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

My Little Pony: Friendship is Numerous - Monty Eggman



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

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RANK 7: Crime and Punishment:

Author's Note:

This episode, which directly follows Rank 6, features Martin, an original character that was made just for the series. We also get to see a bit more of Gilda's Raidraptor Deck, which features another very popular Xyz Monster. What is it? ...You'll just have to read on to find out. :raritywink:

RANK 7: Crime and Punishment:
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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...

Just recently, Canterlot High School held its annual Inter-school Duel competition with one of its rival schools, Griffonstone High School. Both schools would select their best Duelists to participate in the contest, and the winning Duelist's school would obtain the coveted Inter-school Duel Trophy. Canterlot's principals, Celestia and Luna, surprised everyone when they picked Fluttershy to represent the school for the big event. Though nervous at first, she was able to go through with it, thanks to the support of her friends.

Of course, the competition wasn't going to be easy for the young animal lover, as her opponent in the Duel was a Griffonstone student named Gilda, notorious for showing no mercy to her foes, as well as having a bad attitude. However, even though Gilda proved to be a fierce opponent, Fluttershy was able to find her courage, and summoned her Clear Wing Synchro Dragon, which she had gotten from Rainbow Dash prior to the event, defeating the roughneck once and for all. After her defeat, Gilda apologized for her actions towards Fluttershy and her friends. In the end, they decided to forgive her, and they were all able to become friends in the end.

However, after everything was said and done, Gilda mentioned to Sunset Shimmer that something weird was going on in Griffonstone, and that she wanted her help to get to the bottom of it all. What the problem was exactly was anyone's guess, but the otherworldly girl knew in her heart that things were about to get even more perilous for her and the others...

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It was certainly a day of celebration for Sunset Shimmer and her best friends. With Pinkie Pie's help, everyone put together a congratulatory party for Fluttershy after her impressive victory in the Inter-school Duel. The party took place in Sunset's apartment, and many were invited. Besides Sunset and her friends, Principal Celestia, Vice Principal Luna, the landlord, Manny Roar, and Flash Sentry were all there to enjoy themselves and to give Fluttershy their congratulations.

"Great job, Fluttershy!" Rainbow Dash cheered for her. "You were awesome out there!"

"Thank you, Rainbow..." replied Fluttershy, who was still wearing the cool-looking outfit that Rarity had made for her before the big Duel. She then said, "It was really scary, but I'm glad that I decided to go through with it... I feel a lot stronger inside now than I've ever felt!"

"Well, we wouldn't have picked you to represent the school if we didn't think you could do it." Celestia informed her. "I knew the whole time that you would make us all proud, no matter the result."

"Thank you for saying that, Principal Celestia..." the shy girl replied. She then said to her friends, "And thanks again to all of you, for giving me all of your support."

"It was our pleasure, Fluttershy." Sunset told her with a smile, taking a small sip of soda from a glass that she was holding. "And we'd do it all over again in a heartbeat."

Fluttershy giggled a little in response, happy to hear that. She then took a deep sigh and said in a tired tone of voice, "Oh dear..."

"Fluttershy, darling," Rarity began to ask, "are you all right?"

"Just... a little exhausted... That's all..." the pink and yellow girl answered. She then asked, "Um, Sunset...? Would you mind if I... well, if it's alright with you... um..." The timid teen then meekly pointed towards the red and yellow girl's bathroom.

Knowing what her friend was asking of her, Sunset Shimmer nodded and said, "Sure. You can use the hot tub if you want to. After everything you've been through today, some relaxation could do you some good."

"Oh thank you..." Flutterhy replied with a slight bow. "Now... if you don't mind... I'd like some privacy please..." She then slowly walked into the bathroom and closed the door behind her, locking it so that no one could come in.

After Fluttershy made her comment, Rainbow Dash then glanced over at Flash Sentry, who was eating some cake that Pinkie had gotten from Sugarcube Corner. Noticing the cyan girl staring at him, he then asked, "What's that look for...?"

"Just wanting to make sure that EVERYBODY respects Fluttershy's request, if you know what I mean..." she told him.

Flash sighed and told her, "Look, you know me too well to think that I'd do anything like that... And besides that, I'm not really interested in Fluttershy that way, anyway. I mean she's nice and all, but she's not my type."

"I know. I was just teasin' ya a little bit." Rainbow said to him with a chuckle. "Besides, we ALL know what type you're into..."

Pinkie Pie then popped out of nowhere and asked, in a very rapid tone, "You mean human teenage girls that aren't really human teenage girls but in reality are magical pony princesses that can talk and fly and use magic and come from another world?!"

"Uh... yeah, let's go with that." the athletic teen responded to her silly friend.

Just then, there was a knock on the door. "Ah'll get it." Applejack said, walking over to the door. When she opened it, she was surprised to see who was standing there. "Gilda??"

Sure enough, the girl from Griffonstone High School, the one who was Fluttershy's opponent in the Inter-school Duel, was standing in front of the entrance to the apartment. "Um... Hey there." Gilda responded. "Am I too late for the party?"

Rainbow Dash walked in front of Applejack and told the brown-skinned teen, "Nah, we just got started. Come on in!" The Griffonstone girl smiled a little and nodded before walking into the room.

"Um, Rainbow dear..." Rarity began to ask, "Why is Gilda here?"

"Now guys, be nice." the athletic teen told her and the others. "Pinkie and I invited Gilda here so that she could enjoy the party with us and have a good time, ain't that right, Pinks?"

The party-loving teen nodded vigorously and told her, "You know what they say: The more, the merrier!"

"You can say that again." Rainbow replied.

"Well, I might not want to." Pinkie rebutted. "I'm afraid that if I say that phrase too many times, it'll get really super-annoying, and end up becoming a shadow of its former self."

"Um, I... guess that makes sense." Sunset spoke up with a chuckle. She then said to Gilda, "Anyway, we'd love to have you here with us. And by the time this party's done, you'll see that being friends with us has its fringe benefits."

The congratulatory party continued on, with everyone in the living room having all sorts of fun in various different ways. Sunset and Pinkie Pie supplied all of the party guests with tasty snacks and drinks from the bar counter in the living room, ensuring that no one stayed hungry the whole time. The games they played included a video racing game (which Rainbow Dash practically dominated in), Pictionary (in which Rarity did well, since she had lots of artistic experience), and of course, Duel Monsters.

Celestia and Luna watched as the young teens competed in friendly Duels against each other, pulling off all sorts of stellar moves and strategies. Even Manny Roar decided to get in on the action as well, and he competed in a Duel against Rarity. He used his Vylon Deck while the fashionista stuck with her favorite Gem-Knight Deck. The landlord had his Vylon Soldier on the field (Vylon Soldier: Level 4 / ATK 1700 / DEF 1000) up against Rarity's mighty Gem-Knight Ruby (Gem-Knight Ruby: Level 6 / ATK 2500 / DEF 1300). The fashionista had one face-down card on her field as well. Their Life Points were very close (Manny Roar: LP 1,200) (Rarity: LP 1,400), and it was Manny's turn.

"It's my turn! I draw!" The landlord pulled his next card and played it immediately. "I Summon the Tuner Monster, Vylon Prism!!" His monster was shaped like a glass prism with long, mechanical-looking arms, and wore bright white and gold armor all over itself (Vylon Prism: Level 4 / ATK 1500 / DEF 1500).

"Here comes one of Manny's Synchro Monsters..." Luna told her older sister.

"I tune both of my Level 4 monsters; Vylon Prism and Vylon Soldier!!" shouted the landlord as his Tuner Monster gave off a blinding flash of light, transforming itself into four lights that, in turn, became four green rings that surrounded his other monster (Level 4 + Level 4 = Level 8). Manny then chanted, "Great soldier of Heaven! Charge into battle with your holy weapons and declare war upon the unworthy! Synchro Summon!" After he said that, his other monster transformed into four more lights within the rings. "Descend now! Level 8! Vylon Epsilon!!"

Manny then called up an incredibly powerful monster to his field; It was L-shaped in appearance, with two long arms and two large wings coming out of its body. On its shoulders were decorative rings that were shaped like the Greek letter Epsilon (Vylon Epsilon: Level 8 / ATK 2800 / DEF 1200).

"Oh wow... what a beautiful creature!" complimented Rarity. "You don't often see ones like that in this game."

"Oh, it's more than just a pretty face, little miss." Manny told her. Playing his next card, he then said, "I'll arm Epsilon with the Equip Spell Card, Vylon Filament!" After his monster gained a pair of electrically-charged guns upon its arms, he then said, "However, I'll send my Equip Card to the Graveyard to activate Epsilon's effect! It allows me to destroy any monster on your field! And I select your Gem-Knight Ruby!" After ditching the Spell Card, Manny's Synchro Monster then charged up a ball of energy in its hands, which it then threw at Rarity's Fusion Monster.

"Not so fast!" shouted the violet-haired girl. "I activate De-Fusion!!" After she flipped her Quick-Play Spell Card face-up, Ruby then transformed into light energy that split into a pair of human-like creatures; one clad in red armor (Gem-Knight Garnet: Level 4 / ATK 1900 / DEF 0), and one in yellow armor (Gem-Knight Tourmaline: Level 4 / ATK 1600 / DEF 1800). After that happened, the energy blast whizzed right between the two monsters, missing them completely.

"Aw, crud..." groaned Manny Roar.

"Unfortunately for you," Rarity began to tell her opponent, "De-Fusion allows me to send my Fusion Monster back to my Extra Deck. Then, I can Summon the two monsters that I fused together to create it. As a result, because your monster lost the target of its effect, it has been completely nullified!"

"Smart play there, young lady..." Manny told her with a smile. "But since I sent my Vylon Filament to the Graveyard from the field, I can take Vylon Material from my Deck to replace it!" After taking his card, he then shouted, "Now Vylon Epsilon! Attack Gem-Knight Garnet!!" Manny's Synchro Monster then shot a pair of lasers from its eyes, exterminating the red-armored man in one shot. Luckily, Rarity had the right mind to put her monsters in Defense Mode. "You're lucky that I used up both of my Vylon Component cards," the man told her, "or I would've won after that attack... So I'll just play my Vylon Material on Epsilon and end my turn." (Vylon Epsilon: ATK 2800 + 600 = 3400).

"Very well, then... I draw!" Rarity then pulled her next card and smiled. "Not bad at all..." She then played the other card that was in her hand and declared, "I Summon Gem-Knight Emerald!!" After she played her monster, a man in sparkling, green armor appeared in front of her (Gem-Knight Emerald: Level 4 / ATK 1800 / DEF 800). "Next," she continued, "I activate Particle Fusion, and fuse both Tourmaline and Emerald!"

Everyone watched as Rarity's two monsters turned into pure energy and merged with each other in order to create a more powerful entity. "Ah wonder which monster Rarity's goin' for this time..." pondered Applejack.

Rarity then began to chant, "Gem tinged with lightning! Brilliant emerald of good fortune! In a whirlpool of light, combine to bring forth a new, dazzling radiance! Fusion Summon! Appear! The one who pursues victory, Gem-Knight Topaz!!" After she was finished, a large man wearing yellow-orange armor and wielding a pair of bizarrely-shaped axes took his place in front of his controller (Gem-Knight Topaz: Level 6 / ATK 1800 / DEF 1800).

"Impressive..." complimented the landlord, "but my Synchro Monster has higher attack points."

"Not for long..." Rarity told him with a smile. "Since I used Particle Fusion to Summon Topaz, I can activate my Spell Card's second effect! By banishing it from my Graveyard, I can then have my Fusion Monster absorb the attack points of one of the two monsters that I used as his Fusion Materials!"

"Huh??" gasped Manny Roar.

"I choose to add Emerald's attack points to Topaz for one turn!" the fashionista declared as she removed the Spell card from her Graveyard, causing a bright green energy to flow into her Fusion Monster (Gem-Knight Topaz: ATK 1800 + 1800 = 3600). "Also," she continued, "Whenever Topaz destroys a monster in battle, I can then inflict damage to you equal to your destroyed monster's attack power!"

"Oh no!!" shouted the landlord, realizing that he was in trouble now.

"Now, Gem-Knight Topaz!! Destroy Vylon Epsilon!!" Rarity ordered her monster. Topaz then slashed its axes across Manny's monster, slicing it into pieces and eliminating it, as well as damaging the landlord's Life Points slightly (Manny Roar: LP 1,200 - 200 = 1,000). However, the pieces of his Synchro Monster then exploded in a flash of yellow light that finished him off for good (Manny Roar: LP 1,000 - 3,400 = 0) (WINNER: Rarity).

"Alright! Way to go, Rarity!" cheered Sunset. "You won!!"

"Great job as well, Manny!" Luna said to her friend. "Despite what happened, you fought very well out there!"

The landlord smirked and said to the violet-haired girl, "Great job, missy. That was an impressive comeback. Though it's quite clear to me that I'm starting to get a bit rusty; I need to practice more."

"Well, for having rusty skills, you fought quite well, and I had a great time dueling you." Rarity complimented him. Manny chuckled a little, along with everyone else.

Fluttershy, in the meantime, was in such a state of relaxation in Sunset's hot tub, that she had only heard bits and pieces of what was going on in the living room. The pink and yellow girl sighed happily as she continued her soak.

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About a hour had passed since the party began and things began to wind down a little. Celestia and Luna said their farewells before leaving for home, and Manny left for his office to take care of important matters regarding the apartment building. Flash Sentry also said his goodbyes before leaving as well. Only the seven teenage girls remained in Sunset's apartment. They all decided to sit down and take a break from the party before eventually heading for home as well.

"Wow... I'm pooped..." Pinkie said with a happy sigh as she lay on the large, L-shaped couch. "It's been a REALLY long time since I've been to a party THIS good..."

"Tell me about it..." Rainbow Dash chimed in, sighing contently as well. "Right now, the only thing I wanna do is sit and just veg out for a while."

Sunset, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Gilda were all sitting at the round table in the living room, just across from the bar counter. They decided to talk with one another, mostly with the Griffonstone student, as they wished to get to know her better. "So, what did you think of the party, Gilda?" asked Sunset Shimmer.

"I really enjoyed it." the brown-skinned teen answered. "You guys sure know how to have fun." She then smirked and added, "Of course, if you wanna see some really cool parties, you should swing by the ones that we throw over at Griffonstone. I tell ya, we can get pretty crazy over there, but it's all in good fun."

"Well, we'll be sure t' check 'em out sometime, then." Applejack said.

"Speaking of Griffonstone," Rarity began to ask, "what was it that you were telling us all just after yours and Fluttershy's Duel? Something about strange things happening over at your school...?"

Gilda hummed a little and responded, "Yeah, I guess it wouldn't be a bad idea t' fill you all in on what's goin' on over there..." Clearing her throat, she then told them all, "Well, to start things off, there's this kid at our school named Martin... And let's just say that you could call him your typical bully magnet."

"How so...?" asked Fluttershy.

"Well, he's small, for starters..." the Griffonstone girl explained, "not very strong in the physical sense, kinda nerdy, scared of his own shadow, and he's a freshman, to boot." She then told them, "Just about everybody picks on the guy on a daily basis..."

"...Including yourself?" Rarity asked her, raising an eyebrow.

Gilda paused for a moment, looking down at the table with a guilty look on her face. That was enough to tell them all that the brown-skinned teen had done her fair share of giving this Martin kid a hard time. Seeing the sad look on her face, Sunset put a hand on her shoulder and told her, "It's okay, Gilda... Trust me, I know how you feel."

"Thanks, Sunset." Gilda responded. She then told the others, "And if it'll make you all feel any better, I'll never do anything like that again; I promise."

"That's good t' hear." Applejack told her with a smile. She then asked, "So if this Martin guy isn't so tough, then how come y'all are concerned about 'im?"

"Because recently, he hasn't been acting like himself." Gilda answered. "See, like me, he plays Duel Monsters, but he wasn't very good at it; in fact, everyone considered him to be the weakest Duelist in the whole school... But in the past few days, I've heard rumors that he's been beatin' people left and right... I even heard of one Duel in which he won just by making only one move..."

"Really?" asked Fluttershy. "That sounds pretty scary..."

"So he got better at Duel Monsters; why's that such a problem?" asked Rainbow Dash, overhearing the conversation from across the room.

"Because I've also heard rumors from the people he's beaten, that Martin got his hands on some super cards that are supposedly impossible to beat." the Griffonstone girl answered her best friend. "I didn't get the name of the cards, but there's been one word that I've heard from everyone that I've asked: 'Number'."

Everyone in the room gasped loudly once they heard that word. "Number?!" exclaimed Rarity. "You mean this Martin individual has a Number card??"

"A what?" asked Gilda, not understanding what they were talking about.

Sunset then took out her deck box and pulled out two of her Number cards: Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech and Number 36: Chronomaly Chateau Huyuk. "These things." the red and yellow girl informed the Griffonstone student. "They're very powerful cards that can only be defeated by each other." She then sighed and added, "However, these cards can also corrupt and possess the people that hold them, making them even more dangerous than ever... And from what you've told us, it sounds like this Martin kid got his hands on one, and that's why he's become what he is now..."

"But that doesn't make any sense..." Gilda calmly protested. "I've never heard of a trading card that can turn people into complete jerks."

"Well, it is most certainly true..." Rarity told the brown-skinned teen. Shuddering a little, she added, "I should know; I was possessed by a Number card some time ago myself. It was the worst feeling that I've ever had in my entire life..."

Gilda was still slightly skeptical, but believed that her new friends weren't lying about what they were saying. "Well, if what you're sayin' is true," she told them all, "then this problem might be even bigger than I thought... But that just gives me another reason to put a stop to it!" She then told the otherworldly girl, "That's why I asked for your help, Sunset. Since you're Canterlot High's best Duelist, I know you'll be a big help in takin' Martin down for the count! Whad'ya say?"

Sunset Shimmer nodded, telling her, "I'm in, Gilda. If this guy has a Number card, then I have no choice but to fight him... Not only that, but once we defeat him, I'll take his Number card away, which will also take away the power that puts him under its control."

"Thanks, Sunset." Gilda told her. "With your help, I know that we can stop that guy's rampage once and for all!" Standing up, she then said, "Like I said earlier, meet me over at Griffonstone High tomorrow at noon, and we can discuss our plans further." Sunset nodded yes to say that she understood. Afterwards, Gilda left the room, heading back home.

"So... looks like it's back t' business as usual, huh Sunset?" asked Applejack.

"Seems like it." the red and yellow girl replied. "But I've got a bad feeling that this battle's gonna be a tough one..."

"You'll do just fine, Sunnie!" Pinkie Pie assured her. "You've got nothing to worry about at all! In fact, I'll even come with ya to give lots and lots of moral support!"

"You sure about that?" asked the otherworldly girl, slightly concerned. "It could be dangerous..."

The silly pink girl giggled and told her friend, "Of course I'm sure! I laugh in the face of danger!! Which isn't easy, since danger really doesn't have a face!"

Sunset chuckled a little, as did the others. "Well, if you're sure about it, then it's fine by me." the red and yellow girl told her. "Just be careful, okay?" Pinkie nodded vigorously, promising that she would do just that. Afterwards, the girls spent a little more time with each other before finally deciding to part ways for the rest of the day.

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The very next day, Sunset Shimmer and Pinkie Pie were making their way to Griffonstone High to meet up with their new friend Gilda so that they could find and defeat a student named Martin in a Duel. Pinkie was looking at a large map of the city so that both of them could find their way to the other high school. "Oooooooookaaaaaaaay... I think we're just about there, Sunnie." the pink girl told her friend.

"That's what you said a half hour ago..." the otherworldly girl informed her. "Are you sure we aren't going around in circles?"

"Trust me; I know where I'm going..." Pinkie Pie assured her. "After all, this is the best map that I've got of the city of..." She then looked closely at the city name on the map curiously, reading, "...um... Tol... ret... nac..." Confused, the party lover then asked, "Tolretnac? That sounds like a city in Middle Earth..."

Sunset glanced over at the map... and then promptly groaned and slapped her face. "Ugh! No wonder we're lost!" she said loudly, grabbing the map. "You printed the map BACKWARDS!" She then pointed out that the city name that Pinkie had read was just "Canterlot" in reverse. Groaning again, the red and yellow girl complained, "We could be just about ANYWHERE in the city, and we have no way of knowing exactly where we are!"

"Hey! Sunset!! Pinkie!! You're right on time!" shouted a familiar voice.

Sunset's eyes widened upon hearing the voice behind her. When she turned around to look, she was shocked to see a large school building behind her, made from bright red bricks and nestled among several tall trees. Standing in front of the school's front doors was none other than Gilda; it was her voice that both Sunset and Pinkie had heard.

"We're... here...?" the otherworldly girl asked herself, surprised that they had somehow managed to make their way to Griffonstone High School, despite Pinkie's error. Turning towards her silly friend, she then told her, "Pinkie, I have no idea how you did that... but you have to teach that trick to me sometime."

"Sorry, Sunnie; there are some things in this world that are not meant to be known to mortals." the pink teen told her.

Gilda walked over to the pair and said to Sunset, "Glad you could make it here. 'Course, I didn't have any doubts about whether you would show up or not." Glancing over at Pinkie, she then added, "Huh, didn't know you were coming here, too."

"She insisted on it." Sunset informed Gilda. The otherworldly girl then asked her, "So, why did you want us to meet here to find this Martin guy? Today's Saturday; the school's closed."

"Yeah, but this is where Martin spends most of his time, regardless of what day it is. His dad's a teacher here, so he was allowed to have a key to get in so that he could work on his school projects." the Griffonstone student explained. "If I know the guy as well as I think I do, he'll probably be here."

"But how are we gonna get in?" asked Pinkie Pie.

"Don't worry 'bout that." Gilda answered, showing the two a large key around her pointer finger. "I told my Grandpa about the whole thing, and I was able to convince him into letting me borrow the school's master key."

"How'd you do that...?" asked Sunset, impressed.

"Well, being the granddaughter of Griffonstone's principal has its pros..." the brown-skinned girl told them both. Presenting the key once more, she then added, "With this key, we can get in any room in the school, and we'll be able to find where Martin's hidin'."

"Then let's get in right away, Gilda." Sunset suggested. "The sooner we get the Number card away from him, the better."

"Yeah, let's go! Let's go!!" cheered Pinkie Pie. Gilda then shoved the key into the keyhole on the front doors and turned it, unlocking them and allowing the trio entry into the building. However, the three were unaware that they were being watched by someone that was peering out from a second-story window.

"Heh... so big bad Gilda's finally coming after me, huh?" the figure said to itself. "And she's even brought along Sunset Shimmer to help her..." Chuckling wickedly, it then said, "This is TOO perfect. Not only will I get my revenge on Gilda, but I'll also be the one to defeat Canterlot High's so-called best Duelist!" The figure then held up a pair of Duel Monsters cards and added, "And the best part is, with these cards, there's no WAY that I can lose!" As it spoke, the two cards became surrounded by a shadowy aura; not only that, two marks appeared on the backs of the figure's hands: One looked like a 13, and the other, a 31...

Sunset, Gilda, and Pinkie Pie wandered the unlit hallways of Griffonstone High School. Even with the afternoon sun shining through most of the windows, many of the halls were still pretty dark. An eerie silence permeated the air, signalling the calm before the storm that would eventually follow. "Wow... this place is REALLY spooky when everything's all dark and quiet..." the pink girl noted, shivering a little.

"Don't worry, Pinkie." Sunset said to comfort her friend. "I'll be right here to watch your back." Pinkie smiled a little, happy to hear that.

Gilda looked around, but couldn't find any trace of the student they were looking for. So far, none of the doors they had checked were unlocked, and they couldn't hear any voices or anything that could have alerted them all to his presence. "He's GOTTA be around here somewhere..." the brown-skinned teen said, slightly frustrated. "So where could he be??"

"So you showed up at last, did you Gilda?" boomed a loud voice nearby.

Upon hearing the voice, the three of them looked around, but couldn't find out where it was coming from. "Martin?! Is that you?!" shouted Gilda. "Where are ya hidin'?!"

"Don't bother looking around: You're nowhere near where I am right now." the boy's voice told them.

Sunset then glanced up above one of the classroom doors after hearing the voice a second time, and realized where the source of the voice was. "Look! Up there!" she said to her friends, pointing at where she was looking. "There's a loudspeaker set up over there! He's talking to us via the PA system!"

Martin's voice chuckled. "That's quite right, Ms. Shimmer..." he then told her. "And not only that, I'm watching every move you make in this fine establishment that we call Griffonstone High School. Now... the real question is: Can the three of you find me...? Heh heh heh..."

Gilda growled a little and yelled, "Why should we have to?! Why don't you just come down here and face us like a man instead of hidin' and waitin' for us?!"

"Tsk tsk tsk... always the impatient one, aren't you?" Martin taunted. "I'm afraid that you'll have to come to me, as originally planned. I'm sure that, even with your inferior intelligence, you should find me in at LEAST 15 minutes. Still, don't keep me waiting for you...!"

"Grrr... that little..." Gilda grumbled. "He's messin' with us!"

"Don't let him push your buttons." Sunset told her. "He's just trying to put us off balance by toying with us. We have to stay calm and try to figure out where he is."

"Hmmmmm..." hummed Pinkie Pie. "He DID say that he was watching every move we make..."

Sunset gasped a little. "That's right! He did say that!" she exclaimed, realizing something. "And the only way he could do that is if he was watching the security cameras set up all over the place!"

"That means there's only one place he can be..." Gilda noted.

"The Security Room!" they all shouted in unison, figuring it out together.

"Follow me!" the brown-skinned girl told the others. "I'll show you where that room is! It's on the second floor of the school!" Sunset and Pinkie nodded as they followed the Griffonstone student to the correct location.

The trio ran up the stairs to the second floor and headed for the Security Room, where they believed that Martin was currently hiding in. Once they arrived at the door, Gilda took out the school's master key and used it to unlock the door. She then forcibly opened the door and shouted, "Alright Martin, you've got nowhere left t' hide! Come outta there before I MAKE you come out!!"

After Gilda made her demand, the trio heard soft, slow clapping from behind a large revolving chair that was facing all of the TV monitors that displayed whatever the security cameras were looking at. The chair then slowly spun around to face the three girls. Sitting in the chair was a young boy with very light brown skin with red eyes; one of the eyes was slightly darker in color compared to the other. He had white, feather-shaped hair like Gilda had, though his was cut much shorter. His outfit wasn't much; just a grey shirt made of a light fabric worn over a plain, white undershirt, bright cyan-blue pants, a pair of black shoes, and a pair of black wristbands that had the same yellow Griffon emblem that Gilda had on her shirt. He also had on a Duel Pad and Duel Gazer as well.

"So... we meet again, Ms. Gilda..." the boy remarked with an evil smirk.

"Oooh! Oooh! I know it!! I know this reference!!" shouted Pinkie Pie, waving her arms. "Ernst Blofeld, right?"

"Who?" asked Sunset and Gilda confused.

The pink teen put on a bewildered expression of her own and asked, "You SERIOUSLY don't know who Ernst Blofeld is?? Haven't you guys ever watched James Bond?! Sunset, I can kinda understand if SHE hasn't, and I know he's missing the fluffy kitty-cat, but still-"

"Hey!! Who said that you could interrupt me?!" the young boy angrily shouted at Pinkie Pie, getting up out of the chair. "Here I am, trying to be as intimidating as possible, and you TOTALLY killed the mood!!"

"You're a lot of things, Martin," Gilda told him, "but intimidating ain't one of 'em."

"In the past I may have not been very threatening, but I've changed, Gilda..." Martin told the brown-skinned girl. "I'm not yours or anyone else's punching bag anymore... And it's high time that I got my revenge on you for EVERYTHING you and the others put me through!!"

"Well, that's not going to happen, Martin." Sunset told him in a stern voice. "Even though you may be justified in what you plan on doing, that still doesn't make it right! Especially if your plans of revenge involve the use of Number cards!"

"Number cards...?" asked Martin curiously. Chuckling to himself, he then added, "I see... so that's what they're called." Looking over at Sunset, he then told her, "Well, it doesn't matter what YOUR opinion is, Sunset Shimmer... I've made up my mind: I plan on crushing Gilda, and I don't need YOU interfering with me!!"

Sunset and Gilda scowled a little upon hearing him say that.

But the boy then adjusted his glasses and told them, "Then again... perhaps I might have been a bit too hasty with that remark... Perhaps having you involved in all of this might not be a bad idea after all..."

"What're ya talking about?" Gilda then asked him.

Martin snickered a little and asked them, "I like to make a proposition to the two of you: Since the odds of you defeating me in a Duel are as close to zero as possible, why don't the two of you take me on as a team?"

The three girls gasped when he told them that. "You can't be serious..." Sunset told him. "There's no way that you can defeat us both on your own!"

"Yeah, you're comPLETELY crazy!!" Pinkie told the boy. "And I know crazy when I see it, believe me!"

Martin chuckled and responded to their comments, saying, "Listen... I've crushed every other Duelist here in Griffonstone without having to do much of anything. To be honest, it's become quite a bore... So what's the problem with me wanting to make things a little more interesting...? Still, I suppose the choices are yours and yours alone."

"Oooh! I know that one, too!" Pinkie then interrupted again. "That was from Legends of the Hidden Temple!!"

"Would you QUIT DOING THAT?!?!" yelled Martin, whining a little. "I can't sound menacing if you keep interrupting me like that!!!"

The silly girl huffed and told him, "Yeesh, sor-RY... I can't help that I like a good reference when I hear one..."

Gilda then glanced over to Sunset Shimmer, who looked back towards her. "I think we should take up his offer, Sunset..." the Griffonstone student suggested. "If the rumors I heard are true, then we'll need all the power we can get to take him down."

"I suppose you have a point, Gilda." the otherworldly girl told her, deciding that it would be best to team up with her. "I've got a bad feeling about this Martin guy myself now that I've seen him... Besides, it would be interesting to see how well our Decks can work together..." The brown-skinned girl nodded in agreement.

"So you do plan on taking me on together, then?" asked Martin. "Fine by me..." He then smirked and thought, (This is working out even better than I hoped! Once I win this Duel, I'll not only get my revenge on Gilda, but I'll also have the honor of crushing Canterlot's best Duelist at the same time!)

Sunset and Gilda both activated their Duel Pads and Duel Gazers, as well as sliding their Decks into the Deck Zone slots in order to prepare themselves for their Duel against Martin. He too, activated his devices so that he could participate. "AR Vision Link established." said the computerized voice as a digital copy of the hallway outside of the Security Room projected around them.

"LET'S DUEL!!" shouted Sunset, Gilda, and Martin (Sunset Shimmer & Gilda: LP 4,000) (Martin: LP 4,000).

All three Duelists drew their opening hands as Pinkie Pie put on and activated her Duel Gazer so that she could watch the Duel. Once everyone was ready, Martin then told his opponents, "Alright, here's how things will work: First, Sunset will take her turn. After she's done, I'll make my move. Then, after I finish, control will pass over to Gilda, then back to me, and then repeating back to Sunset."

"In other words," the red and yellow girl deduced, "you take your turn between each of ours, right?"

"Exactly." confirmed the boy. "In addition, to keep things fair, the two of you can only have a total of five cards in your Monster Zones and five cards in your Spell & Trap Zones at once, as if you were using just one Duel Pad. However, your Graveyards and banished cards are shared between you. Is that clear to the two of you?"

"I think I got the gist of it..." Gilda said with a nod. She then looked over at Sunset and told her, "Alright, you're starting us off... So make this first move count."

"I plan to." Sunset Shimmer then glanced at her cards as she began her turn. "First, I'll Summon my Chronomaly Nebra Disk in Attack Mode!" In an instant, her disk-shaped monster appeared on the field in front of her (Chronomaly Nebra Disk: Level 4 / ATK 1800 / DEF 1500).

"Next, I'll play the Field Spell, Chronomaly City Babylon!" Sunset declared. Upon playing her card, the area around them transformed into a floating, stone arena. "Next, I Special Summon Chronomaly Aztec Mask Golem from my hand, which I can do if I activated a Chronomaly Spell Card this turn!" the otherworldly girl stated. Her second monster then emerged onto the field, showing off its bizarre, bright red body (Chronomaly Aztec Mask Golem: Level 4 / ATK 1500 / DEF 1000).

"Yay!! Sunnie got out two Level 4 monsters already!" cheered Pinkie Pie.

"I overlay my two Level 4 monsters, Nebra Disk and Aztec Mask Golem, to build an Overlay Network!!" Sunset shouted as her two monsters turned into a pair of lights, one yellow and one orange, that were drawn into a galaxy-like portal. After the portal exploded, it then left behind a symbol that looked like a 36. "I Xyz Summon... Number 36: Chronomaly Chateau Huyuk!!" And with that, Sunset's sphere-encased fortress appeared from out of the sky above, surrounded by two yellow lights (Number 36: Chronomaly Chateau Huyuk: Rank 4 / ATK 2000 / DEF 2500 / OLU 2).

Gilda gasped a little after Sunset summoned her Xyz Monster. "So that's a Number card..." she said to herself, impressed by its appearance.

Martin chuckled a little. "So that's how you know about the Numbers, isn't it?" he asked with a smirk. "I admit, it seems pretty strong... but it won't help you in this Duel, I can guarantee that!"

"We'll see, Martin." Sunset Shimmer told him. Taking the last two cards out of her hand, she then said, "I'll end my turn by setting two cards face-down." She then thought to herself, (I don't know what kind of Number he has, but if it's as powerful as Gilda believes it is, I'll have to do whatever I possibly can to protect us from it... If he attempts an attack, I can use Chateau Huyuk's effect to counterattack... Hopefully, that will be enough...)

"It's my turn. I draw!" said Martin as he pulled the top card of his Deck. After he did so, he then chuckled to himself and thought, (Heh... it seems I've already won this Duel anyway... All I have to do after this turn is wait patiently...) Taking out a card from his hand, he then declared, "I activate a Spell Card: One for One!"

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

One for One:
(Normal Spell Card)

Send 1 monster from your hand to the Graveyard; Special Summon 1 Level 1 monster from your hand or Deck.

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

"I send my Archfiend Inmate to the Graveyard," Martin began, taking a card from his hand and shoving it into the Duel Pad's Graveyard slot, "and Special Summon Wightmare from my Deck in Attack Mode!" After which, a skeletal figure with short, dirty blond hair (along with a similarly-colored mustache), and old, Victorian-style clothes appeared on the field, holding a teacup and saucer (Wightmare: Level 1 / ATK 300 / DEF 200).

"What the heck is that supposed to be?" Gilda mocked him. "Are we dueling, or are we havin' a tea party?"

"Peh... that's it, just laugh it up..." the boy snickered. "I assure you, you won't be laughing for much longer..." Taking out another card from his hand, he then declared, "I play another Spell Card from my hand! The Cheerful Coffin!"

"Huh? Why'd he play that card?" Sunset asked both herself and Gilda. "All that card allows him to do is discard up to three monsters from his hand..."

"Yeesh, what an idiot..." stated the Griffonstone girl. "That ain't gonna help him at all!"

But the red and yellow teen wasn't so sure. She started to get an unsettling feeling that Martin was up to something as she watched him send two more cards from his hand to the Graveyard.

Giving out a sinister smirk, the boy then told them, "Now it's time to show you what trouble you have just gotten yourselves into... From my hand, I activate the Spell Card, Tri-Wight!! This allows me to Special Summon up to three Level 2 or lower Normal Monsters from the Graveyard!"

Sunset and Gilda gasped; now his moves were beginning to make sense. "So that's it..." the otherworldly girl figured out. "He's been sending his monsters to the Graveyard so that he could Summon them back with just that one card!"

"But I still don't get it." Gilda rebutted. "Tri-Wight only brings back weak monsters; they shouldn't be able to stand up to your Xyz Monster..."

"Oh don't worry, Gilda... You'll get it soon enough; in more ways than one!" Martin told her menacingly. He then shouted, "I now revive all three of my Archfiend Inmates from the Graveyard!!' After he said that, three dark-purple portals appeared on his field; out of each one came a small, demon-like creature (shaped like humans), wearing black-and-white striped prison uniforms and practically covered in heavy chains (Archfiend Inmate [x3]: Level 1 / ATK 200 / DEF 200).

"No way... He just Summoned four monsters in just one turn!" Gilda exclaimed.

"And most importantly, they're all Level 1..." Sunset observed. Tensing up, she then added, "He's about to bring out his Number card..."

Martin snickered, which soon turned into cackling, as he declared in a loud voice, "I overlay Wightmare and Archfiend Inmate, both Level 1, and create an Overlay Network!!" Two of his monsters then transformed into a pair of purple lights that were sucked into a galaxy-like portal in front of him. "Arise, Number 13!" chanted the sinister student. "Emerge from the realm of darkness and pass your sinister verdict on my foe! Xyz Summon! Come forth, Rank 1! Embodiment of Crime!!"

The galaxy portal then exploded, leaving behind a mark that looked like the number 13. Afterwards, a large, spiked ball covered in chains descended from above, with two purple spheres orbiting it. The spiked ball then unfolded itself, revealing its true form as a large, evil-looking creature made up of petal-like appendages with a horned head towards the top of it. Below the head was a cross-shaped stone slab, and several chains; one of which had a large, circular saw at the end of it. On its side was a red 13, which also appeared on Martin's right hand.

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

Number 13: Embodiment of Crime:
(Xyz-Effect Monster/Fiend-Type/DARK/Rank 1/ATK 500/DEF 500)

2 Level 1 monsters
Cannot be destroyed by battle except with "Number" monsters. This card cannot declare an attack. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; change all monsters your opponent controls to face-up Attack Position, also all monsters your opponent currently controls must attack this card this turn, if able. While you control "Number 31: Embodiment of Punishment", this card gains these effects.
* This card cannot be destroyed by battle or by card effects while it has Xyz Material.
* Your opponent takes any battle damage you would have taken from attacks on this card.

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

Sunset and Pinkie stared in slight terror as they saw the sinister-looking monster before them. "Wh-what's that thing??" asked the party lover, trembling.

"Quite possibly the creepiest-looking Duel Monster that I've ever seen..." Sunset answered.

Gilda sweated a little; even she couldn't help but feel even a little intimidated. However, she then noticed something peculiar: "Hold on..." she began, "he only used two of his four monsters to Summon that thing... So why'd he go through the trouble of bringing them all out if he didn't need them all?"

"Heh heh heh heh... Because I'm not quite done with my turn, Gilda..." Martin told her in a darker tone of voice. "You've only gotten a taste of the terror that awaits you both... Now it's time for the main course!!" He then raised his hand into the air and yelled, "I overlay my two Level 1 Archfiend Inmates and create ANOTHER Overlay Network!!"

The three girls gasped in shock and horror as the boy appeared to initiate another Xyz Summoning. "Th-this can't be!" said Sunset in slight fear. "He's summoning ANOTHER Xyz Monster?!"

"Uh oh... I don't like this..." said a shivering Pinkie Pie.

Martin's other two monsters then transformed into purple lights and were drawn into another galaxy-like portal. The boy then chanted, "Arise, Number 31! Drag the guilty into your dark realm and torture them until their ends! Xyz Summon!" The portal then exploded, leaving behind a giant 31 mark on the ground. "Come forth, Rank 1! Embodiment of Punishment!!"

From high above, another spiked ball descended to the ground and unfolded itself. The second monster was revealed to be similar-looking to the first one; the only differences were that its head horns pointed down instead of up, its body's color scheme was the opposite of its twin, and the end of its long chain had a spiked mace attached to it. In addition, the top of its body had the same 31 mark on it that had briefly appeared on the ground. That same symbol then began glowing on Martin's left hand. The boy's eyes then turned pitch-black, save for his glowing red irises, and he displayed a crazed, evil grin on his face...

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

Number 31: Embodiment of Punishment:
(Xyz-Effect Monster/Fiend-Type/DARK/Rank 1/ATK 500/DEF 500)

2 Level 1 monsters
Cannot be destroyed by battle except with "Number" monsters. This card cannot declare an attack. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card; change all monsters your opponent controls to face-up Attack Position, also all monsters your opponent currently controls must attack this card this turn, if able. While you control "Number 13: Embodiment of Crime", this card gains these effects.
* This card cannot be destroyed by battle or by card effects while it has Xyz Material.
* Your opponent takes any battle damage you would have taken from attacks on this card.

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

Needless to say, Sunset was shocked by Martin's move. "This can't be..." she said in stunned silence. "He... he had TWO Numbers..."

Gilda was also surprised by Martin's move... but mostly by the way he looked after he brought them out. "What's up with that guy...?" she asked herself. "After he Summoned those two monsters, he started acting even weirder than when we started... What's his deal??"

Snickering, Martin then told his enemies, "Everything's all set... now you'll all pay for your crimes... And you will fall before the dark justice of my Numbers!!" Pointing towards Sunset, he then shouted, "Embodiment of Crime!! Begin the trial of darkness!!!"

The otherworldly girl stepped back a bit as Martin's first Summoned Xyz Monster floated towards her. Then, all of its chains shot forward in her direction, wrapping around her waist, both of her wrists, and around her ankles. "H-hey!! What're you do-WAAAAAGH!!!!" But before she could finish, the chains then pulled her backwards towards the Number monster, pinning her to the cross-shaped slab below its head.

"SUNSET!!!" shouted Pinkie and Gilda out of concern.

The red and yellow girl struggled, but for some reason, she couldn't free herself from the chains that were holding her down. "What's going on here?!" she protested. "I-I can't move!!!"

Growling, Gilda then yelled at Martin, asking him, "What do you think you're doing?!?"

The Griffonstone boy cackled and answered, telling her, "That's my Number's power... Your little friend has gone from being a participant... to being the accused. Soon, she will become a prime example of what will happen to you!"

"Hey! That's not fair!!" yelled Pinkie Pie. "Leave Sunnie out of this!! What did she ever do to you?!?"

"Quiet!!!" Martin yelled to the pink teen. "I wouldn't be so quick to boss me around if I were in your shoes... After all, I have the power to do the very same thing to you if I choose to..." Glaring over at Gilda with a sinister smirk, he then added, "Luckily for you, I have bigger fish to fry... For now it shall be Gilda's turn to be brought to justice!! Embodiment of Punishment, go and ensnare-"

"Hold it!" shouted the Griffonstone girl, raising her hand.

"What...?" asked the boy, stopping himself in mid-sentence.

The roughneck girl then chuckled a bit and told her foe, "Now I see what the deal is... Now I can see how you've been 'winning' your Duels..."

"What are you talking about?" Martin asked her.

"Don't play dumb." Gilda told him. "I can see how you've managed to beat everyone. All you've been doing is Summoning those weird monsters of yours and having them tie their chains around your opponents so that they can't move or reach their cards!"

"What?! How dare you say that!!" shouted Martin angrily.

"Why?" asked Gilda. "Because it shows everyone here that you're nothing but a total coward? I'll bet you couldn't win a Duel against me without having to resort to your wimpy little tricks! If you're so tough, then prove it right here!"

"Why do I have to?!" asked the boy, clearly getting more ticked off by what Gilda was saying to him. "I could just stop you right here right now whenever I please!!"

"Fine... go ahead." the Griffonstone girl told him. "But just remember this: if you do that... Then I'll make sure that the whole school knows just how much of a wimp you were for not even TRYING to fight me fair and square... If you've got something to settle with me, then quit tryin' to wimp out and face me like a man!"

Martin grumbled to himself; he was beginning to think that his foe had a point. (I hate to admit it, but she's right...) he pondered. (The whole point of this was to get revenge on her... But clearly using my Numbers' powers to ensnare her isn't going to work; she won't consider it a loss if I do that... and if that happens, I won't be completely satisfied with defeating her...!) Sighing, he then told her, "Very well... have it your way, Gilda... I'll spare you of the fate that befell your teammate, if only to prove that I am now more powerful than you are!"

"That's more like it." the brown-skinned girl told him.

"However, I am sorry to tell you that in Ms. Shimmer's case, I can't release her, even if I wanted to..." he informed them all. "As long as the Number that she's chained to remains on the field, she won't be going anywhere anytime soon."

Sunset groaned. "Well THAT'S just great..." she said sarcastically, already getting a cramp in her wrists from the chains. She then turned her head around towards her silly pink friend and told her, "Hey Pinkie! I need you to do a favor for me: When it's my turn, I need you to draw my cards and play them exactly as I tell you to, understand?"

"You've got it, Sunnie!" the party lover replied with a wink and thumbs-up. She then ran over to the field beside her friend. She then glanced up at the face of the Number card that captured Sunset and stuck her tongue out at it. As she did so, a small bead of sweat rolled down the side of Number 13's head.

"Fine, whatever! Let's just continue the Duel!" Martin shouted. "I activate Crime's effect! By removing one Overlay Unit, I can force all of your monsters to attack it this turn!" One of the swirling orbs then phased into the head of the monster that Sunset was chained to (Number 13: Embodiment of Crime: OLU 2 - 1 = 1).

"What kind of effect is that?" asked Gilda. "If you're trying to win this Duel, forcing us to attack YOUR monster isn't exactly a top-of-the-line strategy..."

But the boy snickered and told her, "As always, you're wrong... I forgot to mention: When both Crime AND Punishment are on the field, they cannot be destroyed in battle by your monsters as long as they have at least one Overlay Unit... Not only that, YOU take all the damage from the battle instead of me!"

"Say WHAT?!?" exclaimed the three girls.

Sunset could only watch as her own monster then turned towards her and charged up energy into itself. It then released it into a stream that hit her hard and took out most of hers and Gilda's Life Points. "AAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHH!!!!" she screamed upon taking the hit (Sunset Shimmer & Gilda: LP 4,000 - 1,500 = 2,500).

"Sunnie!!! Are you alright?!" asked Pinkie Pie, concerned for her friend's safety.

"Ugh... I've been better..." the red and yellow girl groaned. "But if he does that a few more times, we'll lose the Duel for sure..." Turning over to Gilda, she then told her, "Gilda, it's up to you! You have to stop him on your turn!"

"My pleasure, Sunset." the brown-skinned teen replied. "I'll get him back for what he did to you, I promise!" She then drew her next card and tried to come up with a strategy that would get them out of their sticky situation. "First, I'll play one card face-down..." she said, starting her move. "Then next, I'll Summon Summoner Monk!" Gilda's first monster was an old man with white hair, bleached blue skin, and red eyes, wearing a white and purple cloak (Summoner Monk: Level 4 / ATK 800 / DEF 1600). Though she played it in Attack Mode, its effect immediately put it in Defense Mode instead.

"Now, I'll activate the effect of Summoner Monk!" Gilda then declared. "By discarding a Spell Card from my hand, I can bring out a Level 4 monster from out of my Deck!" She then sent her Overlay Regen card to the Graveyard, which caused her monster to begin chanting in a bizarre language. "Now I Special Summon Raidraptor - Mimicry Lanius in Defense Mode!" She then called up another of her mechanical-looking birds, this one clad in mostly gold and white armor, and carrying what appeared to be a dark energy orb in its talons (Raidraptor - Mimicry Lanius: Level 4 / ATK 1100 / DEF 1900).

"Next," the roughneck girl continued, "since we have an Xyz Monster on our side of the field, I can also Special Summon Raidraptor - Singing Lanius from my hand!" Gilda's third monster was of a stout chick with small, armored, yellow wings, and a body that was mostly yellow and brown in color (Raidraptor - Singing Lanius: Level 4 / ATK 100 / DEF 100). "Finally, I'll Summon Raidraptor - Fuzzy Lanius from my hand, since I have Raidraptors on the field other than him!" And with that, she then called up her purple and blue armored bird to the battlefield (Raidraptor - Fuzzy Lanius: Level 4 / ATK 500 / DEF 1500).

"That was amazing...!" Sunset complimented.

"Yeah!" cheered Pinkie. "Gilda can Summon monsters just as fast as that crazy, evil guy can!" Martin just grumbled, both in response to Gilda's move and Pinkie's comment about him.

"Now I'll activate Mimicry Lanius's effect:" Gilda told her opponent. "Once per turn, I can increase the Levels of all the Raidraptors on the field by one!" The glowing of the orb on the gold and white bird began to intensify, and its power was felt by both itself and its comrades (Raidraptor - Mimicry Lanius: Level 4 + 1 = Level 5) (Raidraptor - Singing Lanius: Level 4 + 1 = Level 5) (Raidraptor - Fuzzy Lanius: Level 4 + 1 = Level 5).

"Now she has three Level 5 monsters out..." noted Sunset. "She must be going for a very powerful Xyz Monster." She then thought to herself, (I just hope it can somehow overcome those two Number cards...)

"I now overlay Mimicry Lanius, Singing Lanius, and Fuzzy Lanius, all Level 5!!" Gilda shouted as her three birds turned into a trio of purple lights that flew into a red summoning portal. "Ferocious falcon! Break through this fierce battle and spread your wings! Destroy our gathering foes!" the roughneck then chanted. "Xyz Summon! Appear now! Rank 5! Raidraptor - Blaze Falcon!" In an instant, a much larger bird, clad in red and black armor and possessing bizarrely-shaped wings, flew out of the portal with three purple orbs orbiting it. It then let out a shrill cry as it took its place beside its user (Raidraptor - Blaze Falcon: Rank 5 / ATK 1000 / DEF 2000 / OLU 3).

"Hmmmm... impressive, but I'm afraid it won't help you. Did you already forget? Neither Crime, nor Punishment, can be destroyed in battle while they're both on the field!" Martin reminded his nemesis.

"Maybe so," Gilda then said to the boy, "but your monsters aren't his target; see, Blaze Falcon's ability allows it to attack you directly if it has at least one Overlay Unit attached to him."

"What?!" he gasped in surprise.

"You realize it, don't ya?" the brown-skinned girl told him with a smirk. "Your monsters might be invincible... but that doesn't mean that YOU are."

"Alright! This might just work!" Sunset said, regaining hope. "His monster's effects won't matter if she's attacking him directly!"

"Yeah!! We might win this after all!!" Pinkie Pie added, getting back her smile.

"Go! Blaze Falcon!!" Gilda ordered her Xyz Monster. "Attack Martin's Life Points directly!!" Her monster then flew towards the crazed student, ready to strike him down.

"If you think I'll let you get out of this one, you're sadly mistaken!!" shouted Martin. Taking a card out from underneath one of his Number cards, he then declared, "I activate the effect of Punishment!! So now all of your monsters must attack it instead!!" (Number 31: Embodiment of Punishment: OLU 2 - 1 = 1)

"What the-?! He can use that effect outside of his turn?!?" asked Gilda, shocked.

"Heh heh heh heh...!" the boy laughed. "Now because of your sloppy move, You and your friend will be taking a total of 2,300 points of damage, leaving you with just a mere 200 Life Points left!! Then next turn, I'll exterminate you all for good!!" Gilda could only watch in horror as her monster swerved away from Martin and went to attack his other Xyz Monster.

But just then, Sunset said to Pinkie Pie, "Pinkie, quick! Activate the face-down card on my left!"

"Huh?" the pink girl perked her head up when she heard that. It took her a second, but she got the message and tapped the otherworldly girl's Duel Pad, activating the card that she had told her to play. The card then flipped face up, revealing itself as...

"Waboku?!? No!!!" screamed Martin in despair.

"That's right." Sunset told him, keeping her look of confidence, despite being hung up at the moment. "This Trap Card makes all of the battle damage we take this turn become zero! Which means our Life Points won't be going down!"

Gilda watched as Blaze Falcon struck Martin's Number card with a fiery dive-bomb, followed immediately by a giant laser from Sunset's Chateau Huyuk, as well as a blast of violet-colored magic from Summoner Monk. Although Punishment couldn't be destroyed because of its own effects, Sunset's Trap Card nullified all of the damage, sparing them all. The look on Gilda's face was one of horror and astonishment.

Martin then screamed at his enemies, "How dare you defy my brand of justice with such a card!! You'll pay dearly for that!!!"

Sunset huffed a little, not allowing his words to intimidate her. "Sunset... I'm... I'm so sorry..." Gilda then apologized to her. "We almost lost the Duel because of what I just did..."

"Don't worry, Gilda... we'll still beat him, I promise." the red and yellow teen told her teammate. "But right now, we need to keep him from damaging us... If his Deck relies on those two Number cards as part of his main strategy, then he'll probably have ways of restoring their Overlay Units..."

"You think he'll try to do that?" asked the Griffonstone girl.

"I know he will. If I were him, that's what I'd do." Sunset confirmed. Looking over at her teammate's hand, she then told her, "Gilda, play that Spell Card in your hand right now; it will allow us to hold out until we can think of a new strategy..."

"Uh, yeah... whatever you say." the brown-skinned girl replied. Placing the card in question into a slot on her Duel Pad, she then declared, "I activate Nightmare's Steelcage!" After she played her Spell Card, a metallic, cage-like wall materialized between them and Martin.

"Urrgh... you just HAD to play that card, didn't you?" asked the crazed boy.

"As long as this card's in play," Gilda then explained, "neither of us can attack with our monsters! Which means that for now, our Life Points will be safe from your Numbers' powers!"

"Don't forget, your Spell Card goes away after the end of my second turn, following its activation." Martin reminded his enemy. "It won't last you forever!"

"Two turns is all we need to kick your butt and win this Duel!" the roughneck assured him.

"Whatever... my turn, then..." The boy then drew his card and smirked when saw what it was. "Not bad at all..." He then told his foes, "I activate the card I just drew: Overlay Regen!!"

(Woah... that was a close one...) thought Gilda, getting a little worried. (Good thing Sunset figured that he'd use a card to restore his monsters' Overlay Units... But I have to ask: How's she remaining this calm, even though she's chained up to that slab and getting hit by our own monsters...?)

Martin then chose to use his Spell Card to restore an Overlay Unit on Embodiment of Punishment (Number 31: Embodiment of Punishment: OLU 1 + 1 = 2). "Since we can't battle each other while your Nightmare's Steelcage card is in effect, I have no choice but to end my turn." the boy said. He then snickered and said to Sunset Shimmer, "It's your turn now... Are you sure you're fine with continuing on? After all, I can imagine just how tight those chains wrapped around you are... You must be getting quite a cramp by now... Heheheheh..."

"You just worry about yourself." the otherworldly girl told him, not showing any signs of cracking under the pressure. She then said to Pinkie Pie, "Okay, you ready?"

"Mhmm!" the pink girl replied with a nod. She then drew Sunset's next card and showed it to her. "D'ya think this might help?" she then asked.

"Maybe..." Sunset answered. "But we've still got to find a way to get rid of these annoying Numbers of his... As much as I don't want to give him an inch, it IS starting to get a little uncomfortable up here..."

"Then just leave that all to me!" Gilda suddenly spoke up, tapping her Duel Pad's screen. "I'll activate my Icarus Attack!! By releasing one of my Winged Beasts, I can destroy up to two cards on the field! So I'll release Blaze Falcon... and destroy both of your Number monsters!!" And with that, the Griffonstone girl's Xyz Monster turned into pure energy, which shot at both of Martin's monsters.

"Alright!!" cheered Pinkie. "Bye bye, creepy Numbers!!"

Sunset was a bit skeptical. (It couldn't be that easy...) she thought. She then glanced over at their opponent, who didn't seem to be too worried at all, even as both of his monsters were struck by the deadly energy of Gilda's Trap Card.

The energy streams let out a pair of explosions that shook the area around them all. Thick clouds formed as a result of the impact, covering the entire battlefield. But once the dust settled, the three girls watched on and saw that... absolutely nothing had happened: Both of Martin's monsters were still there, to their astonishment. "HUH?! It didn't work?!?" asked Gilda.

"What happened??" asked Pinkie Pie, getting a little worried again.

"Heheheheh... Did you really think your weak little Trap Card was going to eliminate my powerful Numbers?" Martin asked in a mocking tone of voice. "Too bad... I'm afraid that, due to their effects, Crime and Punishment can't be destroyed by card effects when they're both on the field and have at least one Overlay Unit!"

"But you said that they couldn't be destroyed by battle!" Gilda protested.

"It's probably both." Sunset noted. "Apparently, Martin 'conveniently' left out that important little detail when he told us about their abilities..."

"That's so underhanded, Mr. Meanie-Mean-Pants!" Pinkie yelled at the boy.

"Hmph... I didn't think I needed to explain EVERYTHING to you simpletons..." Martin told them all as he adjusted his glasses.

"Crud... even THAT wasn't enough to stop him!" grumbled Gilda. "I'll just have to be even MORE aggressive on my next turn in order to beat him!"

"Gilda, I don't think that's a very good idea." Sunset informed her teammate.

"Huh? Whad'ya mean?"

"Just think about it: His monsters are designed to make it so that, the more force we use against him, the more damage that gets sent back on us..." the otherworldly girl explained. She then told her, "Listen, Gilda... there's something else you need to know concerning the Number cards..."

"What's that?" asked the brown-skinned girl.

"When a Number card is first found, it doesn't have a picture." Sunset said to her teammate. "But after someone picks one up, it then gains a physical form and special powers... From what I've observed so far, the Numbers take on their appearances based on the feelings and desires of whomever holds them."

"Really?" asked Gilda.

Sunset Shimmer nodded and continued, saying, "It's just a hunch, but if my theory is correct, Martin's Number cards might have forms based on his feelings; according to you, he's been constantly bullied and made fun of ever since he came to this school. It's very likely that because of all of the torment that he's suffered, he began to harbor feelings of hatred towards not only you and the other people that picked on him... but quite possibly everyone else; even people that had nothing to do with what happened to him."

Gilda stood there, completely stunned by what she had heard.

"Once he got his hands on those Number cards," Sunset continued to say, "his desire to punish those that bullied him, and everyone else, turned them into those monsters that he has on the field right now... And their abilities came from his desire to use his tormentors' own strength to do them in... That's why I think that becoming even more aggressive against Martin is not how we'll win this Duel."

"But how else are we gonna beat him?" asked the roughneck, confused.

"I'll answer that by asking you this question:" the red and yellow girl responded. "What would Fluttershy do in your situation?"

"Fluttershy...?" Gilda asked. This made her think about her Duel yesterday against the shy yellow girl. As she replayed the Duel in her mind over and over, Gilda then recalled that she tried to use pure, brute force to try and defeat her. But Fluttershy made the right decision to hold back and play passively until an opportunity to win presented itself. Sighing a little and calming herself down, the Griffonstone girl then said, "...I think I get it now, Sunset. Brute force didn't help me in my Duel against Fluttershy, and it won't help me here... If I'm going to be of any help to you, I'll need to start playing a lot smarter."

Sunset smiled after hearing that. "Thanks, Gilda." she told her. "We just need to wait for an opportunity to win this instead of trying to force it to happen." She then added, "Right now, we need to keep our Life Points from taking too many more heavy hits..." She then announced, "For my next move, I release my Chateau Huyuk to Tribute Set a monster in Defense Mode!"

"Okie-dokie-lokie!" said Pinkie as she took Sunset's Number card off of her Duel Pad and placed it (and both of its Overlay Units) in the Graveyard. She then placed the only card in her friend's hand facedown on the tray in its place. Martin grumbled a bit at that move.

(I get it...) thought Gilda. (By getting rid of our monsters with high attack points, we'll take less damage from his Number cards' effects... But is that her only plan...?) She then glanced at the lone face-down card in front of her teammate, wondering what it could have been. She did, however, assume that it was part of Sunset Shimmer's strategy.

"Next," Sunset declared, "I'll switch my teammate's Summoner Monk to Defense Mode and end my turn." Gilda then did just that before control passed back to their opponent.

"It's my turn... I draw!" Martin then pulled his next card and looked at it. Grinning wickedly, he then said, "Perfect!!" The boy then declared, "I activate the Spell Card, Magical Reference Search!"

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Magical Reference Search:
(Normal Spell Card)

Add 2 Spell Cards from your Deck to your hand, but you can only activate 1 of those Spell Cards this turn (but you can Set both). This card cannot be moved from the Graveyard to the Deck or hand, and it cannot be banished. You can only activate 1 "Magical Reference Search" per turn.

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"Using this Spell Card," Martin told his opponents, "I add Mystical Space Typhoon and Overlay Regen to my hand!" After he took his cards, he then declared, "Next, I'll play Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy Nightmare's Steelcage!"

The three girls gasped when the boy's Spell Card whipped up a powerful tornado that was strong enough to smash apart the large metal wall in-between them all. "No! Now he can damage our Life Points again!" said Gilda in distress.

"For once, Gilda, you're quite correct!" Martin said in a menacing tone. He then took away one of the cards underneath one of his Number cards and said, "I activate Punishment's effect once more!" (Number 31: Embodiment of Punishment: OLU 2 - 1 = 1)

After activating his monster's effect, Gilda's Summoner Monk switched back to Attack Position. In addition, Sunset's face-down monster flipped face-up, revealing itself as Chronomaly Moai Carrier (Chronomaly Moai Carrier: Level 5 / ATK 900 / DEF 1800). Upon doing so, both monsters rushed in to attack Martin's monster, with Gilda's monster firing a spell, and Sunset's monster shooting a pair of laser beams. Of course, because of its ability, Embodiment of Punishment sent all of the damage right back at them, staring with Moai Carrier's lasers (Sunset Shimmer & Gilda: LP 2,500 - 400 = 2,100), followed by the spell from Summoner Monk (Sunset Shimmer & Gilda: LP 2,100 - 300 = 1,800).

Martin cackled in a demented tone and said to his enemies, "It's only a matter of time before I end you both once and for all... Next turn, I'll be able to play my second Overlay Regen, which will restore an Overlay Unit on one of my monsters... And I'll use it to eliminate the remainder of your Life Points! Soon... so very soon, I'll make you and everyone else pay for what I've had to endure during my time here in this school!!"

Gilda, after hearing that, told him sternly, but calmly, "That's not going to happen."

"Why not?!" yelled the boy. "You deserve everything that I'm doing to you, and not even you can deny it!!"

"You're right about that." the brown-skinned girl replied, admitting to that. "I did bully you a lot... and I did some things to you that I'm not exactly proud of anymore..." She then gave Martin an angry glare and told him, "Even so, that's no excuse for what you're doing to Sunset right now!"

"Huh...?" the boy remarked, confused.

"You heard me." Gilda informed him. "She has absolutely nothing to do with anything that's happened between us, and yet you're trying to hurt her, too! You claim that you want to punish people for bullying you, but all you've done so far is torture a completely innocent person for no reason! You're acting no better than I did when I was bullying you! In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that you're acting even WORSE than I did!"

"How dare you!!!" yelled Martin in anger. "Are you suggesting that I'M being a bully?! ME?!?!"

"I'm not suggesting nothing!" the brown-skinned girl answered. "I'm outright TELLING it to you! You're nothing but a total hypocrite; you don't care who you hurt, just as long as you get what you want in the end!" Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she then added, "And now that I've seen it for myself, I now totally realize what a jerk I've been to you and other people... And for what it's worth, I'm sorry for everything that I've put you through..."

Martin was stunned when he actually heard Gilda apologize to him. But he then told her, "You can take that apology and shove it down your throat! I'm getting my revenge on you, and that's that!! I'll punish you and everyone else with the full weight of my anger and hatred!!"

"Is that so...?" the Griffonstone girl asked him. "Then there's no other choice for me to make: I'll face that anger and hatred head-on and eliminate it forever!" Gilda then pulled her next card and looked at it. She then thought, (I just drew Raidraptor - Nest... I can discard this card and use Summoner Monk to Special Summon a Level 4 monster from my Deck again... Then, I'll have enough monsters to bring out an Xyz Monster. But which one should I go with?) She then pondered, (I could go for Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon... but that wouldn't do us any good; He'll just use his monster's effect to force it into attacking, and we'll lose...)

Gilda looked over at Sunset, who said to her, "You can do this Gilda... Just remember: Standing up to a bully doesn't mean using force against them." She then smiled warmly and added, "Sometimes, it pays to be a little passive-aggressive, just like our friend, Fluttershy." Pinkie Pie nodded to say that she agreed with that statement.

"Be passive-aggressive...?" asked the brown-skinned girl. She then thought, (But no matter what we do, we can't destroy those stupid monsters of his!) Just then, she let out a gasp as an idea came to her. (Wait! That's it! How could I have forgotten about it?? There's one card in my Deck that can help us defeat him!) Gilda then smirked as she stared down the crazed boy, which made him step back a bit.

"I activate Summoner Monk's effect!" Gilda declared. "I discard my Raidraptor - Nest, and then Special Summon a Level 4 monster out of my Deck! Go, Raidraptor - Sharp Lanius!!" After she took the card out of her Deck, she then played it onto her Duel Pad, calling up a red and white-armored bird (Raidraptor - Sharp Lanius: Level 4 / ATK 1700 / DEF 1000). "And now I've got all I need to bring out the monster that'll wipe you out for good!"

"Sunnie, is she going to bring out that big, scary, dragon monster from yesterday?" asked Pinkie Pie.

Sunset Shimmer pondered to herself about that. (I'm sure that Gilda knows full well that Dark Rebellion won't help us here...) She then smirked and thought, (Heh... I wonder what she's got planned?)

Martin chuckled and asked, "So you're finally going to do it, huh? That's just fine!! Bring him out!! Bring out Dark Rebellion Xyz Dragon!!"

But the Griffonstone girl chuckled to herself, asking him, "Whoever said I was bringing out Dark Rebellion?"

"Y-you're not??" asked the boy, not sure what was going on.

"Nope... I've got another monster in my Deck that's not quite as tough, but his special skills will prove to be far more useful in this situation!" Gilda then shouted, "I overlay my Summoner Monk and Sharp Lanius, both Level 4, and build an Overlay Network!" Everyone watched as both monsters transformed into a pair of purple lights that flew into a red summoning portal. "Noble marksman of the sky! Raise your mighty rifle in the name of justice and fell your enemies with skillful precision!" the roughneck chanted, "Xyz Summon! Take your place! Rank 4! Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer!!"

From out of the red vortex, a figure appeared that seemed to be a cross between a human and a bird, along with two green orbs circling around him. He wore a blue uniform that came with a long, flowing cape and a hat that were the same color. The hat had a red plume decorating the top of it, and on his back were a pair of bright, fuchsia-colored wings and tail feathers. His weapon of choice was a musket rifle, which he proudly held in his hands (Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer: Rank 4 / ATK 2000 / DEF 1500 / OLU 2).

"Wow... I didn't know she had that card..." said Sunset. "Now I see what she's trying to do..."

Martin, however, had no clue what his foe was attempting. "What's the deal, Gilda?" he asked her. "That monster can't destroy my Number cards! It's not even a Number, so it couldn't destroy Crime or Punishment even without their defensive effects!"

"Really now?" she then asked him with a smirk. "You keep telling us how 'inferior' our minds are, and yet you don't seem to be aware of what I'm about to do?"

"What could you possibly do?" Martin then asked her. "I told you, my monsters can't be destroyed!"

"...Except that destroying your monsters isn't my goal." Gilda rebutted. She then declared, "I activate the effect of Castel! First, I remove both of his Overlay Units..." When she did, the two green orbs flew into the bird-man's gun, and he immediately pointed the weapon towards the Number card that Sunset was chained to (Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer: OLU 2 - 2 = 0). The Griffonstone girl then told the boy, "Now, using his ability, I can select any card on the field, and send it back to its owner's Deck!"

"WHAT?!? NO!!!" shouted Martin in distress.

"You get it, don't you?" asked Gilda. "Xyz Monsters can't exist in your hand or your Deck... Which means that there's only one place it CAN go..."

"N-n-no... this can't be...!" said the boy, getting scared for the first time since the Duel began. "If she uses that effect on one of my Number cards... then they'll be sent back... to my Extra Deck!"

"That's right!!" the roughneck confirmed. She then shouted, "Go, Castel! Send Embodiment of Crime back to Martin's Extra Deck, and make it snappy!"

Martin could only watch in horror as Gilda's Xyz Monster fired its rifle, sending out of it not a bullet, but a super-strong whirlwind that hit Embodiment of Crime hard. In fact, it hit it so hard, that the chains that held Sunset onto its stone slab loosened and fell off, freeing the otherworldly girl and dropping her to the ground below. Luckily, she didn't fall far, and she landed safely onto her rear end. The Number card wasn't so lucky, as the whirlwind blew it completely off of the battlefield, and not long after that, it vanished into thin air.

"Sunnie!! You're free!! You're free!!" cheered Pinkie Pie, running over to her. "Are you alright? Are you hurt?"

Getting up, Sunset Shimmer told her friend, "Just a little sore in some places, but I'll live." She then turned to Gilda and said to her, "Gilda... thank you so much for getting me off of that thing."

"Heh, no prob." the Griffonstone girl casually responded. "Last I checked, friends help friends, right?" Sunset nodded yes to say that she agreed with that. Gilda then told her, "But now that you are free, I think it's high time Martin here learns his lesson about how karma works." The boy began to tremble upon hearing that, knowing that he was no longer in control of the Duel anymore.

"I think so too, Gilda." the red and yellow girl replied with a smirk. "So I think now's the perfect time to play this card that I've been saving for just such an occasion..." Tapping her Duel Pad's screen, she declared, "I activate the Trap Card, Xyz Reborn! This card allows me to bring back any Xyz Monster from our Graveyard back to the field! And I'm going to use it to revive this monster!" Taking out a card from her own Graveyard, she then declared, "Chronomaly Chateau Huyuk! Return to the field!!

Martin gasped when Sunset brought back the Number card that she had Summoned at the beginning of the Duel. The bright, blue sphere took its place above its controller, ready to do battle.

"Oh, and as an added bonus," the otherworldly girl continued, "After it brings back a monster, Xyz Reborn then becomes an Overlay Unit for the monster it Summons!" And true to her words, the Trap Card then turned into a pink light that shot up into the air, before returning as a yellow orb that orbited Sunset's Number card (Number 36: Chronomaly Chateau Huyuk: OLU 0 + 1 = 1). "But it won't stay there for long," Sunset continued, "because I'm removing that Overlay Unit to use Chateau Huyuk's effect (Number 36: Chronomaly Chateau Huyuk: OLU 1 - 1 = 0)! This allows me to reduce the attack power of your remaining Number card to zero!"

"Oh no!!" shouted Martin as he watched Embodiment of Punishment lose all of its power (Number 31: Embodiment of Punishment: ATK 500 > 0). However, there was nothing that he could do to save himself from defeat now.

"Yeah! Yeah! YEAH!!" Pinkie Pie cheered. "Now let him have it!!"

Sunset and Gilda nodded as they began their final attack...

"Chronomaly Chateau Huyuk!!" the red and yellow girl started.

"Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer!!" the Griffonstone girl added.

"ATTACK!!!" they both shouted in unison.

And with that simultaneous order, both of their monsters began to attack. Sunset's monster attacked first, releasing a gigantic stream of deadly energy that obliterated Martin's remaining monster in one shot and inflicted massive damage on him as well (Martin: LP 4,000 - 2,000 = 2,000). Once his Number card was gone, Gilda's musketeer then initiated his attack, firing his rifle and striking the boy hard, instantly ending the Duel (Martin: LP 2,000 - 2,000 = 0) (WINNER: Sunset Shimmer & Gilda).

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"Alright!!! You won!! You WON!!!" cheered Pinkie Pie, hopping up and down excitedly. "I knew you could do it!!!"

Gilda let out a sigh of relief, as did Sunset. "Whew... that was a tough one..." the red and yellow girl said to both herself and Gilda. "But we did it..." Looking at her now-glowing necklace, she then added, "There's just one last thing to do now..." She then held up her hand towards Martin, who was now lying down on the tile floor of the hallway, stunned but still breathing. A pair of light balls phased out of his chest area and flew towards the otherworldly girl's hand. Afterwards, they transformed into the troubled boy's Number cards. "I'm taking these Numbers so that they'll never harm anyone ever again... That sound good to you, Gilda?"

But the Griffonstone girl said nothing; instead, she walked over to Martin, just as the kid regained consciousness. When he looked up at Gilda (with light purple-colored eyes instead of deep red ones), he immediately yelped and shuffled back towards the wall. He then pleaded, "G-G-Gilda... p-please...! D-d-don't hurt me!! ...Okay, if you're gonna hurt me, at least don't touch my face!!"

But the brown-skinned girl told him in a calm tone of voice, "Martin... you don't need to be scared anymore... I'm not going to hurt you at all."

"Y-you aren't?" he asked, bewildered. "Even after all that I was doing to you and Sunset??"

"I'm not." she confirmed, shaking her head no. "It's all my fault that you were acting that way... You were just angry at me for bullying you, and you had every right to be. But when you tried to hurt Sunset the way you did, you were beginning to lose your focus, and you ended up becoming the very thing you hated." She then sighed and told him, "I had no idea just how you felt whenever me or anyone else at school picked on you, and I feel really bad about it now... So, for what's it's worth... I'm... I'm sorry."

"You are...?" the boy asked meekly.

Gilda nodded, smiled and said, "From now on, I promise that I'll never pick on you or anyone else ever again... In fact, if anyone at school tries to do that to you anymore... They'll have to get through me."

Martin felt very touched that Gilda was going to stand up for him instead of torment him like everyone else. "Th... thank you..." he said to her. "That's... that's so nice of you... How did you change so quickly?"

"...I met some good friends recently, that's what." the Griffonstone girl told him. She then glanced over at Sunset Shimmer and Pinkie Pie; Sunset gave her a wink and a thumbs-up, while Pinkie waved her left hand in the air excitedly.

Minutes later, the four of them were standing outside of the school, ready to leave the area and head home. "Sunset," Gilda began to say to the red and yellow girl, "thanks for all of your help. I have t' say, this whole mess ended better than I thought it would."

"I'm just happy to see that you're going to be nicer to Martin from now on." Sunset replied. "I think deep down, he didn't really want to hurt anyone... I think all he really needed was a friend." She then asked the boy, "Isn't that right?"

"Y-yeah... that's right." he replied. It was quite clear that, without the Numbers controlling him, Martin was actually a very friendly and kind person. In fact, he seemed to act a lot like Fluttershy.

"Well, I think Gilda'll be a great friend to you, right Gilda?" Pinkie asked.

"Well, let's just say, I learned from the best." the Griffonstone girl replied with a wink. "And I promise to use what I learned and become a much better person now."

"And I think you'll be a lot happier that way." Sunset Shimmer then said to her.

Gilda then walked towards the otherworldly girl while reaching into a pocket in her leather jacket. "And to show my appreciation for everything you and your friends have done for me, I'd like you to have something; I think it might help you collect the rest of those Number cards..." She then pulled out a Duel Monsters card and showed it to her.

"Huh? Castel??" Sunset inquired. "Isn't this the card that was in your Deck during the Duel?"

Gilda chuckled a little. "I'm being nice, not stupid." she told the red and yellow girl. "That ain't the same monster that's in my Deck, it's a spare that I picked up a while back. I don't have any use for it, but I think it'll be a big help to you in your future Duels. So take it; I insist."

Sunset was quite surprised, yet happy, to see just how generous Gilda had become. Nodding her head yes, the otherworldly girl said, "Alright then, I'll take it." She then took the card that Gilda offered her and placed it into her deck box. "I'll take very good care of it, Gilda." she promised.

"Good t' hear, Sunset." the brown-skinned girl told her. "And hey, don't be a stranger; feel free to come and visit us here again if you've got the time."

"Sure." Sunset replied. "And feel free to come to my apartment for sleepovers if you want to." The Griffonstone girl nodded as everyone waved goodbye. The four of them departed the school and headed back for their homes.

As Sunset and Pinkie Pie headed back towards the city, the pink teen then said to her friend, "Ahhhh... I just love these happy endings... With everybody being friends and smiling at the end..."

"Yeah, me too." the black jacket-clad teen agreed. She then asked her pink friend, "So... this James Bond... Does that have anything to do with ropes or something?"

Pinkie giggled and pulled her friend closer to her. "Aw, Sunnie, you Silly-Billy... But don't you worry! When you come to my house tomorrow night, I promise to make a fan out of you, or my name's not Pinkamena Diane Pie!" Sunset still seemed a little confused, but decided to go along with it. The two continued to walk down the sidewalk as Pinkie hummed a little tune to herself: "Dun-dun-DA-DAAAAA-da-dun-aaaaa....!! Dun-na-naaaa... da-dun-aaaaa..."

-- To Be Continued...

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NUMBERS OBTAINED:

Sunset Shimmer (8 Numbers total):

- Number 13: Embodiment of Crime
- Number 31: Embodiment of Punishment

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