• Published 15th Aug 2019
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Duelist Team of Canterlot High - Brony-wan-kenobi

Six students will represent Canterlot High in a childrens card game tournament. And none of them are the main seven!

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Round Three: Different Fangs

“Alright ya’ll, better start getting back to your seats. The third duel will be starting in just a few minutes.” The voice of the announcer echoed through the field as Lightning Dust and Luna approached the rest of the team. As she walked with her hands in her jacket pockets, Lightning glanced over at the stands to see the crowd milling back in. Her eyes scanned this way and that, but they didn’t see any flash of rainbow or fire colored hair anywhere.

Lightning let out a sigh as she turned her head to look forward. Standing in a group together was her teammates, looking over at their opponents who were also milling together. It was then that something odd hit Lightning from within her chest. Like something was going to explode when she realized she had teammates again. And this explosive feeling wasn’t from anger or anything like that. It felt, well, nice.

As the students turned to look at the pair approaching them, Lightning began to feel something else towards one particular teammate. Pharynx turned to look at her, worry clearly visible in those big, purple eyes of his. On any other day or night, this would have just pissed Lightning off. Just the idea that someone thought she might not be able to take care of herself was enough to get her teeth grinding. Like she was a princess in a castle waiting to be saved. Yet as she stared into the eyes of a person who had helped her out, even when he didn’t have to, she began to think of it differently. He was just looking out for her, like two warriors to watch each other’s backs on the battlefield or some shit like that. And it felt nice knowing that he would do that for her. A weird kind of nice.

“We were worried something had happened,” said Hunter as Moondancer, Autumn, and Wallflower nodded in agreement.

“Something did,” said Lightning as she approached them, Luna hanging back to watch them. Taking another breath Lightning took her hands out of her pockets before approaching Pharynx yet kept them clenched tight. The others took several steps back while their eyes darted from one to the other, wondering what was going on.

“Ah,” began Pharynx, looking just as confused as the rest of them as Lightning stopped in front of him. The teenage girl could feel her face twitching slightly as she tried to figure out how best to express how she felt at this moment. She had lived so long in a state of anger, watching her back for the next person to put a dagger. So long, in fact, that she didn’t remember any cool ways of saying thank you. Honestly she didn’t know if that was sad, pathetic, or both.

“Fuck it,” she whispered under her breath. Pharynx, no doubt, heard her because he tilted his head in confusion. A confusion that tripled when Lightning suddenly, without warning, wrapped her arms around him and brought him in for a big hug. “Thanks for having my back there. I would have been toast without you.”

“Y-You’re welcome,” stammered Pharynx. Out of the corner of her eyes, Lightning could see his dark face lightening with a shade of pink and red. She could feel his arms twitching, not knowing if they should return the hug or remain where they were. So, to help him out, Lightning released him and took a step back.

As she did this, Lightning took stock of everyone’s reactions. Hunter seemed to have cocked an eyebrow while Moondancer tilted her head in confusion so that her hair was hanging on the left side of her body with her eyes slightly widened. Autumn Blaze, well, she had her hands clasped together as she did a little dance. A squeal of joy was emitted from her as her eyes turned into hearts. Then there was…honestly, she had gotten the girl girls name again. Green Ninja sounded cool and appropriate since she seemed to keep appearing out of thin air, but she doubted that was the case. Anyways, the green girl was blushing slightly while taking a step or three back.

Now with a slight smile on her face, which felt warm for some reason, Lightning brought a hand up and landed it on his shoulder. “I mean it dude,” she said as she looked at him directly in the eyes. “You’ve had my back plenty of times already. That makes you cool in my book. So if you ever need a hand for whatever, I’ll be there for you.”

“So, are we ever going to find out what happened?” asked Moondancer as she pulled off her glasses. As Lightning turned to look at her, Moondancer calmly brought it down towards the bottom of her sweatshirt where she proceeded to use the fabric to clean the lens.

“It’s been dealt with,” answered Luna before Lightning could say anything. All of the students turned to look at the Vice-Principal, Moondancer putting her glasses back on as she looked at the older woman. “That’s all any of you need to know. Just focus on the rest of the matches.”

At first, Lightning thought Moondancer would press the issue or something like that. Maybe say that they had a right to know. But instead, Moondancer just gave a small smile and nodded. “So nothing happened that would get Lightning kicked off the team. That’s all I really wanted to know.”

“Alright there APPLELOOSA!” came the voice of the announcer causing all heads to turn to the field. “The third match will now be starting. Let’s cheer on our own Quick Strike!”

“Alright!” cheered Lightning as she spread her legs and began to stretch them out, leaning from side to side as she watched her opponent enter the field. He was a tiny guy, maybe smaller than that squirt who always followed Rainbow Dash around. His face was concealed thanks to a black hoodie he wore that looked three sizes too big for the small fry. That along with old jeans and sneakers that looked like they were a little too worn down, gave her the impression of someone not too well off or given hand-me-downs. But despite all of this, something about him caused a shiver to run down her spine. She could still see his hands which were a sickly green color, giving her the impression of a rotting zombie or something.

The crowd above didn’t seem to be bothered by this. As soon as his name was announced they went back to the cheering they had done back when that Sparkle chic had gone out. “QUICK STRIKE!” chanted the crowd as they stomped on the bleachers and clapped their hands. Over and over again it went, seeming to get louder each time to the point where Lightning thought the bleachers were going to break.

“And his opponent from Canterlot High: Lightning Dust!” continued the announcer. If the crowd heard it, they paid it no mind as they continued to cheer for Quick Strike. Not that it mattered to Lightning Dust as she put on her custom duel disk before walking out to the field.

“So, how do you want to do this?” asked Quick Strike as his voice came over the communicator on their duel disks. He had a soft, yet sickly voice that did him no favors. “You get to decide who goes first.”

“You can make the first move,” replied Lightning after pressing the button to allow her opponent to hear her.

“Really?” asked Strike with slight confusion in his voice. Or was it more that he was nervous. It was hard to tell with this guy. “I would have thought you would like the first chance to set up the field.”

“That’s nice and all, but it’s not my thing,” said Lightning as she waved him off, her duel disk shuffling her deck for her. “Going second means I get first crack at taking some life points.”

Lightning Dust Life Points: 8000

Quick Strike Life Points: 8000

Turn 1: Quick Strike

“Crap,” groaned Quick Strike as he drew his cards. (hand: 6) He seemed to look them over carefully, at one point holding one closer to his face as if double checking to see if he could even use it. Finally, he placed a card on the tray. “I’ll summon the Sinister Serpent in attack mode.” (300/250) A green snake with wings on its back appeared on the field. “Then I’ll set the rest of my hand and call it a turn.”

Turn 2: Lightning Dust

Well, wasn’t expecting that, thought Lightning as she drew, looking at five face down cards behind the snake. (hand: 6) Probably has one of those trap decks and is trying to bait me. I mean, it is pretty obvious. A monster that weak with all those face downs behind it? Get real! He wants me to attack. A grin appeared on her face. Well, might as well give him what he wants. I’ll attack again and again until he has nothing left to hide behind! Then, victory will be mine!

“I’ll start off by playing my field spell: Dragon’s Ravine,” announced Lightning as she slid her card into the side slot. At once the field began to change, the grass of the football field they were standing on being replaced with light brown earth. Quick Strike seemed to look about, turning his head this way and take to take in this new landscape. Smirking to herself, Lightning watched as he jumped into the air for the space between them seemed to cave in on itself. What was left was nothing more than a chasm between them.

“Pretty neat, right?” asked Lightning while looking proud of herself. It was an awesome spell card if she did say so herself. “Now I’ll show you what I can do with it. I’ll discard my Dragunity Brandistock to add one level four or lower Dragunity monster to my hand. I think I’ll help myself to Dragunity Phalanx. And while I’m at it, I’ll summon him right now!” Slapping the card onto her card tray, Lightning watched as a figure flew up from the ravine. It was a small, blue humanoid dragon wearing golden armor. On its head was something that reminded her of a two pronged fork or something. (500/1100)

“I know what you’re thinking: he’s a wimp,” continued Lightning as Phalanx flexed his tiny muscles. “But he’s going to be super useful in this duel. Like right now! By sending him to the graveyard I get to special summon my favorite monster: Dragunity Arma Mystletainn!” (2100/1500) Phalanx dissolved into golden light right before another, larger dragon flew up from the ravine. This one had golden scales that look as thick as armor and a green gem in its chest. It flew on four wings, one set being the normal webbed version most people knew while the second set was feathered. And in its grasp, the dragon held a long sword.

“That’s your best card?” asked Strike after Lightning’s dragon let out a roar similar to that of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. “Doesn’t seem all that impressive.”

“Wrong, he’s not my best card,” corrected Lightning. “He’s my favorite. A badass looking dragon with a sword, how could it not be? Not to mention he knows how to push himself and others. See, once he’s summoned, he can equip himself with any dragon Dragunity monster in my graveyard. Time to come back: Dragunity Brandistock!” Brandistock appeared on the field, a roundish grey dragon with a spike on its head. It rolled itself into a ball as a chain connected it to the end of Mystletainn’s blade.

“Now to show you what he can do!” shouted Lightning as she pointed at Quick Strike. “I’ll attack your monster!” Mystletainn let out a roar before soaring over the field. Taking the handle of the blade with both claws the dragon slammed in down on Quick Strike’s monster, destroying him while also creating a massive dust cloud.

Quick Strike Life Points: 6200

“I was hoping you’d do that!” yelled Quick Strike as the dust settled, the dragon at the end of Mystletainn’s chain flying high into the air at the same time. The small teen then swung his arm to the side as his middle face down card revealed itself. “I activate the trap card: Damage = Reptiles. Once per turn, when I take damage involving a reptile monster, this wonderful little trap lets me special summon a reptile from my deck. Only catch is that I can’t summon anything with higher attack points than the amount of damage I took. But that’s fine because I took enough to special summon Venom Boa!” (1600/1200) Slithering out of the trap card came a snake large enough to eat a medium sized dog in one bite. It’s body was a bluish purple and had three eyes, two where they were supposed to be and one in the middle of its head. Then, if that wasn’t freakish enough, at the end of its tail was another snake’s head!

Still, Lightning couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight. “Figured there was a reason you put such a weak monster in attack mode,” she said while tilting her head upwards. “Not like it’ll do you much good.”

“What are you-” began Quick Strike but stopped as he looked up, seeing Brandistock coming down fast. “What’s going on?”

“A monster equipped with Brandistock can attack twice during the battle phase,” explained Lightning. “And since your trap only works once per turn, that means by the end of this turn the field will be snake free!”

“Grr, I was hoping to save this for later,” muttered Strike as he activated another trap card. “This card is called Ambush Fangs and can only be activated when you attack one of my Venom monsters. It negates the attack and ends the battle phase. And for the cherry on top, it places a Venom Counter on your monster.” A snake made of purple liquid came out of the trap card, hitting Brandistock and knocking it out of the way so that it missed Serpent completely. The liquid snake then arced in the air as it fell onto Mystletainn, wrapping itself around the dragon’s arm before biting into it.

“A…counter?” asked Lighting as her monster returned to her side of the field. “What’s it do?”

“On its own, nothing,” replied Quick Strike as he pressed the final button on his duel disk. “But with the right cards those counters become your worst nightmare. Thankfully, Metaverse allows me to get the card I need straight from the deck and activate it on the field. And that card's name is Venom Swamp!” At once the field began to change again. An almost purple liquid sprang from the ground around her, growing larger and larger until it surrounded her. Small bits of plant life began to spring up around the banks except for near the edge of the ravine where the water flowed over like a waterfall. From what Lightning could see, the same was happening to Quick Strike’s side of the field.

At first, Lightning didn’t think too much of the change. Coach Luna had played a far scarier looking field spell after all. However, her opinion changed when she noticed her dragon was flying lower to the ground. That the liquid snake around its arm had bitten him, causing the yellow scales on its body to turn purple as well. Furthermore, his attack dropped by 500! (1600)

“What did you do?” demanded Lightning.

Quick Strike gave a soft chuckle. “My field spell can be very nasty to your monster's health,” he said slowly. “As long as it's on the field, every Venom Counter on your monsters will cause them to lose 500 for each. Slowly they will succumb to the poison and, when their attack reaches zero, they will be destroyed!”

Lightning let out a sigh as she glanced over at her dragon. “Well, at least I know what I’m up against,” she said. “I’ll end my turn.” As she said this, something happened that she didn’t expect. From the swampy area came another purple liquid snake. It shot out of the water, flying towards Mystletainn and wrapping itself around its leg. “Ok, what the heck man?!?”

“Oh, it seems like I forgot to mention one other effect of my card,” said Quick Strike calmly as the token bit into Mystletainn (1100). “At the end of every turn, all non-Venom monsters get a counter.”

“A gift that keeps on giving,” growled Lightning as she glanced at her monster.

Turn 3: Quick Strike

“You know it,” he laughed while drawing his card. (hand: 1). “Here’s another gift that keeps on giving. You remember Sinister Serpent? Well, during the standby phase, if he’s in my graveyard I can add him to my hand. Then I’ll play the spell card: Magic Planter. By sending one face up continuous trap card to the grave I can draw two cards. So I’ll get rid of Damage = Reptiles.” Calmly, Strike drew his cards after his trap exploded. “Looks like I got the lucky draw. Field Barrier! Now, with this card in play, my field spell cannot be destroyed while this card is on the field.”

“Yeah,” sighed Lightning as she watched Quick Strike activate the card. “I sort of figured that out from the name. Looks like I’ll be stuck in this dump for a while.”

“Yes, you will,” replied Strike. “But you won’t be alone because I have plenty of scaly friends who would love to say hello. I activate my trap card: Embodiment of Apophis! This trap becomes a monster on my side of the field! (1600/1800)” Slithering onto the field was a snake man wearing armor. Armor on his chest at least for this monster didn’t have any legs, only a long tail. In one hand it held a sword and the other a shield. While neither of those were unusual weapons, Embodiment also had a snake coming out of its back which hissed loudly as bits of green liquid came out of its mouth.

“But he won’t be on the field for long, because I’m using him to tribute the second Venom Boa I just drew!” Lightning watched as the trap monster vanished with a loud hiss, quickly being replaced with another large snake. The two Venom Boa’s now rested on either side of Quick Strike, their bottom ends curled up with their heads lifting into the air. “Now the fun can begin. I activate my first Venom Boa’s effect. Once per turn he can place up to two Venom Counters on your monster.” From the Boa’s mouth fired two more purple liquid snakes. The flew across the field, attaching themselves to Lightning’s dragon before finally sinking their teeth into him. (100)

“Looks like your favorite monster isn’t feeling too well,” mocked Strike with a snicker. “Don’t worry, I’ll put it out of its misery. Venom Boa, show that oversized iguana who the real king of the reptiles are!” The second Venom Boa let out a hiss right before launching itself over the ravine. As the crowd around them cheered for the home duelist, Venom Boa wrapped itself around Mystletainn’s neck and bit into it. The dragon let out a whimper of a roar before it exploded.

Lightning Dust Life Points: 6500

“I think that should do for now,” finished Quick Strike. While Lightning couldn’t see it, she could almost feel him smirking at her.

Turn 4: Lightning Dust

The Canterlot duelist said nothing as she drew her card. (hand: 4) Ok, good news is that I know what I’m up against. That, and he used up nearly his entire hand and back row in that turn. Right now he has only two monsters with 1600 attack points. The main problem is that field spell. As long as it remains in play, my monsters will get weaker with each counter he puts on them. Making them easier to take down. So how can I… Wait a second. Why didn’t he attack me with both snakes? Curious, Lightning began quickly tapping on her duel disk, a display of her opponent’s monster being brought up with all of its effects. Well isn’t that interesting. When they use that effect they can’t attack that turn. That’s why he only attacked with one. Ok, I think I can work with this!

“I’ll start off by playing the spell card: Cards of Consonance,” she began as she inserted her card. “With it, I’ll send my dragon type tuner Dragunity Aklys to the grave in order to draw two cards.”

“That’s fine with me because you activated my trap card: Appropriate,” declared Quick Strike with a proud hiss to his voice. “Whenever you draw cards outside of your draw phase, this handy trap lets me draw two. And it’s a continuous trap meaning it's going to be sticking around for awhile.”

“Like that will matter,” replied Lightning as they both drew two cards. “Perfect. I summon Dragunity Dux in attack mode!” (1500/1000) Appearing on the field was a creature that had the body of a man but the head of a falcon with large wings on its back. The clothing he wore was white with a tiny amount of mesh on its side. “When this bad boy is Normal summoned, I get to equip him with one level two or lower Dragunity dragon type monster in the grave. Then he gets a nice boost of 200 extra attack points for every monster that’s equipped to him. Now wake up Dragunity Phalanx!” A golden light appeared on Dux’s arm which he raised to the sky. When the light faded, everyone saw that Phalanx had wrapped itself around Dux’s arm to form some sort of fist weapon.

“Now that that’s done, I activate Phalanx’s effect,” continued Lightning, grinning broadly. “Once per turn, when he’s equipped to a monster, he can special summon himself to the field.” Just like that, Phalanx let go of Dux’s arm. The small dragon then leapt down so that it was standing in the air next to Dux.

“With that, the stage is set to begin,” said Lightning as she swung her arm to the side while the excitement in her chest began to rise. Out of the corner of her eye Lightning glanced at the crowd in the stands, hoping that Rainbow and Spitfire were watching. To see what she could do! “I tune my level two tuner Dragunity Phalanx with my level four Dragunity Dux!” A pillar of light came crashing down on her side of the field, but Lightning paid it no mind. Instead she calmly removed her two monsters from her card tray while beginning her chant. “Winged beast and dragon unite their power to become a legendary spear. Fly together to pierce thy enemies like no other! Synchro summon level six: Dragunity Knight – Gae Bulg!” (2000/1100) Shooting out of the pillar of light, faster than a rocket, was a white blur. It zipped this way and that, the crowd gasping in wonder at what they were about to see.

The light eventually stopped above Lightning, revealing it to be a dragon. It’s body was covered in white, heavy armor so that it was hard to see the purple skin beneath it. The dragon had two thin arms, but no feet or legs, only a long tail similar to a snake’s. It’s head was shaped like a trident with golden covered edges on the sides. Finally, Dux seemed to be riding the dragon who was also clad in heavier armor than he was before.

“What the,” stammered Sparkle Sunshine as she took in the sight of this new dragon as it flew around the field. After slamming her foot to the ground she looked at her teammates who, for the most part, looked as shocked as she was. “But…But they’re from Canterlot! That school doesn’t allow their students to use extra deck monsters other than fusions!”

“Apparently they changed those rules,” said Breaburn, who was the only one to not appear surprised. He just stood there, arms folded across his chest, as he looked on at what was happening before them.

“I don’t believe it,” growled Sparkle, grinding her teeth as she spoke. “I just don’t believe it!”

“Calm down,” said Breaburn without looking at the little brat besides him. “If you keep acting like that your fans will leave you.”

“My fans leave me?” said Sparkle in a false shocked tone, placing a hand over her chest. “Like that would ever happen. I am simply too cute and too talented for any of my fans to ever consider abandoning.” She then lowered her hand, slightly frowning as she did. “That said, all that anger might do something to ruin my adorableness. That would be such a shame. But I will admit that you’re right about one thing, there’s no reason to be upset. I might not like Quick Strike for being the puny, ugly thing that he is but I can’t deny his skills as a duelist. Even duelists from Crystal Prep begin to lose their nerve as his monsters poison their decks, watching their monsters withering away before them. And if that Lightning girl keeps sending out such weak monsters she’ll never stand a chance.” A grin quickly overtook the girl as she burst out a high and mighty laugh.

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” replied Breaburn, his words going unheard by the laughing girl.

“All that for such a weak monster,” sighed Quick Strike slowly as he shook his head. “That thing will barely leave a scratch.”

“Who said I was done,” replied Lightning as she reached for one of the cards in her hand. “Because you haven’t seen anything yet! I’ll equip my Knight with Dragunity Divine Lance!” At that moment, a massive lance appeared in Gae Bulg’s claws. A massive, golden spear with a sharp blade. “This wicked weapon increases the attack of my Dragunity monster by 100 times its level. Then, during my main phase, I can equip one of my Dragunity tuners in my deck to this monster. So I’ll equip him with my Dragunity Corsesca!” As Gae Bulg’s attack rose (2600) a pink dragon with a long, thin black metal nose flew out of the ravine. The small dragon wrapped itself around the end of the larger dragon’s tail.

“Ok, so you made it a little stronger,” hissed Strike, a hint of worry now in his voice.

“And he’s just going to keep getting stronger,” said Lightning as she pointed at the first Venom Boa. “Because now I attack! And when I do I activate Gae Bulg’s special ability to remove one winged beast in my graveyard, increasing my dragon’s power by the removed monsters attack points!” Gae Bulg (4100) swooped up into the air, doing a backflip, and rocketing towards Venom Boa so fast its body began to stretch and blur. The crowd gasped as Gae Bulg impaled Venom Boa on its bladed horns, creating a sonic boom in the process.

Quick Strike Life Points: 3700

“Ok,” gasped Strike. “That hurt.”

“There’s more,” Lightning with a grin. “Since I equipped Gae Bulg with Corsesca, I can add a level four or lower dragon to my hand. I’ll be taking Dragunity Partisan. That’ll do so I’ll pass it to you.” As she did, the effect of Gae Bulg ended thus returning it to its prior attack (2600). However, its attack was also lowered thanks to the effect of Venom Swamp as a counter was placed on it. (2100)

Turn 5: Quick Strike

“Alright then,” said Quick Strike as he drew. (hand: 4) “I summon Venom Serpent to the field in attack mode!” (1000/800) Rising up from the mucky waters came a large two headed green snake.

“Now to cut your dragon down to size,” continued Quick as his new monster hissed loudly. “I’ll play the spell card Venom Shot. With this card I can send one reptile monster in my deck to place two Venom Counters on your dragon. So Vennominon gets a trip to the graveyard and you get two more counters.” Lightning groaned as Quick took a card out of his deck before sending it to the graveyard. How was she supposed to know he’d have a card like that? But there was no use complaining about it now as two more purple liquid snakes attached themselves to her monster to lower its attack even more. (1100)

“Not bad, but I think we can do better,” mocked Quick Strike. “Venom Serpent, one more counter if you please.” Seconds later another counter bit into Gae Bulg causing his attack to drop even more. (600) “You’re lucky you have that equip card or else your monster would have been destroyed. Not that it matters either way, because if you thought Venom Serpent had the same restrictions as Boa does then you are sadly mistaken! In fact, Serpent, why don’t you sink your fangs into that loser of a dragon!” Serpent let out a hiss before launching itself across the ravine. Quickly it coiled itself around Gae Bulg’s neck before biting into it, destroying it on the spot.

Lightning Dust Life Points: 6100

“You’re lucky I didn’t have another winged beast in my graveyard,” growled Lightning as Serpent returned to Quick Strike’s side. “Or else this would have played differently.”

“You’re right,” agreed Quick with a nod of his head. “But the simple fact of the matter is that you didn’t and your monster was destroyed. Now time for you to meet with Venom Boa.” Boa moved faster than Lightning would have thought something of that size would. The snake quickly got close to her before wrapping itself around her body before squeezing tightly. So much so that Lightning cried out as her life points fell even more.

Lightning Dust Life Points: 4500

“Now go ahead and make your move,” said Quick Strike.

Turn 6: Lightning Dust

Oh, I’ll make a move alright, thought Lightning as she drew her card. (hand: 4) Looking down at what she just drew, she saw it was another Cards of Consonance. Hmm, I could use this card to dig a little deeper into my deck. The only problem is that I’ll also be giving snake boy over there some more cards as well. Not the position I really want to be in. Besides, I might have something better for him.

Smirking, Lightning discarded her Cards of Consonance. “I activate the effect of Dragon Ravine again,” she said proudly. “This time, I’ll add Dragunity Militum to my hand. Then I’ll summon Dragunity Partisan to the field in attack mode.” (1200/800) With that a purplish blue dragon appeared on the field, one that had a golden armored underbelly and a large blade for a nose.

“My snakes will make mince meat of that tiny thing,” stated Quick Strike.

“I don’t think so because I’m activating his effect,” countered Lightning. “When this guy is Normal summoned, I can special summon any winged beast Dragunity monsters from my hand and then equip this guy with them! And I just so happen to get one just now. Come on out: Dragunity Militum!” (1700/1200) Appearing on the field was a woman in light armor, her face hidden but her long auburn flowing freely from behind her green mask. On her back were a pair of armored butterfly wings as she carried a sword. As soon as she landed on the field, Partisan went straight and stiffened in order to become a spear which she held in one hand.

“Dragunity Militum has her own effect, allowing her to target a Dragunity monster in my spell/trap card zone and special summon it,” continued Lightning as her monster let go of the spear so that it could become the dragon once more. Without saying anything more, another pillar of light came crashing down onto the field as Lightning began her second chant. “Ancient legends of the past return with their glory on the wings of dragon. Noble rider of feathers brings greatness. Synchro Summon Level Six: Dragunity Knight – Gae Dearg!” (2400/800) Wings were the first thing to escape the pillar. Red ones with webbing like that of a dragon. With a powerful flap, a dragon in red armor and a spear-like nose appeared in the sky above Lightning.

“Before I deal you some serious damage, I’m going to activate his effect,” said Lightning. “Once per turn, I can add any dragon or winged beast from my deck to my hand. Well, as long as they’re level four or lower. So I’ll add another Dux to my hand. Then I’ll discard the other card in my hand for cost.”

After moving her cards around, Lightning pointed at Venom Boa. “Gae Dearg, nail that snake to the wall!” Her dragon let out a mighty roar as it flapped its wings. Everyone watched as it began to spin, turning into a red twister that consumed and destroyed Venom Boa with ease.

Quick Strike Life Points: 2900

“You think that’s enough to beat me?!” demanded the snake duelist.

“Hey, I can keep this up all day,” replied Lightning with a shrug. “You keep bringing out those weak snakes and I’ll keep summoning dragons to rip them to shreds. So go on, make your move.” As Lightning said this, another liquid purple snake rose from the water to bite her Dragunity Knight. (1900)

Turn 7: Quick Strike

“I’ll show you,” hissed Quick Strike, his eyes almost seeming to glow from the shadow of his hood. (Hand: 3) “First I’ll use my Serpent’s effect to place a counter on your monster and then switch it to defense mode.” As the snake coiled up, it launched another counter at Gae Dearg to lower its attack points further. (1400) “Then I’ll set two cards before placing a monster in defense mode and end my turn.” As he ended his turn, another Venom Counter attached itself onto Lightning’s dragon causing it to cry out as the poison spread within its body. (900)

Turn 8: Lightning Dust

“Gee, wonder what that monster could be,” mocked Lightning as she drew her card. (Hand: 2) “Well, let's get this done right. I summon Dux again and use his effect to equip him with Phalanx. Then I’ll use Phalanx’s effect to summon him to the field so I can make another Synchro Summon another Dragunity Knight – Gae Bulg!” Several people in the audience began to boo loudly as the pillar of light reappeared on the field. But Lightning paid them no mind as she began to chant again, summoning a copy of her white armored dragon. Both dragons hovered above her head, ready to tear into the smaller snakes.

“Now it’s time for battle!” cried Lightning with a fist pump. “Gae Bulg will take down your Serpent while Gae Dearg will take down your face down!” Smirking, Lightning watched as Gae Bulg did another supersonic run at one of Quick Strike’s monsters, destroying it easily. Gae Dearg meanwhile impaled his face down Sinister Serpent.

“Do you really think that’ll be enough to stop me?” demanded Quick Strike, frustration appearing in his voice.

“I think so, yeah,” replied Lightning as she ended her turn. At that moment, both of her monsters were bitten by more counters. Gae Bulg (1500) let out a cry of pain as this happened while Gae Bearg (400) whimpered as it sank closer to the ground. Even with her monsters in this state, Lightning wasn’t worried about them at all. Gae Bearg was a goner, but if Quick Strike tried to attack him then he would have to deal with Gae Bulg. And with more winged beasts in her graveyard she could easily power him up to deal some serious damage.

Turn 9: Quick Strike

“I draw,” hissed Lightning’s opponent as he drew. (Hand: 1) “First, during my standby phase, Sinister Serpent returns to my hand. Then I’ll activate another Magic Planter. Since it’s unlikely you’ll be using any more draw cards, I’ll get rid of Appropriate to draw two more cards.” As the trap card vanished, Quick Strike drew his cards…and burst out laughing. “Oh, I couldn’t have asked for a better draw than this! Now you are finished!”

“Somehow I doubt that,” countered Lightning.

“Well, allow me to show you how,” began Quick Strike as he played one of his cards. “I activate the spell card: Snake Rain! By discarding one card from my hand, I can then send four reptile monsters from my deck to the grave. So I’ll discard my Sinister Serpent in order to send three Venom Cobra’s and one Venom Snake to the graveyard!”

“Is that supposed to mean something,” replied Lightning with a frown. “All you’re doing is filling up your graveyard with useless snakes.”

“Exactly!” shouted Quick Strike, taking Lightning by surprise. “I’m about to show you the true terror of my Venom deck with this: Viper’s Rebirth! As long as the only monsters in my graveyard are reptile type monsters, I can special summon one non-tuner monster in my graveyard. So please, everybody bow to Vennominon the King of Poisonous Snakes!” (0/0) The crowd went wild as a creature rose from the swampy waters. It was a snake man of sorts, dressed in fine robes that didn’t hide his long, snake like body. It had arms which ended in a cluster of snakes that slithered this way and that as the face stared at Lightning with red glowing eyes.

“At first, the King might not seem all that powerful,” began Quick Strike as he gestured to his hissing monster. “But, for every reptile in my graveyard, he gains 500 attack points. And right now I have eight.”

“Crap,” swore Lightning as she watched Vennominon’s power rise. (4000)

Quick Strike chuckled. “Time to put another puny dragon in its place. Vennominon, destroy Gae Bearg!” Vennominon raised its arms, the dozens of snake heads on it pointing at Lightning’s weakened monster. At once they began to spray an ugly black liquid at the weakened red dragon, melting him on the spot.

Lightning Dust Life Points: 900

“With that, I end my turn and due to the effects of Viper’s Rebirth my Vennominon is destroyed,” laughed Quick Strike as his sole monster exploded. But, as the explosion faded from sight, one of his face down cards revealed itself. “But that doesn’t mean I’m defenseless. Because when Vennominon is destroyed by any way other than battle, I can activate the trap Rise of the Snake Deity! With this I can summon my ultimate monster which stands above all others: Vennominaga the Deity of Poisonous Snakes!” (0/0) The crowd began to cheer wildly as a new monster rose from the waters, a few even screaming in terror. What appeared was a medusa-like creature, woman with snake hair and all that. Her skin was a pale bluish purple and the lower half of her body was that of a snake. Her arms were freaky as they were snakes themselves.

“Great,” muttered Lightning as she watched Vennominaga’s attack rise. (4500) As Gae Bulg got another counter (1000) the Canterlot duelist mused that it must have an effect similar to that of Vennominon. The good news was that Sinister Serpent would be returning to Quick Strike’s hand during his next standby phase, lowering its attack. The bad news was it wouldn’t be enough.

Thankfully, attack points weren’t everything.

Turn 10: Lightning Dust

“I draw,” she announced as she drew her card. (Hand: 2) Slowly she looked at the card she had just drawn, a trap card named Spiritual Wind Art – Miyabi. An ok card, but not the one she needed. Luckily for her, she knew how to get it. “Time to get that snake off the field. I activate the effect of Dragon Ravine again, discarding the Dragunity Couse in my hand to add another copy of Dux to my hand. Then I’ll summon Dux and use his effect to equip Couse to him.” As Dux raised his arm into the air, a blue dragon in black armor flew out of the ravine and attached itself to his arm.

“Let me guess, he can special summon himself too?” asked Quick Strike.

“Got it in one,” answered Lightning as Couse appeared on the field next to Dux. “Now I’ll tune my level two tuner Dragunity Couse with my level four Dragunity Dux!” Another pillar of light slammed down on the field, getting no reaction from the crowd. Out of the corner of her eye, Lightning could see them leaning back with bored looks on their faces. Well, she would certainly change that. “The twilight of battle has arrived at long last. Rider and dragon cut their own path to achieve ultimate victory! Synchro Summon Level 6: Dragunity Knight – Luin!” (1200/1900) Appearing on the field was a dragon that was less impressive than her others. It was a blue skinned dragon wearing purple armor with a horn that looked more like a switchblade.

Quick Strike chuckled at the sight. “You know this is pointless, right? A monster that weak will never stand a chance against my monster.”

“Hey, this card was given to me by my teammate,” said Lightning, her eyes narrowing. “Along with some of the newer cards in this deck. And I’m going to use them to take you down for another teammate!”

“Let me guess, that loser who faced off against Troubleshoes?” asked Quick Strike.

Lightning’s eyes narrowed to a dangerous level. “You’ll pay for calling him that,” she all but snarled. Lightning then thrust a hand forward. “When Luin is summoned, she can equip one Dragunity monster in the graveyard to herself. So return Couse. Then unequip yourself.” Now, Lightning had three dragons on her side of the field. “Couse has one other effect. See, he can be treated as a level two tuner monster or a level four. So now I’m going to use that effect to tune my level four tuner Dragunity Couse with my level six Dragunity Knight – Luin to create one of the most powerful monsters in my deck!” Another pillar slammed in front of her. However, as she began to chant the white light of the pillar began to change. It became a golden, radiant light that many had to shield their eyes with their hands. But Lightning kept looking forward as she chanted. “Through trial and unity a new height has been reached. Now shine with a brilliance beyond the light of the sun! Synchro Summon Level Ten: Dragunity Knight – Ascalon!” (3300/3200)

Gradually the pillar began to fade, but the golden light did not. It came from a dragon with six wings, wearing armor the color of the sun that gave off the same light. Its long body was like a spear with the head looking like a trident as a winged man rode on it.

“Ascalon, time to show your stuff,” announced Lightning as she removed Dux from her grave. “By removing one of my winged beasts from my graveyard, I can also remove one of your monsters from play! So that snake lady is out of here!” The light from the armor began to glow all the brighter until it blinded everyone in sight. But, when it faded, Vennominaga was still there. “What?”

“That was a good idea,” said Quick Strike. “However, Vennominaga is a deity. A goddess of snakes. Do you really think she earned such a title by being easy to destroy? No. On top of her massive attack power, she is immune to the effects of all spells, traps, and monster effects. Meaning the only way you can destroy her is to defeat her in battle. Futile really since she can revive herself instantly by removing one of her subjects from the grave.”

“So that move didn’t work,” snapped Lightning, feeling irritated. “I still have other moves I can do. I’ll switch Gae Bulg to defense mode and-” As Lightning touched the monster on her tray, a realization came over her. She looked over at the crowd and realized that they had come to the same thought. It…It was over. Once she ended her turn, both her monsters would lose 500 more attack points. Even if Vennominaga lost 500 attack points, once it attacked her she would take 1200 points of damage. More than enough to cost her the match. She couldn’t switch her Ascalon to defense mode because it was too late.

There was nothing she could do.

“Don’t you dare give up Lightning!” came a familiar sounding voice. Looking over at the crowd, Lightning could see her rainbow haired rival/friend standing up with her hands next to her mouth. “You can still win this!”

As Lightning blinked in surprise, another voice shouted to her. “Come on, you got this!” shouted Pharynx followed by the rest of her team. All of them, even four eyes and that green skinned girl were cheering her on with all their might. The only ones to do so if the entire field.

A small smile appeared on Lightning’s face. It was a touching move. But, in all honesty, there was nothing she could do. She had been reckless, not pausing to look at the monster’s effect before summoning her best monster. Didn’t they know that once the Swamp’s effect kicked in that-

Another burst of realization hit Lightning like, well, a lightning bolt. Her eyes went wide as she looked back at the field before a smug smile appeared on her face. Oh, there was a way to turn this around. It would be risky. She would take a lot of damage. But, if everything went right, then she would win this for sure!

“I’ll set this last card and end my turn,” finished Lightning as both her monsters got counters placed on them.”

Turn 11: Quick Strike

“It’s a little disappointing,” sighed Quick Strike as he drew his card. (Hand: 1) “I had hoped to use my monster’s instant win effect to ensure my teams victory. But it seems that even you realize that once it attacks the duel is over. Oh well. My Sinister Serpent returns to my hand, lowering my Vennominaga’s attack.” (4000) With a sigh, he shook his head. “Oh well, can’t have everything. Vennominaga, destroy that golden loser and end this duel!”

As Vennominaga’s snake hands opened their mouth’s, Lightning pressed a button on her duel disk. “Not so fast, I activate my trap card!”

“What good will that do?” demanded Quick Strike. “I already told you that traps have no effect on my monster!”

“I’m not using it on your monster, but on your field!” shouted Lightning, much to both Quick Strike as well as the crowds shock. “See, I know that Field Barrier protects your Swamp from being destroyed. But Spiritual Wind Art – Miyabi won’t destroy it. It’ll send it to the bottom of your deck, bypassing the protection that spell card provides. And all I have to do is tribute a wind monster. Gae Bulg, it’s time to drain the swamp!”

“No!” shouted Quick Strike. But it was already too late as Gae Bulg began to spin around the field leaving behind a trail of green wind. Faster and faster he went, until a twister was formed which sucked up all of the dreaded water around them into the air. Gae Bulg then turned, flying towards Quick Strike and slamming right into his deck. Everyone watched as the swamp seemed to be sucked into Quick Strikes deck as the smaller teen flailed his arm about as if trying to stop it. However, nothing he could do could stop the field from becoming a desert once more.

“Now with that field spell gone, the effects of your counters are history!” shouted Lightning as she pumped her fist, her remaining dragon regaining all of its lost attack points.

“You’ll pay for that!” yelled Quick Strike as Vennominaga continued her attack, her arms extending across the field to bite into Ascalon.

Lightning Dust Life Points: 200

“So you managed to survive,” spat Quick Strike as he kicked the ground in front of him. “Big deal. When my monster does damage, you get a Hyper Venom Counter placed on you. One more and you instantly lose the duel! Not like that’ll matter because now you’re defenseless and-” Quick Strike cut off as he noticed clouds forming above their heads, swirling directly above Lightning’s side of the field.

“Whoever said I was defenseless?” asked Lightning. “When you destroyed Ascalon, you activated his other effect. An effect that allows me to special summon an Drauntiy monster in my extra deck and special summon him. And that summoning counts as a Synchro Summon. Now meet the original boss monster of my deck: Dragunity Knight – Barcha!” (2000/1200) Coming out of the clouds was another large dragon, one with purple skin wearing green armor. Its face was white as well as having a chin that was more like a pointed spear. The serpent creature let out a massive roar, forcing Quick Strike back a step or two.

“Like…Like that will help you out,” said Quick Strike as he collected himself. “It’s not strong enough-”

“Right now, your right,” interrupted Lightning. “But this dragon, he has the power to help make all the sacrifices in this duel worth it. He takes all the dragons in my grave and equips them to himself, gaining 300 extra attack points from each. So I’ll equip him with Luin, Brandistock, Couse, Phalanx, and Darkspear!” As she spoke, five different colored lights came out of the ravine and connected with Barcha’s armor. As it did, the dragon’s armor grew more spikes and blades while its attack rose. (3500) “But that’s not all. Remember that my dragons also give the monster they are equipped to extra effects. Like Luin who gives my Dragunity Knight an extra 1000 attack points!” (4500)

“Gr, fine,” snapped Quick Strike. “I end my turn. Sure I’ll take some damage, but my monster will defeat you in the end!”

Turn 12: Lightning Dust

“We’ll see,” said Lightning as she drew. She looked at her card…and smiled. “First, I’ll unequip Phalanx and special summon him in defense mode.” As her smaller dragon appeared on the field, Barcha lost some of its attack. (4200) “Then I’ll equip him with this: Mage Power! This card will increase the attack power of my monster by 500 for every spell and trap card I control. Giving me a total of…” Lightning let her words hang as Barcha began to grow, each of the equip cards on him raising his power as well at the field. (7200)

“N-N-No way,” stammered Quick Strike, dropping the cards in his hand as he looked at the giant face of the dragon.

“You mocked my dragons this entire duel,” said Lightning. “And what’s more, you mocked someone who has been a real friend to me. You deserve this. Dragunity Knight – Barcha, end this!” With that, Lightning’s dragon took a deep breath before exhaling, sending a massive gust of wind shaped like a giant sickle at Vennominon, slicing her in two and knocking Quick Strike onto his back.

Quick Strike Life Points: 0