"Alright!" an extremely psyched Joey exclaimed as he gave a fist pump. "With these new cards, my deck is 10x better! Thanks Yug!" The gang was at Mr. Moto's game shop checking out the latest shipment of Duel Monsters cards that weren't even on the shelf yet. Grandpa Moto had allowed Yugi and Joey to get first dibs on these new cards.
"I agree Joey, these cards certainly are powerful…but you have to make sure you know how to use…." Yugi started to say, but Joey interrupted. "Dun worry 'bout it Yug, I know what I'm doin'. These cards fit perfectly in my deck!"
Yugi shrugged, "if you say so." Yugi wasn't the only one not convinced..Mai, Tea, Tristan and Serenity all let out a sigh. "Some people will never change" Mai muttered under her breath. "Hey, I heard dat!"
Never the one to be pessimistic, Joey was full of confidence. This time was no different, with brand new cards just waiting to be played, he couldn't wait to use them. His optimism coupled by his friend's doubt made him more determined than ever to prove himself correct. "You know what guys, I'm so sure that these new cards will make my deck that much better, that I'm…..going to challenge Kaiba!"
They all stared at him, wide-eyed. Tea was the first one to break the silence, "I'm not sure if that's such a good idea…I mean you know how that guy is, he'll never just randomly accept a challenge. I don't even think Kaiba duels for the fun of it nowadays anyway." Tristan chimed in, "Yea, dude it's all about Kaiba Corp to him, day and night. There's no way he would agree to a fun duel with you."
"Fun duel! I'm going to prove to him that I'm the number 2 duelist in the world, right behind Yugi by beating that moneybags!" Joey countered. "I'll finally have him realize that all those times in the past, he's just been lucky beating me!"
As Joey continued on with his daydream, the group just rolled their eyes. They all knew that while Joey was a good duelist, he wasn't exactly 'Kaiba-level' good. Of course, they would never say that aloud. "I believe in you Joey!" It was Serenity, once again giving her brother support. Joey hugged her and gave the rest of the group a glare with his hands on his hips, "I knew somebody would see this my way".
"So…how do you plan on presenting Kaiba with…this challenge?" Yugi wondered. It wasn't as if they could just march up to Kaiba Corp and demand to see Kaiba for a game a Duel Monsters. That would be a sure way to get kicked right back out.
"What do ya mean? I'll just challenge him at school tomorrow..." Joey began, and then started to snicker. "In a place where there'll be a lot of people around…that way he can't say no, otherwise everyone is gonna think he's scared of me!"
"Kaiba I challenge you to a duel!" Joey stood right in front of the CEO's deck in the classroom before class stated, pointing his finger at him. But he wasn't met with a response. Kaiba merely looked at him out of the corner of his eye, and then resumed reading several company papers. "Hey answer me! And wipe dat smug look off ya face!" Joey was ready to pounce and Kaiba hasn't even done anything. Yugi and Tristan restrained him.
"Joey, see told you this was a bad idea." Tristan flatly stated.
"Kaiba, could you at least answer him and get this over with? Everyone here is looking at us." Yugi semi-whispered to the young CEO.
Without looking up, Kaiba gave his answer, "No."
"Well, not that's done with, let's get out of here…" Yugi tried to push back to his seat, but to no avail. "Yug, I ain't goin' anywhere till this jerk accepts!" Joey complained. "What da matta moneybags? Scared, ya? You musta learned dat my improved deck is scary good!"
At this point, the whole 'challenge' had attracted quite a crowd in the class. With Yugi and Tristan trying to get Joey away from Kaiba, Tea and Serenity just stood back, too embarrassed to associate themselves with the ruckus. "I don't have time to deal with simpletons like you…if I received a penny each time I get challenged…I'd be a millionaire" Kaiba mused. "Oh wait, I am."
"Why you!" Joey once again had to be held back by Yugi and Tristan. "Just admit it, you're scared of losing to me!"
"Me? Lose to you? Not in this lifetime, you mutt. If you haven't realized, I have a company to run. No time to play with dogs" Kaiba's retort was met with 'ooohs' and 'awwws' from the class. Once again, Kaiba was pressing all the right buttons to get Joey infuriated.
"Mr. Kaiba, would you please just accept my brother's request for a game? I know you're busy and all, but how much can one duel take out of your schedule?" A small voice stated. Kaiba looked over. 'Hmm…it's the mutt's sister…what was her name? I remember her faintly from Battle City…Oh yes, that's right…Serenity Wheeler' Kaiba's eyes studied the person who just spoke up, long auburn colored hair, big hazel eyes. He failed to see any sort of resemblance she had with her brother.
"How cute…a dog who can't fight his own battles."
"Arrgghh! Says da guy who's too scared to duel me! Serenity, don't waste your time wit dis jerk, I got this."
"Tell me…aside from the pleasure of humiliating you once again, what's in it for me? I suggest you don't answer me until you come up with a good and persuasive enough reason." Kaiba finally started to show a remote interest in the challenge.
It didn't take long for Joey to respond however. It was all instinct and emotion. "Anything! I'll agree to anything you say…" Everyone just gawked at him. "…so long as dat something doesn't involve killing, drugs, robbing a bank, giving you all mah cards…."
"Save it Wheeler…I promise that whatever I'll have in mind won't be anything against the law…Kaiba Corp, 7 PM. If you're late, you've lost your chance."
"Joey, are out of your mind? How could you just agree to Kaiba's open-conditions like that?" Tea was both angry and puzzled. Tristan gave her shoulder a pat, "Don't worry about it…what's the worst that can happen, Kaiba will probably just have Joey dress up in a dog costume!" His remark quickly earned him a headlock from Joey.
After a few seconds, Joey let go of his friend's neck. "You guys are all forgettin' dat whatever these conditions are, it won't matta, cuz I ain't losin'!" Joey proudly stated with his chest up"
"That's the spirit Joey! Show him the heart of a true duelist!" Yugi cheered. Tea just dropped her head. "I hope for your own sake you know what you're getting yourself into…"
It was 5 PM, Kaiba just sat there in his office, not even bothering to fix his deck. He was busy thinking what he could do after he would emerge victorious…again. Although it had been a good while since he's touched his cards at all, Kaiba knew that against a duelist like Joey Wheeler, it wouldn't take too much effort. Even after such a long hiatus, there was never a single doubt that he wouldn't win. 'What could I do to make his life miserable? Have him eat dog food? No, that satisfaction would not nearly last long enough…and knowing him..he might even enjoy it…Should I rip up his Red Eyes? No, there's no point destroying such an inferior card…'
And then all of a sudden it struck him. His mind flashed back to earlier in the day when Joey made the challenge. He recalled his sister speaking up to him. 'Who does she think she is…she wasn't even involved in the conversation!' Although not acquainted to Serenity, Kaiba knew how important she was to Joey. 'Hmm…I know exactly what I want know when I win…'
Joey took the lead, as he led the group to Kaiba Corp. "Here we are money bags!" Kaiba was already standing there waiting. Kaiba didn't say anything, instead he just motioned for them to follow him simply by moving his head.
He led them to an arena, holding Kaiba Corp's latest creation. It was a gigantic dueling platform with cutting edge technology. They all just gasped, amazed at what they were witnessing. Kaiba smirked, "You should be honored, to be the first public people to witness this." He then directed his attention to Joey. "Sign this contract…if I win, it'll bind you legally to do as it says…but shall I lose, I will call for a nationwide press conference acknowledging you as the better duelist…"
Before anyone could even speak, Joey had already signed the paper. Kaiba's promise of publically announcing him to be superior was far too enticing to him to wait. "Joey! You have any idea what you just signed!" Joey turned around to see Yugi, Tea, Tristan and Serenity all screaming at him.
"Yea dude, you don't even know what Kaiba wants from you. Why did you sign that so quickly?" Tristan asked.
Joey reassuringly just waved his hand. "How bad can it be…he just….WHAT?" He read over the stipulation. "You WHAT? No way I agree to this!"
"Too late, mutt…you've already signed…and if you don't uphold your end of the bargain…guess who's getting sued? But then again, I can't exactly expect dogs to know how to read, right?"
"What does Kaiba want, Joey?" There was concern in Yugi's voice. Based on his friend's reaction, he knew that Kaiba was up to no good. He didn't get a response, Joey just stood there frozen, unable to move.
"Kaiba! What did you put in that contract!" Tea yelled.
"It's simple…WHEN I win, I get so-called 'custody' of Ms. Serenity Wheeler over there" Kaiba looked over at Serenity, who gasped at the mention of her name. "..for 6 months…"