school! There must be at least ONE more that no one's found yet!"

"But we've looked everywhere, Trixie!" whined Snips. "There's no rooms left to look around in!"

The light-blue girl growled a little in response. She about to scold them again, but at that moment, a strange feeling came over her; a powerful feeling. "Hm?" She then looked around the hallway that they were in, looking for the source of that strange feeling. Her eyes eventually fell upon a door at the other end of the hall; somehow, she could feel the sensation was strongest there.

Instinctively, Trixie began running towards the door that she saw. "Huh? Hey! Wait for us!!" shouted Snips as both he and Snails ran after her, wondering what she was up to now.

The trio eventually reached the door at the end of the hallway: The door to the Teacher's Lounge. "I can feel it." Trixie told her two helpers. "Trixie cannot explain it, but she can feel a great power coming from this room... It has to be a Number card!"

"But... but we can't go in there, Trixie!" Snails protested. "We're not allowed to go into the Teacher's Lounge!"

"Do not try and stop me!" the light-blue girl said to him. "You promised to help me find a Number card, and I have a feeling that one is in this room! Besides, it's the only other room we haven't checked in this hallway!" Trixie then opened the door wide to allow her and the two boys access inside. "Besides," she added, "if we were not wanted in here, they would not have left the door unlocked for us, right?"

"Uh... I guess not." replied Snips, still a little wary about the whole thing.

"Exactly. Now keep quiet and follow me inside!" Trixie told them both before walking into the Teacher's Lounge. Snips and Snails reluctantly followed her.

The Teacher's Lounge was a relatively small room, only about as big as a standard classroom, maybe a tad bigger. Inside the room were two tables with some chairs, some forest green sofas, a television set with a cable box hooked up to it, a microwave, a sink, and a computer hooked up in the back of the room. It wasn't much, but it was enough to help the staff relax during and after a hard day.

The three of them carefully looked around the room, making sure not to disturb anything; they didn't want anyone to know that they had been inside. "I still don't see anything, Trixie..." Snails stated.

"Y-yeah, me neither..." aded Snips. "Maybe we should just leave and forget about this whole thing..."

"That's not going to happen!" Trixie scolded him. "I know that there's a Number card in this room somewhere, and I intend to get what I came for!"

As Snails looked around inside the overhead cupboards, he then noticed something inside one of them. Among the glasses and mugs set up neatly inside, there was an object that didn't seem to belong in there. "H-hey! I think I found something!!" he told Trixie.

Trixie and Snips ran over to where he was and looked at the cupboard that he had opened. Snips tried to look inside, but he was too short to see. "What'd you find? What'd you find??" he asked, wanting to know.

"I'LL see what's inside this cabinet, if you don't mind." Trixie told them both, nudging Snails aside. She then looked inside and gasped when she what was in there: A black Duel Monsters card... without a picture. "That's it...! I knew it!" she cheered. "It's a Number card!"

The two boys wiped the sweat from their foreheads, happy to know that they were done working for her.

Trixie then took the card from the cupboard and looked at it with gleaming eyes. "It's bizarre..." she told herself, "this card is totally blank, but I can feel so much power coming from it!" As she spoke, a dark cloud formed around her. "Yes... Yes! YES!!!" she shouted. "I can feel it coarsing inside of me!!"

"Yes, Trixie..." said a voice inside of her head. "Let the Number take hold..."

Trixie's smile became more and more demented-looking as an orange-colored mark appeared over her left eye. The mark resembled the number 11 as it glowed ferociously. "Finally..." Trixie muttered softly. "Finally I have the power I've always WANTED!!"

"Uh... yeah! You certainly do...!" Snips chimed in, feeling a bit uneasy. "Now we can finally get back at Sunset!"

"Yeah!" added Snails. "Then WE will be the best Duelists in the whole school!"

Trixie chuckled a little upon hearing that as she turned around to face the two boys, staring them down with her now-bright orange eyes. "I'm sorry... did you say, 'we' would be the best Duelists in the school...?"

"Uh... yeah?" Snips replied. "After all, once we beat Sunset, then we'll be the toughest around!"

"Hmmmm... a nice plan, except for one thing..." the light-blue teenager told him. Holding up her new Number card, now no longer blank, she said to the two boys, "I shall be the strongest Duelist in school, and then the whole world! Only me!!"

"WHAT?!?" shouted Snips and Snails in shock.

"But we had a deal!!" the pudgy blue boy reminded her.

"Well, the deal's OFF!!!" she responded. "Now that I have this Number card's power, I don't need the two of you anymore!!" She then thrust out her hand that held the Number card. The card then began to glow and shot out a blue blast of energy at the pair, sending them falling onto the linoleum tile floor hard.

"AAACK!!!!" the boys shrieked as they landed on their rear ends.

Chuckling softly to herself and admiring her new prize, Trixie then said to herself, "Now it's time to settle my score with Shimmer, and teach her that no one gets between me and what I want!! So says the Great and Powerful... no, the MIGHTY and INVINCIBLE TRIXIE!!!!" She continued to cackle as she left the Teacher's Lounge and went looking for Sunset.

Snips and Snails groaned as they got back up. "Ugh... what happened...?" asked the orange-skinned boy.

"We got double-crossed, that's what..." groaned Snips, both out of pain and humiliation. "As bad as she may have been, Sunset never broke her promises to the two of us when we did something for her..."

"Yeah..." Snails simply replied. "Now what're we gonna do...?"

"We don't have a choice... We've gotta warn Sunset about this before Trixie finds her first!" the pudgy boy answered.

"But, uh... don't we hate Sunset because of what she did?" asked Snails. "Ain't she the reason why everybody picked on us?"

Snips sighed to himself and told him, "Not completely... Remember what she told us when we dueled her? She said that just because she told us to do what she wanted, didn't mean we HAD to. We could have stopped helpin' her anytime we wanted! We were just as bad as she was back then, and we've got no one t' blame but ourselves..."

"...Yeah..." the orange-skinned boy replied, realizing that his buddy was right.

Putting on a serious and determined face, the pudgy blue boy then told his buddy, "We have t' find Sunset and her friends and tell her about Trixie before it's too late! I mean, it's not like we've got any better options do we? Sunset's the only one that can fight those Number cards, after all, so she's the only one that can fix this!"

"Uh, I guess you're right..."

"Of COURSE I am!" Snips responded, slamming his fist into the palm of his left hand to emphasize his point. "Now hurry up and follow me!" he then told Snails. "It's after school, so Sunset n' the others must be in the Music Room right now!" The two boys then ran out of the Teacher's Lounge, hoping to find Sunset before Trixie did.

In the Music Room, Sunset Shimmer, Twilight Sparkle, and all of their friends were hanging out after they had finished practicing their music for the day, though Rainbow Dash and Applejack were still doing a bit of work on their guitar solos afterwards. Fluttershy was busy playing with Spike while Pinkie Pie watched, Sunset was reading a novel that she had borrowed from the school library, and Twilight and Rarity were in the middle of an intense game of Chess.

The young Princess glanced over the placement of the pieces on the board for a while, and eventually came to a decision. Grabbing the black queen's pawn, she moved it forward one square, attacking a white pawn that was diagonally across from it. "There we go." Twilight said to herself. "Pawn to d6."

Rarity hummed a little, not sure what her friend was planning. They were both playing excellently so far, but it was clear to the fashionista that Twilight seemed to be more experienced. Still she wasn't about to give up yet, and moved her attacked white pawn away from Twilight's. "Pawn to e6." she responded. "I may not know exactly what you're planning, Twilight, dear. But I am not about to fall for it."

"I guess we'll see soon enough, Rarity." Twilight replied with a smile as she made her next move. "Knight to f4."

Pinkie strolled over towards the two of them and glanced at the chessboard with an expert eye. "Hmmm... wowee. Twilight's pretty good at this game, isn't she?" she asked.

"I must admit, she is most excellent." Rarity answered her friend as she continued to play the game. "I've tried everything I know, but she seems to have a counter for it ready to go at a moment's notice. She might be about as good at this game as Sunset is."

"It's a possibility." the red and yellow girl spoke up after hearing herself being mentioned. "Twilight and I were both Princess Celestia's personal students, and playing Chess was one of the things that she had us do in order to keep our minds sharp, right Twilight?"

"Mhmm." Twilight nodded as she made her next move. "Celestia and I played hundreds of games of Chess with each other, and it's helped me out a lot in the things I do every day." Giggling and blushing a little to herself, she then added, "Though it took a long time for me to finally beat her in a game."

"Well, you said your Celestia's over two thousand-somethin' years old, didn't ya?" asked Applejack. "She's probably had plenty of time to practice it, so I ain't too surprised that she'd be tough t' beat."

"Yeah, I don't think that I'd have the patience for something like that." Rainbow Dash admitted. "I'm better off just sticking to games that don't require too much deep thinkin'."

Sunset glanced over at her athletic friend and asked her, "You DO realize of course, that Duel Monsters requires a lot of complex thinking, and you play that, right?"

"That's different."

"Different how?"

"Uhhhhh... lemme get back to ya on that, Sunset." Rainbow Dash replied, chuckling awkwardly a little. "I, uh... gotta finish fine-tuning my guitar." The red and yellow girl just sighed a little to herself before going back to her book.

At that moment, Twilight made her next move in her Chess game, moving her king's rook in front of Rarity's king. With a proud voice, the young Princess declared, "Rook to f3: Checkmate!"

"I don't believe it...! She managed to corner me!" Rarity gasped, shocked by Twilight's game-deciding combination. With the best smile that she could muster, the purple-haired fashionista extended her hand and said to her friend, "Well played, Twilight dear. I must say, you did quite a fine job."

"You were pretty good yourself, Rarity." Twilight replied, shaking Rarity's hand. "I almost thought I was gonna lose that one."

"I must ask, though: How did you manage to overcome my best moves so easily?" the white-skinnned girl then asked. "It seemed as though you were ready for anything I could throw at you."

"It's not that big of a secret, really." the young princess replied. "I just always look at every possible outcome and then make my move based on what I believe is the most likely to occur. Just a simple matter of intuition, I guess."

"In other words, you simply trust your instincts." Sunset spoke up. "I can certainly agree with that."

"Trusting your instincts, huh?" pondered Rainbow. "That sounds a little more like me; maybe I should give this Chess thing another look... Later, of course." The others chuckled a little at their cyan-skinned friend's remark.

Just then, at that moment, the group could hearing loud, frantic pounding coming from the Music Room door. "Just a minute, just a minute! Ah'll get it!!" Applejack shouted to the people behind the door as she walked over to open it. And right when she did, Snips and Snails toppled over into the room, landing on top of each other, completely out of breath. "What the-?! You guys?!?" asked the country teen, who, like the others, weren't expecting to see them show up.

"My word! What are Snips and Snails doing here??" asked Rarity, not terribly pleased to see them.

"Acting like complete doofuses, what else?" Rainbow Dash replied.

"But, um... why do they look so exhausted...?" Fluttershy inquired. "It's like they were in a big hurry to get over here for some reason..."

"Don't worry, I'll find out what they're up to." Sunset assured her friends. She then walked over towards Snips and Snails and asked them, "Alright, what's going on? Why are you two here?"

Upon hearing their former boss's voice, the two panicking boys grabbed onto Sunset's jacket in order to pull themselves up off of the floor. "Sunset! Sunset!!" whimpered Snips. "We messed up! We messed up REALLY bad!"

"Yeah! REALLY bad!!" Snails repeated.

"What are you talking about?" asked the red and yellow girl. "Messed up how?"

"I-i-it's Trixie!!" the pudgy blue boy answered her. "She's gone totally crazy! And it's all our fault!!"

"Trixie??" asked the others.

For the next few minutes, Snips and Snails told the seven girls exactly what had happened between them and Trixie, and how the light-blue girl had gotten her hands on one of the Numbers. "So, let me get this straight:" Twilight began, trying to figure everything out. "The two of you actually HELPED Trixie find a Number card because she promised you revenge on Sunset? And you ACTUALLY believed her?"

"...Uh huh..." the two boys responded in guilty-sounding tones, knowing that they did something really bad.

"And you let her take that Number card when you knew first-hand how dangerous those things can be?" asked Rarity in a stern-sounding voice.

"We're really sorry..." Snips responded. "P-please don't be mad at us..."

Sunset Shimmer sighed and told him, "We're not angry at you two. Disappointed, perhaps... but not angry. Since you came and warned us about Trixie, I'm willing to look past your error in judgement." Looking over at her friends, she then said to them, "Besides, the important thing right now is to confront Trixie and get that Number card away from her before it messes with her head any more than it already has."

"But how're we gonna find her?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"Easy. We don't try to find her." Twilight answered. "If she's looking for Sunset, then she'll find us soon enough."

"And when she does," Applejack added, "we'll be ready to give a real good kick in the pants!"

"I wish it were that easy, to be honest..." Sunset told them. "Trixie's not just any ordinary Duelist; she's one of the best I've ever seen. And who knows what she'll be capable of now that she's gotten a Number?"

"Aw, you worry too much, Sunnie!" Pinkie Pie told her friend. "We'll get her Number card and still make it back home for dinner!"

"Pinkie's right. We've gotta have a positive attitude about all this, or we'll already be beat." Rainbow Dash reminded everyone. "Now let's get out there and show Trixie who's REALLY Great and Powerful!" The others nodded in agreement and with that, they all left the Music Room to look for Trixie.

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The group, led by Sunset and Twilight, departed from the Music Room together in search for Trixie Lulamoon, intending to Duel her and take away whatever Number card that she was holding. As they searched, Sunset then asked Snips and Snails, "Y'know, just out of curiosity, why did you warn us about Trixie? I thought you hated me because everyone at school picked on you for working for me..."

"Yeah, we did hate you for what happened..." Snips admitted with a guilty look on his face. "But, to be totally honest and stuff... you're a million times better than Trixie once she started going crazy..."

"Yeah! A million BILLION times better! It's the truth!" Snails chimed in.

"Uh... I guess I should take that as a compliment." Sunset responded, not feeling very flattered about the boys' response to her question.

"Well, let's not worry about that right now..." Twilight told her. "We have more important things to deal with..."

"Ya got that right, Twi." Applejack agreed. "Trixie's gone crazy, an' we have t' stop her before she hurts somebody!"

"Perhaps, but something still bothers me about all this..." Rarity spoke up. "What does Trixie have against Sunset, or any of us for that matter? What is her motive for this?"

"Well, we did sort of overshadow her winning the Battle of the Bands last year when we stopped the Dazzlings..." Fluttershy thought. "It could be that..."

"Maybe, but I kinda doubt it." Rainbow Dash stated. "Sure, she was a little miffed by that, but she seemed to get over it real quick." She then looked over at Snips and Snails and asked them, "You guys have any idea why Trixie went nuts or why she wants a piece of Sunset?"

"We don't know..." Snips answered. "All she told us was that she wanted to get back at Sunset for something; we never asked her why."

Sunset thought about what the others were talking about. Although no one seemed to know why Trixie was bent on revenge, the red and yellow girl had a feeling that she knew what was driving the magician wannabe. (Trixie...) she thought to herself, (could she still be bitter about... about that...?)

Twilight glanced over at her friend, seeing that she was in deep thought. But before she could say anything, she and the others heard a cry from far away. "EEEEEEEEEEKKK!!!"

"What was that?!" asked Pinkie Pie, startled.

"It sounded like it came from up ahead, near the library!" Applejack noted.

"Let's hurry and see what it is... It could be Trixie's doing." Sunset suggested. The others nodded and followed the red and yellow girl up ahead.

When they got there, the girls, along with Snips and Snails, saw what appeared to be the end of a tough Duel. On the ground, they saw a trembling young girl with light pink skin, golden-blonde hair, and light yellow eyes. She wore a yellow, floral-print dress on her body and a white lily flower in her hair. In front of her was Trixie Lulamoon, whose facial expression looked even more crazed and creepier than before.

"Isn't that Lily from Agriculture Class?" asked Rarity, pointing to the pink and blonde girl.

"It is...!" gasped Fluttershy.

"Yeah..." Rainbow Dash chimed in. "And big surprise: There's Trixie over there, roughing her up!"

"Let's get over there before things get any worse!" Twilight suggested. The others nodded and ran over to the scene.

Lily, trembling, schooched away from the now-crazed (or crazier, depending on your point of view) Trixie and said, in a meek tone, "P-p-p-please... n-no more! You won the Duel...! So just leave me alone!"

But the light-blue teen just glared at her frightened opponent with her creepy orange eyes and said, "Look at you Lily, cowering in the presence of a real Duelist... And rightfully so: For there is no one that can best the Great and- er, excuse me... MIGHTY and INVINCIBLE TRIXIE!!"

"Oh, is that so?" asked Sunset's voice as she and her friends showed up to protect Lily. "I have a hard time believing any of that, Trixie!"

"Hmph... so you showed up at last, Sunset Shimmer." Trixie responded. Now that her attention was on Sunset, Lily took that moment to get away. "I was hoping that you'd show up to 'save the day'; it was worth Dueling a weakling like Lily if it meant I finally get a chance at you!" She then stared down the red and yellow girl and asked her, "And just why, may Trixie ask, do you not believe my words when it is quite clear that I am truly the strongest Duelist here at this school?"

"Because for one thing," Sunset answered her, "you're not exactly as invincible as you'd want us to believe. You and I know that better than anyone." Trixie just grumbled in response.

"And besides that," Applejack added as she helped Lily back onto her feet, "No REAL Duelist would rough someone up as bad as you did Lily just t' get Sunset's attention! You ain't no Duelist; you're nothin' but a bully!"

"Yeah!" Snips blurted out unconsciously. He then quickly covered his mouth when he realized that he had just agreed with them right in front of Trixie.

"Hmph... so I'm a bully, am I?" asked Trixie. "And I am NOT a real Duelist? Trixie is shocked that you would say such a thing about her, considering that the lot of you are buddying up with the worst bully this school has ever known."

"And what's that supposed to mean?" asked Sunset, wondering what the light-blue girl was talking about.

"Oh just drop your little 'goody-goody' act, Sunset. You, I, and everyone else here knows it's all just a complete hoax!" Trixie snapped back.

"What did you just say?!" shouted Rainbow Dash, now getting angry.

"How dare you accuse our friend of such a thing!" Rarity scolded Trixie. "Sunset has learned from her mistakes and changed her ways! Whatever would make you think otherwise?!"

"Because I know about something she did to me that she probably neglected to mentioned to any of you..." the light-blue teen answered.

"What are you talking about...?" asked Sunset, confused. "I never did anything to you, even back when I WAS a jerk."

"Oh but you did, Sunset... And now I'm going to reveal that little bit of unsavory past to your closest friends right here, right now!" Trixie proclaimed. "And THEN we'll see if they want to continue associating with the likes of you anymore!"

The others just stood there, completely silent. They weren't sure what Trixie was going to tell them all.

"You see, everyone..." Trixie began, "your so-called 'friend' did something to me that I can never forgive her for, no matter how much she tries to fake being reformed..." She then pointed at Sunset menacingly and shouted, "I lost an extremely rare card a while back, and it's all because Sunset over there stole it from me!!!"

"Wh...what...?!" gasped the red and yellow girl, shocked by this accusation.

"She... stole a card from Trixie?" asked Fluttershy, stunned by what she had heard as was everyone else.

"That's... what she just said... Ah think." Applejack stated, also in disbelief.

"That... couldn't be right..." Pinkie said, unsure of who to believe. "Could it...?" Everyone just stared blankly after hearing what Trixie had said to them.

Trixie smirked a little and thought to herself, (Yes, now your friends - or perhaps I should say, your FORMER friends - now know you for what you truly are... You can't fake your way out of this.) The light-blue girl believed that, with what she had told them all just now, that they would no longer stick up for Sunset. But before another word could be said...

"THAT'S A LIE!!!" shouted the voice of none other than Twilight Sparkle, who looked quite furious at what Trixie had said.

"Huh??" The other girls, along with Snips and Snails, snapped out of their stupor after hearing the young Princess's outburst.

"Excuse me...?" Trixie asked. "Did you just suggest that I made that up?"

"You heard me, Trixie." Twilight told her in a stern voice. "I know what you just said was a complete lie! I know for a fact that Sunset wouldn't steal a card from you and that's final!"

"Oh, is that what you really think?" asked the light-blue teen. "You seem to have forgotten that Sunset stole something from you the first time you showed up here!"

"I haven't forgotten, Trixie." Twilight replied. "But that's all in the past. And I know that Sunset would never do anything like that ever again!"

"And what proof do you have that she DIDN'T steal from me?" asked Trixie, getting frustrated. "Huh? Answer that!"

"...I don't need any proof." the Princess of Friendship said calmly. "I just know that Sunset couldn't have done what you think she did. I don't have to be convinced by anyone or anything that she's innocent. I just believe in her, and that's all I need."

The others were amazed at how much faith Twilight had in Sunset, especially Sunset herself.

"Hmph... Trixie knew you were a fool, but even she could not have imagined that you were THIS delusional!" the light-blue girl mocked her.

"Oh really?" asked Twilight, not happy about that comment. "Well, what about you? You went looking for a Number Card, even though you KNEW just how dangerous they are; you tricked Snips and Snails into doing your dirty work by promising them something they wanted, only to go back on your promise after they weren't useful to you anymore! And not only that, you picked on another Duelist just for the sole purpose of allowing us to find you! And you're going to accuse Sunset of wrongdoing?!"

Realizing that Twilight had made a good point, the others snapped out of their shock and supported the young Princess. "Yeah, Twi's totally right!" Rainbow Dash. "You can't accuse somebody else of doin' somethin' wrong when you ain't exactly a saint yourself! You're nothing but a total hypochondriac!"

"Um, actually,... I think you mean 'hypocrite', Rainbow..." Fluttershy corrected her friend.

"Whatever." the cyan teen replied, blushing a bit out of embarrassment.

Applejack then stepped forward and said angrily to Trixe, "We're not just gonna stand here and let you badmouth our friend, especially when she's doin' her darndest to be a better person. So do us all a favor and stop spreadin' lies that you KNOW ain't true!!" The others' facial expressions said the same thing: They were determined to stand up for Sunset and not allow Trixie to give her a hard time.

Frustrated by their comments and by the fact that they didn't believe her accusations, Trixie calmly, but angrily said to them all, "So you don't believe me, do you? So be it... Even Trixie can see that talking to you about this is pointless." Looking over at Twilight, she then added, "I WAS planning to take my anger out on Sunset and get my revenge, but since your little friend from another world decided to stick her nose where it didn't belong, I'll take care of her first!!" As she said that, her Duel Pad then activated, its card tray unfolding.

Sunset and her friends gasped; they were shocked at what Trixie planned on doing, but not as much as when they heard Twilight tell the magician wannabe, "Fine! I accept your challenge!"

"Twilight! Are you sure you want do that??" asked Sunset. "Trixie may be a jerk, but she's an experienced Duelist! Are you sure you wouldn't rather have me take her on instead?"

"Thanks, Sunset... but I've made my decision." the Princess of Friendship replied. "I'm not going to allow Trixie to get away with saying all of that horrible stuff about you. I know she's probably had more practice than I have, but I'll find a way to beat her. Just have faith in me..."

Sunset said nothing for the moment after hearing her friend say those words. The red and yellow girl had promised Twilight a while back that she would indeed have faith in her, and she wasn't about to go back on her promise anytime soon. Nodding to the young Princess, Sunset told her, "If that's what you want, then go out there and teach Trixie a lesson she'll never forget!"

Twilight nodded and replied with a smile, "Believe me, it'll be my pleasure!" Stretching out her left arm, the young Princess activated her Duel Pad, shouting, "Duel Pad, activate!!" She then reached into her skirt pocket, pulling out her Duel Gazer and fitting it over her left eye. "Duel Gazer! Let's go!!" she then shouted, her voice full of confidence.

"AR Vision Link established." said the computerized voice as a digital copy of the hallway around them appeared.

Smirking, Trixie then told her opponent menacingly, "You should have stayed out of my business when you had a chance, Twilight Sparkle... And now it's too late for you to back out of it all now!!" (Twilight Sparkle: LP 4,000) (Trixie Lulamoon: LP 4,000).

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As Twilight and Trixie began their Duel, the others nearby put on their Duel Gazers to watch what was going on. As they did, Rarity then glanced over to Sunset and asked her, "Um, Sunset darling...? We... we know full well that you would never steal a card from anyone for any reason... But, I must ask: Why does Trixie seem to think that you did?"

Sunset sighed a little at first, not answering the question right away. After about two seconds, the red and yellow girl pulled out her Deck and replied to the fashionista's question, saying, "I suppose it is about time I told you all about this, especially since Trixie put it all out in the open."

"Wait... don't tell us that what Trixie said was true?" asked Applejack, growing concerned.

"Don't worry, girls... I didn't steal any cards from Trixie." the jacket-clad teenager reassured them. "She made up that story... And it seems she made it up so good, even SHE believes that it's true."

"Then... if you didn't steal anything from her..." Fluttershy began to ask, "then why is Trixie so angry at you?"

Sighing again, Sunset answered, "It's a long story... Real long..."

Meanwhile, Twilight and Trixie had drawn their opening hands and were ready begin their fight. "I'll take the first move, Trixie!" Twilight declared. "I Summon Gagaga Magician in Attack Mode!" After placing her card onto the card tray, her powerful Spellcaster appeared, ready to provide his assistance (Gagaga Magician: Level 4 / ATK 1500 / DEF 1000). "Next, I'll activate my Gagagawind Spell Card!" Twilight continued. "This allows me to play any Gagaga monster from my hand and Summon it as a Level 4 monster! And I choose my Gagaga Mancer!"

Twilight's next monster was of an adult human woman wearing an all-black suit complete with a flowing cape, a gold mask over her eyes, a blue rose in her mouth, and carrying a long sword weapon with an ankh serving as the handle.

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Gagaga Mancer
(Effect Monster/Spellcaster-Type/DARK/Level 4/ATK 100/DEF 100)

Once per turn: You can target 1 "Gagaga" monster in your Graveyard, except "Gagaga Mancer"; Special Summon it, also you cannot Special Summon monsters for the rest of this turn, except "Gagaga" monsters. If this card is detached from an Xyz Monster and sent to the Graveyard to activate that monster's effect: You can target 1 face-up Xyz Monster you control; it gains 500 ATK until the end of this turn.

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"And now that I have two Level 4 monsters on my field," Twilight continued, "I'm ready to make my first big move! I overlay Gagaga Magician and Gagaga Mancer, both Level 4, to create an Overlay Network!!"

Everyone watched as both of Twilight's monsters transformed into purple lights and flew into a red summoning portal in front of her. "Woah! Twi's Xyz Summoning on her first move!" exclaimed Rainbow Dash. "Awesome!"

"Celebrated marksman of the Gagaga clan... Draw your pistol in the name of justice!" the Princess of Friendship chanted. "Let your determination guide your aim!! Xyz Summon!! Fire away! Rank 4! Gagaga Cowboy!!"

After her summoning chant was finished, the portal began to glow brighter than before. Then, from out of the portal came a human man wearing typical western-style clothing, complete with a brown hat, an orange bandanna that covered the lower half of his face, a tan vest with a white shirt underneath, black pants with leather chaps and boots, and a tattered red cape. In his hands were a pair of shiny, silver pistols, loaded and ready to fire (Gagaga Cowboy: Rank 4 / ATK 1500 / DEF 2400).

Trixie wasn't that impressed, however. "You do remember that the first player cannot attack on their turn, do you?" she asked smugly, not really caring about Twilight's move much.

"He won't need to attack you yet." the purple teen said back to her. "I'm putting Gagaga Cowboy in Defense Mode and activating his special ability. By spending one Overlay Unit, he can hit you for 800 points of damage, even if it's my first turn!" (Gagaga Cowboy: OLU 2 - 1 = 1)

"What?!" shouted Trixie. But there was nothing she could do as one of Gagaga Cowboy's floating orbs flew into one of his pistols. The man then fired the gun, sending a powerful shot of energy towards the magician wannabe and hitting her hard. "URK!!" she grunetd after taking the hit (Trixie Lulamoon: LP 4,000 - 800 = 3,200). "That was nothing but a cheap shot, Twilight... I'm not impressed...!"

"Then I guess I'm glad that I'm not trying to impress you." the Princess rebutted. "I'll set one face-down card and end my turn." Twilight then thought to herself, (Okay... I'm off to a good start so far. I got a good defense monster out, I have a face-down card ready for backup, and I even damaged her early. I just need to keep pressing forward like this and not leave her any openings...)

"If that's the best that you can muster, then claiming a victory against you won't require much effort at all!" Trixie taunted. "Now I draw!" As the others watched on, the light-blue girl then said to her opponent, "Perhaps this move will help teach you to mind your own business from now on... I'll Summon my Spellbook Magician of Prophecy in Attack Mode!"

Trixie's first monster was a young male human, wearing all blue and holding a spellbook in his hand. His facial expression suggested that he was in deep thought about something (Spellbook Magician of Prophecy: Level 2 / ATK 500 / DEF 400).

(Rrgh... She's using that Deck again...) thought Sunset, getting a little worried for Twilight.

Smirking confidently, Trixie then declared to her adversary, "Now, by simply Summoning my magician to the field, his effect permits me to move one Spell Card that contains the word 'Spellbook' in its name from my Deck to my hand. And I'll choose to add my Spellbook of Power to my hand." After saying that, her Duel Pad's auto-shuffle mixed up her cards, leaving the chosen card sticking out of the Deck after it had finished. Trixie took and placed it into her hand. "Now I shall play my Spellbook of Secrets! With this card, I can take any other 'Spellbook' Spell Card out of my Deck and add it to my hand, and I choose to take Spellbook of Eternity!" And she did just that.

"C'mon already!" yelled Rainbow Dash. "Are you just gonna shuffle your cards around, or are ya actually gonna make a move sometime this decade?!"

"Very well, if you insist..." the magician wannabe responded. "For my next move, I reveal Spellbook of Miracles, Spellbook of Power, and Spellbook of Eternity in my hand!!" And with that, she voluntarily showed Twilight and the others three of the cards in her hand.

"Ah don't get it..." Applejack said. "Why's she showin' Twi some of her cards if she ain't playin' 'em yet??"

"I know why. And it's not a good thing." Sunset answered. "This is just a set-up for one of the strongest moves that she can pull off with that Deck..."

"Please tell me that you're joking, Sunset..." Rarity replied.

"She isn't, Rarity." Pinkie Pie told her. "Trust me: I can tell."

Trixie, smirking once more, then shouted, "And now that I've revealed three Spellbook Spells in my hand, I can now call forth one of my most powerful servants!! I Summon the almighty High Priestess of Prophecy!!"

At that moment, a greenish-white light shot forth from right in front of Trixie. Spewing from out of the pillar of light were several arcane symbols that spiraled around the pillar. After about five seconds of this, a tall, adult human woman emerged from out of the light. She had medium-length pink hair and wore an outfit that was mostly white in color; it consisted of an elaborate-looking hat, a top that covered her chest area while leaving the midriff exposed, long white gloves, a long flowing sarong-like skirt, and long white boots, all adorned with large pieces of jewelry. Floating in front of her was a green spellbook, which was glowing brightly.

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High Priestess of Prophecy:
(Effect Monster/Spellcaster-Type/LIGHT/Level 7/ATK 2500/DEF 2100)

You can reveal 3 "Spellbook" Spell Cards in your hand: Special Summon this card from your hand. Once per turn: You can banish 1 "Spellbook" Spell Card from your hand or Graveyard, then target 1 card on the field; destroy that target.

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Everyone else was shocked at how easily Trixie was able to Summon such an extremely powerful monster on just her first turn. "You've gotta be kiddin' me!" exclaimed Rainbow Dash. "How's Twilight supposed to fight that thing?!"

"She isn't." Trixie replied, smug as ever. "This card alone will be too much for your little friend to overcome. In fact, I may just have a little fun and beat her just with my High Priestess! I doubt I'll even HAVE to use my new Number card at all in this Duel!!"

"Don't bet on it, Trixie." Twilight responded, not losing any of her self-confidence. "No good Duelist relies just on one card all by itself to win."

"Hmph! And how would an amateur like you know anything about that?" asked Trixie in a snotty tone. "Trick question; you don't. So butt out and allow a true master of this game to show you how a Duel is won! I'll activate the effect of my High Priestess! By banishing my Spellbook of Secrets from the Graveyard, I can now destroy any card on the field!" After removing her Spell Card from the game, she then told Twilight, "Say farewell to your Gagaga Cowboy!!"

The young Princess gasped as she watched Trixie's powerful monster thrust her arms forward, the glowing spellbook quickly opening to a specific page all by itself. A powerful green light then shot out of the book and struck her Xyz Monster, wiping it out with just one blast.

"Well? Now do you see why don't stand any chance against Trixie and her Deck?" asked the overconfident girl. "Maybe now you'll understand what really matters in a Duel! And that's overpowering your foes until they can't fight back!!"

But Twilight smirked and calmly stated, "Actually, I think there's one thing that matters more than that: Always have a backup plan, just in case." Tapping her Duel Pad, she then shouted, "I activate the Trap Card, Guard Go!!"

"What is that??" asked Trixie, having been taken off-guard.

"This card allows me to bring back the monster you just destroyed, as long as it was a Gagaga, Dododo, or Gogogo monster!" Twilight answered. Taking her Xyz Monster out of the Graveyard, she then placed it back onto the field in Defense Mode. All Trixie could do was grumble, annoyed that the effect went to waste.

"Phew... that was a pretty good recovery on Twi's part." noted Applejack.

"Indeed, but I have a feeling that Trixie has a lot more in store for her later on..." Rarity added. Sunset nodded in response, agreeing with her as if she knew exactly what Trixie was capable of.

"Hmph! So you stopped one move. That's all you did and will ever do right in this Duel!" huffed the magician wannabe. "Trixie shall show you just how feeble your so-called 'backup plan' really is!" Taking out another card, she shouted, "I activate my Spellbook of Power on High Priestess! This Spell Card grants an additional 1,000 attack points to my monster for the duration of the turn!" After playing the card, a bright red spellbook appeared in front of the Priestess, which she read carefully in order to use it effectively (High Priestess of Prophecy: ATK 2500 + 1000 = 3500).

"But why did she do that?" asked Fluttershy. "Her monster is already strong enough to defeat Twilight's cowboy without that Spell Card..."

"Because of the Spell's other effect, that's why." Sunset answered.

"Uh... what other effect?" asked Snips.

"You'll see soon enough..." Trixie replied. Pointing forward, she then ordered, "Go, High Priestess!! Attack Gagaga Cowboy! Arcane Wave!!" The tall woman then fired off a powerful wave of green energy that eliminated Twilight's Xyz Monster for the second time in a row. "And now that he's out of the way, I now activate the second effect of Spellbook of Power, which lets me add Spellbook of the Master from my Deck to my hand!" And she did just that.

"So that was her plan..." noted Rarity. "She played that Spellbook card in order to get another one out of her Deck."

"Exactly." Sunset confirmed, nodding her head.

"Now it is your turn, Spellbook Magician of Prophecy! Attack that meddler directly!!" Trixie then shouted. The young magician then swung his staff, letting out a small shot that did minimal damage to Twilight (Twilight Sparkle: LP 4,000 - 500 = 3,500). "Finally, I shall play Spellbook of Eternity. This card permits me to retrieve any of my banished Spellbook Spell Cards, such as my Spellbook of Secrets." After taking back her card, she then ended her turn, which also meant that her High Priestess' attack power returned to its normal value (High Priestess of Prophecy: ATK 3500 - 1000 = 2500).

As Twilight prepared to make her next move, Sunset then said to her friends, "That Trap Card that she played earlier prevented her from taking a heavy hit from Trixie's monsters... But Twilight will need to stop that High Priestess if she hopes to have any chance at winning against her."

"Seems so." Rainbow Dash replied. She then glanced over at her red and yellow friend and said to her, "You seem to know quite a bit about Trixie's Deck, Sunset... Why is that?"

Sighing a little, Sunset then answered her cyan friend, saying, "There's a reason that I know about Trixie's strategy. And it also has to do with why she thinks I stole a card from her." Pulling out her Deck, she then asked everyone around her, "Do any of happen to remember the Duel Monsters Regional Tournament that took place last summer?"

"Ah do." Applejack answered. "And if Ah remember correctly, you were one of the people participatin' in that tournament, right?" Sunset nodded her head yes.

"I remember that too..." Fluttershy added. "But you never mentioned anything about it afterwards, other than that you won..."

"Yeah, and there's a reason for that." Sunset then cleared her throat and explained to them, "As you already know, I was one of the thirty-two Duelists competing in the Regionals. I was one of only two student-age competitors taking part in the tournament."

"Who was the other one?" asked Rarity.

"...The other one," Sunset answered with a sigh, "...was Trixie."

Everyone was shocked to hear that Trixie, the same Trixie that was dueling Twilight right now, was also in the Regional Tournament. "You're kidding!!" exclaimed Rainbow Dash. "Trixie was in that tournament too?!"

"What a shocking and surprising twist to this story!" Pinkie Pie stated. "Next you're gonna tell us that the last match of the tournament came down to you against her, right?"

"That's right." confirmed Sunset.

"Wow! I'm good at this!" the silly pink girl praised herself.

"So you ended up dueling her in the last round... How powerful was she then?" asked Applejack.

"Very powerful." the red and yellow girl stated. "She was one of the toughest Duelists I ever fought against. We were pretty evenly matched in our Duel, and by the time we got to our last turns, our Life Points were both nearly out. It took everything I had just to survive, let alone beat her that day..."

"So what does this have to do with her claiming that you stole a card from her?" asked Rarity, wondering where this was going.

Pulling out a card from her Deck, Sunset then answered her, "Because one of the prizes in that Tournament was a very rare card. Specifically this one." She then showed everyone the card she was talking about: The Supremacy Sun.

"That was the card they gave out in the tournament?!" asked Applejack , shocked by this revelation as was everyone else.

"Yep." confirmed Sunset with a nod. "This card was actually the original print of Supremacy Sun, made by Mr. Phoenix himself before he passed away. It was stolen a long time ago, but Industrial Illusions managed to recover it some time after that happened. Eventually, they made the decision to give it away as a prize for the Regionals."

"No wonder you entered that tournament..." Rainbow Dash began to say. "I'd enter too if I knew that I'd have a chance at winning something like that!"

"Well, the thing is... they didn't tell us what the card would be." Sunset informed her. "They stated that a very rare card would be the prize, but nothing more than that."

"So... what you're saying is that Trixie thinks you stole that card from her, when, in reality, you won it fair and square in the Regional Tournament?" Rarity asked her. "Why would she even think that?"

"Mah guess is that Trix got real sore about losin' to Sunset and couldn't get over it." Applejack assumed. "So she made up an excuse to herself so that she wouldn't feel like a loser about it."

"That's correct." the red and yellow teen replied. "She approached after the match and made a big fuss about it, saying that all I did was get lucky and that's the only reason I beat her and all that. She then swore to me that she'd get the card I won, one way or another."

"But why did she wait until now to try and take it from you?" asked Fluttershy. "If it was that important to her, why didn't she try to get it sooner?"

"Probably because, since I beat her, it shook her confidence and made her think twice about dueling me for the card." Sunset figured. "She probably didn't want me to make her look like a fool in front of everyone."

"Not that she doesn't do that almost all the time anyway." Rainbow Dash commented.

"So that's why she wanted that Number card." Applejack deduced. "So that she could be strong enough to try and beat you the next time you dueled her."

"Mhmm." the red and yellow girl nodded yes, saying, "Not only did she want this card, she ALSO wanted revenge against me... So she used Snips and Snails to help her find a Number card just so she could do all of that."

"We're really sorry, Sunset..." Snips told his former boss. "This is all our fault... We wanted to get back at you too, and Trixie used that just to get that weird card..."

"Yeah... we're really, REALLY sorry Sunset..." Snails chimed in, also feeling bad about everything.

But Sunset, having no more ill feelings to her former cohorts, smiled and told them, "You two don't have to feel sorry about anything. It was my fault that you guys were angry at me to begin with, and Trixie just used that to get to me." Looking over at the two boys, she then added, "But don't you two worry; one way or another, everything will work out in the end. That's a promise."

Snips and Snails looked at each other, wondering if they could take her word for it. Eventually, they decided that they had nothing to lose if they trusted her. Looking over at the red and yellow girl, they nodded to her as Snips said, "Okay. We believe ya, Sunset." The girl was happy to hear that as she smiled right back.

"Things'll only end well if Twilight can get herself out of this mess she's in." Applejack commented, turning her attention back to the Duel. "She's gonna need an extra-good pull from her Deck if she's gonna survive 'til next turn."

"Well, let us start hoping, then..." Rarity chimed in. The others nodded, hoping for Twilight to overcome the odds set against her.

Back at the Duel, the Princess of Friendship looked at her Deck and thought to herself, (I can do this... I can do this...! I can't let Trixie beat me, or my friends will be at her mercy, assuming she'll have any for them...) She then pulled the top card of her Deck and looked at it. Content, she then played it, saying, "I activate Gagagadraw from my hand! By banishing my Gagaga Magician, Gagaga Mancer, and Gagaga Cowboy from the Graveyard, I can now draw two extra cards!"

"Hmph... so you still have some beginner's luck left, do you?" asked Trixie, still not impressed. "Fine, draw your cards and get a move on. Trixie does not have all day to wait for her victory."

Twilight grumbled a little, but ignored her opponent's snarky comment as she drew her two new cards. Looking at them, she smiled and said, "Well, since I liked drawing new cards that time, why not try it again? I activate Dodododraw; one of the cards that I put into my hand just now!"

"What?! Again??" asked the light blue-skinned girl.

"Now I'll send my Dododo Driver from my hand to the Graveyard and draw ANOTHER two cards from my Deck!" Twilight declared, doing just that. After getting her next two cards, she kept right on smiling and told herself, (Okay, this could help... At the very least, I think I might be able to stop that High Priestess next turn.) Placing one of the cards into her Duel Pad's Spell/Trap Zone slot, she then announced, "I'll set one card face-down on the field, and Summon Cardcar D from my hand!"

Everyone gasped a little as Twilight's new monster began speeding down the hallway that they were in. It was a blue car, flattened almost paper-thin, and bearing a phoenix-like insignia with a large, red "D" printed upon the hood (Cardcar D: Level 2 / ATK 800 / DEF 400).

(Grrrn... how lucky can this amatuer get?!) Trixie asked herself in her mind.

"Now I activate the effect of my Cardcar D!" Twilight then stated. "On the turn in which it was Normal Summoned, I can release it and draw yet another two cards from my Deck!"

"Are you sure you want to do that, Sparkle?" asked Trixie teasingly. "If you do that, you'll have no monsters left... and that play will also end your turn automatically!"

"I'm VERY sure, Trixie." Twilight said confidently. "It's a risk that I'm willing to take." Thrusting her hand into the air, she then shouted, "Cardcar D! I release you!!" And with that, the newly-Summoned monster vanished from sight as soon as it appeared, allowing Twilight to draw her next two cards.

"A gutsy move..." Sunset stated. "Twilight just left herself wide open to an attack by Trixie, so hopefully she pulled something that made it worth the risk." The others nodded in agreement.

Trixie chuckled evilly to herself and asked, "Are you quite finished, Twilight? Because other than draw a bunch of times from your Deck, you accomplished nothing on your turn!" Drawing her next card, she then added, "A mistake you shall soon live to regret!" Playing a card from her hand, she then shouted, "I Summon Hermit of Prophecy in Attack Mode!"

Trixie's newest monster was a very old man wearing purple robes, a purple hat, and carrying a long, golden scepter with all sorts of blue, purple, and silver adornments on it (Hermit of Prophecy: Level 3 / ATK 1200 / DEF 700).

"Next," Trixie continued, "I'll activate my Spellbook of Secrets, and add another Spellbook of Power to my hand." After she did that, she then informed her opponent, "In addition, that also triggers the effect of my Hermit of Prophecy! Whenever I play a Spellbook Spell Card, he increases in power!" (Hermit of Prophecy: Level 3 + 2 = 5 / ATK 1200 + 300 = 1500)

"That's not good!" said Rainbow. "Without any monsters out on the field, Twilight'll lose all her Life Points if Trixie attacks right now!"

"Quite right, but first things first: I'll banish my Spellbook of Secrets from the Graveyard and use my High Priestess's effect!" the light blue teen declared. After paying the cost, Trixie then ordered, "Now destroy her face-down card!!"

"Not this time, Trixie!!" shouted Twilight, tapping on her Duel Pad at that very moment.

Trixie gasped as she saw several long, green chains shoot out of nowhere. Before she knew it, her powerful Spellcaster monster was wrapped up in them, unable to reach her spellbook in order to activate her magic. "What is this?!?" the magician wannabe shouted. "Explain yourself!!"

"It would be my pleasure!" Revealing her face-down card, the young Princess then told her opponent, "I activated my Trap Card, Fiendish Chain! This card stops your monster from attacking! And not only that, it also blocks out its effects!"

"Alright! That's showin' her, Twilight!" cheered Applejack.

"Yeah! Take that, Trixie!!" Pinkie chimed in.

Trixie wasn't too pleased, however. In fact, she seemed quite angry. "That card..." she muttered to herself. "That card... was how she took everything away from me...!" A memory then popped up in her mind at that moment; it was from her Duel against Sunset in the Regional Tournament...

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

"Now, Sunset! Feel the true power of the Great and Powerful Trixie!!" Trixie shouted as she activated her High Priestess of Prophecy's effect. "Now, go! Destroy her Crystal Chrononaut!!" The mighty Spellcaster prepared to do just that.

"Not so fast! I activate Fiendish Chain!" Sunset declared, flipping her card face-up. And just like Twilight had done in the present, the Trap Card wrapped itself around the High Priestess. "Now your monster can't attack, and her abilities are completely useless!"

"No! That can't be right!! There's no way that could be right!!" the light blue girl denied.

"Oh, it's quite right, Trixie." the inter-dimensional girl assured her. Drawing her next card, she then said, "I'll use my Chronomaly Pyramid Eye Tablet to give my Crystal Chrononaut a boost! Eight hundred attack points, to be precise." Her tough Xyz Monster then became even tougher after the Continuous Spell strengthened it (Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut: ATK 2100 + 800 = 2900). Pointing at Trixie's trapped monster, Sunset then ordered, "Now! Destroy her High Priestess!!" Without any delay, Crystal Chrononaut sped forward and readied a mighty punch.

"No! NO!! You can't!!!" Trixie pleaded. But there was nothing she could do. Sunset's Xyz Monster attacked and destroyed her Spellcaster, wiping out what was left of her Life Points (Trixie Lulamoon: LP 300 - 400 = 0) (WINNER: Sunset Shimmer).

"And with that attack, this tournament is over!!" said the MC. "Sunset Shimmer is the new Duel Monsters Champion of Canterlot City!" The crowds cheered her on, praising her for her victory. But as the red and yellow girl waved to her new fans, Trixie just sat there, grumbling to herself, wondering just how she could have possibly lost.

"My victory..." she muttered softly. "My fans... my prize..." Growling to herself, she added, "I had them all... and she stole them away from me...!" Slamming her fist on the ground, she continued to become bitter about her defeat. "Stole them... Stole from me...!"

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Seeing that Trap Card spring on her again like that only made Trixie even angrier. As she growled, the 11 mark appeared over her left eye again, glowing fiercely. "How dare you...!" she snarled at Twilight. "How dare you trap my monster like that!!"

"T...Trixie??" Twilight began to ask, wondering just what got under her skin all of a sudden.

"Now what is she so angry about??" asked Fluttershy, trembling a little.

"It's that Trap Card Twilight used." Sunset explained. "That Fiendish Chain card was how I beat Trixie during the Regionals. Seeing that card sprung on her High Priestess for a second time really must've got her mad..."

"That... does not sound good." Rarity replied, getting worried. "I hope Twilight will be okay out there, because it's clear that Trixie's beginning to dislike her just as much as she dislikes you, Sunset."

"...I hope so too." the red and yellow girl replied, also having that same worried feeling herself.

Back at the Duel, Twilight waited for Trixie to make her next move. But the light blue teen just stood there, growling at her. "Um... are you okay, Trixie?" asked Twilight, showing concern for her opponent for the first time since the Duel started.

"Am I okay...?" asked Trixie, the mark on her face glowing brighter than ever. "You should be more concerned about yourself, little Princess...! Now you've made this personal!! Now I'll not simply defeat you; I'LL CRUSH YOU!!!" Taking out another card in her hand, she then yelled, "I'll use my Spellbook of Power to increase my High Priestess's attack points, just like before!!" (High Priestess of Prophecy: ATK 2500 + 1000 = 3500)

"But that's silly..." Pinkie Pie noted. "She can't attack with that card anyway, so why's she doing that?? For the first time in a while, I'M confused..."

"...I know what she's doing." Sunset told them all.

"You do?!" asked the others.

The red and yellow girl nodded, telling them, "Remember that Hermit Trixie played earlier? When a Spellbook card is played, its attack points go up... But that's not the only thing that increases: It also goes up two Levels at the same time!" The others gasped when they heard that.

"So hold up; she played two of those Spellbooks this turn, right?" asked Rainbow Dash. "And if I remember, that guy was Level 3 when he was Summoned... So that means..."

Gasping, Fluttershy then interrupted, saying, "It will become Level 7... The same as her High Priestess!" (Hermit of Prophecy: Level 5 + 2 = 7 / ATK 1500 + 300 = 1800).

"So that's what she's doin'!" Applejack exclaimed, figuring everything out. "She's goin' for an Xyz Summon!"

"And a Rank 7 monster at that..." Rarity added.

"I don't know what this all means, guys," said Spike, "other than the fact that we're gonna be in huge trouble!!"

Thrusting her hand into the air, Trixie then put on a wicked smile and said to her foe, "Prepare to meet your end, Twilight Sparkle! I overlay my Hermit and my High Priestess, both currently Level 7... and create the Overlay Network!!" In that instant, the High Priestess transformed into a ball of yellow light, causing the chains that had bound her to fall the ground and vanish. At the same time, the Hermit turned himself into a bright orange light before both of them were drawn into a galaxy-like portal that had opened up in the middle of the battlefield.

"Appear, Number 11! Peer into the souls of my enemies and expose their pathetic weaknesses!" Trixie chanted. "Xyz Summon!" At that moment, the portal exploded, leaving behind a bright, orange 11 mark on the ground. "The ruler with the dazzling pupil, Rank 7!! Big Eye!"

Everyone watched as a giant eyeball began to float down from the sky, smashing apart the digital ceiling above them. After it revealed itself, what appeared to be nerves and tissue began to from around the eye, creating a gigantic, white, upside-down cone. Encircling the cone was a large, golden ring which bore the same orange 11 that was on Trixie's face. Orbiting the cone were two dark-purple orbs of energy.

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Number 11: Big Eye
(Xyz-Effect Monster/Spellcaster-Type/DARK/Rank 7/ATK 2600/DEF 2000)

2 Level 7 monsters
Cannot be destroyed by battle except with "Number" monsters. Once per turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 1 monster your opponent controls; take control of that monster. This card cannot attack the turn you activate this effect.

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Twilight, Sunset, and their friends were shocked and slightly frightened by what they saw. "Is... is that Trixie's Number card??" asked Rarity. "That thing is absolutely hideous!"

"And sc-scary..." Fluttershy added, trembling.

"Th-that's Trixie's Number card, all right...!" Snips confirmed, shaking with fear. "Sh-she found it in the Teacher's Lounge after w-w-we agreed to help her...!"

"W-w-we're REALLY sorry!! We really are!!" Snails cried out.

Sunset growled a little to herself, telling her friends, "The Number cards take on their form based on the feelings and wishes of whomever finds them... Obviously, Trixie wanted a monster that she could use to defeat me and take my Surpremacy Sun away, so it became something uber-powerful. And unfortunately, I'm pretty sure that we'll find out just how powerful that thing is..."

Twilight thought to herself after hearing what Sunset had told her. (Something that could take her Sun card away...?) she pondered, thinking about it some more.

Trixie, now cackling hysterically, taunted Twilight, telling her, "This Duel shall soon be mine, and so will ALL of your Number cards!! My Big Eye will take everything and everyone you hold dear!!" That comment by Trixie also made the young Princess think a little. But she didn't have a lot of time to dwell on it, as the light blue teen readied her next attack. "Now, Big Eye and Spellbook Magician! Strike that upstart's Life Points directly!!"

The two monsters prepared their attack; all Twilight could do was shield her face with her arms as Big Eye let out a powerful energy beam first, hitting her extremely hard (Twilight Sparkle: LP 3,500 - 2,600 = 900). "AAACK!!" she shrieked as she took the assault, only to get hit again, this time from the smaller magician (Twilight Sparkle: LP 900 - 500 = 400).

"Ooooo... that sure didn't look pretty..." Rainbow Dash commented.

"Perhaps, but at least she survived this turn." Rarity noted. "If Twilight didn't force Trixie into Summoning her Xyz Monster, she would have lost the Duel."

"Yeah, but now she's got that big, floating eyeball to deal with!" Spike rebutted. "How's she gonna beat it??"

"Hmmmmm... That depends." Pinkie began to say.

"Depends on what?" asked Snips curiously.

"Does Twilight have a Spell Card that causes a monster to get a loose eyelash in their eye? 'Cause that always irritates me." the silly pink girl answered, eliciting a collective groan out of her friends.

"That's a great idea, Pinkie Pie!!" praised Snails, eliciting an even LOUDER groan.

Trixie chuckled to herself as Twilight slowly got back onto her feet. "You may as well stay down, Sparkle..." she taunted, "because as soon as you and Sunset are out of my way, I shall be the only one to receive all the praise and glory! I shall be the school's best Duelist; a title that I should have had to begin with!! I'll get that into the thick skulls of everyone at school, even if I have to MAKE them understand that!!!"

"You won't have to worry about that, Trixie..." Twilight calmly told her. "Because you won't get past me! I won't let you hurt or badmouth any of my friends as long as I can still fight back!"

"Just try, Sparkle... and you'll soon learn just how foolish this mistake you're making truly is!" the light-blue teen continued to taunt.

(At least we learn from our mistakes, unlike you...) thought Sunset. (It's pretty clear that Trixie hasn't learned a thing from when she lost her Duel with me.) Smiling a bit, she then added to her thoughts, (Which means that Twilight won't lose to her, either!)

As Twilight prepared to make her next move, she suddenly heard the voice of Utopia in her mind. "Twilight... Can you hear me?" he asked.

"Utopia..." Twilight responded. "Yes, I can hear you... Is something wrong?"

"I was about to suggest that, before you make your next move, we should first try and figure out what sort of powers Trixie's Number card holds." Utopia responded. "We must not go into such a perilous situation completely blind."

"I thought so too." the Princess of Friendship told him. "But when I tried to use the Duel Pad to read her Number card, it wasn't able to display anything. It couldn't read the card's text."

"Indeed." stated Utopia. "The Duel Pad, from what I have observed so far, is capable of translating many different languages. However, it appears to have limitations: It does not appear to able to translate the written language of the Astral World, so looking up the card on your device will not help us." After a short pause, he then added, "That being said, there is still a way to figure out Big Eye's secrets..."

"How so?"

"If you recall Twilight, the Numbers shape their form and powers based on the desires and feelings of those who hold them." Utopia reminded her. "Recall what has happened so far, as well as your past encounters with Trixie, and the answer may soon come to you."

"Hmmm..." Twilight went into deep thought as she recalled everything that she knew about Trixie, including the one from her world that she was more familiar with. "Let's see..." she muttered to herself, "well, the first time I met the Trixie from my world, she was bragging about her magical talent and annoying everypony. She even went as far as to lie about defeating an Ursa Major single-hoofed just so everyone would be impressed with her..."

"Hmmm... I see." Utopia responded. "Go on."

"Then, a while later, she came back to Ponyville, this time with that Alicorn Amulet that drastically increased her powers." Twilight continued. "She then managed to temporarily take over the town and force everyone to follow her."

"Oh dear..." Utopia replied, a bit startled. "Is there anything else?"

"Well, not much else from the Trixie that I know." the young Princess answered. "But I do know some things about this world's Trixie, such as how annoyed she was at the fact that our defeating the Sirens last year caused everyone at school to pretty much forget that she had won the Battle of the Bands competition... Other than that, the only other things that I know about her are what she did today; lying to Snips and Snails in order to find a Number card, accusing Sunset of stealing from her... It seems Trixie is going out of her way to control what other people think..."

"It does appear that way..." Utopia replied with a nod.

Twilight then gasped. "That's it!" she told him. "I think I figured it out!"

"You know what Big Eye's powers are?" asked Utopia, curious.

"Not only that," she answered him, "but if my hunch is right, I think I might have a plan to stop her completely." Looking at her Deck, she then added, "It comes down to this next card... But more than that: It also comes down to whether we can trust each other or not." Putting on a smile, she then told Utopia, "Utopia, I know I can trust you, just like how I know I can trust that Sunset would never do anything like what Trixie said she did... So if I draw the right card, I'm planning to have you enter the field. Can you trust me to make the right move?"

Utopia was quite impressed; even he was astounded by how much faith she had put in him, despite the odds against them. With a nod, he told her, "Of course I trust you, Twilight. I know you will come though this, and I shall be there to help you."

Smiling, the young Princess then said, "In that case, let's take her down together!" She then placed her fingers on the top of her Deck and pulled her next card. "I draw!!"

Everyone watched the purple-skinned girl, wondering what was going to happen next. Her friends were all mentally urging her to give it her best and pull through. Even Snips and Snails were hoping that Twilight would win the Duel.

Twilight then glanced at her next card to see what it was. Trixie, as overconfident as ever, taunted her opponent, saying, "It does not matter one bit what card you play, Sparkle. This Duel is mine no matter what you try!"

But Twilight smirked a little and told her, "Don't be so sure of that, Trixie. Anything could still happen, and the outcome isn't always so crystal-clear."

"I beg your pardon...?" asked the light-blue girl, not sure where Twilight was going with this. "Just what are you talking about? You couldn't possibly have anything left to fight me with! And besides that, I even have eight times as many Life Points compared to you!! There's no way you can defeat me at this point!"

"If that's what you think, then prepare to be VERY disappointed..." the young Princess replied, still smiling.

"Sounds like Twi's got some sort of plan cookin' up!" noted Applejack.

"Let's hope so." Sunset replied. "This is her last chance to turn this whole Duel around."

"First things first," Twilight started to say, "I activate the Spell Card Onomatopaira! By sending one card from my hand to the Graveyard, I can choose two monsters from my Deck with Zubaba, Gagaga, Gogogo, or Dododo in their names and add them to my hand!" After sending a card from her hand to the Graveyard, she then made her choices "I choose to add Gagaga Magician and Gogogo Giant to my hand. And then I'll Summon my Gogogo Giant in Attack Mode!"

Twilight's new monster was a giant, humanoid rock creature, colored mostly brown and cyan. It looked almost robotic in appearance as it rose up from the ground, shining the one yellow eye on what would be considered its face (Gogogo Giant: Level 4 / ATK 2000 / DEF 0).

"Now, just by Normal Summoning my Gogogo Giant, I can use his special ability!" Twilight then declared. "It allows me to Special Summon any Gogogo monster from my Graveyard in Defense Mode! And I choose my Gogogo Golem!" And with that, a large, blue and green-colored rock creature popped out of a violet-colored portal and took its place by the young Princess (Gogogo Golem: Level 4 / ATK 1800 / DEF 1500). Then Gogogo Giant switched itself to Defense Mode due to its effect.

"Twilight originally didn't have a Gogogo monster in her Graveyard," noted Fluttershy, paying close attention to her friend's moves, "but when she played her Spell Card this turn, she must have sent Gogogo Golem to the Graveyard in order to pay the cost."

"In other words, she managed to learn to use even the negative effects of her cards to her advantage." Rarity added.

Sunset was also impressed. (I knew Twilight would finally start to get the hang of this game.) she thought. (She's even managed to pull off some more advanced tactics, such as with that Onomatopaira card... She's improving little by little with every Duel... And that might just affect the outcome of this match...)

"Now I overlay my Level 4 Gogogo Giant and Gogogo Golem to build the Overlay Network!" Twilight shouted. In an instant, her two monsters transformed into a pair of orange lights that were immediately sucked up into a galaxy-like portal. "Appear, Number 39!" she then chanted. "My battle starts here! I entrust my wishes upon your white wings! Xyz Summon!" At that moment, the portal exploded, revealing a 39 mark upon the ground. "Messenger of light! Rank 4! Utopia!!"

With the completion of her Summoning Chant, Twilight's loyal Number card graced the field, ready to do battle against Trixie and her Big Eye (Number 39: Utopia: Rank 4 / ATK 2500 / DEF 2000).

"Awesome!!" cheered Rainbow Dash. "Twilight's Number card!!"

"Yay! Trixie's in trouble now!!" Pinkie cried out happily.

"Now go, Utopia! Attack Trixie's Spellbook Magician!!" Twilight ordered. "Rising Sun Slash!!"

Utopia nodded and rushed forward towards Trixie's weaker monster. The mighty warrior then drew his sword and slashed it at the Spellcaster, taking him out of the battle and dealing Trixie serious damage (Trixie Lulamoon: LP 3,200 - 2,000 = 1,200). "AAAAACK!!!" screamed the light-blue teenager as she took the hit.

"Last of all, I'll set one card face-down. That ends my turn." stated the Princess of Friendship.

Grunting, Trixie looked up at Utopia and asked, "So... that's your Number card?" Smirking, she then added, "Trixie admits that it is quite powerful. But you seemed to have overlooked that mine is even more powerful, with 2600 attack points! So, right now, I could very well eliminate your Number without resistance." She then drew her next card and asked rhetorically, "But, that would be quite a waste, wouldn't it?"

"What's she goin' on about this time?" asked Applejack.

"It's just a feeling," Sunset answered, "but I don't think Trixie has any intention of destroying Utopia... Let's all pray that Twilight has that same feeling..." Of course, the purple-skinned girl's facial expression still looked as confident as it did when her turn began. Of course, Trixie was so sure of herself, she hardly even noticed as she began to make her next move.

"Now I think it's about time that I reveal my Number's full power!!" the light-blue girl began to say. "I remove one Overlay Unit from Big Eye and activate its effect!! This power allows me to select any one of your monsters and take it for myself!!"

The others gasped. "She can do WHAT?!?!" exclaimed Snips.

Sunset and Twilight put on a stern expression upon hearing what Big Eye was capable of. They had a feeling that Trixie was up to something.

"Now, Big Eye... do as I command and take control of Twilight's Utopia!! Go! Temptation Glance!!" the crazed teen commanded. Upon receiving its order, Big Eye absorbed one of its two purple-colored orbs (Number 11: Big Eye: OLU 2 - 1 = 1). It then gazed at Twilight's Xyz Monster, surrounding it with a purple haze. However, Utopia did his best to try and fight it off.

"Utopia!! Speak to me! Are you okay??" asked the young Princess out of concern.

"You should worry more about yourself, Sparkle." Trixie said to her, feeling quite powerful right now. "No matter how much he struggles, Big Eye's power is too powerful for him to resist! Since he'll be in my possession at the end of this Duel, I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to try him out right now, don't you agree?"

"Oooo, that Trixie...!" Rarity said, trying to hold back her anger. "If I weren't as lady-like as I am, I'd have a few choice words for her, I'll tell you that!"

"Not that you'd be able to say them anyway." Pinkie told her. "After all, kids might be reading this."

(C'mon Twilight... I know you can pull through this... You can't let Trixie beat you!) Sunset mentally urged her friend.

Laughing proudly, Trixie then shouted, "And now for my final move, I'll attack you with your OWN Number Card, ending the Duel in your defeat!! Ha ha ha ha haaa!!!"

"...I'm afraid that won't be happening, Trixie." Twilight calmly told her.

"Ha h-... eh?? What was that??" asked the light-blue girl, dumbstruck by what she heard.

"I said that Utopia won't be attacking me this turn, or ANY turn!" Twilight told her. "And that's because I knew what you were planning to do!"

"You LIE!!!" Trixie protested. "That's impossible!! An amateur Duelist like you could not have possibly guessed my strategy!!"

"Maybe not, but I didn't need to be a good Duelist to know what you had in mind." the young Princess. "Turns out, all I needed to know was what kind of person you were: Someone who tries to manipulate others into thinking you're the best thing since Daring Do... But I'm afraid that my friends aren't that easily convinced. And the same goes for my Utopia!" Tapping her Duel Screen, she then told her, "I reveal my face-down card!"

Once the card flipped face-up, Trixie let out a surprised gasp. "No!! NO!!! It can't be!!"

Everyone else was surprised as well. "Ah don't believe it...!" said Applejack. "Twilight had Remove Brainwashing on the field!"

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

Remove Brainwashing:
(Continuous Trap Card)

The control of all monsters on the field returns to the owners.

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

After the card was activated, the purple aura that surrounded Utopia vanished, fully freeing him from Big Eye's control. Turning over to his controller, he told her, "Thank you, Twilight."

"I was just doing what any good friend would do." she simply replied, rubbing the back of her head. "There was no way that I was going to allow anyone to try and take you away from me. That's the whole reason I put the card in my Deck in the first place. Thought, to be honest, I never thought I'd actually need to use it..." She then let out a small chuckle at that remark.

"Phew... what a relief..." Applejack sighed, thankful that Trixie's monster had been stopped.

"Yeah, that was TOO close." Pinkie remarked. "If that were any closer, then I'd swear we were wearing 3-D glasses."

Trixie wasn't amused one bit when her plans were completely foiled. "I don't believe it...!!" she snarled. "I planned on taking her best monster this whole time!! And she managed to stop my entire strategy with just ONE CARD!!!" Still grumbling, she told Twilight, "I... end my turn..."

"Huh? That's weird...? Why didn't she attack Twilight?" asked Fluttershy.

"I don't think she can..." Sunset hypothesized. "Maybe Big Eye isn't allowed to attack on the same turn that it uses its effect... Which means Twilight has a chance to win this Duel. We just have to hope that she can draw the right card in time."

"Well, let's start hopin', then..." Rainbow Dash suggested.

"You can do this, darling!" Rarity shouted to Twilight. "Show Trixie just how a Duel should be won!"

The young Princess nodded and looked at her Deck. (Okay, it comes down to this...) she thought. (I have a chance to stop Trixie now, and I don't intend on wasting it!) Placing her pointer and index fingers on the top of her Deck, she said to her opponent, "It's my turn!" As she prepared to pull the card, she kept wishing in her heart that she would draw something that would end the Duel in the best possible way. "I DRAW!!"

A split-second before the card was pulled, Utopia began to radiate a powerful light around himself. "Huh? What's going on??" asked Twilight's friends. Trixie just stood there, staring at Twilight's Xyz Monster... and, for the first time since the Duel began, started to get worried.

"Utopia...?" Twilight asked her monster. "What's happening to you?"

"I'm not sure..." the warrior answered, "but this feeling is... quite familiar." His eyes then widened after he realized what it may have been. "Yes, that must be it...! I can feel some of my power... It's... it's returning!"

"Returning?" asked the purple teenager. She then suddenly noticed that her newly-drawn card was also glowing. "This is my Fissure Spell Card... but why is it glowing just like Utopia?" Of course, that was the least of her questions when the entire card suddenly began glowing, obscuring the picture. When it finally died down, Twilight was shocked to see that card she had was now a totally different one; its artwork was different in that it featured Utopia on it. Not only that, the name of the card, as well as the effect text, were written in the same strange glyphs as the Number cards.

"The card... it's different now..." Twilight muttered. She then turned to Utopia and asked him, "Utopia? Did... you do this?"

He nodded yes, telling his controller, "It seems as though some of my power has been awakened, Twilight... Your trust in your friends, your abilities, and the hope you have in your heart released it. However, this was something that even I could not do alone; you had just as much involvement as I did." He then turned towards their opponent and told the young Princess, "For now, though, we have more important matters to attend to. Let us use that new power and finish this Duel!"

Twilight, with a look of determination on her face, nodded and said, "You've got it, Utopia!" Playing her new card, she then shouted, "I activate a Spell Card from my hand! Utopia Buster!!"

"What?!?" asked Trixie. "Utopia WHAT?!?" After playing the card, a rocket launcher suddenly manifested itself upon Utopia's right shoulder, armed and ready to fire.

"Utopia Buster?" asked Rainbow Dash. "I've never heard of that card before... Have you, Sunset?"

The red and yellow girl shook her head no, saying, "Never... I know just about every card in the game, but this isn't one of them." She then looked at Twilight's Number card and thought to herself, (But I have a feeling that it didn't just appear randomly out of thin air... I'll bet something between Twilight and Utopia caused it to show up.)

Trixie, sweating a little, asked her foe, "What sort of card is that?! I've never heard of it before!! Tell me!!"

Twilight smirked a little and answered her, saying, "If you insist... Since I have Utopia on the field, this Spell Card automatically destroys the monster that has the lowest attack power on your side of the field!"

"That can't be!" gasped Trixie. "The... the only monster that I have is-"

"That's right." the Princess of Friendship interrupted her, knowing what she was going to say. "The only monster you have out is Big Eye... Which means that Utopia Buster will destroy it!"

"NO!!!" shouted Trixie. "That's not possible!"

"Woah, did y'all hear that, girls?" asked Applejack. "That one card can blow up Trixie's best monster like it was made of balsa wood!"

"Oh... my..." was all that Fluttershy could utter.

Trixie stood nervously as Utopia took aim at her Number card, ready to blast it to smithereens. "No... you can't...! Not my powerful Number card...!" she whined.

"Losing your Number won't be all that happens, Trixie." Twilight told her. "After the buster destroys your monster, you then take damage equal to its attack strength! And because you decided to make your Number extremely powerful, this blast will end the Duel right here!"

"NO!!!" shouted the magician wannabe. But there was nothing that she could do to save herself now.

"Alright!! Let 'er have it, Twilight!" cheered Spike. "You've got this won!!"

The young Princess nodded before shouting, "Go, Utopia!! Use your buster and destroy Big Eye!"

"I shall do just that!" Utopia said. "Hope Buster Shot!!" The warrior then fired his weapon, sending the rocket projectile straight towards Trixie's Number card. It blew up on contact, vaporizing Big Eye with a single blast and sending flaming debris onto its controller.

"NOOOOOO!!!!!" screamed Trixie as the blast knocked away what was left of her Life Points (Trixie Lulamoon: LP 1,200 - 2,600 = 0). She then toppled to the floor, completely and totally defeated (WINNER: Twilight Sparkle).

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"She did it!" cheered Rarity. "Twilight won the Duel!!"

"I knew she would...!" Fluttershy (quietly) exclaimed. "I just knew she would...!"

"Yep! Good thing that plot point showed up when it did and gave Twilight that super-strong card all of a sudden!" Pinkie chimed in.

"Uh, yeah... whatever you said there, Pinks." Rainbow Dash said to her. Applejack simply gave a nod to show how impressed she was.

Sunset smiled warmly, thinking, (I knew Twilight would come out okay... Trixie may have had more experience than she did, but once Twilight started getting the better of her, she couldn't keep up.) Sighing to herself, she then added, (She made the same mistakes that cost her the Duel at the Regional Tournament...)

Twilight looked at the fallen Trixie and let out a sigh of relief. "Wow... that sure was intense..." she said.

"Yes, I agree..." Utopia replied. "But what's important is that we have emerged victorious, thanks to our combined efforts." He then reached out his hand and drew Trixie's Number card to it. Afterwards, it then appeared in Twilight's Extra Deck. "And now we are one Number closer to ending this crisis."

"Solving the issue just one step at a time; that's a good way to look at this whole thing." agreed Twilight. "And we'll work harder than ever so that we can take the next step." Utopia nodded in response.

"Urrrgh..." groaned Trixie's voice. She sat up, holding her head in pain as she opened her eyes. Now that she was no longer under Big Eye's influence, they were back to their normal light-purple color. "I... I don't understand... I used the same strategy that I always use with this Deck... I had much more experience than she did..." she said. Growling a little, she then shouted out frustration, "So why did I lose AGAIN?!?"

"I'll tell you why, Trixie." Sunset suddenly spoke up, walking over towards her.

"And why should I listen to you?" Trixie asked the red and yellow girl in a snotty tone.

"I don't expect you to listen to what I have to say, but I at least want you to hear me out." she responded. "Can you at least do that?" Trixie was about to snap back, but at the last minute, changed her mind and decided to hear Sunset's words.

Clearing her throat, Sunset then told her, "The reason that you lost to Twilight - at least what I think the reason is - is because you failed to learn anything from your loss back at the Regionals. You played many of the same moves that you did before, and Twilight stopped them the exact same way that I did. You were so bitter about your loss to me, and you were so fixated on your whole 'revenge plot', that you tried to deny and forget your mistakes. And for a True Duelist, there's nothing more foolish than doing that."

Trixie had nothing to say back. She kept right on hearing what Sunset had to say to her, and it seemed that she beginning to understand her words.

"I know how much it hurts to lose a Duel or two." the red and yellow girl continued. "But instead of trying to pretend like it never happened, a True Duelist needs to try and LEARN from their past mistakes, so that they can become even stronger the next time. A strong Duelist isn't always judged by how much they've won, but by how much they've learned from their experiences, bad or good. And only when you start doing that, can you become - as you put it - 'Great and Powerful'." Sunset's friends applauded at her well-given speech.

Trixie said nothing at first as she got up, keeping her head down as she did so. Then, she said in a low voice, "Are you done, Sunset...? Because there's only one thing I have to say about all of that..." But just when everyone expected her to respond harshly, Trixie revealed her face, her eyes full of tears, and cried, "You're absolutely right...!!"

Everyone just stood there, surprised to see Trixie looking very apologetic for once.

"I WAS trying to forget my loss to you back then!" she sobbed. "But the more I kept trying to push it out of my mind, the more hurt I felt! I kept trying to tell myself that you only won because of a cheat or a fluke... but deep down, I knew that wasn't true..."

"Are... you gonna be okay, Trixie...?" asked Sunset, concerned.

Wiping her eyes a little, Trixie looked over at her former enemy and told her, "Please, Sunset... Please accept my apology! It was wrong of me to accuse you of stealing anything! I was just so bitter about the whole thing, but it's no excuse for the trouble I caused you and Twilight just now!" Sniffling a little, she then added, "It isn't your fault that I lost to you... It was MY fault for not preparing myself enough. You were just trying to do your best in the Regionals, just like I was, and there is nothing wrong about that... So please, for what it's worth... I'm sorry!" She then began crying a little more after saying all of that.

Everyone was surprised to see Trixie actually admitting that she was wrong. But everyone, including Sunset and Twilight, could tell that she wasn't faking it. The red and yellow girl smiled and put her hand on Trixie's shoulder to comfort her. "Apology accepted." she told her. "I know that you really feel bad about it all. The best thing we can do is to try and move on."

"You're absolutely right..." Trixie replied, wiping one last tear from her eye.

Sunset then pulled out her Supremacy Sun card and said to her, "Look, just so that there's no more bad blood between us, you can have my Sun card if it means that much to you."

"Woah, are you sure about that, Sunset?" asked Rainbow Dash. "That's the rarest card you've got!"

"Maybe, but if keeping it means that Trixie will always harbor some hatred towards me, I'm better off without it." the red and yellow girl answered. "So go ahead... You can take it, Trixie." She then placed the Planet card in her hand.

Trixie looked at the rare card, in awe of its mere presence. "I must say..." she said, "this is quite a beautiful and wonderful card, this Surpremacy Sun..." She then paused for a moment and added, "Perhaps, when I'm strong enough, I can have one of my own someday." She then gave the card back to Sunset.

"So... you don't want to take it?" asked the red and yellow girl.

"No... you can keep it, Sunset." Trixie told her. "You earned that card fair and square. Besides, it's a better fit in your Deck anyway."

"Wow... Thanks, Trixie." Sunset responded.

The light-blue girl nodded and told her, "I'm going to look over my Duels with both you and Twilight, so that I can fix up my strategy. And when I do... Could I ask you two for a rematch?"

Sunset nodded, telling her, "I'll look forward to it, Trixie." Twilight also nodded to say that she liked that idea as well. The three of them shook hands to say that, from now on, there would be no more problems between them.

"Until next Duel, Sunset and Twilight." Trixie told them before leaving.

After she was gone, the others began to talk about what had just happened. "Well... that was... unexpected." Applejack said. "Nice, but unexpected."

"But she sounded so happy afterwards..." Fluttershy told them. "I don't think this could have ended any better!"

"I agree wholeheartedly." Rarity chimed in. "It's nice to see that Trixie will stop trying to cover up her mistakes and learn from them instead."

"Speaking of which..." Sunset said as she turned towards Snips and Snails, "have YOU two learned from YOUR mistake?"

"Uh-huh!" the pair answered, nodding their heads vigorously.

"So no more trying to get revenge on Sunset and have it end up turning into something like this, however epic and exciting it may have been?" asked Pinkie Pie.

"I... think we're all revenged-out, anyway..." Snips told her. "So sure, w-we won't bother you guys again!"

"Nope! Never again!" Snails chimed in.

"Good to hear." Sunset responded.

"I-i-in fact..." Snips began to say, "we wanna make it up to ya! Is there anything that we can do for you?"

"Hmmmm..." the red and yellow girl thought. Just then, she got an idea. "I've got it! Maybe you can help me and my friends with this whole Number card thing."

"Awww, no... not again." Snips groaned, remembering how bad it was when they helped Trixie get a Number card.

"Don't worry, this is different." Sunset assured him. "I just want you two to keep an eye out for any more Number cards or anyone that might be holding one. When you do, tell me as soon as you can, and Twilight and I will take care of it. Okay?"

Snips and Snails thought about it for a little bit, not sure what to at first. But after everything that had just happened, they decided that, this time, they could trust Sunset Shimmer. Smiling, Snips shook his former boss's hand and told her, "You can count on us!"

"Yeah! You can count on us!" Snails added.

Sunset smiled, happy to have them helping her and her friends out. "So remember: If you see a Number, tell one of us as soon as possible." she reminded them. "Don't tell anyone else. Okay?" The two boys nodded to say that they understood before leaving.

"Woah... kinda weird having you boss them around again, huh Sunset?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"Don't be absurd, Rainbow." Rarity told her. "She asked them for their help instead of demanding it, so it's different this time."

"That's true." the cyan girl responded.

Sunset then walked over to Twilight, a warm smile on her face. The young Princess noticed her and asked, "Is there something you want to tell me, Sunset?"

The red and yellow girl then said, "I just... wanted to say thanks... For sticking up for me when Trixie accused me of stealing that card. It made me really happy to know that you trust me that much."

"What kind of friend would I be if I didn't trust you?" Twilight then asked her. Everyone giggled a bit at her response. "C'mon, let's go home. I'm sure we'll need some rest before the next Number shows up." The others nodded and they all left the building as a group. As they did, Utopia hovered over them and began muttering to himself...

"Observation Number Two: I have now learned that trying to forget your past errors and mistakes is a most foolish thing to do. By trying to deny your mistakes, you are often doomed to repeat them. In order to become truly strong, one must remember what they have done, be it accomplishment or error, and learn from them. To learn from your mistakes is the only way that they can truly be overcome, and it is the only way one can push past their own limitations... I shall remember that."

-- To Be Continued...

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NUMBERS OBTAINED:

Twilight Sparkle: (3 Numbers total):

- Number 11: Big Eye

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