• 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 47: A Little Song and Dance:

Author's Note:

FINALLY finished this and got this up. Sorry for the long wait. :fluttershyouch:

Normally, I upload these episodes on the last full week of the month, but since I'm sure many of you were waiting quite patiently for long enough, I figured I would just post this episode as soon as I could. Again, very sorry for the long wait. Hopefully, things will return to normal and I can get back to my regular uploading schedule. Until then, just bear with me.

Enjoy the episode!

RANK 47: A Little Song and Dance:
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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...

The tournament at CHS is getting more exciting by the minute, with the next Duel pitting Flash Sentry and his Heroic Deck against Bright Mind, who was armed with a Deck of Aliens. This Duel would determine who would face off against Sonata Dusk in the Quarterfinal Rounds. Flash's army of Warrior-types proved formidable, but in the end, they succumbed to Bright's Aliens and their sinister mind-control tactics. Bright Mind moved on to the Quarterfinals, leaving only two more Duels left in the first round.

But in the Duel Spirit World, another story was beginning. A young Spellcaster named Mana (known better to Duel Monsters fans as the Dark Magician Girl) began her daily duty of looking after the Shrine of the Legendary Dragons - a hallowed place that was the resting place of the dragons Timaeus, Critias, and Hermos. But today, Mana and her former teacher Mahad (a.k.a. the Dark Magician) noticed something peculiar about the statue of Timaeus, as its eyes were glowing brightly. Sensing it as an omen, Mahad sent Mana on a solo mission to seek advice from Torunka - said to be the Sprit World's oldest resident, on what was causing this reaction.

As Mana sets out on what could possibly be a perilous quest, back at CHS, the next round of the Tournament is ready to begin...

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At Canterlot High School, the audience was still cheering in response to the hard-fought Duel between Flash Sentry and newcomer Bright Mind. Though Flash held his own for a while, he fell to Bright's Alien Deck and was ejected from the tournament. Luckily, there were no hard feelings between the two boys, and after a friendly handshake, they both parted ways, with Flash going over to see his friends, which included his ex-girlfriend and tournament Judge, Sunset Shimmer.

"Uh...hey Flash." said the red-and-yellow girl. "Sorry that you lost that last Duel. I-I think you did pretty well."

"Eh, it's okay. I'll get over it." the blue-haired boy told her. "That Bright guy's a tough Duelist; I don't feel bad losing to someone like him. I'm not bitter about it one bit."

"W-well, we still think you did great out there anyway." Twilight told him from the nearby bench she was sitting on.

"Thanks, Twilight. And you too, Sunset." Flash replied, smiling. Stretching his arms, he then told the two of them, "Well, now that I'm out, I'll be up in the stands to watch the rest of the competition. Keep up the good work as Judge, Sunset."

"Uh, thanks." the jacket-clad teen said to him. "I'll, uh... I'll do my best!"

Flash then left with a smile, heading into the tunnels on the stadium's ground floor. As he left, Sunset could only stare as he eventually faded from her sight. She then sighed sadly to her herself a little.

"Something the matter, Sunset?" asked Spike, noticing her expression.

"Not really."

"You sure?" asked the dragon-turned puppy. "You're kinda getting that look that I get whenever I pass by Ra- er, I mean-! I mean when I pass by a...uh, gem that I can't pry loose!"

Humming a little, Sunset then told him, "Well...I was just thinking about some stuff, that's all."

"What kind of stuff?" asked Twilight. "Do you mean about Flash?"

"Well...it's just that... It's just that I still feel kinda bad using him to boost my popularity when I was...well, you know." Sunset told them. "Even after all that, he's still talking to me so nicely as if nothing had happened." Giggling a bit, she then added, "Ah, there I go again, acting like a broken record. And next you'll tell me something along the lines of, 'You're a different person now, Sunset.' Or, 'It's just not like Flash to have ill feelings about anyone'."

"That's only 'cause it's all true." Spike told her. "You're nothin' like you used to be, so now you and Flash can get know each other better, now that you both have a clean slate."

Chuckling a little, Sunset smiled and patted the dragon-turned-puppy on his head and said to him, "I'll be sure to keep that all in mind."

Changing the subject, Twilight then asked her friend, "So...there's only two Duels left in this round, right?"

"That's right." Sunset confirmed. "And that means that the next roulette will determine not only who fights in the next Duel, but also the Duel after that." She, Spike, and Twilight then glanced over to the four remaining Duelists that had yet to get in on the action: Sweetie Belle, Octavia Melody, and Zecora, as well as the remaining out-of-towner Duelist Sol Burner.

At that moment, Megan Williams - the tournament's M.C., announced, "Alllllright Dueling fans! We're ready to begin the selection for the next Duel! With only two matches left, we will soon know the identities of our quarterfinal contestants! So let's give the roulette another spin!!"

Everyone watching waited on pins and needles, wondering who would be next to fight each other, especially the Duelists that were left to compete. Eventually, the mug shots of the remaining Duelists began to slow down. When they stopped, the next two Duelists were revealed to be...

"Sol Burner and Octavia Melody!!" Megan said with lots of energy. "You're up next!!"

"Hmmm...it's finally my turn to Duel." Octavia said to herself.

"YEAHHH!!! Go for it Tavi!!" shouted the voice of Vinyl Scratch, who was sitting on a bench on the playing field. "Show 'im what you're made of!!" The cello enthusiast blushed a little, happy to hear her friend supporting her.

"So Octavia and that other guy are going next..." noted Sweetie Belle. "That means after they're finished, I'll be dueling Zecora." The girl was a bit nervous, as she had no idea how strong the mysterious woman's dueling skills actually were.

But Zecora comforted her, saying, "Ease yourself, Sweetie Belle. Do not despair. Just stay calm and remember to fight fair. There is no need to stress; just duel at your best."

Hearing that rhyme helped Sweetie feel a little better. "Thanks, Zecora... I guess I'm just a bit nervous about dueling in front of a big crowd, instead of just in front of a few of my friends." Rarity's younger sister smiled and added, "I promise that I'll do my best out there and not worry about a thing!" Zecora smiled and nodded in response, happy to know that Sweetie would try not to get too worked up about the whole thing.

At that time, Octavia and her opponent walked out onto the center of the field. The sepia-skinned girl looked over at her opponent; his skin was ash-grey, with a pair of bright orange eyes and somewhat messy blue hair with a few orange highlights. His attire consisted of a white shirt with a blue flame design on the front of it (likely in reference to his name), a red checkered shirt over top of it, blue jeans, and a pair of sneakers with that same blue flame design on them.

"Are both Duelists ready to begin?" Sunset asked after stepping out onto the center of the field to meet the two.

"We're ready!" responded both Octavia and Sol Burner in unison.

"Then it's time to decide the order of play." the red-and-yellow girl told them. "How do you want to decide?"

"If it's okay with you," Sol Burner spoke up, "I'm most comfortable with rock-paper-scissors."

"I'll agree to that as well." Octavia chimed in with a nod.

"Very well, then." said Sunset. After all was said and done, the two Duelists then made their choice in the rock-paper-scissors game. Octavia chose Paper, while Sol Burner went with Scissors. As a result, Sol Burner was permitted to go first if he wished to, which he did. Afterwards, the two of them walked off to the opposite ends of the field to begin their Duel.

"Now that the order of play has been decided, " Sunset began to announce, "let the seventh Duel of the first round begin!"

"Let's DUEL!!" shouted both the competing Duelists as the audience cheered them on (Sol Burner: LP 4,000) (Octavia Melody: LP 4,000).

As the two Duelists drew their opening hands and thought about what moves to make, Applejack - who was sitting in the stands with Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie, asked them all, "So... we know that Octy's got that Melodius Deck that used on Sunset a long while back, but what about this other guy?"

"I can't even be remotely sure, to be honest." Rarity stated.

"Well, with how tough he looks," Dash began to say, "I'll bet he's got some super-tough, manly-lookin' warriors or somethin' in his Deck."

"Now Dashie," Pinkie began to say, "don't ya know not to judge a book by its cover? Y'know, unless it's called something like Quantum Mechanics for Airheads; then you pretty much know what you're getting into."

Back down on the field, Sol Burner was ready to make his first move in the game. But before he did, he turned to face Octavia and performed a courteous bow. "Hm? What are you bowing for?" asked the sepia-skinned girl.

"It's something we do in my martial arts class." Sol answered her. "Before we do battle, we show each other respect with a simple bow to each other."

"Oh, I see." Octavia replied, understanding. "In that case, I suppose it is only fair that I do the same." She then gave her opponent a bow as well to show her respect. Once the formalities were over with, she then said to her opponent, "Now, shall we begin?"

Sol nodded and took a card out of his hand, saying, "I'll begin with Lunalight Emerald Bird in Attack Mode!" His first monster was a teal-skinned woman wearing an orange-colored bodysuit with blue frills on the shoulder and hip areas. She also had on a green cape that - when fastened to her hands, made it look like she had wings. On her head was a green, dome-like hat with a beak-like decoration on the front, and on her feet were a pair of blue boots (Lunalight Emerald Bird: Level 4 / ATK 1200 / DEF 1000).

"Hmmm... Lunalights, I see..." hummed Octavia. "Very intriguing choice."

"Huh... didn't see that comin'." said Rainbow Dash, sitting in the audience with Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie. Fluffle Puff had left some time ago after having spent some time with them, and now Flash Sentry decided to join them, sitting in the empty seat that Fluffle Puff had previously occupied.

"Yeah, with a name like Sol Burner, I would have thought that he'd have something with FIRE monsters... Maybe creatures with cyber-armor and a bunch of Graveyard effects." Pinkie Pie spoke up. "Then again, that might infuriate players going up against it..."

"For a martial arts enthusiast, I certainly didn't expect him to use that Deck." Rarity commented. "That being said, I'll certainly take graceful dancers over overly-muscular fighters any day."

"Well, I know the Lunalight Deck fairly well," Flash spoke up, "and they're far from just being graceful dancers. Just watch."

"Now I activate Lunalight Emerald Bird's effect!" Sol Burner said, continuing his move. "I'll send my Lunalight Yellow Marten from my hand to the Graveyard, which allows me to draw another card." After he did so, he then added, "And now that my Yellow Marten is in the Graveyard, I can use her effect! This lets me add any Spell or Trap Card related to Lunalights from my Deck to my hand. I'll select Lunalight Serenade Dance."

"Is that all you are going to do for this turn?" asked Octavia.

"Not even close." Sol said with a friendly smirk. "Next, I'll discard my Lunalight Black Sheep to use her effect. Now I can take a specific Spell Card from my Deck and add it to my hand." After he took the card, he then showed it to Octavia and everyone else watching.

"Is that Polymerization?" the cello-playing Duelist asked.

"It is, but it won't be in my hand long." he informed her. "That's because I'm activating it!" After playing the card, he then said, "I'll fuse Lunalight Emerald Bird on my field with Lunalight Kaleido Chick in my hand to perform a Fusion Summon!" After that, the monster that was in his hand (who wore a costume that looked almost like a baby chick), along with the monster that was on the field were drawn into a large red-and-blue portal in the sky. "Graceful dancer who flies the skies! Youthful dancer that charms the audience! Spiral into the moon's gravity and become a new power!" the boy chanted, clasping his hands together with a clapping sound. "Fusion Summon! Come to me! Beautiful beast that dances in the moonlight! Lunalight Cat Dancer!"

After finishing his chant, the portal exploded in a flash of purple light. When the light faded, a light purple-skinned woman gently floated down onto the battlefield. She had an extravagant dress made up of frills, sashes, leggings, and a skirt so beautiful, Rarity's eyes sparkled in delight upon seeing it. The outfit's colors consisted mostly of teal, navy blue, and fuchsia, with a few shiny gold coin-like decorations, bringing to one's mind the image of a traditional belly dancer. Her hat/mask combo was the same fuchsia color as the top part of the dress and was shaped like a cat, had a purple-and-black headdress on the back of it, and a moon-shaped mask over the eyes (Lunalight Cat Dancer: Level 7 / ATK 2400 / DEF 2000).

"Woah... a Fusion Summon right away." noted Sunset.

"Something tells me that this guy's not in any mood to mess around, huh?" Spike asked, astounded by the move as much as Sunset was. Twilight nodded in response to her assistant's question.

"An impressive first move." stated Octavia. "But is that all you will be doing for your turn?"

"Not quite yet..." said Sol Burner. "Since my Kaleido Chick got sent to the Graveyard by the effect of a card, I can take the Polymerization I just used and return it to my hand." And he did just that.

"Amazing..." stated Flash Sentry up in the audience. "Since Fusions Summons often require a great amount of resources, it was a smart idea of him to have a card that can get some of them right back."

"Yeesh... this could be a tough one for Octy." Rainbow Dash stated.

Taking two cards out of his hand, Sol finished his turn, saying, "I'll end with two face-down cards in my back row. It's your move."

"Very well. I'll draw for my turn." said the cello player as she drew a card from her Deck. After placing it in her hand, she then said, "First, since you are the only one between us to have a monster on the field, I can Special Summon my Solo the Melodious Songstress in Attack Position." Her first monster was a young, pink-skinned girl wearing a short-skirt dress that was mostly red in color, with some blue frills along the bottom lined with gold diamond-shaped decorations fastened to it. The top of the dress was complimented with puffy, balloon sleeves, a burgundy and gold-colored breastplate, and a hat with wing-like protrusions coming out of it (Solo the Melodious Songstress: Level 4 / ATK 1600 / DEF 1000).

"Hmmm. A Melodious Deck, I see." said Sol. "That's interesting how it compliments my Lunalight Deck so well."

"Yes, I must say the coincidence is quite remarkable." said Octavia with a chuckle. "It's as if the two Decks had a link to each other, or something to that effect." Taking another card from her hand, she then said, "Next, I shall Special Summon my Sonata the Melodious Diva in Attack Mode; I can do so simply by controlling any Melodious monster on my field." And just like that, her yellow-skinned, blue dress-wearing girl stood on the field right alongside Solo (Sonata the Melodious Diva: Level 3 / ATK 1200 / DEF 1000). "Since Sonata was Special Summoned," the sepia-skinned girl continued, "her effect grants all my Fairy monsters an additional 500 attack and defense points." (Solo the Melodious Songstress: ATK 1600 + 500 = 2100 / DEF 1000 + 500 = 1500) (Sonata the Melodious Diva: ATK 1200 + 500 = 1700 / DEF 1000 + 500 = 1500).

"Not bad, but your monsters' attack power is still lower than my Cat Dancer's." her blue-haired opponent reminded her.

"Which is why I am not planning to attack with either of them." the cello player told him. "Instead, I shall release both of them to Summon a stronger monster." After both of her monsters vanished from the field, Octavia then chanted, "Serene melody that permeates the air. Bring forth your soothing sound. Come forth! Level 7! Shopina the Melodious Maestra!"

Octavia's next monster then appeared in front of her; a pink-skinned woman with aqua-green hair sporting a dark-purple dress with red bead fasteners on the front and bits of a pinkish white in some parts. A pair of green wings with golden trims were on her back, and in front of her was a transparent piano keyboard (Shopina the Melodious Maestra: Level 7 / ATK 2300 / DEF 1700).

"But that monster isn't tough enough either..." Spike pointed out. "So why'd she play that?"

"You'll see." Sunset told him, already knowing what Octavia's strategy was.

"I now activate the effect of Shopina the Melodious Maestra:" the sepia-toned teen told her opponent. "Once per turn, I am permitted to retrieve any LIGHT Fairy monster from my Graveyard, as long as do not activate any effects from a non-LIGHT monster on the same turn." Taking a card from her Graveyard, she then added, "I will take Sonata back into my hand, then re-Summon her with her effect." After doing just that, her revived monster's effect came into play once more, powering up her monsters (Shopina the Melodious Maestra: ATK 2300 + 500 = 2800 / DEF 1700 + 500 = 2200) (Sonata the Melodious Diva: ATK 1200 + 500 = 1700 / DEF 1000 + 500 = 1500).

"Alright!" cheered Applejack. "Now her monster's strong enough t' beat Cat Dancer!"

"Yeah!! Go get 'im Tavi!!" Vinyl cheered loudly.

"Now go, Shopina! Attack Cat Dancer!!" Octavia shouted. "Harmonious Octave!" The woman then played the keys in front of her, letting out a powerful wave of sound that struck Cat Dancer. Sol's monster dropped down to one knee, but otherwise seemed unharmed. "What?!" the girl exclaimed. "Your monster survived?!"

"That's right." her opponent told her. "Cat Dancer cannot be destroyed in battle, even though your monster had higher attack."

"I see..." noted Octavia. "But it still seems as though the damage got through." (Sol Burner: LP 4,000 - 400 = 3,600). Thinking to herself, she then pondered, (I must be careful... I left a powerful card out on his field for him to use on me next turn...) Taking some cards from her hand, she then said, "I'll set two cards face-down before ending my turn." Everyone watched the field closely, wondering just what would happen next in this Duel between dancers and music makers...

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Meanwhile - far, FAR away from Canterlot City, a lone figure was walking down a long dirt path. The figure was a girl in her mid-to-late teens whose name was Mana (better known as the Dark Magician Girl). She was one of the many occupants of the Spirit World: a place where many other people and creatures often seen on Duel Monsters cards lived amongst each other.

Mana was on a mission that had been given to her by her former magic teacher, Mahad (who was better known as the Dark Magician). She was to seek out the legendary Dark Sage - named Torunka, in regards to a strange phenomenon involving Timaeus, one of the three legendary dragons that both Mana and Mahad watched over. Mahad had decided to send his former student to seek out Torunga on her own, having determined that she had more than proven herself to be a capable Spellcaster.

Even though she was happy to know that her former master had so much faith in her, Mana still seemed a bit nervous about the whole thing...especially since she was in unfamiliar territory. Looking all around her, she thought to herself, "Oh my...I-I've never been this far from home before... I don't know much about the area outside of Endymion. I have to be honest to myself; I'm a bit scared..." Suddenly she shook her head and said to herself, "No! I can't be afraid! Master Mahad said that I can do this, and I'm gonna do it! At least...I have to try my best!" Sighing, she then added, "Master Mahad...and my friends back home...I promise to make you proud! I'll find this Torunka guy and come back safe and sound!"

After walking for a little while longer, Mana suddenly stopped at a peculiar sight: There, just a short distance away from her was a large graveyard, with tombstones and mausoleums scattered everywhere. As if it weren't creepy enough, a thick fog lurked close to the ground, and several large crows (that seemed to be wearing some sort of cybernetics) cawed before flying away.

"A...graveyard?" Mana asked herself. "But...this is the Spirit World. How can there be a graveyard in a place that's pretty much like the afterlife? Then again...this place does have its fair share of other weird stuff, so I guess it isn't all THAT put of place..."

As she mulled over those thoughts, a soft BOOM sound - followed by a slight tremor, interrupted her. Perking her head up in surprise, she looked around and asked, "Wh-what was that??" She couldn't see what it was that caused the sound and tremor...and yet, she still noticed both...and they were getting louder.

Trembling, Mana pulled out her magical staff from the sheath attached to her back and held it out in front of her to protect herself. "Wh-wh-who's there??" she asked nervously. "Wh-whoever's there, y-you'd better show yourself...or else I'll...I'll...I'll do something! I'm warning you!"

But the boom sounds and shaking only got stronger and stronger...as well as more rapid. Then, they were followed by what sounded like an elephant making a trumpeting noise, which spooked Mana even more. But it was what she saw next that caused her to panic: Barging through the graveyard was a massive mammoth skeleton with gold-colored bones!

"AHHHHHHH!!!!!" Mana screamed, diving out of the way of the massive creature's charge. But no sooner did she get out of its way, the skeletal scourge quickly halted itself, turned around and came after her again!

Mana ran as fast as her feet could carry her, doing whatever she could to not get trampled by the crazed monster. Turning her head back towards the creature chasing her, she shouted at it, saying, "St-stop doing this!! I didn't do anything to you!" But the creature either didn't hear her or ignored her shouting completely, because it didn't stop coming after her. All Mana could do was to try and stay ahead of it for as long as she could.

But the magician girl was so concerned with keeping her distance from the giant, ghostly mammoth, that she didn't see the small rock in her path...until she tripped her foot on it and fell over. "Eeeek!!" she screamed as she fell over, landing face-first on the ground. By the time she rolled over and sat up, Mana saw the creature now just feet away from trampling her. Fearing for her safety, the girl raised her magical staff in front of her, ready to defend herself if it came to it...even though she knew that the odds weren't in her favor. "I can't... I can't give up...!" she said to herself. "I don't know how I'll get out of this...but I have to try! I can't let my master down...!" Things looked bad for Mana...

...But then, out of nowhere, a small, electrical sphere zipped through the air and struck the mammoth creature. It let out a pained cry as static bolts enveloped it from head to foot. The intensity of the blast caused to hunch down on one knee as it tried to recover from the sudden attack.

"Huh?" asked Mana, astounded (but relieved) to see the troublesome titan in its stunned state. "What just happened??"

"Hurry, Miss!" shouted a man's voice. "Strike it while it's down!"

"Huh? Who was that?" the girl asked. "Where are you??"

"No time to explain!" the voice instructed. "Hurry up and destroy that creature before the shot wears off!"

Realizing that now wasn't the time for questions, Mana nodded and charged up energy into her staff. She then leapt into the air, staff in front of her, shouting, "Dark Burning ATTACK!!!" And with that shout, she unleashed her magic power on the beast that had previously been terrorizing her. The mammoth cried out in anguish as Mana's spell wiped it out completely.

Landing safely on her feet, Mana let out a tired breath and said to herself, "I...I did it... Safe...at last..." Then, after letting out that last word, the magician girl fainted on her back, possibly out of relief that the creature was gone now.

Minutes later...

"...Hey...! Hey, miss! Miss, are you alright?"

"Urrgh..." Mana groaned after hearing the concerned voice speaking to her. "Urrr...wha...what happened...?" she spoke in a groggy tone as she slowly sat up and rubbed her eyes after having collapsed earlier. Her hat had even fallen off her head upon hitting the ground and was laying off to the side.

"Oh, good! You're awake. I was worried that you were...well, never mind what I thought. The point is you're okay." the voice spoke again to her. Now that Mana was awake and alert, she recognized the voice as the same one that had told her to attack the mammoth creature that had been chasing her earlier.

The voice had come from a person that was sitting next to her: An adult man, by the look of his build. However, he was wearing an outfit that covered every inch of himself, including his face. His outfit consisted of full body armor, colored dark blue and gold, decorated with several orange orbs, and a pair of wing-like blades on his back. His face was covered by a large helmet that was of the same color as his armor, with a blue semi-transparent visor covering the front of it, and a pair of thin antennae-like protrusions coming out from the back.

"You..." Mana spoke, still a little dazed from her sudden fainting. "You're the one who helped me when that mammoth creature attacked..." Smiling and turning around to face him, she told the man, "Thank you so much...! I don't know how I could ever repay you!"

"There's no need for it, miss. I was just doing my job, that's all." he told her. "Your safety is all the payment I need."

"How chivalrous of you." the magician spoke with a slight giggle. "At least tell me your name; I'd like to know who it was that helped me."

"Fair enough." said the man. "You can call me Sparkman."

"Hm? Sparkman?" asked Mana, a little surprised. "I've heard that name before..." Gasping, she then exclaimed, "Wait! I know you! You're a member of that superhero group: The Elemental HEROES!"

"I see you've heard of us. That's good to hear." Sparkman replied. "Nice to know that news of us travels quite a distance." He then asked her, "And your name?"

"My name?" asked the girl. "It's Mana. I'm from the city of Endymion."

"Hmmm... Endymion, you say? That's quite a long distance from here. Why are you travelling so far away from home, especially in a gloomy place like this?" the superhero inquired further.

"Well, the thing is... I'm on an important mission of my own." Mana told him. "I was sent by my Master Mahas to-"

"Mahad??" asked Sparkman, interrupting her. "The legendary Dark Magician? He asked you to travel out this way?"

"You've...heard of him?"

"Just a few things, from the E-HERO database back home." Sparkman answered. "Like how he's one of the most powerful and well-respected Spellcasters in Endymion." He then asked her, "So what does he want you to do all the way out here?"

"It's...a little complicated," she responded, "but part of it involves searching for Torunka, the Dark Sage. We need his advice to resolve a small issue back home."

"Hmmm... I see." the hero hummed to himself, understanding everything. "I've heard of this Dark Sage, and just how secretive he is."

"Tell me about it..." Mana sighed. "I don't even know where to begin looking for him..."

Pondering the situation for a while, Sparkman came to a decision. Picking up Mana's hat from off the ground, he handed it to her, saying, "This journey of yours sounds like a difficult one for just one person alone, especially since you never know what could be lurking around the corner."

Mana took her hat and continued to listen to what he had to tell her.

"So with that in mind," he continued, "I think it might be best if I came along to help you out."

"H-help me?" she asked, as she put her hat back on. "Are you sure? I don't want to distract you from your duties, whatever they might be..."

"It's no problem, miss." he assured her. "Helping others that need help ARE my duties. And besides, things have been pretty quiet back home anyway; I was actually doing a bit of travelling myself just to keep from getting bored. So I insist: I want to come along and help you with your mission! What do you say?"

Mana thought about it for a while, wondering if she should take his offer. She then remembered that Mahad had always told her that - while she should be independent to a point, that should always accept help from anyone offering it. She then smiled and said, "Okay, you've convinced me: I'll be happy to have you along with me!"

"That's good to hear." said Sparkman, pleased with her answer. "And we'll start by getting out of this graveyard and onto somewhere a bit more cheerful-looking."

"Yeah, I agree." the magician girl said, happy to leave the gravesite for good as they walked away together.

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Back in the "real" world, the Duel between Sol Burner and Octavia Melody was just getting started. Everyone watching was anxious to see what would happen as Sol began his next turn. "It's my turn now." he said, drawing his card for the turn. (That'll do just fine...) he said after looking at it. Placing his new card in his hand for the moment, he took a different card and played it, saying, "I activate Polymerization!"

"Polymerization?!" exclaimed Rainbow Dash. "AGAIN?!?"

"I thought as much." Rarity spoke. "Lunalights use a fusion-based strategy to call up their most powerful cards. I knew it would only be a matter of time before he would play that card once more."

Taking a card from his hand, he then stated, "I'll fuse Cat Dancer on my field with the Lunalight Crimson Fox that I just drew for my turn!" After explaining that, his Fusion Monster on the field joined with a fox-like female monster that was mostly red, black, and pink as they leapt into a red-and-blue vortex up in the sky. "The beautiful beast dancing in the moonlight! Vixen who prances under the blood-red moon! Swarm in the vortex of the moon’s gravity and become a new power!" Sol chanted. "Fusion Summon! Come forth! Elegant beast dancing in the moonlit wilderness! Lunalight Panther Dancer!"

At that moment, a pillar of purple light shot from out of the portal down to the ground below. After it finally faded, a new monster stood where it used to be. Like all of Sol's monsters so far, it had the appearance of a female dancer. She had brown skin and short green hair that covered her eyes, giving her a mysterious look. She wore a strapless dress that consisted of a dark-blue top fastened with drawstrings, and a long, flowing pink skirt on the bottom. She wore gloves and footwear that were designed to look like cat paws, with a pair of large rings that seemed to hover around her wrists. A pair of golden blades rested on the sleeves of each glove, connected to the rings by a darker-pink ribbon, and she had a long black tail connected to the back of her outfit (Lunalight Panther Dancer: Level 8 / ATK 2800 / DEF 2500).

"Impressive..." said Octavia. "Of course, your new monster is equal in attack power to my own..."

"Perhaps," Sol responded, "but before I even think about attacking you, I'll play this Trap Card first. I activate Lunalight Serenade Dance!"

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

Lunalight Serenade Dance:
(Continuous Trap Card)

When a Fusion Monster(s) is Fusion Summoned to your field (except during the Damage Step): You can target 1 of those monsters; apply these effects in sequence.
*Special Summon 1 "Lunalight Token" (Beast-Warrior/DARK/Level 4/ATK 2000/DEF 2000) to your opponent's field.
*That target gains 500 ATK for each monster your opponent controls (even if this card leaves the field).
During your Main Phase: You can banish this card from your GY; send 1 card from your hand to the GY, and if you do, Special Summon 1 "Lunalight" monster from your Deck. You can only use this effect of "Lunalight Serenade Dance" once per turn.

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

"Since I just Fusion Summoned my Panther Dancer," he explained further, "I can use my Trap Card to Summon a Lunalight Token to your side of the field in Attack Position. Just call it a little gift from me to you."

Octavia watched as a shadowy figure (female, based on its appearance, if shadows had genders) manifested itself onto her side of the field (Lunalight Token: Level 4 / ATK 2000 / DEF 2000). "And...why, exactly are you being so generous?" asked the cello-playing Duelist.

"Because by doing so, my Panther Dancer gains an extra 500 attack points for every monster you currently control." Sol explained. "And I count three monsters on your field; therefore, she gains 1,500 more points!" (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 2800 + 1500 = 4300).

"Oh dear...!" Octavia gasped.

"But that's not all:" her opponent continued. "Since I sent my Crimson Fox to the Graveyard through a card effect, I can use her effect to drain away all of your Shopina's attack points!" And just as he said, Shopina dropped down to one knee, sapped of almost all her power (Shopina the Melodious Maestra: ATK 2800 > 0). "Then I'll use my Panther Dancer's effect as well!" he then finished.

"What does she do?" asked Spike. "What's her effect?"

"Not good for Octavia, that's what." said Sunset. "It allows Panther Dancer to keep from destroying Octavia's monsters by battle once each, but in exchange, Panther Dancer gets to attack each of her monsters twice this turn."

"But...if that's the case," Twilight began to speak, "that means if his attacks get through, Octavia loses the Duel!"

"Now, go Panther Dancer! Attack Shopina!" he ordered his monster. "Full Moon Multiple Slash!!" Panther Dancer then leapt forward, claws out and ready to tear her victim apart.

"Octy! Watch out!!" shouted Vinyl from the audience stands.

But the sepia-toned girl was ready for it. "I activate my Trap Card, Melodious Rhythm Change!"

"What's that do?" asked Sol.

"It permits me to return any of my Melodious monsters on the field to my hand." Octavia explained. "Then, I am able to Summon another one from my hand." Taking a card off of her D-Pad, she then told him, "Obviously, I'll choose to remove my Shopina from the field... And then I'll re-Summon her in Defense Mode!" She then did just that, replaying her card as quickly as she removed it (Shopina the Melodious Maestra: ATK 2300 + 500 = 2800 / DEF 1700 + 500 = 2200).

"So...what was the point of that?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"It's simple:" Applejack told her. "By takin' that card off the field, it was no longer affected by that Crimson Fox's effect that zeroed out her attack. And by Summonin' it in Defense, she'll keep from takin' any damage!"

Sol Burner smirked a bit. "I have to say, that was quick thinking on your part." he complimented. "But I'm still gonna attack her with my Panther Dancer!" His monster's attack then continued, with Panther Dancer slashing with her claws once on Octavia's monster, and then again in order to destroy it.

"Now that I have one less monster out," Octavia pointed out, "your Panther loses attack points!" (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 4300 - 500 = 3800).

"Unfortunately for you," he then said, "my Panther Dancer gets an extra 200 attack points for every monster she takes down, making her strikes even more powerful!" (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 3800 + 200 = 4000). Pointing forward, he then shouted, "Now attack her Sonata!"

Panther Dancer then performed another double attack on Octavia's other Melodious monster, taking it out (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 4000 - 500 = 3500). Luckily, it was also in Defense Mode, so Octaiva escaped the damage. But then Sol Burner had his monster gain more attack points for its last attack (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 3500 + 200 = 3700). "Now, attack the Lunalight Token!!" he then ordered his monster.

"I activate my other Trap Card, Half Shield!" Octavia shouted, flipping her second face-down card. "I target your Panther Dancer and make it so that it only inflicts half damage to me as long as it remains on the field!"

"In that case, I chain the second effect of Crimson Fox!" Sol Burner responded. "By banishing it from my Graveyard, I negate your Trap Card's effect, as well increase both of our Life Point totals by 1,000!" After he said that, a red cloud surrounded itself around the girl's Trap Card, blocking out its effect (Sol Burner: LP 3,600 + 1,000 = 4,600) (Octavia Melody: LP 4,000 + 1,000 = 5,000).

"That effect may have caused Octavia to gain more Life Points," Rarity began to tell her friends, "but it ensured that her opponent's monster could deal as much damage as possible."

"Not only that," Flash added, "but Sol also managed to undo all the damage Octavia caused him during the previous turn. Clever play..."

Octavia braced herself as Panther Dancer performed yet another double attack. The first attack only damaged the classic music lover's Life Points (Octavia Melody: LP 5,000 - 1,700 = 3,300), but the second strike did that and destroyed the token, leaving Octavia without any monsters on the field (Octavia Melody: LP 3,300 - 1,700 = 1,600) (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 3700 - 500 = 3200). "Urrgh..." she groaned.

"Tavi...are you okay??" asked Vinyl out of concern.

"I'll... I'll be fine, Vinyl." she assured her friend. "Don't worry about me."

"That was pretty rough for Octy there..." Spike commented.

"Maybe," Twilight said to him, "but thanks to that earlier Trap Card she played, she's still in the Duel."

"Yeah, but she's gonna need to pull a massive comeback, starting next turn if she still hopes to win this." Sunset chimed in.

Smiling a little, Sol then said to his opponent, "Well, after that battle, my monster gets another 200 attack points (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 3200 + 200 = 3400), but since my Battle Phase is over this turn, she'll revert back to her original attack power now." (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 3400 - 600 = 2800) Nodding, he then said, "I have to say, nice defensive play there with that Rhythm Change card."

"I appreciate the compliment, Mr. Burner." Octavia told him. "However, I do not plan on remaining on the defense for very long."

"Then let's see what you can do with your next turn." he then said.

"I draw!" the sepia-skinned girl declared, pulling off the top card of her Deck and looking at it. (Hmmm...this could help.) she thought as she put it in play. "I activate my Pot of Desires! I banish the top ten cards of my Deck and draw another two!"

"Wow, that sure was lucky of her to pull that card at a time like this!" Pinkie Pie stated.

"Let's just hope for her sake that she gets somethin' good with it..." Applejack added.

Looking at her two new cards, Octavia nodded to herself, having come up with a plan. "I activate my 1st Movement Solo Spell Card! Since I currently have no monsters on my field, I can Special Summon any Level 4 or below Melodious monster from my Deck! And I select my Soprano the Melodious Songstress!" Her new monster was a green-skinned woman with a dress that seemed to incorporate blue-and-orange colored armor in most places, such as on the upper body, the sides of the hips, the shoulders and even on her lower arms. The shirt portion was white, with that same orange color decorating it on the bottom. She had long, red hair, but her eye color was unknown, as she was wearing a yellow blindfold (Soprano the Melodious Songstress: Level 4 / ATK 1400 / DEF 1400).

"By Summoning that monster," Sol Burned informed her, "you've allowed my Panther Dancer to gain more attack points (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 2800 + 500 = 3300). I hope for your sake it was worth the risk."

"Oh, I wouldn't worry about me if I were you." Octavia said with a slight smirk of her own. "After all, by Special Summoning Soprano, I can retrieve any Melodious monster from my Graveyard and put it back into my hand. And I shall use that effect to reclaim my Solo the Melodious Songstress, which I will Normal Summon." After her monster was brought back onto the field, Sol's Fusion Monster grew even stronger thanks to his Trap Card (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 3300 + 500 = 3800).

"But why's she doin' that??" asked Spike. "She knows that'll just make that Panther Dancer lady even tougher!"

"Trust me, Spike." Sunset told him. "I'm sure she knows what she's doing." She then thought to herself, (After all, I certainly know what she's doing...)

Sol wasn't sure what Octaiva's plan was, however. "So...what are you going to do with them?" he asked his opponent. "They're not powerful enough to defeat my Panther Dancer..."

"Perhaps they aren't." the sepia-skinned girl replied. "But you are not the only Duelist here that can perform a Fusion Summon." Pointing to the first monster she had Summoned during her turn, she then declared, "I now activate the effect of my Soprano! Once per turn, I can Fusion Summon a Melodious Fusion Monster from my Extra Deck, using Soprano and any other Melodious monsters on my field, WITHOUT needing Polymerization!"

"What?!" Burner exclaimed. "Your monster has its own Fusion effect?!"

"Indeed she does." Octavia said, taking her two cards off of the D-Pad's tray. "I fuse together Soprano and Solo on my field!" Immediately after saying that, her two monsters were drawn into another red-and-blue portal in the sky "Angel's song! Noble resonance!" she chanted. "With the guidance of the baton, gather your power! Fusion Summon! Now come here onto the stage! Schuberta the Melodious Maestra!"

After the chant was said, a purple ray of light shone down onto Octavia's side of the board. When it faded away, a new monster stood in its place: It was a woman wearing a gorgeous, highly-decorated outfit that was mostly red, orange, and black, with some parts designed to look like a musical score. It was further embellished with a metallic-yellow decoration on the hip area, with a white veil flowing from the back of it. Similar metal decorations were attached to the shoulder areas as well. The woman herself had sky-blue skin and long, fiery orange hair, and was holding a conductor's baton in her left hand (Schuberta the Melodious Maestra: Level 6 / ATK 2400 / DEF 2000).

"Woah...now that was some move she pulled there." said Rainbow Dash. "I'm impressed."

"I'M impressed by that intricate outfit that her monster is wearing...!" said Rarity, eyes sparkling. "I must say, this is the MOST attractive and beautiful Duel that I have ever SEEN!!"

"Hmmm..." Sol hummed to himself, looking at the new monster on Octavia's field. "I'll admit; I didn't see that coming."

"But now that she has come," his opponent began to say, "that means your monster's loses 500 attack points, since there is now only but a single monster on my field." (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 3800 - 500 = 3300).

"Maybe," the grey-skinned boy replied back, "but Panther Dancer still has higher attack power. Your Melodious monster doesn't even come close."

"Which is why I'm glad to know that Schuberta has a special effect as well." the cello-player rebutted. "By banishing any three cards in our Graveyards, I can increase her attack power by 200 for each of them."

"She can what...?!" Burner gasped.

"And of course, I'll choose to banish three cards from YOUR Graveyard!" Octavia told him. "More specifically, your Emerald Bird, Cat Dancer, and your Polymerization card! Go, Chorus Break!!" After having done just that, Octavia's Fusion Monster then gained power from each card that Sol lost (Schuberta the Melodious Maestra: ATK 2400 + 600 = 3000). "Now, attack his Panther Dancer, Schuberta!!" she then ordered.

This move shocked everyone watching. "What?!?" Twilight exclaimed. "But her monster's still weaker than his!"

"Yeah! What's she thinking?!" wondered Spike. Sunset said nothing; apparently, she had some idea of what was going on, even though no one else did. However, neither she - nor did anyone else, notice that Octavia had taken a card from her hand and sent it into the Graveyard slot of her D-Pad.

"Panther Dancer, counterattack!" Sol ordered his monster. But just as she was about to pounce, his monster suddenly froze up and fell down onto one knee, seemingly struggling to get up. "Huh? What's wrong??" he then asked. Just then, everyone could hear a faint, but constant melody in the air. "What's that...?"

"That," Octavia answered him, "is the effect of my Score the Melodious Diva, which I activated by sending her from my hand to the Graveyard..." She then took out the card and showed to everyone watching.

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

Score the Melodious Diva:
(Effect Monster/Fairy/LIGHT/Level 2/ATK 200/DEF200)

During damage calculation, if a "Melodious" monster you control battles an opponent's monster (Quick Effect): You can send this card from your hand to the GY; change that opponent's monster's ATK/DEF to 0, until the end of this turn.

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"I thought so..." Sunset said to herself. "She had a hand trap ready to go."

"A...what trap?" asked Spike.

"Hand trap. It's a term that Duelists use to refer to any card that activates its effect from their hand." the red-and-yellow teen explained. "In most cases, the player must discard the card in order to use its effect. And becuase most of these effects are Quick Effects - effects that can be used during either player's turn, they have a surprise factor, just like a Trap Card. The major difference is that since the cards are in the player's hand, their opponents are not likely to see it coming until it's too late."

"That sure sounds pretty powerful." Twilight noted.

"They sure are." Sunset responded. "Mostly because they're very tricky to play around."

Back at the Duel, Octavia said to her opponent, "Thanks to Score's effect, I have weakened your monster's attack and defense power, dropping it all the way down to zero (Lunalight Panther Dancer: ATK 3300 > 0 / DEF 2500 > 0), which means it cannot stand up to my Schuberta's full attack strength!" She then shouted to her Fusion Monster, "Now, continue your attack, Schuberta! Wave of the Great!!" Her monster then swayed her conductor's baton, letting out a wave of light energy that struck Pantehr Dancer and destroyed it.

"URRGH!! Sol grunted as he took an extremely heavy hit from Octavia's attack (Sol Burner: LP 4,600 - 3,000 = 1,600).

"Yeah!!" shouted Vinyl with lots of energy. "Ya got him on the ropes now, Tavi! Keep it up!!"

"Now it seems we're both even in Life Points totals." the sepia-skinned girl informed him. "Looks as though this Duel is not quite over yet."

"Oh, you're right about that." the boy replied. "I activate my Trap Card, Lunalight Reincarnation Dance! With Panther Dancer destroyed, I can use this card to take two more of my Lunalight monsters in the Deck! I select Crimson Fox and Blue Cat!"

(So...he had a backup card ready to go.) thought Octavia. (He must be hoping to try another Fusion Summon on his next turn. I had better be careful.) Taking a card from her hand, she played it into her D-Pad and said, "I'll conclude my turn with one more card face-down. Best of luck to you."

Looking at his Deck, Sol Burner thought to himself, (This is it... If I don't draw something good now, this'll be the end for me in this tournament... But I'm not ready to give up just yet! I'll fight 'til I can't fight anymore!) He then drew the top card of his Deck and looked at it, hoping that it would be something that would get him out of the sticky situation that he was in. "Hm? This card..." he said, sounding a little pleased by what he drew.

Octavia, curious, asked her opponent, "So...what is that you have drawn?"

Looking up at her, Sol answered the question, telling her, "Just the card I needed to regain control of this fight!"

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

Back in the Duel Spirit World, Mana and her new traveling companion Sparkman had finally left the graveyard where they met up. The skies above were still a bit dark and cloudy, but it wasn't as spooky as their previous location. "Well, at least it looks a little less gloomy than before..." said the magician girl. "But something tells me that we're still in for some trouble ahead..."

"I think so, too." Sparkman told her. "Guess that's how it goes sometimes for people like us; you just get that feeling that things'll just get tougher ahead, like that big, gold mammoth zombie we fought against earlier."

"Speaking of that," Mana began to inquire, "how did you manage to stun it? That beast looked like it was unstoppable, but one blast from you and it fell to its knees!"

The superhero then reached down to a holster on his right hip and pulled out a gun-like weapon from out of it. "Spark Blaster." he said. "Never leave home without it."

"You mean that little thing was what stopped that mammoth?"

"Hey, this 'little thing' has pulled me and my teammates' rumps out of the fire more than once!" Sparkman argued.

"I-I'm sorry...! I-I didn't mean to offend you or it..." Mana quickly apologized "If anything I was more impressed BECAUSE it was smaller than I imagined it to be! How does it work?"

"It can store enough energy to fire off three shots before it needs a recharge, and is designed to hinder enemies rather than destroy them outright." he explained to her. "Back home, we're more accustomed to taking in our foes in one piece, but in your case, I doubt we'd be able to negotiate with a zombie mammoth."

"You can say that again." the girl responded.

Putting his weapon away for the moment, Sparkman then asked her, "So...what is it that you need to ask this Dark Sage when you find him?"

Mana answered him by saying, "Well, it has to do with this here..." She then reached into a pocket in the bag she was carrying and pulled out a Duel Monsters card, which she showed to her new friend.

"A card with a green dragon on it?" asked Sparkman, curious as to where this was going.

"It's not just any dragon, Sparkman." Mana explained to him. "This is the Legendary Dragon Timaeus, one of the three that protected both the Spirit World and the human world many years ago."

"Sounds pretty big." the superhero replied. "So what does this dragon have to do with locating the Dark Sage?"

"Well, Master Mahad and I noticed that Timaeus was begin to act strangely," she answered, "and that we think it's because of something that might happen in the near future... So he asked me to go and locate the Dark Sage so that we could possibly get some answers."

"Well, if this is as important as you're making it sound," said Sparkman, "then I'll make it my duty to help you and keep you safe through the whole thing."

"Are you sure you want to?" asked Mana. "I don't want to keep you away from any important business you have..."

"Protecting and helping others IS my business, ma'am." he informed her. "And besides, things have been pretty slow back at Hero City, so I've got nothing more important to do anyway."

Happy to know that she had a reliable friend on her side, Mana smiled and said, "Well in that case, thank you very much for your help. Together, I know we'll be able to find the Dark Sage and figure out what's going on!" As she turned to look ahead, she then asked, "Oh my... What's that up in the sky?"

Looking up, Sparkman noticed the thick, black cloud in the sky ahead of them. "Looks like a cloud of smoke." he said.

"Oh, I see..." the magician girl said. "That's not something I see too often; Endymion is usually a pretty clean city."

"Let's stay together, miss." the superhero told her. "No telling what we'll see over there, but I'm certain it won't be anything - or anyONE, friendly." Mana nodded as they both headed forward towards the smoky skies ahead.

Back in the "real" world, Sol Burner had just started his turn. Based on the fact that he said that the card he had just drawn for his turn was something that would help him get control of the Duel back, Octavia braced herself for whatever he might try.

"So...what card do you think that Burner guy just drew?" asked Rainbow Dash in the audience stands.

"Apparently, somethin' real good..." Applejack answered. "Otherwise, he wouldnt've made a bold statement like that."

"I smell another boss monster coming this way..." said Pinkie Pie.

Beginning his turn, Sol Burner stated, "Before I get to my new card, I'll activate my Luna Light Perfume Spell Card. With it, I can bring back any Lunalight monster from my Graveyard. And I'll choose my Lunalight Black Sheep!" The monster he Summoned from his Graveyard was one that he had previously discarded for its effect, so this was the first time she actually appeared on the field. She wore a black and grey tuxedo-like outfit with blue bows and aqua-colored buttons. The collar and part of the back was made of a fluffy white substance, and long, gold, horn-like protrusions were also growing out from the back. The new monster had light green skin and bleached blonde hair with a gold decoration worn on the front of her face. On her feet were a pair of black boots with the same white fluff on the top of each one (Lunalight Black Sheep: Level 2 / ATK 100 / DEF 600).

"Next," he continued, "I'll Normal Summon the Lunalight Crimson Fox that I got from my Trap Card earlier." He then played his next monster, which was the fox-like woman of which another copy was used for one of his Fusion Monsters on his last turn (Lunalight Crimson Fox: Level 4 / ATK 1800 / DEF 600). "Then," added Sol, "I'll activate the effect of the Yellow Marten in my Graveyard: This effect lets her come back to the field, and in exchange, I have to return my Lunalight Serenade Dance card back to my hand.

(Yellow Marten...?) thought Octavia. (I recall that he sent that card to the Graveyard during his first turn, in order to use the effect of one of his other Lunalight monsters It's clear he placed that card there to set it up for its second effect when he needed it. But what is it that he's trying to do?)

Sol Burner then took his Yellow Marten and placed it on the field in Defense Position. Like many of his other monsters, this one was of a female human with some animal-like features, such as small rounded ears on her blonde-haired head, and a long bushy tail coming out from her back. She wore a red-and-white leotard with pink frills on the hip and shoulder areas, as well as on the chest, and wore brown gloves and boots. On her chest was a gold moon-like piece of decorative jewelry, and her face was partially covered by another piece of gold jewelry with green jewels (Lunalight Yellow Marten: Level 4 / ATK 800 / DEF 2000).

"I'll bet he's setting up for another Fusion Summon..." thought Twilight as she sat with Spike in her arms.

"I agree." Sunset stated. "I'll bet you 10 Bits that the card he drew for his turn was a Fusion Summoning card."

And her guess was confirmed to be correct, as Sol played that very card and said, "I activate the Spell Card, Fusion Substitute and fuse together Yellow Marten, Black Sheep, and Crimson Fox on my field to Summon a Fusion Monster!"

"What?! A Fusion with THREE monsters?!?" exclaimed Rainbow Dash.

"It seems so, Rainbow dear..." Rarity responded. "Which means that this next monster will be very powerful...!"

"The shy dancer in shimmering gold! The beast lurking in the jet-black dress! And the vixen who prances under the blood-red moon!" the grey-skinned boy began chanting. "Display your beauty and your power underneath the moonlit night! Fusion Summon!! The blade that dances under the radiant moon! Lunalight Sabre Dancer!!"

All three of the monster that Sol had Summoned onto his field were all drawn into a red-and blue portal in the sky. This was once more followed by a ray of purple light that shot down onto the field in front of him. Everyone watched as a silhouetted figure formed from with in the light, appearing as a large, female human-like creature. When the light finally faded away, the figure was revealed as a purple woman with a very elaborate costume that was colored pink, gold, and black. In each of her gloved hands was a sharp sword (hence her name), and on her head was a very large headdress. Her feet were the only part of her that showed that she wasn't completely human: they appeared to be similar to that of a panther, due to the shape and the claws that extended out from it.

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

Lunalight Sabre Dancer:
(Fusion-Effect Monster/Beast-Warrior/DARK/Level 9/ATK 3000/DEF2600)

3 "Lunalight" monsters
Must be Fusion Summoned. Gains 200 ATK for each Beast-Warrior monster that is banished or in the GYs. Your opponent cannot target this card with card effects. During your Main Phase, except the turn this card was sent to the GY: You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 Fusion Monster you control; it gains 3000 ATK until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of "Lunalight Sabre Dancer" once per turn.

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

"Oh dear..." said an astonished Octavia upon seeing Sol's new Fusion Monster.

"Woah...that looks pretty powerful..." spoke Vinyl Scratch, becoming a little worried for her best friend.

"If you think that my Sabre Dancer LOOKS powerful," the ash-grey duelist responded, "then her effect will really impress you. She gains an extra 200 attack points for each of my Beast-Warrior monsters that are in my Graveyard and banished pile!"

"For EACH of them?!" exclaimed Octavia.

"So...how many monsters did he get rid of so far...?" asked Rarity.

"If my math and memory are right," Flash began to answer, "I think the number is eight. Which means that his new monster gains 1,600 attack points!" (Lunalight Sabre Dancer: ATK 3000 + 1600 = 4600).

"That'd mean that - if he attacks Octavia now," Applejack began to say, "She'll lose the Duel!"

Looking at Octavia's side of the field, Sol Burner then said to her, "My monster has 1,600 more attack points than yours does, and that is the exact amount of Life Points you have left... If I attack, I'll drop you down to zero and I'll win." Spotting the face-down card his opponent had placed, he then added, "But there's that Set card... There's a possibility that it might increase your monster's power, which would decrease the damage, or even make your monster stronger than mine. So rather then take that chance, I'll use the effect of the Crimson Fox I used for the Fusion Summon!"

"Oh no...!" gasped Octavia.

"That's not good for Octavia..." Sunset told Twilight and Spike. "Just like he did to her Shopina card earlier on, that effect will drain away all of her monster's attack points!"

"Oh no!!" exclaimed Spike. "That means that she'll take all the damage!"

"And if she does," Twilight spoke up, "the Duel's over!"

Octavia put on a stressed expression as her Fusion Monster lost every one of her attack points (Schuberta the Melodious Maestra: ATK 3000 > 0), forcing the monster down to her knees. "You put up a very good fight, Ms. Octavia." Sol Burner said to her. "One of the toughest Duels I've ever had. But it ends now!" Pointing forward, he then ordered his monster, "Sabre Dancer, attack Schuberta with your Graceful Swords Dance!" The monster then held out her swords, positioning them in front of her as she pounced forward, ready to strike Octavia's weakened monster.

"TAVI!! Do something!!" Vinyl pleaded to her friend, not wanting to see her lose the Duel.

But just as Sabre Dancer slashed her swords, a strange, green energy blanketed Schuberta, causing her to rise back onto her feet. "Huh? What's this??" asked Sol, not sure what was happening.

"Hey, what's up with Octy's monster?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"I'm not sure..." Flash Sentry replied, "but she seems to be using whatever power she has left to protect Octavia...!"

Indeed, what Flash said was true: Schuberta stood up, despite her weakened state and stretched her arms out wide, guarding her master with her very life, all while she kept glowing in that intense green energy. Sabre Dancer then slashed her swords multiple times, destroying Schuberta with ease. However, everyone was shocked to see that Octavia did NOT take a single point of damage from the attack (Octavia Melody: LP 1,600).

"She...survived??" asked Spike.

"It seems she did...!" Twilight confirmed.

"But...but how did that happen??" asked Sol Burner, shocked that his attack did not deplete his opponent's Life Points. "You monster was destroyed, but you're still in the Duel?"

"...I am." Octavia responded. "Before your attack connected with my monster, I activated my face-down Trap Card. It is known Impenetrable Attack. After it is played, I am given one of two options: Either I prevent a monster on my field from being destroyed during the Battle Phase this turn, OR I can nullify any battle damage that I take during the Battle Phase. And I'm sure that you can guess which of the two effect I chose to use."

"Urrrgh...I see. So you had that face-down card ready just in case I made a comeback?" her opponent inquired. Smiling a little, he then told her, "Nice move. I thought I had you, but you managed to keep yourself alive for another turn.

"Phew... What a relief..." said Vinyl Scratch, happy to see that her friend was still in the game.

"She may have survived that turn," Sunset pointed out, "but unless she can turn things around next turn, she still isn't safe. She has no monsters or cards in her back row. Her next turn will decide the Duel, one way or the other..." Twilight and Spike watched on, wondering what the outcome would be.

Sol Burner huffed a little, frustrated despite being impressed by his opponent's move. "You may have foiled my attack this turn, but you haven't beaten me yet! On my Main Phase 2, I banish Fusion Substitute from my Graveyard to activate its effect! After I return the Lunalight Panther Dancer in my Graveyard to my Extra Deck, I can draw one more card!" After he did so, he was pleased by what he got. (Perfect! This card will clinch this Duel for me!) he thought, looking at his new card...

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Bottomless Trap Hole:
(Normal Trap Card)

When your opponent Summons a monster(s) with 1500 or more ATK: Destroy that monster(s) with 1500 or more ATK, and if you do, banish it.

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(If Octavia plans on eliminating my Sabre Dancer,) he continued to tell himself, (she'll need to Summon a very powerful monster... But when she does, I can use this card to destroy it as soon as it enters the field!) Placing the card in his D-Pad, he said to his opponent, "I'll set one card face-down and end my turn."

"Well, I suppose it all comes down to this moment..." Rarity said to her friends sitting beside her. "If Octavia still plans on winning this Duel, she'll need to draw a trump card on her next turn." The others - including Sunset, Twilight, and Spike, watched with anticipation to see whether or not the cello-playing Duelist could turn the game around.

Staring at her Deck, Octavia thought to herself, (This is it... my one and only chance to come from behind and win this Duel... If I don't draw the card I need now, it is all over...)

"You can do it, Tavi!!" shouted Vinyl, standing up from the bench she was sitting on. "Don't even think of givin' up yet!! You've still got a chance to win this whole thing, and I know you can pull it off! So draw that next card and use it to go all the way!!"

After hearing those inspirational words, there was no way Octavia could give up now. Smiling and nodding, she said to her supportive friend, "You are absolutely right, Vinyl! And you can rest easy knowing that I plan to see this game to the very end!" She then placed her fingers on her next card, closed her eyes and drew it. As everyone sat on the edges of their seats, wondering if she had managed to get the card she needed, the sepia-skinned girl knew in her heart that she had done just that. "From my hand... I activate the Spell Card Ostinato!"

"Ostinato??" asked Sol, not sure what that card was. "What does that do?"

"This Spell Card permits me to Fusion Summon any Melodious Monster in my Extra Deck, while I control no monsters on my field." the sepia-skinned girl explained to him. "Not only that, but the monsters that I designate as the Fusion Material can come from either my hand OR my Deck!" This caused her opponent to gasp out of surprise.

"Incredible..." said Twilight. "That was the one card that could save her, and she managed to pull it right when she needed it!"

"Yeah, talk about getting lucky..." Spike added.

"Maybe it was luck," Sunset chimed in, "but sometimes, for us Duelists, these things just tend to happen. Now we'll have to see if her move works out for her..."

Taking two cards out from her Deck, Octavia then stated, "I fuse together Mozarta the Melodious Maestra and Elegy the Melodious Diva from my Deck!" The two monsters then appeared on the field for a brief moment before jumping into the red-and-blue portal above them. "Supreme genius! Somber lamentation! With the guidance of the baton, gather your power!" she began chanting.

(Here it comes...) thought Sol Burner. (As I thought, she's Summoning a monster to try and defeat my Sabre Dancer! I was a bit surprised to see her do it soon... but whatever she brings out, my Bottomless Trap Hole card will eliminate it right away!)

Meanwhile Octavia was wrapping up her Summoning chant as she placed her new monster's card onto her Duel Pad's tray. "Fusion Summon! Now come here onto the stage and sing the song of victory!" she shouted in a triumphant tone. "Bloom Diva the Melodious Choir!"

The monster that appeared on the field looked like a younger girl with pale skin and swirly slate-blue hair. Her blue dress was about as pale-colored as her face, though it got darker towards the hem. Two long, pink ribbons flowed from the back of her outfit as she stood on a flower-like platform that hovered slightly above the ground. Surrounding the girl was a faint, golden-yellow light that radiated off of her (Bloom Diva the Melodious Choir: Level 6 / ATK 1000 / DEF 2000).

Sol gasped again, saying to himself, "Huh?? She only has 1,000 attack points? But my Trap Card can only destroy monsters with at least 1,500 points!" He then wondered what his opponent was trying to do.

"What's up with that?" asked Rainbow Dash. "She went to all that trouble to Summon her?? It's not even close to that other guy's monster's attack power at all!"

"I wouldn't be so sure about that, Rainbow dear." Rarity told her. "Just watch..."

Octavia then decided to explain to her opponent and everyone else just why she Summoned a monster with low attack power to the field, despite what she was up against. "To the untrained eye, my move may not make much sense," she stated, "but trust me when I say that Bloom Diva is my Deck's most powerful card!"

"And why is that?" asked Sol.

"Well, to be honest, I got the idea to include this card from a friend of mine that I had dueled some time ago." the cello player told him. "She taught me a very valuable tactic: Sometimes, when your power alone isn't strong enough, it sometimes helps to use your opponent's power against them!"

(Use your opponent's power...?) Sunset asked in her mind. (Is she referring to when I dueled her when this whole Number thing started?) During that Duel, Sunset had used such a tactic to defeat Octavia, with the help of her Chronomaly Machu Mech's special ability.

"Now as for Bloom Diva's special power," the sepia-skinned Duelist continued, "if she battles, she cannot be destroyed by battle, nor do I take any battle damage from said battle. But there's more: After she does battle with a Special Summoned monster, she then inflicts damage equal to the difference between the original attack points of both her and her attack target straight to your Life Points!"

"D-damage to me?!" said Sol Burner, shocked to hear that.

"Did I just hear her right?!" asked Rainbow Dash. "That Fusion Monster can send all of the damage back to him?!"

"It would seem so..." Flash responded. "Since her other monsters weren't strong enough to beat that Sabre Dancer with brute force, Octavia Summoned a monster that could use her enemy's strength against them."

"Just what I thought she would do." Rarity chimed in.

"Now, Bloom Diva! Attack Sabre Dancer!!" Octavia shouted to her monster. "Reflect Shout!!" And with that, the cello-player's Fusion Monster let out a loud - but pleasant-sounding, shout that sent yellow shockwaves towards Sol's monster. Sabre Dancer did her best to block the waves, sending them back towards Bloom Diva with a swipe of her claws. But when the reflected waves struck Bloom Diva, instead of destroying her, they strengthened the radiating aura around her. After building up enough power, Bloom Diva let out another shout, causing the built-up energy to cover every inch of the stadium.

The power that had been released was more than Sabre Dancer could handle: She was destroyed by the re-reflected attack, and the excess energy struck her controller. "AAAAGGHHHH!!!" shouted Sol as the impact from the blast drained away the remainder of his Life Points (Sol Burner: LP 1,600 - 2,000 = 0) (WINNER: Octavia Melody).

A bit shocked at how quickly Octavia turned the Duel around, Sunset stood there with her mouth hanging open. But, knowing she still had a job to do, snapped out of her current state and announced, "The Duel is over! Octavia Melody is the winner!"

The crowd went wild, cheering Octavia for her victory. Of course, no one was more excited to see her win than Vinyl Scratch. "YEAH!! Alright, Tavi!! You won!! I knew you could do it!!" she screamed in delight, happy for her friend. She even raced out onto the field and gave Octavia a congratulatory hug.

Chuckling and blushing a little from her friend's gesture, the sepia-skinned girl said to her, "Thank you, Vinyl. I truly appreciate your support. Had it not been for you, I may not have had the courage to see this Duel through."

"Congratulations, Ms. Octavia." said Sol's voice as he walked towards his opponent. "That was truly a well-earned victory."

"Thank you, Sol Burner." the cello player responded. "Though to be honest, had I not been lucky to pull that Spell Card right at the end, you would have most certainly won."

"Perhaps," Sol replied, "but as the saying goes: 'Luck favors the prepared'. You clearly had built your Deck with great care to handle almost any situation. Even with the overwhelming power that my monsters had, your cards allowed you to hold your own against them, and even use my monster's power to your own advantage. I feel as though I learned a lot from Dueling you and I plan to apply it to all of my future battles, in and out of the ring."

"I am glad to hear you say that." Octavia told him. "Knowing that I helped you to better yourself in the future is perhaps just as great a reward as the Duel victory itself. And I hope to have another Duel with you very soon." Sol nodded and the two shook hands before parting ways.

"Well, Ah'm sure glad that Duel worked out fer Octy like it did." said Applejack.

"Yeah, and that Sol guy wasn't too bad either." Rainbow commented. "Those two sure knew how to put on a show." She then glanced over at Pinkie Pie, who seemed to be in deep thought about something. "Uh... what's up with you, Pinkie?" she then asked her.

"Oh! Uh, nothing, really..." the party lover replied. "It's just that... You ever get this weird feeling that, while this Duel was going on, something else was happening?"

"Like what?" asked Flash Sentry.

"I dunno... I just have that feeling that something really super-important might have been happening while we were watching the Duel." Pinkie told him. "Probably somewhere that's WAAAAAAAAAAAY far away from here. Or it could be just my tummy digesting the snacks I got; one of the two."

Chuckling, Rarity told her pink friend, "Oh, Pinkie darling, you truly are a unique individual aren't you?"

"I do my best." the silly girl simply responded.

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Of course, there WAS something else important going on, all the way in the Duel Monsters Spirit World. Mana and her new traveling companion Sparkman were searching for the legendary Dark Sage, and their travels brought them to a place that had a rather... unique aroma, to say the least.

"Peeyew...!" said Mana, holding her nose as best she could. "This place STINKS! Remind me WHY you decided that the best way to get where we're going was straight through a grimy junkyard?"

"Because...well...uh...because the factories and smoke give the place a sort of...'industrial' charm?" Sparkman responded weakly. Sighing, he then told her, "Alright, already I admit: Going through here might not have been the best idea... Avian's always been better at directions than anyone I know."

"So great: We're not only lost, but now we're lost in this smoky, dingy junkyard..." Mana complained. "I just hope that this smoke smell doesn't stick to my clothes..."

"Well, we've walked pretty far into this place, so we might as well just keep on going." the superhero told her. "This place can't be that much bigger." Just then, Sparkman heard a faint sound similar to an explosion far away. "Uh... Mana, did you hear that?" he asked her.

"Hear what?" she responded. Just then, she heard the noise too. "Wait, I just heard it!"

"Yeah, and this time it was a little louder..." Sparkman informed her. "Whatever it is...it's coming this way..."

"It's...c-coming here??" asked Mana, sweating a little from fear. Nevertheless, she pulled out her staff to arm herself for whatever was on its way. Sparkman did the same with his Spark Blaster weapon.

For a while, there was nothing happening: No sounds, no movements... There was yet no sign of what had attracted Sparkman's attention. But the silence only fueled their uneasiness; they knew it was just the calm before the storm. Then, just when it seemed that the silence would simply continue on...

CRASH!!!

The sound of large amounts of junk being hurled into the air and landing on the grimy ground below got the attention of both Mana and Sparkman. Just as they expected, whatever was coming towards them had finally shown its face. What they DIDN'T expect was what it was that had shown up: The two bore witness to the frightening shape of a massive dragon that appeared to be made up of the very garbage that covered almost every square inch of the area. Its glowing red eyes, along with the roar that bellowed out of its maw, gave off the impression that it wasn't here for friendly reasons.

"I-i-is that a dragon?!?" exclaimed a terrified Mana, clutching onto her magic staff tightly.

"Sure looks like one..." answered Sparkman a bit nervously. "But it's made of scrap?? How? And why?"

"I don't know," the magician girl told him, "but if we don't do something soon, that thing's gonna turn US into scrap!"

The massive trash creature then opened its mouth again: This time to let loose a powerful flame straight towards the pair. Luckily, they avoided it just in time. UNluckily, the dragon had more than enough firepower left in itself as it fired out several more streams of fire. One blast struck a pile of metal by accident, and it melted within seconds.

"Yikes!" Sparkman exclaimed. "The fire's hotter than Burstinatrix when she's in a bad mood! ...On that note, don't tell her I said that."

"If that fire hits us, I don't think we'll need to worry about it either way..." Mana commented. "Quick, try your blaster again!" she then suggested. "Maybe it'll stall that thing long enough for me to get it!"

"I'll try my best...!" said the superhero as he raised his weapon and fired an electric bullet at the dragon. Luckily, despite its massive power, the bullet put the monster into a temporary state of paralysis. "Now, attack it while it's down!" Mana nodded and shot a blast of magic straight at the creature, creating a purple-colored explosion.

"Yes! Direct hit!" cheered Mana. But their cheers were short-lived when, after the smoke cleared, the dragon was still alive. If anything, the magic blast helped shake it of its paralyzed state. It then let out an angry roar to show that it was not amused by their actions. "No...! That just made it even angrier!" the girl said in despair.

"Now what do we do??" asked Sparkman.

But the dragon made its move before they could. Whipping its wings, it created a gust of wind that was strong enough to send several pieces of trash flying towards them. The pair avoided the debris as best as they could, but just before Mana could breathe a sigh of relief, Sparkman cried out, "Mana!! Look out!!"

"Huh??" was all that she could say before a large piece of scrap metal came into contact with her. She was struck on the head and knocked unconscious.

"NO!!!" shouted the superhero as he ran to her aid. Mana was still alive, but in no shape to get up, let alone fight. And a bad thing, too: The dragon was charging up another stream of fire, planning to end them both in one attack. All seemed lost...

But at that moment, from behind Mana and Sparkman, a part of the ground opened up. Out from the hole came a pair of arms - one orange and one greenish grey. The orange arm grabbed Sparkman on his left shoulder and pulled him into the hole, while the other arm got a hold of Mana's leg and pulled her in too, moments before the creature's attack was unleashed. The dragon then saw that its prey had vanished, but had no idea where they disappeared to. The dragon let out a frustrated roar, having no choice but to fly away.

Meanwhile, deep below the ground, Sparkman and the still-unconscious Mana were now in a large, dark chamber of some sort; whatever or whoever had pulled the pair into the hole had had finally let go of them. Standing up and taking a defensive stance, the spark-shooting superhero shouted, "What's going on?? Where are we?!" Looking around, but finding nothing, he growled a little and added, "Alright, whoever it is that literally dragged us down here, you'd better show yourselves!"

At that moment, as Sparkman's vision fully adjusted to the dark, he could see a pair of shadowy figures - one tall and one short, walking towards him and Mana. The hero wasn't sure what to make of this; right now, all he really hoped was that these figures were friendly...

-- To Be Continued...

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TOURNAMENT RESULTS (Round 1):

1. Indigo Bolt vs. Ember [WINNER: Ember]
2. Steel Shadows vs. Slid Diamond [WINNER: Steel Shadows]
3. Gilda vs. Night Switch [WINNER: Gilda]
4. Fluttershy vs. Gabby [WINNER: Fluttershy]
5. Derpy Hooves vs. Sonata Dusk [WINNER: Sonata Dusk]
6. Bright Mind vs. Flash Sentry [WINNER: Bright Mind]
7. Sol Burner vs. Octavia Melody [WINNER: Octavia Melody]
8. Sweetie Belle vs. Zecora [WINNER: ???]

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