• Published 30th Apr 2016
  • 9,323 Views, 977 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 37: Raiders of the Lost Deck, Part 2:

RANK 37: Raiders of the Lost Deck, Part 2:
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THE STORY SO FAR...:
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In Canterlot High School, every student is wild over the world's most popular trading card game: Duel Monsters! Every day, players of the card game, known as "Duelists", go head-to-head to see who among them is the best around. Among the Duelists in attendance at CHS, one of the best is a young teenager named Sunset Shimmer, a girl from another world...

After getting back from their Spring Break vacation, Sunset, Twilight, and their friends were invited by their new history teacher, Mrs. K (known to very few as Kisara) to come see a new exhibit at the Pranceton Museum. The museum is owned and operated by A.K. Yearling, a famous book author, an archeologist, and a friend to Mrs. K. However, a thief disguised as a security guard came in and knocked Yearling out with a chloroform rag. Intending to steal the relics from the new exhibit, he stole the keys to the room they were housed in (and even Yearling's Duel Monsters Deck) and left the woman in her unconscious state...

...Or so he thought. As it turned out, the rag didn't work the way he had hoped, and Yearling was able to mobilize her security to corner him. By the time Mrs. K arrived at the museum with her students, the crook was seemingly detained by Yearling, who revealed herself as none other than Daring Do - the character in her books. After also revealing the crook as her archnemesis - Dr. Caballeron, she was prepared to have him arrested. However, Caballeron revealed that he held one of the Number cards and then tried to use it to take down Daring Do permanently.

Mrs. K managed to save her friend before the criminal could do her serious harm. Now, angered by his cruel actions, the seemingly-ordinary history teacher has now challenged Dr. Caballeron to a high-stakes Duel, during which he manages to Summon the Number card in his possession...

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The Pranceton Museum is usually well-known as the place to see all kinds of different relics, artifacts, and artwork throughout the entire history of the world. But today, it was now the place to see a heated Duel between Mrs. K - the newest hire at Canterlot High School, and Dr. Caballeron - an archeologist gone bad and the sworn enemy of Daring Do (who was revealed to be the secret identity of book author and museum owner A.K. Yearling).

Watching them were Sunset Shimmer, as well as her friends Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie. They, along with Mrs. K, were visiting the museum on a field trip while some repairs were going on at Canterlot High School. However, none of them could have foretold that they would arrive in time to see Caballeron attempting to steal the treasures inside. Though Daring Do had stopped his plan short, he refused to go down easily, and Mrs. K challenged the crook to a Duel in order to prevent him from causing any more trouble.

At the moment, Mrs. K was ahead of the villain in Life Points (Dr. Caballeron: LP 3,500) (Mrs. K: LP 4,000), but Caballeron had just now Summoned his Number card: Pair-a-Dice Smasher (Number 67: Pair-a-Dice Smasher: Rank 5 / ATK 2100 / DEF 2100 / OLU 3), and he was ready to unleash its terrible power on the young teacher. "So... bet you wished that you kept your nose out my business, do you?" the man taunted. "Well it's too late for that now!"

"This ain't good... this ain't good at all..." stated Rainbow Dash as she and the rest of her friends watched the Duel. "Dr. Caballeron was a total creep in the Daring Do books, but he's even worse in real life! And now he's even got a Number card to boot!"

"I agree: It's not a good thing..." said Sunset. "There's no telling what he'll be able to do to us with that Number's power..."

"Ah know what he'll do..." Applejack pondered. "Remember when he shot that weird laser at Darin' Do earlier? Ah'm certain he'll make sure that we're ALL outta his way, no foolin'."

"Out of his way??" asked Spike, peeking out from Twilight's book bag. "You mean like-..." When he thought about what the young farm girl meant by her comment, the dragon-turned-puppy gulped a little out of fear.

"Oh... oh my..." squeaked Fluttershy, trembling at the very thought herself.

Twilight was quite worried for Mrs. K, but the voice of Utopia spoke to her, saying, (You must not lose hope in your teacher, Twilight... She can only get through this predicament if you and your friends lend her support. You must make sure she knows that you all believe in her...)

"You're right, Utopia." the young Princess responded. She then said to her friends, "Everyone, I know this looks bad for Mrs. K, but that doesn't mean she can't win! We have to help her and let her know we're on her side to the very end!"

"You are absolutely right, Twilight dear!" Rarity told her. "We mustn't lose hope! Mrs. K will vanquish that horrible man, no matter what he throws at her!"

"You got it, Rarity!" said the ever-cheerful Pinkie Pie. She then shouted, "Go for it, Mrs. K! You can win this! I'm not sure how you will, but you can do it!!" The others smiled and cheered on their teacher as well, showing her that she had their support. Mrs. K smiled a bit, happy to know that she wasn't in this fight alone. Glancing over to Yearling across the room, she saw her archeologist friend giving her a knowing nod, saying that she supported her as well.

"Pffft... You fools are wasting your time and your oxygen cheering for your pathetic teacher!" said Dr. Caballeron, confident that he would defeat his foe in this Duel. "There is nothing she can do to stop me! And to make sure of it, I'll activate the effect of Pair-a-Dice Smasher!" Taking two of its three materials out from under it, he told her, "First, I must remove two Overlay Units!" The monster then absorbed two of its floating yellow orbs into its dice-mallet (Number 67: Pair-a-Dice Smasher: OLU 3 - 2 = 1). "Now that I've done that, we must now each roll two dice. Whoever's roll is the highest will not be permitted to activate any monster effects or attack until the end of the next turn!"

"A gamble-based ability?" asked Sunset. "I guess it makes sense, since that monster has a dice theme to it, but it still seems a bit risky at this point of the Duel."

"Yeah, if the roll don't go his way," Applejack commented, "he'll put himself at the mercy'o Mrs. K's Blue-Eyes monster on her next turn." (Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon: Level 8 / ATK 3000 / DEF 2500). Sunset hummed a bit and wondered just what the bad doc was up to.

Mrs. K was also wondering that herself as a pair of large, white dice materialized in front of her. "So your best move is to trust things to luck?" she asked her opponent.

"Perhaps..." Dr. Caballeron answered as a pair of dice appeared before him as well. "I'll roll first..." He then thrust out his hand, causing the dice in front of him to be thrown to the ground. The dice rolled around for a while before stopping on a four and a six.

"Hah! He rolled a ten!" cheered Rainbow Dash. "Mrs. K's got this one in the bag!"

"We'll see I suppose..." said Rarity, hoping for the best. But she (and everyone else) had a worrying feeling come herself: Something didn't seem right about the situation...

The young teacher said nothing and thrust out her hand to roll her dice. When they stopped, the results were a four and a one, for a total of five. Looking at her opponent, she told him. "It seems your move has backfired, Caballeron. Now your monsters won't be able to attack or use their effects, since your total was higher than mine."

But the response she got from the man wasn't the one she expected. Chuckling wickedly, he then asked her, "You say MY roll was higher...? Take another look!" Mrs. K didn't know what he was talking about until she saw Pair-a-Dice Smasher jump into the air and slam his hammer to the ground. The force of the impact caused the die with a one displayed to be thrown upward. With a glimmer in his eye, the Number card then struck the dice in the air with his hammer, splitting it in two.

"Did you SEE THAT?!?" exclaimed Spike, jaw dropped in shock.

"That Number card just broke one of Mrs. K's dice!!" Twilight pointed out.

"Yeah, and now look what happened:" Sunset chimed in, pointing to the broken die. "Now that it's split in half, it's now showing both a one AND a six!"

"But... what does that mean?" asked Rarity.

With a glare in her eye, Mrs. K then asked Caballeron, "What is the meaning of this? Explain yourself!"

"Heheheh... HAHAHAHAAAA!!!" laughed the man. "That's the OTHER ability of my Number card: Once per turn, I can change any die roll result to seven! Which means NOW you rolled a four and a seven, which adds up to eleven! So it seems that YOUR dice roll was higher than mine!! HahahaHAAA!!"

"Did y'all hear that?!" asked Applejack, shocked from hearing about the Number card's effect, as were her friends. "He just changed her dice roll to a higher number! Now she can't attack or use her monster's effects on her next turn!"

"I knew he was up to something...!" Sunset stated. "He was never worried about losing that dice roll; he planned on changing her result to make sure she'd lose it!"

"Rrrrgh! What a rotten cheat!" yelled Rainbow Dash. "You can't just go and do that!"

"I could, and I DID!!" the bad doc told her. "And there's nothing you or your pathetic teacher can do about it! Now keep quiet or you'll pay the same price as her!" The athletic teen just grumbled in response.

Mrs. K wasn't too happy with the fact that her opponent altered her dice roll in order to get ahead of her, and even less happier about the way he had spoken to Rainbow. But she would not show him any fear. "You will not threaten my students in front of me." she sternly told him. "The only person who shall pay a price is you."

Dr. Caballeron just snickered in response as he finished up his turn, saying, "I'll set this card face-down and end my turn." Looking over to his enemy, he told her, "Now make your move!"

"...I shall." said the woman, drawing her next card. "But before I continue," she then told him, "perhaps you can answer this for me: What is your purpose coming here? And more importantly, how did you come across a Number card?"

Seeing no danger in answering her questions, Dr. Caballeron responded, saying, "Since you won't survive this Duel against me, I suppose I see no harm in complying with such a request..." He then cleared his throat and began to tell everyone about what brought him here to the museum...

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Three weeks ago...
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It was nighttime in the middle of the ocean. All that could be seen for miles across was dark-blue water... and a large, luxury cruise ship. Its loud whistle blew as it casually coasted along the waters towards its destination. Only the richest of the rich could get on board and enjoy the services provided. Among those services was a full-scale casino that was as good as any that could be found in Las Pegasus. There, one could enjoy a variety of games of chance, such as Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, as well as another casino staple: the dice game Craps.

It was at this table that Dr. Caballeron was sitting at, with a confident smirk on his face. Up to this point, he had managed to win large amounts of cash from other players, remaining undefeated. Chuckling to himself as he eyed his winnings, he then asked the crowd that had formed around the table, "Now... is there anyone else foolish enough to face me at this table? Tell you what: I might go easy on you and only take half of everything you've got." Not surprisingly, no one offered to go up against him, fearful of losing to him.

All except for one, however. Out of nowhere, a low voice from within the gathering crowd spoke up and said, "...I'll try my luck, if that's okay with you."

"Hm? Who's there??" asked the man, looking into the crowd for the person that offered to take up his challenge. Everyone else was also curious to know who was crazy enough to challenge Caballeron to Craps. They all soon got their answer as a woman wearing a black dress and a large, black hat that hid the upper half of her face began walking towards Caballeron. Huffing as he tossed a pair of dice up and down with his right hand, the man asked, "So you're my next challenger...?"

"Yes, I am." she responded.

"Hmph... do you have any idea what you're doing?" he asked her, not sure if she was serious about playing dice with him. "You must have come in here pretty late... If you were here earlier, you would have seen how I cleaned out the last five people I played against and realized that you stand no chance against me."

"Not to worry: I saw all your previous games and know what I'm up against." she responded. "In fact, I already have a strategy to beat you."

"Hahahaa! A strategy, you say? I'd like to see that!" he said in a bit of a mocking tone. "If you're so sure of yourself, then sit down."

"I will." the woman replied. Stretching out her hand she asked him. "But first, let's do this properly: Handshake?"

Snickering, he told her, "Fine, I will." The two of them shook hands with each other to begin their game.

Several minutes passed since they began and the two were still at it, having gone four rounds with each other. So far, Caballeron and the woman were pretty evenly matched. On their fifth and final round, Caballeron was ready to make his roll. The man hummed to himself, thinking, (Hmmm... I must admit, this lady is better at this than I thought she was... She seems to know just what she's doing...) He then smirked and added, (It won't matter anyway: I have a winning tactic that will guarantee me victory, no matter what she does!) When no one was looking, he quietly retreated his right hand into his sleeve for a few seconds before pushing it back out.

What no one knew was that - hidden in his sleeve, were another pair of dice: Loaded dice. Caballeron had secretly pulled them out of a small pocket that was tight enough for them to stay in there, even after he had used the arm to throw the real dice earlier. After taking the loaded dice out, the crooked man then slipped the real dice into his shirt pocket without anyone realizing it.

(You think you have a strategy to beat me, did you?) Caballeron mentally taunted his opponent. (Well it's useless against MY strategy! You'll lose this game, no matter what! With these dice, I am ALWAYS able to roll an eleven, one of the best rolls you can deliver!) The man was so sure that he had everything figured out that he decided to take advantage of the situation (and not even bother looking at the dice in his hand). "Say lady..." he spoke to her, "let's make this a little more interesting..."

"How so?" she asked.

"Instead of choosing what we'll bet for the final round," he began to tell her, "we'll decide what the OTHER'S bet will be."

"Hmmmm... I see what you mean:" the woman replied. "In other words, the winner can ask for anything they want from the loser, is that right?"

"That's exactly right." Caballeron confirmed. "So if I win, you have to give me every last cent you have in your purse. And I mean everything."

The woman paused for a moment before telling him, "I agree to that. But if I win, all I want..." She then pointed to the man's neck and finished, saying, "...is that necklace around your neck."

Caballeron was taken aback by her unusual request and actually hesitated a little. "My... necklace?" he said as he glanced at it. It was made of the most brilliant gold ever seen, with small green stones and a small amulet in the center of it. (This necklace...) he thought. (I just found this item today, at the request of a client who agreed to pay me handsomely for it... Why does this woman want it?) In the end, his greed overtook him and he thought to himself, (Oh well, it's not like she will win it anyway...) Snickering, he then told her, "Very well, I'll wager this item." He then took off the necklace and placed it in on a section of the table marked with the words, "PASS LINE".

"Then throw your dice." said the woman. "Let Lady Luck determine what comes next."

"Heh heh heh..." Dr. Caballeron laughed softly as he threw the loaded dice he had kept in his hand. The dice rolled across the table and hit the back of it. The man grinned, certain that he had pulled the wool over his opponent's eyes. But when the dice stopped rolling and displayed the result, his eyes widened and he shouted, "WHAT?!?"

The crowd looked into the table and were also surprised by the result. "Oh my...! Snake Eyes!" said one of people in the crowd. Indeed, the dice each displayed a one, which amounted to one of the worst possible rolls in the game.

Dr. Caballeron was flabbergasted by what had happened. "No... That's... that's impossible! That wasn't supposed to happen...!" he said, denying what had just occurred. Realizing something, he then shouted to the woman sitting opposite of him, "You! You cheated me, didn't you?!"

"...Actually, I didn't." she informed him. "Rather, it was YOU who has been cheating this whole time." This accusation elicited a gasp out of everyone watching.

"What?!" exclaimed the crooked man.

Holding out her hand, she held a pair of dice in-between her fingers. "I believe THESE dice are yours..." she told him. "When I shook your hand earlier, I secretly swapped your loaded dice for real ones. No one else saw it, but I knew that you were rigging those previous games using these. All I did was make sure that this game would be played fairly." The crook gasped, both from how easily this woman foiled his crooked plan, but also because she had actually beaten him fair and square.

The crowd, of course, wasn't too happy to hear that Caballeron was nothing but a big cheat. They were ready to turn on him, but the villain quickly pulled out a pistol and shouted, "B-back off!!" Waving the weapon around, he then told them, "One false move and somebody will get hurt! I'm only saying this once!!" Instinctively, everyone nearby took a few steps back, not wanting to give him any reason to use his weapon. At first, it seemed that Dr. Caballeron was in control...

But before the crooked man knew it, his pistol was pulled right out of his hand, thanks to a whip that had come from behind him. The villain gasped when he realized that he had been disarmed, but even more so when he saw that the person who had used the whip to take his gun away... was the very woman who had challenged him earlier. "Now, now. You don't wanna go messing around with dangerous toys like this, Dr. Caballeron." she told him with a chuckle.

"You... know my name??" he asked. He then gasped again when a sudden, horrific thought came to him. "No...! No, it can't be! You couldn't be-!"

The woman chuckled... and then tossed away her dress and hat. As it turned out, the person under that outfit was none other than Daring Do, immediately recognizable by her explorer's outfit (which she had worn underneath the dress). "Sorry, Caballeron..." she told him, twirling the necklace that the man had previously wagered around her finger, "but your plans of selling this priceless piece of history are finished!"

"How did you know about that?!" asked the crooked man.

"Let's just say, I heard a rumor that you and your henchmen were seen messing around the ruins of the Roman Empire, no doubt trying to steal whatever you could find and selling it off for a quick buck." she told him. "With a little help from the local police, as well as anonymous tip, we tracked down your men there and found out all we needed to know, such as what you took, the name of the person you were going to sell it to, as well as where you were. The authorities have already taken care of your accomplices and your client, so I got on board this ship to personally recover the stolen items."

Angered by how easily Daring Do ruined his scheme, Caballeron could only think of one thing: To get back at his hated enemy. "How dare you... How DARE YOU!!!" he yelled, running towards her with fury in his eyes.

But the explorer wasn't intimidated as she flicked one of the loaded dice at him. The die hit him in the forehead, causing him to flinch. In that brief moment, Daring Do then used her whip to snag his left leg and pull it forward, causing him to fall over onto his back.

"Urrgh!!" grunted Caballeron as he hit the floor. Looking up, he scowled as his archenemy stood before him with a confident smirk on her face.

"Like I said, Caballeron;" Daring Do told him, "your plans are finished." Showing him the recovered necklace she took from him, she then added, "This artifact is going in a museum. But as for you, let's just say you'll also be going into a museum of sorts..." After she said that, two of the ship's security approached the fallen villain and picked up, carrying him off to a holding room until the proper authorities could take care of the matter. Daring Do then glanced over to the Craps table, where Caballeron had placed every last bit of money that he had cheated out everyone he played against. Walking over to the ill-gotten winnings, she then said to the crowd, "Now that that's taken care of, I think it's time to return all this money to their rightful owners. Luckily, I've been paying really close attention to the previous games, so I know whose money is whose."

Looking back with a scowl, Caballeron watched as his hated enemy returned all of the stolen money back to their owners, the crowd applauding for her as she did so. The crooked man grumbled to himself, angry at how his plans had been ruined. "Grrrr... Daring Do...!" he snarled as he was taken away by members of the ship's crew. As he was carried off, a woman with jet-black skin and dark turquoise hair kept a close eye on him...

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"Daring Do foiled everything for me that night on the cruise ship..." said Caballeron, still telling the story of what had fueled his actions at the museum. "She had thwarted my schemes many times before, but this one particularly stung! And now - finally, I have the power to get back at her and ruin her like she ruined me!"

"So that's what it is, huh?" asked Daring Do. "You put together this plan of yours because of what happened that night?"

"That's exactly why!" the crook responded in a harsh tone. "I was about to be paid handsomely for that Ancient Roman necklace, but you spoiled EVERYTHING! And I won't rest until I've given you a taste of the misery you've dealt to me!!"

As Caballeron ranted about his misfortune, Sunset, Twilight, and their friends were listening to everything that had been said. "So that's what this is all about?" asked Rainbow Dash. "He came here to steal these artifacts because Daring Do foiled one of his plans?"

"It seems so." Sunset said with a nod. "He's here for revenge; even more so than just the money he could make selling these relics on the black market. But to go to this extreme...? It seems a bit much just because of one incident..."

Twilight said nothing about the situation, at least not out-loud. But she was thinking about the whole situation, as well as Sunset's comment regarding it. (She's right...) the young Princess thought. (It seems a bit much for him to go breaking into his archenemy's museum and try to rob her right under her nose, all because she stopped him from doing something that he shouldn't have done in the first place.) Utopia, standing beside his master in his incorporeal form, was also in deep thought over the matter.

Mrs. K - having heard everything her opponent had said so far, said to him, "So that's it... I see. Your actions so far are fueled by greed, hatred, and revenge against Daring Do." Closing her eyes, she then added, "I pity you."

"What?!" asked Dr. Caballeron, surprised by her comment. "What do you mean by that?!"

"I pity you because - no matter how much of those things you have, no matter how much hatred you have in your soul, you'll never see true happiness." she told him bluntly. "Even if you succeed in getting your revenge today, you'll only seek a new target for your hatred. And another one after that, and another one after that, so on and so forth... forever." Opening her eyes and putting on a fierce look, she then added, "Your grudge against Daring Do is holding you back and preventing you from achieving true joy in life, and until you let go of that grudge, that is how it will always be for you."

"You're wrong!" yelled Dr. Caballeron angrily. "My grudges have always given me power! ALWAYS!! And thanks to this Number card, I have even MORE power!!" As he spoke more intensely, the look in his eyes became more and more crazed with each passing second.

"Or so you think." said Mrs. K in a calm voice. "And on that note, you have yet to tell us where and how you obtained your Number card..."

"Shut up! I've told you enough already!" the crooked man shouted at his foe. "I'm not here to tell my life story! I'm here to eliminate both you and Daring Do! So get on with your turn already!!"

Figuring that she wasn't going to get him to say anything else right now, Mrs. K continued with her turn by revealing the card she had just drawn for her turn. "I play the Spell Card Trade-In. By discarding a Level 8 monster from my hand, I draw two more cards." She then sent her Blue-Eyes White Dragon to the Graveyard in order to draw two more cards from her Deck.

"Those cards will not help you once I do this!" shouted Caballeron. "I activate Artifact Ignition!"

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Artifact Ignition:
(Quick-Play Spell Card)

Target 1 Spell/Trap on the field; destroy that target, and if you do, Set 1 "Artifact" monster directly from your Deck to your Spell & Trap Zone as a Spell. If this card in its owner's possession is destroyed by an opponent's card: Your opponent skips their next Battle Phase. (You must have an "Artifact" monster in your Main Deck to activate this card.)

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"With this card," the man continued, "I'll use it to destroy... my face-down card here!" Mrs. K gasped a little; she was almost expecting him to go after HER face-down card.

"He's destroying his own card...??" asked Fluttershy. "I don't get it..."

"Don't forget, Fluttershy dear... That's how he gets the effects of those Artifact cards." Rarity reminded her.

The face-down card that Caballeron targeted revealed itself as Artifact Moralltach, moments before it shattered into pieces. "And now that my Artifact Moralltach has been destroyed, I use my Artifact Ignition to set another copy of it straight from my Deck!" He then pulled the card out of his Deck and put it in his Spell & Trap slot, placing in the same spot that the previous card had occupied. "And now for Moralltach's effect!"

Everybody watched as a large sword rose up from a dark-purple portal that appeared on the man's side of the field. Parts of it began to glow a light-blue color as a ghostly figure of the same color appeared behind the weapon and picked it up (Artifact Moralltach: Level 5 / ATK 2100 / DEF 1400).

"Just like before..." Sunset stated, "when an Artifact monster in the Spell & Trap Zone is destroyed during the opponent's turn, it Special Summons itself out of the Graveyard. And when that happens, their effects come into play."

"That's correct..." stated Caballeron. "And since it was Moralltach that was Summoned, its effect destroys any face-up card on my opponent's field! So say good-bye to your Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon!!" The others gasped as his monster charged up light blue energy into its sword and fired that energy at Mrs. K's monster, wiping it out completely. "And that's not all:" he continued. "Now I use the effect of the Artifact Caduceus that I have on the field and draw another card."

"You alright, K?" asked Daring Do out of concern.

"I will be fine, Yearling. Do not worry about me." Mrs. K assured her. "My dragon shall not fall to a scoundrel like him so easily." Taking another card out of her hand, she played, saying, "I play Return of the Dragon Lords! I use this card to Summon a Level 7 or 8 Dragon from my Graveyard. And I choose to revive... Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon!" Then, as quickly as it was destroyed, the powerful beast came right back to the field.

"So he's back is he?" asked Dr. Caballeron. "You do remember that he cannot attack or use his effect, thanks to Pair-a-Dice Smasher?"

"That is of no concern to me, seeing as how that effect will end after my turn is over." Mrs. K replied.

"No concern? You have everything to be concerned about once I play this!" Flipping over one of his Set cards, he shouted, "I activate the Quick-Play Spell, Artifacts Unleashed! By targeting two Artifacts on my field, I can use them for an Xyz Summon right now!"

"You're Summoning an Xyz Monster during my turn??" asked Mrs. K, a bit surprised.

"I am indeed!" the villain confirmed. Caballeron then declared to his foe, "I choose Artifact Moralltach and Artifact Caduceus and use them to create the Overlay Network!" The two monsters then transformed into a pair of yellow lights that were drawn into a red Summoning Portal in front of him, a column of red light shooting out from it moments later. After the light faded, a new monster with two yellow orbs circling it had now appeared on the field. "I Xyz Summon... Artifact Durendal!!" said the man, having finished his move.

Everyone looked at the new Xyz Monster on Caballeron's field. It was another ghost-like figure - colored red and blue, brandishing a sword that was almost twice his size. The sword itself had a golden handle, with bits of it opened to reveal its inner workings, as well as a pair of glowing crests - one red and one blue. The blade was silver in color, with glowing red and blue lines strewn all over it (Artifact Durendal: Rank 5 / ATK 2400 / DEF 2100 / OLU 2).

"Such a beautiful monster..." Rarity commented. "And to think it is being used by a ruffian such as that man."

"It's not even really his, anyway!" Rainbow Dash spoke up. "He stole that Deck from Daring Do in the first place! Boy, if I had the chance, I'd-"

"I wouldn't finish that thought if I were you, Dash." Sunset told her. "The last thing we need right now is to get that guy any angrier than he already is."

"...Yeah, you're probably right." the cyan girl admitted.

"Still, you do bring up a good point..." the jacket-wearing girl said to her. "Why did Dr. Caballeron steal Ms. Yearling's Deck?"

"Maybe he planned on sellin' it or somethin'?" guessed Applejack.

"Sounds plausible," Sunset replied, "but compared to what he could get for the artifacts in the museum, it couldn't be that much... My guess is that it has something to do with his Number card... but what exactly?"

Back at the Duel, Mrs. K still refused to show any fear in front of he opponent, even after he had brought out a powerful Xyz Monster alongside his Number card. "You cannot intimidate me, Caballeron." she told him. "I don't fear you. After all, you had to steal my friend's Deck in order to face me in the first place because you aren't clever enough to use a Deck of your own."

"Heheheh... go ahead and talk all you want, lady." Dr. Caballeron mocked her. "That's all you ever are, considering that your big, bad Blue-Eyes can't lay a claw on me!"

"Then perhaps I should bring out another." said Mrs. K as she took out another card in her hand. "I activate Monster Reborn to revive the Blue-Eyes White Dragon I discarded with Trade-In during my turn!"

But the moment her Spell Card appeared on the field, Caballeron quickly told her, "You won't get that chance! I chain Artifact Durendal's effect!! By removing one Overlay Unit, I can change the effect of your Monster Reborn card!"

"Change its effect...?" asked Rarity. "What does he mean??" But she and the other girls would not wonder about that for much longer, as one of the two yellow orbs floating around Durendal flew into the red-colored crest on the sword's handle (Artifact Durendal: OLU 2 - 1 = 1). Then, both the sword and its hold began to change: All of the areas on the sword and its owner that were glowing blue changed to red. Then, Mrs. K's Monster Reborn card began glowing red as well.

"Heheheheh... Thanks to Artifact Durendal's effect," Caballeron explained, "your card no longer has the effect of bringing back a monster from the Graveyard. NOW, its effect will destroy one of my Spell and Trap Cards!"

This elicited a gasp out Sunset, Twilight, and their friends. "That's nuts!" commented Spike. "He actually changed the card's effect to do something else?!"

"I didn't even know you could do something like that...!" said Twilight. "That means she can't bring her monster back now!"

"It's worse than that, Twilight:" Sunset told her. "Now Mrs. K HAS to destroy one of the cards in that guy's back row. But he's only got one, so she has no choice but to pick it!"

Chuckling to himself and feeling oh-so confident, Caballeron asked his foe, "So... which of my cards do you wish to destroy? I wonder which one you'll choose...? Heheheh..."

But Mrs. K remained undaunted and confidant that she would overcome her opponent. She then pointed to his Set card and said, "I destroy that face-down card!" This move caused Dr. Caballeron to smirk a little.

"Wait a minute..." Fluttershy began to ask, "wasn't that card the same one that he set with Artifact Ignition...?"

"It is!" said Applejack, remembering that move. "And if Ah'm not mistaken, the card he set was another one'a those Moralltachs! And if that card's blown up, he'll just Summon it n' take out her dragon again!" Sunset, however, seemed to believe that Mrs. K hadn't forgotten about that fact...

"Pah hah hah HA!!" laughed Dr. Caballeron. "My card was Artifact Moralltach, and its effect will put an end to your Blue-Eyes, just like it did before! But since you insist, I'll happily let you destroy it!" After the card was destroyed, the crooked man then said, "And now I'll use Moralltach's effect to Summon it back in Defense Mode and destroy your Alternative White Dragon!!" After the monster appeared on his field, it once again shot a powerful bolt of blue lightning at Mrs. K's monster. "Too bad for you! Seeing as how this Deck belonged to Daring Do and you're friends with her, you should have KNOWN not to try and play Monster Reborn in front of Artifact Durendal! That blunder is about to cost you everything!!" cackled the man.

"...I didn't make any blunders." said the young teacher. "I knew you would use Durendal's effect."

"What?!" exclaimed Dr. Caballeron. "Then why did you-?" But his comment was cut short when a powerful barrier surrounded Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon, protecting it from the blast that Moralltach fired. "WHAT?!? What happened?? Why isn't your monster destroyed?!" he asked in shock and anger.

"...By banishing Return of the Dragon Lords from my Graveyard," Mrs. K explained as she showed him the card in question, "I can protect any and all of my Dragons from being destroyed." Her opponent growled a bit after he heard that.

"I get it..." Rarity began to say. "She triggered Durendal's effect on purpose because she knew she could guard herself against it."

"Which means that he can't trigger Moralltach's effect himself later." added Applejack.

"Wowee!! That was really smart of her to do that!" cheered Pinkie Pie.

"It certainly was..." asked Sunset as she thought about the new history teacher. Since the day they met, Sunset had some suspicions about who she really was. And those suspicions only grew after she revealed that she not only possessed a Blue-Eyes Deck (which would have normally been impossible as Seto Kaiba owned all existing copies of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon), but also that she held a Number card as well. Now Sunset hoped that Mrs. K would win the Duel not only to stop Dr. Caballeron's plot, but also to hopefully explain herself to her and the others...

After putting her banished Spell Card away, the young teacher told her opponent, "I Set one card and end my turn." She then glared at him and said, "However, I promise you that this Duel will not last much longer."

Dr. Caballeron was a bit startled by that comment, but he wasn't prepared to give in just yet. (What is she so confident about?) he thought to himself, wondering just what was going on. (She has to be up to something... Does she have something in her hand that might allow her to overcome my monsters on her next turn?) He then looked at Durendal and smirked, thinking, (In that case, she's in for a rude awakening...) Reaching for his Deck, he shouted, "It's my turn! I draw!" After drawing his next card, he said, "First, I'll Set two cards face-down! And then I use the other effect of Artifact Durendal! After using one Overlay Unit, I can force us both to shuffle our hands into our Decks and re-draw the same number of cards!"

"But you have no cards in your hand at all." Mrs. K pointed out.

"For once, you're correct." the man confirmed. "Which means you are only one affected by it!" His monster then absorbed its other yellow orb, this time sending into the blue-colored crest instead of the red one (Artifact Durendal: OLU 1 - 1 = 0). The monster then turned blue completely and spread a wave of energy over the field. "Now," began Caballeron, "shuffle the card in your hand back into your Deck and draw a new card!" Mrs. K made no comment as she complied with his words.

(Hmmmm...) thought Twilight. (That was strange...)

(Indeed.) said Utopia. (He must have triggered that effect in order to prevent her from using the card she was holding onto during her next turn... However, that effect also allowed her to replace it with a new card, which can carry a risk in and of itself.) Twilight nodded, knowing what he meant by that. After all, what was to prevent Mrs. K from drawing the same card again... or an even better card?

Once Mrs. K had finished replacing the card in her hand, Dr. Caballeron then told her, "Now I activate my face-down card, Forced March! By halving the attack power of all my monsters this turn, I can have them attack you directly!"

"Directly?!" exclaimed Sunset. "Is that what he said?!"

"That's right, young lady..." said the snickering crook after playing his Spell Card. "My monsters may not be able to defeat her dragon, but with this effect they won't HAVE to!" All his monsters then lost their attack points (Number 67: Pair-a-Dice Smasher: ATK 2100 ÷ 2 = 1050) (Artifact Durendal: ATK 2400 ÷ 2 = 1200) (Artifact Moralltach: ATK 2100 ÷ 2 = 1050), but were ready to unleash their onslaught of attacks on Mrs. K herself.

"Not bad..." said the young teacher. "But I should point out that even if they all attack me now, they don't have enough attack points to deplete all of my Life Points. According to my calculations, I should still have 700 points left."

"Heh heh heh... then perhaps a little 'recalculating' is in order..." said Caballeron. "I activate my OTHER face-down card, Blustering Winds!"

Twilight gasped; since she also owned that card, she knew what it did. "Oh no!" she said. "Thanks to that card, one of his monsters will get an extra one thousand attack and defense points!" They all watched as the man granted the effect to Moralltach, boosting its attack and defense power (Artifact Moralltach: ATK 1050 + 1000 = 2050 / DEF 1400 + 1000 = 2400).

"That means he can now do enough damage to wipe out Mrs. K on just this turn!" Rarity noted, becoming worried.

"No! This can't be how it ends!" said Spike, unable to believe what had happened.

"Yeah, I know!" stated Pinkie Pie. "I mean, how's she gonna tell us all her secrets and everything if she loses right now? That'd be pretty anti-climactic, if you ask me."

Daring Do was also worried for her friend, as now it seemed like there was nothing she could do to stop Dr. Caballeron now. She then called out to her, "K, you gotta do something, and quick!"

"There is nothing she CAN do!!" said Dr. Caballeron, his eyes glowing even brighter than they had before. "And once she's out of my way, I'll take care of you as well!!" Pointing forward, he then shouted in a crazed-sounding voice, "Now, my monsters!! Wipe out that teacher for good!!" All three of his monsters then rushed forward, ready to put an end to Mrs. K.

"...This Duel isn't over yet." the young teacher suddenly told everyone, her voice still sounding calm and collected. "In your haste to defeat me and achieve your greed-driven desires, you paid no attention to my moves... including the face-down card on my field."

"Face-down card?" asked Caballeron. Indeed, he was rushing through his turn so fast, he had not even noticed the Set card she had.

"I activate the Trap Card, Damage Diet!!" Mrs. K declared, flipping over her card. "With this card in effect, I cut all the damage I take this turn in half!"

"What?! NO!!!" exclaimed the man. But he could only watch as a swirling green barrier surrounded Mrs. K moments before his Pair-a-Dice Smasher landed a blow on her with his mallet. Although the Number card had 1,050 attack points, only 525 of those points got through (Mrs. K: LP 4,000 - 525 = 3,475). The same was true when Durendal struck with its sword and its damage was halved (Mrs. K: LP 3,475 - 600 = 2,875), and then when Moralltach's attack hit her at the end of the Battle Phase (Mrs. K: LP 2,875 - 1,025 = 1,850).

"Alright! She survived the turn!" cheered Rainbow Dash. Everyone else breathed a collective sigh of relief, glad that their teacher was still in the game.

"Rrrrgh...!" growled Caballeron, the only person that wasn't happy with Mrs. K surviving the turn. "I planned to finish her off this turn, but it didn't work!" Looking at his monsters as they regained their original power again (Number 67: Pair-a-Dice Smasher: ATK 1050 > 2100) (Artifact Durendal: ATK 1200 > 2400) (Artifact Moralltach: ATK 2050 > 3100), he thought to himself, (Next turn, she will use her dragon's effect to destroy one of my monsters! And knowing her, she'll destroy my Number card, since it can't be destroyed in battle by a non-Number! But if she does, her monster won't get to attack normally... I should be able to survive her next turn and counterattack...)

"Now it's my turn." said Mrs. K, drawing a card from her Deck. Looking at the card (which happened to be Maiden with Eyes of Blue, the Monster Card that looked just like her), she then faced her opponent and told him, "I win." Everyone gasped the moment she said that.

"You WHAT?!?" shouted Caballeron, having been caught off-guard. "Wh-what are you talking about?!? This Duel isn't over yet!!"

"That is also true." said the woman, closing her eyes. "But it will be over this turn, and it will end in my victory. And I have YOU to thank for allowing me to defeat you."

"WHAT?!? You're not making any sense!!" yelled the bad doctor. "Why would I ever help you defeat ME?!?"

"I will tell you." Mrs. K began to explain. "Back at that dice game on the cruise ship, you lost everything because your greed blinded you. You were so sure that you would win that game, that you foolishly wagered the one item you couldn't afford losing. You got overconfident; had you paid any attention to Yearling's actions, you might have realized that she had switched your illegal dice for genuine ones. That's the curse of Greed: Having everything, but always wanting more and more, even if it would risk losing all that you hold dear. Time and time again throughout history, Greed has caused the ruin of so many people and civilizations. Those under its spell are never satisfied with what they have... and they can never be happy."

Not a word had been said since Mrs. K began her speech. Dr. Caballeron just stood there, having no idea what she was talking about, but unable to say a single word in response.

"Dr. Caballeron - ...no, JUST Caballeron..." Mrs. K continued, "I know much about you, such as the fact that you and Yearling were both pursuing a career in archeology. But no matter what you did, you never seemed to get any notice. In contrast, Yearling got much praise and attention for her accomplishments by her teachers and colleagues. Even though you both graduated and obtained your doctorates, deep down you always felt second-best to her and that made you bitter."

(...How does this woman know all this...?) Caballeron asked in his mind, astounded by how she seemed to know so much about him.

A.K. Yearling seemed just as surprised by what her friend had said so far. (Is that's what's really going on?) she wondered. (Is that why Dr. Caballeron hates me? I never knew...)

Continuing her speech, Mrs. K then said to her opponent, "Even after you both left school, you grew even more jealous of Yearling, because she got all of the praise for her work while you were virtually forgotten. Then one day, you came to the decision that - if you couldn't receive attention from the artifacts and relics you found, you would settle for something else: Money. So you made the choice to sell those items and make yourself rich. A most foolish and despicable act."

"What do you mean, 'foolish'??" asked the crook. "Just what is it you're getting at?!"

"Archeology is about the discovery and preservation of our past." she told him. "It is about learning from the actions and people of years ago in order to shape our future. But by selling those precious artifacts for your own greedy reasons, you are - in fact, destroying history! The knowledge that could have been gained from those precious items is far, FAR more valuable than whatever monetary amount that could have been asked for them. And by selling them away, we lose any chance of discovering anything new about our history! It was for that reason that - after your heinous actions were uncovered, you shamefully lost your doctorate, as well as your identity as an archeologist. And instead of learning from your mistake, you continue to make more and more of them. You failed to learn from your past, and that is why you will not win here."

Sunset and her friends were quite amazed to have heard so much concerning Dr. Caballeron's past. "Woah..." Rainbow Dash began to ask. "You guys think that all of that stuff about Caballeron is true?"

"If it is," Sunset answered her, "then it would explain a lot about why he's here right now."

"Basically, all of his actions are fueled by his greed and his hatred towards Daring Do." stated Twilight. "All he cares about is making her suffer, all because he was so jealous of her getting all of the attention while he didn't. And instead of working harder to get some attention for himself, he decided to just blame her for all of the bad things that happened to him."

Utopia went into deep thought about what his master had said. (Observation Number Six: It appears that some humans are quick to blame other people for their own suffering, regardless of whether or not those that they accuse had intentionally caused said suffering to occur.) he pondered to himself.

"Grrrr... rubbish! All RUBBISH!!!" Caballeron yelled, totally defiant. "You know NOTHING about me!! NOTHING!!! And there's certainly no possible way for you to defeat me in this Duel!!"

"There is." Mrs. K calmly argued. "And I will show you right now. I activate my Trap Card, Castle of Dragon Souls!" Her face-down card then flipped up.

"Castle of Dragon Souls?" asked Rarity. "How... bizarre."

"How come?" asked Twilight.

"Well," the fashionista explained, "that card allows Mrs. K to banish a Dragon from her Graveyard to increase the attack power of one of her monsters by seven hundred for this one turn."

"Soooooooo... how is that a bad thing?" asked Spike.

"I didn't say it was a bad thing, Spike." Rarity informed the little puppy. "I said it was bizarre: Why would she need to make her monster stronger when it is already powerful enough to defeat any of his monsters? If she was planning to attack Moralltach, I suppose it would make a little more sense, but it still seems strange..."

"Maybe she just wants to cause him some more damage." Twilight figured. "But I do agree with you, especially since Mrs. K made it clear that she would defeat him on this turn. Even if she attacks his lowest ATK monster, it wouldn't take him to zero..."

"I agree, Twilight." Sunset chimed in. "I think there's something else she's planning instead. Now let's see just what that is..."

Taking a monster out of her Graveyard pile, Mrs. K placed the card back in her deck box. This then allowed her Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon to increase its attack power even more (Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon: ATK 3000 + 700 = 3700). But Caballeron wasn't intimidated. "So you made you monster stronger, did you?" he asked. "That doesn't scare me one bit! No matter which of my monsters you attack, I'll still have more Life Points than you afterwards! You're wasting your time and your turns making feeble moves like that!" He also figured that - since she increased her monster's attack power, that she planned on attacking normally with it, instead of using its special ability.

But Mrs. K calmly asked him, "Do you truly believe that I was using my Trap Card merely to make my monster more powerful?"

"What do you mean??" the crook asked back, confused by what she was saying. But everyone else knew that she had something even bigger planned.

"To pay the cost of my Trap Card's effect," the teacher explained, "I had to banish a Dragon from my Graveyard. And the monster I chose was my Eclipse Wyvern. If you recall, when I discarded it to activate The Melody of Awakening Dragon, its effect let me banish any Level 7 or higher LIGHT or DARK Dragon monster from my Deck."

"So? What's your point?" asked Caballeron.

"Now that Eclipse Wyvern itself has been banished from my Graveyard," she continued to tell him, "the monster I banished with its first effect... goes into my hand!" Everyone gasped when they heard that... and again when she revealed the card she had now just put into her hand. "I now place my Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon into my hand!"

"Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon?!" Applejack exclaimed. "Ain't that a Ritual Monster?"

"Yeah, one of two Blue-Eyes Ritual Monsters." Sunset confirmed. "Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon is the other one."

"I've heard of that one!" said Pinkie Pie. "That's the monster that can do double piercing damage, right?"

"That's right." the red-and-yellow girl told her. "But Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon... I've never seen it played before, so I don't know what it does... But something's telling me that we'll see it pretty soon..."

Dr. Caballeron scowled a bit and said, "I'll have to admit: I had not expected you to pull a top-class monster out of your Deck in such a manner..." He then smirked and told her, "But don't forget: You need the right Ritual Spell in order to Summon that card!"

Again, Mrs. K stayed cool, calm, and collected as she took out the card that was in her hand prior to the beginning of her turn and revealed it. "Does this card qualify as the right one?" she asked in a knowing tone. "I activate Chaos Form from my hand!"

"WHAT?!?" exclaimed Dr. Caballeron, shocked that she just so happened to have the right Spell Card in her hand. The others in the room were also amazed by this as well. "But how?!" the crook asked. "How did you manage to get that card so quickly?!"

"...All your life, you wanted praise and credit for the things you've done." Mrs. K began to tell him as a large, mechanical-looking vortex appeared behind her. "And now for the first time, you'll get just that... for it was because of you that I was able to draw my Ritual Spell!"

"M-m-m-m-ME?!?" asked the man, shocked and also very much perplexed.

"When you activated Durendal's effect last turn," the teacher explained to him, "you forced me to shuffle the card I was holding back into my Deck... I assume that you thought that I was holding a card that I could use against you, based purely on the fact that I told you that this Duel would not last much longer. However, by doing so, you not only allowed me to draw my Chaos Form, but you ALSO used up all of Durendal's Overlay Units, thus preventing you from using its effect to stop my Ritual Spell!"

"Urk!! N-no! Are you telling me that... that you made me use my monster's effect last turn just to keep me from using it now?!" asked Caballeron, sweating a little out of fear.

"...Except for the part where you said that it was YOUR monster, you are correct." Mrs. K replied. "Those cursed by Greed always harbor a fear of losing it all in the back of their minds. You were afraid that I would beat you with the card I was holding, so you forced me to return it to my Deck... But by doing so, you actually allowed me to draw the very card I needed to defeat you now! You squandered all of your resources into defeating me last turn, and now you have left your side of the field completely exposed and unprotected. There is nothing you can do to escape your defeat now..."

"Th-this can't be...!!" said the man, now starting to become frightened. Now he realized what she had meant when she said that he had helped her win the Duel.

"So that was her plan all along..." stated Fluttershy. "She made him use up all of his cards so that he couldn't protect himself this turn..."

Sunset nodded. "One of the most important things a Duelist needs to know is how to best manage their resources." she told them. "The only thing more important than using a card's effect... is knowing WHEN to use it. If Caballeron had not used Durendal's effect last turn, he could have prevented Mrs. K from using her combo this turn. But now his Xyz Monsters don't have enough Overlay Units to respond to any of Mrs. K's cards, he has no cards in his back row, and he doesn't even have any cards left in his hand... He recklessly used up everything he had in an all-out attack last turn and now he's left unable to fight back."

"In other words," began Applejack, "he rushed into things without havin' some sorta backup plan just in case things went south. And now he's pretty much at Mrs. K's mercy." The jacket-clad teen nodded to say that her friend was correct.

"I didn't quite follow all of that stuff you were talkin' about..." admitted Rainbow, "but based on what you're sayin', it sounds like Caballeron's gonna get his butt kicked!" Twilight, however, had paid close attention to what Sunset said about how a Duelist must use their cards wisely and make sure not to leave themselves open to their opponent's attacks.

Continuing with her move, Mrs. K then told her opponent, "Now for the effect of Chaos Form: This card permits me to Ritual Summon any 'Chaos' or 'Black Luster Soldier' Ritual Monster from my hand, as long as I release enough monsters whose total Levels are equal to that Ritual Monster. However, the monster that is in my hand is only Level 1, so it won't be quite enough."

"So you're releasing your Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon, then?" asked Dr. Caballeron. "Fine by me! That means you'll only have one monster on the field! Which means that I'll most certainly survive this turn!"

But the young teacher then inquired him, "...Who said that I was releasing Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon?"

"You're not??" asked the crook. "Then how are you-?"

"...going to Summon my monster?" she interrupted, finishing his question. "Well, Chaos Form ALSO allows me to banish specific monsters from my Graveyard for the release cost as well, so I don't need to have any monsters on my field or in my hand to Summon my Ritual Monster." Taking a card from her Graveyard, she then declared, "I banish my Blue-Eyes White Dragon from the Graveyard for the release cost!"

Everyone watched as the all-powerful Blue-Eyes White Dragon flew straight into the portal that had opened behind her. As the portal closed, Twilight then thought herself, (She planned this too: When she played Trade-In on her last turn, she was actually preparing to use it with her Ritual Spell... Not only that, she played Monster Reborn KNOWING that it wouldn't work. It's just like she said: Up to this point, her strategy was to make him use up all of his cards just so that he couldn't stop her from executing this combo.)

(It seems so.) stated Utopia. (This teacher of yours; she is much wiser than she appears to be. This only further proves that your friend Sunset's suspicions about her are true, and that she is not just any ordinary person...)

Clasping her hands, Mrs. K then chanted, "Almighty engine of destruction! Infuse yourself with the energies of light and darkness! Awaken the power of Chaos itself! Ritual Summon!! Appear before me! Level 8! Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon!!"

Everyone watched as the portal re-opened once more. Out of it came a massive dragon that has similarities to the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, but also had a few traits that made it much different: Now, not only were its eyes glowing a bright blue, but so were its wings, horns, claws, and many other parts of its body. It gave a mighty roar that caused massive blue-violet thunderbolts to rain down from the sky around it (Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon: Level 8 / ATK 3000 / DEF 0).

"A-a-amazin'...!" gasped Applejack. "She just Summoned a super-strong monster right outta thin air!"

"She did..." agreed Fluttershy. "I just hope that... that it's strong enough to help her win..."

"...Something tells me Mrs. K's gonna be just fine." stated Sunset. Twilight nodded in agreement, both of them sure that she had this Duel won, even though neither of them saw this new Ritual Monster in action.

Daring Do was also astounded by the powerful creature her friend had brought to the field. (Wow...) she thought to herself, (I never knew that K was such a good Duelist... Whenever we met up, it was always related to our archeology work, so we never had the time to Duel each other...) Smiling, she then called out to her friend, "Take him down, K! You've got this!"

The young teacher looked over towards Yearling and smiled back, nodding to say that she would. Facing her dastardly opponent once more, she told him, "Caballeron, your greed-driven pursuit ends here! I - who fight for the sake of my friend, my students, and for our treasured history, will put a stop to your plans today!"

"D-don't make me laugh!" shouted Caballeron, who tried his best to hide his fear. "That monster isn't any stronger than your other Blue-Eyes monsters! Even if they both attack, I still have my Number card to protect me!"

"I can assure you, your Number is powerless before my two dragons." Mrs. K informed him. "After all, I have no intention of destroying your Number card at all."

"What do you mean??" he then asked her.

"Your Number was created out of your pettiness and insatiable greed." she told him. "It has suffered enough already. To destroy it now would be an insult to it and to myself. That is why I shall win this Duel without causing it any further harm."

"And how do you plan on doing that?" asked Caballeron, still not sure what she was talking about.

"You will see, and you will lose." Mrs. K replied. She then thrusted out her arm and shouted, "Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon, attack Durendal!" The Ritual Monster then prepared to launch its attack.

"Go ahead! That attack will only take six hundred of my Life Points!" Caballeron pointed out.

"...I'm afraid you're wrong again." the young teacher informed him. "At this moment, I now activate the effect of Blue-Eyes Chaos Dragon! Since I used the Blue-Eyes White Dragon to Ritual Summon it, I can use its power to switch Durendal to Defense Mode! In addition, I also decrease its attack and defense points down to zero!" As she said that, the Xyz Monster in question broke its fighting stance and dropped down to one knee, placing its weapon into the ground, pointed end-first (Artifact Durendal: ATK 2400 > 0 / DEF 2100 > 0).

"So what?!" yelled the crooked man. "Now I won't take any damage at all, now that he's in Defense Mode!"

But Mrs. K calmly told him, "Again, you're wrong. After my Chaos Dragon uses its effect to switch your monster's battle position, once its attack lands, you will take piercing damage."

"W-w-w-what?!?" exclaimed Caballeron in surprise. "But that means-!"

"Now that his monster has zero defense points," Applejack told her friends, "he'll take all'o Chaos Dragon's attack power as damage!"

"Aw, YEAH!! Do it, Mrs. K!" cheered Rainbow Dash, getting excited. "Blow him away!"

"Go, Chaos Dragon!!" the pale-skinned teacher shouted. "Attack! Burst Stream of Chaos!!" The powerful dragon then charged up a sphere of energy in its maw before letting out a stream that was a mixture of black and white light. The mighty blast struck Durendal, vaporizing it completely. Then, the energy stream continued its destructive path, hitting Caballeron with an intense blow.

"AAAAAAAAGGHHHHHH!!!!!" he screamed, unable to withstand the blow and falling onto his rear end hard (Dr. Caballeron: LP 3,500 - 3,000 = 500). Struggling to get up, but only managing to get onto one knee, he asked in bewilderment, "H...how? How could this have happened...? It's not... it's not fair...!"

"I'm afraid it is quite fair, Caballeron." Mrs. K told him in a low tone of voice. "And my Battle Phase is not through yet. I still have Blue-Eyes Alternative White Dragon's attack left. And with the power-up it received from my Castle of Dragon Souls, I can now end this Duel." Pointing forward, she then shouted, "Blue-Eyes! Attack Artifact Moralltach!! Burning Stream of Destruction!!" The other dragon then shot out a blue-colored stream of energy from its mouth. The stream - which seemed to have a slight resemblance to flames, hit the other Artifact monster and wiped it out, ending the Duel.

Caballeron sank down to both of his knees, shocked that he had lost the Duel. He uttered not a single word as his last Life Points went away (Dr. Caballeron: LP 500 - 600 = 0) (WINNER: Mrs. K).

"Yay! Yay! YAAAY!!! She won! She WON!!" cheered Pinkie Pie as hopped up and down, happy that the Duel ended with Mrs. K's victory.

"Yeah, that was so AWESOME!!" added Rainbow Dash. "She mopped the floor with that jerk! He didn't know what hit him!"

Sunset and Twilight were also happy to see that their teacher had won the Duel. And not just because Caballeron's plans were halted and everyone would be okay, but also because now they could hopefully figure out more about who Mrs. K really was.

Walking up to her defeated opponent, Mrs. K then removed the Deck that was loaded into his D-Pad. "I'll take this back, if you don't mind." she told him. After she got the stolen Deck back, she then picked up the Number card he was holding, which had been dropped on the floor after the Duel. Looking at the card she then said to herself, "Now perhaps I can find out just where and how you obtained this Number..." She then closed her eyes and began to concentrate her thoughts, focusing it all on the Number she was now holding. Then, a vision came to her...

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The scene that she saw took place on a cruise ship - the same one Dr. Caballeron was on when he lost a game of Craps to Daring Do, and then lost the necklace that he had lifted from Ancient Roman ruins. The crook was currently being held in the ship's brig until the proper authorities could attend to him. As he sat in the dank, dark room, Caballeron scowled to himself, his thoughts currently focused on revenge. (Daring Do... Daring Do...! How dare she humiliate me like that!!) he said in his mind. (No matter what I do, she's always one step ahead of me...!) Growling, he then said out-loud, "I would give anything... ANYTHING to wipe that cocky smirk off her face forever!!"

Just then, the crooked man heard sounds of cut-off grunts from just outside the door to his cell. When he looked over, he saw that both of the guards standing watch over him had suddenly been knocked unconscious. "Wh-what is this...?" he asked, not sure what had just happened.

"You say you would give AYNTHING to get back at her, did you...?" asked a woman's voice.

"Wh-who is there...? Who said that??" Caballeron asked, becoming a little worried as he looked around for the source of the voice. Then, he heard the sounds of the cell door being opened. And when he looked over, he saw an older woman walking into the cell towards him. "Wh-who are you...?"

"Who am I...?" asked the woman. "Why, someone who desires revenge about as much as you do..." In the darkness of the cell, her face couldn't be seen, so Caballeron had no idea what she looked like. "And to think, I was worried that I wasted my time stealing a ticket to get on this ship and not find you here..."

"You... were looking for me...?" asked Caballeron. "Why? What do you want from me?!"

"Oh, I don't desire any material goods from you, Dr. Caballeron." the woman told him. "Oh! Pardon me... you're not a doctor anymore; I nearly forgot."

Grumbling a bit after hearing that, he then asked, "Well, if you don't want any money or valuables from me, what DO you want?!"

"Your assistance, that is all." the woman told him next. "And in return, I can give you the power to get your revenge against the person you despise so much. I can help you dispose of her for good and in the most humiliating way possible; the same way she did to you earlier, in the casino." The man gasped a bit as she continued to speak. "Yes, that's right," she said to him, "I was there and I saw everything that happened. The way you cheated all those other fools into giving up their money. Oh, I don't condemn you for it... If those idiots were foolish enough to allow you to cheat them, they deserve to lose everything..."

Caballeron felt a bit more at ease after hearing what the woman said to him so far. However, he was still a bit unwary of her motives. "You said earlier that you'd help me get my revenge against Daring Do if I helped you with whatever you needed... Why should I trust you...?"

"I don't expect you to trust me at all." the woman admitted. "But... I also don't expect you to just stay in this cell and be carted off to prison either, if you understand what I mean."

The crook did understand: Basically, she was giving him the choice to either stay in the ship and be sent to jail, or do what she told him and escape. Knowing that she had a point, he told her, "I suppose when you put it that way, the choice is obvious. I'll play along for now."

"...Good." The woman then held up an object in her left hand; a Duel Monsters card. "Take this." she instructed him. "Take this card and focus all of your hatred and bitterness into it. Think about how much you want to eliminate Daring Do and pour those thoughts into this card..."

Caballeron wasn't sure what all of that meant, but as he stared at the card she was holding, he figured he didn't have much to lose. Slowly, he reached out and took the card from the woman. He then looked at the card and saw that its artwork space and text boxes were all blank. At first, he was about to call attention to that fact, but then he felt a powerful energy come over him. "Urrrgh...! What is this...?!" he said, grunting.

"Do not fight this power.... Do not resist it." the woman then told him. "Let it flow over you, embrace it with your feelings of vengeance, of rage, and hatred! Let this power become you! Let the Number take hold!"

Hearing what she told him, Caballeron stopped trying to fight the power that infused into him. Not long after, it completely consumed and strengthened him. A pink mark resembling the number 67 began to glow on his back shoulder, and his eyes turned a similar color. Grinning wickedly, he then said, "Yes... yes, this feels great!! Hahahahaaa!!!!" Turning to the woman, he then asked her, "Now what?"

"Now we'll take our leave." she answered. "I have prepared a boat for us to make our escape. Then, you will locate the Pranceton Museum."

"The Pranceton Museum?" asked Caballeron.

"Yes." said the woman. "I hear that they are currently working on a new exhibit that will be ready in a few weeks. When it is, I want you to go there and steal all of the artifacts from that display. Do that, and you will be rewarded handsomely." She then walked closer to him and added, "Most importantly, the museum curator - A.K. Yearling, is also in possession of a rare Duel Monsters Deck; I want you to steal that as well."

"A Duel Monsters Deck?" asked the crooked man. "What do you want that for?"

"Oh, it's not for me... it's for you." she told him. "After all, that Number card I gave to you will only work if you have a Deck to use it with. And if you steal the curator's Deck, I can promise you will get the revenge you seek... All of this may not make sense to you now, but you will know why in good time..."

Looking at the Number card (which was, of course, Pair-a-Dice Smasher), he was still unsure about this mysterious woman's words. Still, he figured he had no better options and decided to comply with her request. "Alright, I'll do it." he replied. "But you had better be right about this..."

The woman simply chuckled softly in response, sure that things would go perfectly...

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The vision soon faded after that, and Mrs. K was left staring at the Number she had won as a result of her Duel. She then turned to face the defeated villain and said, "I see now... so that is how you got your Number." She then looked at the card again and thought about the strange woman that she had seen in her vision, wondering who she was. For now, though, she decided to wrap things up with Caballeron and make sure that he couldn't cause any more harm today. "I stated before our Duel that if you lost, you would receive a fitting punishment: A Penalty Game."

Caballeron, now shaking a bit out of fear, asked her, "Wh-what do you mean... Penalty Game...?"

"...You will see for yourself." Mrs. K told him. "Forgive me, but this is the only way you can see just what future your actions will lead you towards." As the necklace around her neck began glowing brightly, she pointed at his face and shouted, "For your crimes against my friend and the field of archeology itself, you leave me no other choice!"

The crook shuffled backwards, not sure what was about to happen.

"PENALTY GAME!! Greed, Illusion of Avarice!!!" shouted Mrs. K as a strange power began to fill the room. No one else but she and Caballeron could see it, but Sunset and Twilight could feel something coming from them as they and their friends watched the scene unfolding before them.

"W... what... what's happening...?" asked the crook, his eyes and voice becoming hazy. Glancing over to a corner of the room, he softly gasped at what he saw. "Over... over there... is that...? It... it is! Money! MONEY!!!" Caballeron could see what appeared to be a large can full of cash in the back corner. Excited, the greedy man rushed over and grabbed the container, pouring out all of its contents over his head. "I don't believe it!!" he said in amazement. "All this cash in one spot!! And its mine!! MINE!!! ALL MINE!!!" He then began throwing the cash into the air, giggling like a schoolboy.

All of the others, however, were astonished at what was going on. In their eyes, Dr. Caballeron had just dumped a load of garbage on himself and was playing around in it. "What the heck's that guy doin'?!" asked Applejack, confused.

"EWWWW!!! That's disgusting!!!" said Rarity, trying to hold back an urge to throw up. "He's covered in all that filth! Just WHAT is he thinking?!"

Having an idea of what might have just happened, Sunset asked Mrs. K, "Did... you make him do that?"

"I didn't MAKE him do that, Ms. Shimmer." the teacher answered. "I merely put an illusion into his mind. Right now, until the next day, whenever he sees trash or garbage, he will think it is money."

"You serious?" asked Rainbow Dash. "He thinks that all that stuff is money?" Mrs. K nodded yes in response.

"Hold on..." Daring Do began to say, "that reminds me: Today's trash pick-up for the museum..."

"That's right." said the young teacher. "Which means that once Caballeron sees the garbage truck, there is no doubt he'll pursue it all the way to the garbage dump. It will be quite a surprise for him once the spell wears off and he finds out where he is. Luckily, while he will remember everything he did under the effect of the spell, he will not remember anything else - such as this museum, or Daring Do's true identity. On that note..." Walking over to her archeologist friend, she then held out her hand holding the Deck that she recovered. "I believe this belongs to you." she told her.

"Um, thanks K." she replied, taking back her cards. She still wasn't exactly sure what to make of everything that happened, but she was just happy that Caballeron's plans had been stopped and the museum's artifacts had not been stolen.

Mrs. K then turned over to Sunset and the others, who were also unsure of what had taken place. Before any of them could say anything, Mrs. K smiled and told her students, "You don't have to say it: I'm aware that I have some explaining to do..."

"You could say that." stated Sunset. "Only I'm not quite sure where we should start."

"Then perhaps we should start by going somewhere private." Mrs. K suggested. She then asked her friend, "Yearling, would you mind if we all went into your office to discuss things?"

"Uh, sure. I guess that's okay." said Yearling.

Satisfied with that reply, she glanced back over to her students and asked them, "Would you all follow myself and Ms. Yearling then? We have much to talk about..." The other girls nodded and followed their teacher to the office where A.K. Yearling worked. As they all walked down the halls, Sunset and Twilight wondered what their teacher had in store for them...

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Once they had all arrived in the office (and after A.K. Yearling donned her "civilian" outfit once more), Mrs. K then began to explain everything to her and especially to Sunset, Twilight, and their friends. She started by telling them her real name: Kisara. The young teacher also told them that she had found out - through the power of the Numbers she owned, that she was a reincarnated soul, just as she had told Dr. Hooves and Derpy some time ago. Needless to say, everyone was surprised by this unexpected revelation.

"So... let me get this straight:" Sunset began, trying to make sense of everything. "You're telling us that you were alive once over 3,000 years ago, and now you came back? Is that it?"

"It is." Kisara responded. "I know it is a lot to take in, but I can assure you, I am telling the truth."

"Sheesh... Ah never would've guessed that y'all were reincarnated, Mrs. K..." Applejack told her.

"Yeah, I thought all that stuff about comin' back to life was just made-up..." admitted Rainbow Dash.

"It is entirely possible." Twilight told them both. "Princess Celestia taught me about it while I was her student. I know, it seemed unbelievable to me at first, that someone could live one life and then come back again at a future time. One thing I do remember from what she told me is that - more often than not, when someone is reincarnated, it is usually for a greater purpose. In other words, they are brought back into the living world for a reason."

"That is most correct, Ms. Sparkle." said Mrs. K. "You are certainly wise beyond your years, as I have been told." She then said to them all, "But it is also true that souls that return to the living world often have no memories of their past lives. Those memories still exist, but only in that person's subconscious mind..."

"But if that is all true," Rarity began to ask, "then how come you seem to remember your past?"

Picking up her Deck and pulling out her Number card - Dragulon, Kisara told them, "When I found this card, its power opened my mind and allowed me to remember all of the lives I've lived. I remember the day I came to Egypt and saw my master for the very first time... I remember when a terrible war almost destroyed his homeland... and I remember how his devotion to me allowed me to carry on and protect him for years to come..." Wiping away a small tear from her eye, she continued, saying, "The card brought my memories back so that I could fulfill the purpose of my return to the living world. And so, out of respect for both it and my master, I carry out that purpose."

"Annnnnnd... what purpose is that?" asked Sunset, becoming more and more curious about it all.

Kisara paused for a moment before answering the question. "My purpose for returning to this world..." she started to say, "...is to reunite the Order of Astral!"

"The Order of Astral?" asked everyone in the room.

Nodding, Kisara then explained to them, "This is the true reason I asked all of you to accompany me to the museum. You see, I had every intention of explaining all of this today. However, I must admit, I had not planned on Caballeron breaking into the building on the same day. Regardless, now that it is all out in the open, I do plan to reveal everything and not keep any more secrets from you all."

The others remained silent so that Mrs. K could tell them everything that she had to tell them. They weren't about miss any important details.

Kisara the explained to them, "Three thousand years ago, there existed a clan of priests and priestesses who believed in bringing peace and prosperity to the entire world. They were called, 'The Order of Astral'."

"Order of Astral..." muttered Sunset. "Why does that sound so familiar...?"

"Don't you remember?" asked Pinkie Pie. "From the ninth chapter? We heard about a place called the Astral World from Zecora!"

"That's right!" gasped Rarity. "That day, she told us about a group of people that worshipped that place! She also said that there were people who fought using monsters and magic... Like an ancient version of Duel Monsters!"

"...So you know about it already, I see. That is most interesting." said Kisara.

"Well, not much actually..." Sunset told her. "Zecora only told us what she knew, based on all of the stuff she found during her travels."

"Zecora?" asked Yearling. "You mean that zebra-striped woman wearing the tribal clothes?"

"You know her?" asked Fluttershy.

"Yeah, she joined up with my archeology team that was excavating all of the stuff for the exhibit here." the museum owner answered. "She didn't stay the whole time; mostly she helped us find the site where the ruins were located. She helped us with some of the digging, and thanks to her, we found some neat things, as you probably already saw." Yearling then looked over at Sunset and saw the necklace she was wearing, saying to herself, "Huh... so THAT's what she did with it..."

"Did with what?" asked Sunset. "My necklace?"

"Yeah, I remember that, when she had to leave, we were planning to pay her for the time she spent." Yearling explained. "But she told us that all she wanted from us was a gold charm that she found: That one in particular."

"That's right, I remember..." the red-and-yellow teen recalled, "she told us that she found this item during her trip to the Himalayan Mountains." She then asked, "Wait; I thought it was illegal to sell artifacts from archeological sites, like Mrs. K told Caballeron."

"That is true." said Yearling. "But the thing is, that charm was actually found quite far away from the digging site; nobody was sure where it actually came from. To be honest, we all thought it came from some souvenir stand or something... Because of that, we all decided that it was hers to do with as she pleased. So we were okay giving it to her when she asked for it."

"I see..." Sunset said, staring at her necklace some more. Twilight was also interested, as she had not heard the story of her friend's necklace up until now.

"Perhaps it was destiny that she found it when and where she did..." said Kisara. "After all, it is quite interesting that it should find its way to you, Ms. Shimmer..."

"Um... why do you say that?" asked the jacket-clad girl.

Standing up from her seat, she answered, saying, "That item around your neck... was once worn by a High Priestess that led the Order of Astral. She served the High Priest along with several others in the clan. Their purpose was to promote peace throughout the world and bring it closer to the Astral World."

"Bring it closer to the Astral World?" asked Twilight. "But why?"

"Because the Order believed that the Astral World was a world of absolute perfection:" Kisara told her. "A world without fear, hatred, war, greed... It was world that did not have the failings of man within it. To them, it was an ideal world of everlasting beauty and prosperity."

"I remember Zecora said something like that too..." Fluttershy said. "I would love to see a world like that, where no one has to be scared or hurt..."

"I would love to see it as well, Fluttershy dear." Rarity added, trying to imagine a world like that. "It sounds like a lovely place."

Recalling something else that Zecora had told them, Sunset then asked Mrs. K, "When we first heard about these people, Zecora told us that no traces of their physical bodies exist. Why is that?"

Pausing again, Kisara walked over towards the bookshelves behind Yearling's desk before saying, "From what I know, many people who heard stories of the Astral World joined the Order of Astral in order to seek its glory. However, there were also a few who wanted to take the power of that world for themselves, forming a rival clan - or more like a cult, that sought to destroy the Order and everyone in it. Thus, a war began between the two. The Order disliked violence, but they knew that the rival clan's actions would cause the demise of the world if left unchecked, so they reluctantly stood in opposition of them in order to preserve both this world and the Astral World."

"So what happened to them...?" asked Spike. "Did they all... well, you know...?"

Kisara sighed and said, "The war between the two clans was costly for both. And although the Order of Astral were victorious in the end, it came at a great price. The seven High Priestesses that served under the High Priest - along with the High Priest himself, gave their very lives to put a stop to the evil force that threatened the Astral World's destruction. They expended every last bit of energy to drive back that evil... and in turn, their physical bodies perished..."

Everyone in the room felt a little depressed after hearing that. "That's... that's so sad..." said Twilight. "That they had to give up their lives like that..."

"It is indeed..." Kisara told her. "But as a result, their souls ascended into the Astral World, to spend eternity in the very world they preserved and ensuring that others could follow in their footsteps." Turning back to her students, she then told them, "However, these priestesses knew that - while they succeeded in stopping the evil force that threatened the Astral World, it wasn't permanent. They were sure it would come back and seek to finish what it had started. So they vowed that they would return to this world in order to fight that evil once more, if and when it would ever return..."

"Wow... if that's true," started Twilight, "then they must be back, with everything that's been happening lately..."

"Yes... the Order of Astral has indeed returned and is living in this world." Kisara told them. "As for where they are... They are much closer than you think."

"Whaddya mean by, 'closer than we think'?" asked Rainbow Dash. "Where are they?"

Mrs. K's last comment caused Sunset to ponder some more about the matter. Then, she remembered something that made her gasp. "Could it be...?"

The others watched as Sunset removed her backpack, unzipped it and began digging through it. "What're y'all lookin' for, Sunset?" asked Applejack.

The red-and-yellow girl didn't reply at first because she was concentrating on finding what she was looking for. Eventually, she exclaimed, "Yes! I still had it in here!" The otherworldly girl was holding up a piece of paper in her hand.

"What's that paper, Sunset?" asked Twilight.

"I got it from Zecora just before you arrived here." she explained to her. "My friends and I went to visit her so that she could try and help us figure out stuff about my necklace and the Number cards. I asked her to make a copy of one of her pictures for me so that I could examine it further; take a look."

Everyone watched as Sunset placed the paper face-up on Yearling's desk. Immediately they remembered what it was. "Hey, I remember this thing!" said Pinkie Pie. "That's the paintings of those Diak Um guys that Zecora showed us! I remember 'cause one of them had hair just like you, Sunnie!" Looking at the painting closer, she then added, "Heeeeeeeeeyyyyyyy... Now that I mentioned it... there's someone with poofy pink hair, just like me!"

"You really think so, Pinkie?" asked Sunset, a bit surprised.

"Hold on... I think she's right!" Rarity gasped, pointing to another figure in the painting. "Look at this one... Violet, wavy hair... beautiful clothes... just like me...!"

"And this one here..." Fluttershy chimed in while pointing to another figure, "she looks like me, too! I can't believe I didn't notice it before..." One by one, each one of the teenagers saw someone in the painting that bore a similar resemblance to them.

"This is... this is so bizarre...!" said Twilight. "What does all this mean??"

"...According to Zecora, 'Diak Um' was an ancient term for a Duel Priest or Priestess..." Sunset said out-loud. "And this painting shows eight figures..." After thinking a bit more, Sunset let out a gasp after she put it all together. "The Order of Astral IS closer than we think...!"

"What do ya mean?" asked Applejack. "Spill it! What did y'all figure out?"

Sunset hesitated to tell them the conclusion that she came to, because she had a hard time believing it herself. After a while, she worked up the courage to tell them everything and said, "I think what Mrs. K is trying to tell us is that... is that WE'RE the people in that painting! WE'RE the Order of Astral!!"

-- To Be Continued...

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NUMBERS OBTAINED:

Mrs. K / Kisara (3 Numbers total):

- Number 67: Pair-a-Dice Smasher

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Author's Note:

Quite an interesting discovery for Sunset and the others, isn't it?

The next few episodes will involve a Duel Monsters tournament (after all, there's gotta be at least one in a Yu-Gi-Oh! series), and it will consist of 16 participants.

The competitors have, as of this moment, been determined. Keep on reading to eventually see who have made it in!

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