The Heart of the Cards.

Long ago, when the pyramids were still young, Egyptian kings played a game of great and terrible power. But these 'shadow games' erupted into a war that threatened to destroy the entire world, until a brave and powerful pharaoh locked the magic away...

Imprisoning it within the mystical Millennium Items...

Now, five thousand years later, a boy named Yugi unlocks the secret of the Millennium Puzzle. He is infused with ancient magical energies, for destiny has chosen him to defend the world from the return of the shadow games, just as the brave pharaoh did...

Five thousand years ago.

~Narrator's POV.~

"Hey, Joey! Earth to Joey!"

I opened my eyes, to find myself still in class and watching two of my friends playing Duel Monsters. I must have dozed off while Joey was still deciding on his next move.

Oh, hello there. Where did you come from? Pleasure to meet you. My name is Eleanor Hale. I'm 16 years old, and... Well... I'm not really a 'normal' high school student. Well, actually, no-one is never normal. And I am no exception.

You see, my mother used to tell me that I was born with a very rare skin condition. That only one of a million people can get. This birth defect gives me my unique appearance.

I have pale blue skin, that makes me look like a shining star. My figure is quite slender for my age. Pastel blue hair is average length that spikes outward, with bangs that frame my face. Pointed, elf-like ears. And my eyes are a malachite green, but I have no pupils or irises. I hide my eyes under a pair of black-rimmed glasses. Also, I have a bad case of nearsightedness.

I know. I'm very odd, and I was bullied for this. Until I met my four friends and everything changed. Let me introduce you to my friends.

First, we have Yugi Muto. He was the first friend I made, and it was during our childhood. He's quite short for his age. Excluding his spiky, tri-colored hair, Yugi barely reaches my shoulders.

Yeah, I'm quite short for my age too. So sue me.

Yugi's hair is black with a magenta sheen, with blonde bangs that take the shape of lightning bolts. His eyes are an innocent and timid violet.

Yugi was the first person to talk to me, without grabbing me and threatening to punch me unconscious. He and I got to know each other, and we bonded over how much we had in common. Small world. Heck, I even protected him from a couple of bullies, one time. We've been close friends since.

Then, we have Téa Gardner. She's also Yugi's childhood friend. But, she sticks up for us by using her words. She's quite tall compared to me. My head reaches just at her shoulders. Her layered hair is a dark brunette. And her eyes are a deep blue. Not much different from a regular girl.

I met Téa through Yugi. Yugi kept telling I how smart and friendly I was, and Téa just smiled at me. Once she and I got some alone time, I told her my half of the story, and assured her I was a nice person. I still am. She reassured me that I was okay in her book, and she said that my blue skin made me look pretty and unique.

And now, we have Joey Wheeler. Tough guy with a touchy temper, but he's a very friendly and funny guy, once you get to know him. His dirty blonde hair is in a sporadic style, and his eyes are a dark brown. Pretty normal guy, right? Not so much. You see, he keeps this 'tough guy' reputation with him for a reason. Let's just say his life has never been easy. And I'll just leave it at that.

Joey was one of Yugi's bullies. Always picking on him, saying that he's trying to 'toughen Yugi up'. But, Yugi hates fighting and violence. I didn't get into good terms with Joey either. Remember that I said that I defended Yugi against a couple of bullies?

Well, he was one of them. He always made fun of the way I looked, and called me 'Blue Elf'. But, after what happened with Yugi and Trudge, Joey changed his views and became good friends with Yugi. Joey also apologized to me, and I accepted. We've been good friends since then.

And lastly, we've got Tristan Taylor. He was Joey's closest friend since childhood. Tristan's hair is a dark brunette, that is styled into one spike, similar to a shark's fin. And his eyes are a dark brown, like Joey's.

Yeesh, the only ones that look different between us are Yugi and myself. Hehehehe...

Like Joey, Tristan was one of Yugi's bullies as well. And he was the second bully I protected Yugi from. Out of retaliation, I gave him a good punch in the face, and he started to respect me. And well, Tristan became friends with Yugi, and then me. He complement that, for a girl, I know how to throw a good punch.

And that's our friends.

"Hey, are you in there? It's your turn!" Yugi told Joey with a smile.

Joey was still thinking about which card to play.

Teasing, Tristan put Joey into a half-hearted neck-lock and looked over at his hand, "Aww, isn't he cute when he's thinking!"

Joey showed Tristan his cards, "He-hey, Tristan. Yugi here's teachin' me how to play Duel Monsters."

Tristan raised an eyebrow, "'Drooling Monsters'?"

"Duel Monsters, ya nimrod!" Joey corrected, pushing him away.

Tristan backed up toward Téa and myself.

"They've been at it for hours. Joey's starting to get the hang of the game, but Yugi's like an expert!" Téa explained with a smile.

"Okay, Yugi, it's time to duel!" Joey smiled, placing a card on the playing mat.

"See, each card has an attack number and a defense number. First player to eliminate their opponent's 'Life Points' wins the Duel." I explained the simplest rules to Tristan.

"Pretty good move, huh, Yugi?" Joey asked Yugi.

Yugi smiled and nodded, "Yup, pretty good move, but not, good enough!"

Yugi played a stronger monster on the mat and Joey dropped his cards as he lost the Duel.

"What?!" Joey gasped, then he looked at Yugi, "Thanks a lot! A card that powerful totally wipes me out!"

"Whoa, you stink at this game, Joey!" Tristan joked.

Joey leaned back on his chair in a pout. Yugi reassured with a smile, "Nah, you did fine, Joey." Then he explained, "I just have better cards. See, my grandpa owns a game shop, and I get all my best cards from him."

This peaked Joey's interest, as he stood up and smiled, "You're own game shop? What're we waitin' for? Let's go!"

Yugi lightly chuckled, "Okay. Maybe I can even get my grandpa to show us this super-rare card he's got!"

I smiled, "Sounds awesome, Yugi."

With that said, Yugi, Joey, Téa, Tristan and I left the school and made our way to Yugi's game shop; Game Shop. Yugi lives in the shop, with his grandfather, Solomon Muto, and myself.

I used to live with my parents a long time ago. But, something happened to them, and it caused me live with Yugi and his grandfather. I have to say I'm thankful to them. I wouldn't be able to survive the streets on my own.

We entered the shop and Yugi announced, "Grandpa? We're home!"

"And I see you've brought company!" Grandpa said with a welcoming smile.

Solomon Muto, or Grandpa, is an elder man, that shares a resemblance with Yugi. His height reaches around in between Yugi and me. He has spiky grey hair, similar style to Yugi's, with a mustache and a small beard. His eyes are a violet, just like Yugi's.

He mostly wears an orange bandanna over his head, along with a white shirt under a pair of dark blue-green overalls, and brown shoes.

"Gramps, could you show my friends your awesome, super-rare card?" Yugi asked Grandpa, as we approached the counter, that Grandpa stood behind.

"Rare card! My special card?" Grandpa asked in a comical surprise. To add suspense, he went into thought, "Hmmm..."

Yugi put his hands together, "Please, please!"

Joey bowed, "Pretty please?"

"Hmm..." Grandpa continued to think. Then he gave into temptation and laughed, "How can I refuse?" He got out a small, dark red box from behind the counter, "You kids are in for a treat. I don't take this card out too often. Ready?" Grandpa opened the box and showed us the card, "Here it is; the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. So rare, so powerful, I never let it leave my hands!"

All of us, except Tristan, gasped in awe of the card. The Blue-Eyes White Dragon truly was a powerful and rare card. It was, as its name indicates, a white dragon with blue eyes. Rumored to be a creature of pure light and only the purest of heart can tame it. With 3000 attack points, and 2500 defense power.

"A-a-awesome!" Joey gasped in awe.

"Cool." Téa smiled.

Not understanding, Tristan took the card and gave it a closer look, "Doesn't look all that special to me."

"Tristan..." I lightly warned in a stern tone.

Yugi, Joey and Téa looked at Tristan in embarrassed disbelief. Grandpa quickly snatched the card back.

"This card is priceless! There's only four of them in all the world!" Grandpa told us.

"Speakin' a' priceless, I'm ready to trade!" Joey said with a cheesy smile.

"Not for this card!" Grandpa snapped, protecting his rare card.

Joey looked at Grandpa, "Huh?" Then he reassured, "Nah, I didn't mean that card. I meant show me some other cool cards, to get me started."

Suddenly, the doorbell rang. It caught Grandpa's attention, as he put Blue-Eyes White Dragon back into its case, "Hello, can I help you?"

My friends and I turned to look at the door. A deep, raspy voice replied, "If you can't, it certainly wouldn't surprise me."

Just entering the doorway, was a tall young man, wearing the same uniform as Yugi, Tristan and Joey, and carrying a metallic briefcase. His hair was brown and his eyes were a cold blue. My eyes narrowed at the young man.

"Seto Kaiba?" Yugi identified in confusion.

"Kaiba?!" Joey exclaimed.

"Doesn't he have a big fancy company to run? What's he doing down here?" Tristan asked.

That's right. Despite being around 17 - 18 years old, Kaiba is the CEO of KaibaCorps, a big company that specializes in advanced computer technology. He inherited it from his step-father, Gosaburo Kaiba.

Hearing Tristan's question, Kaiba answered, "Not that it's any of your business, but I came to see the card."

I narrowed my eyes and folded my arms in suspicion. Is he talking about Grandpa's Blue-Eyes?

Joey smiled, "Hey, are you into Duel Monsters too? This is perfect; maybe we could all duel together sometime."

Kaiba walked into the store, "Me, duel you? I would have more of a challenge playing Solitaire."

"What?" Joey asked. Uh-oh.

"I am the number-one-ranked Duelist in the country and the favorite to win the Duel Monsters Championship." Kaiba reminded Joey in a gloat, then he scoffed, "Heh, you wouldn't last two minutes in a duel against me."

Taking his words seriously, Joey threatened Kaiba, "Ooh, I'm shakin'! Maybe you'd like to settle this with fists instead a' cards!"

Yugi ran in between his friend and Kaiba, "Whoa, take it easy, Joey!"

"But Yugi, Kaiba's askin' for it..." Joey pointed out.

"Now, does this shop have any worthwhile cards or not?" Kaiba asked.

Suddenly, he noticed Grandpa's Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Kaiba shoved Yugi into Joey, to approach the counter, ignoring their protests.

"Can it be, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, in a dump like this?!" Kaiba exclaimed, breaking into sweat, as he stared at the card.

Grandpa broke the tension, closing the lid of the box, "Well, enough window-shopping. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

Kaiba glared at Grandpa. He lifted his briefcase and slammed on the counter, startling Grandpa. Kaiba opened the case and showed Grandpa the contents. Grandpa gasped in awe.

"Listen to me, old man. Gimme your Blue-Eyes White Dragon card and I'll trade you all of these!" Kaiba told Grandpa.

My friends and I looked over and gasped in awe, well except Tristan. The case was full of strong Duel Monster cards. Is Kaiba serious?

Grandpa smiled, "Ah, nice. But no thanks."

Yugi, Joey and Téa gasped in shock, "Huh?!" While I smiled.

Kaiba was having none of it, "Ugh, fine. If you won't trade, maybe you'll sell it. Name your price; I can pay anything you ask."

"I'm sure you could. But this card is worth more to me than you could ever offer, not because of its power, or because it's so rare, but because of what it means to me." Grandpa explained with a sad smile, "This card was given to me by a dear friend; and so I treasure this card as I do that friend. So parting with it is completely out of the question!"

This made Kaiba tremble in rage and desperation.

"You'd feel the same even if it were a common card, right, Grandpa?" Yugi asked.

Grandpa nodded, "Exactly. You see, this precious card has bonded with my heart."

Kaiba closed his case, "Fine!" Then he turned to leave, "I've heard enough of your nonsense!" And Kaiba left the shop, "Senile old fool!"

I silently watched Kaiba leave the shop with narrow eyes. I saw something dark and shadow-like creeping its way out of his aura. That's not right.

Oh, I forgot to mention. I'm able to see and sense things that are un-noticed by normal people. Like an Empath, if you will.

After Kaiba's little outburst, everything just went normal. Joey bought some new cards and, basically, same-old. But, I can't help but feel something off. Kaiba is not the type to back down from getting what he wants.

*The Next Day, After School...*

Yugi, Joey, Tristan, Téa and I have just finished school, and are now on our way to Grandpa's Game Shop. Kaiba was absent today. Maybe was out on a meeting or something like that.

"Man, I hope he has some cool cards today!" Joey spoke up with a smile.

Yugi smiled back, "Me, too!"

Tristan and Téa smiled as well, "Yeah!"

Joey opened the door, the doorbell rings as normal, "Okay, Gramps, I'm back to get more cards!" But, the store was completely empty, "Hey! Hey, Gramps!"

"Grandpa, I'm home!" Yugi called.

"Mr. Muto?" I called in a worried tone. Something was wrong. The shop never usually feels this empty.

"Maybe he... went out." Téa suggested.

Joey nodded, "Maybe, but why would he leave the door unlocked?"

The phone started ringing. Yugi walked in to answer, "Hello. Game Shop." After a second of silence, Yugi gasped, "Kaiba?!"

My eyes widen is shock. Kaiba? What happened when we were at school? Does this have something to do with the shadow I sensed in his aura?

Yugi broke my train of thought, "Kaiba?! What have you done, Kaiba?!" But, he got no response. Yugi hung up the phone and looked at his friends and I, "Kaiba has Grandpa. He might've done something to him!"

"Well, what are waiting for? Let's go!" Joey encouraged.

With that, we made our way to KaibaCorps Headquarters.

*Later, that evening, in KaibaCorps Headquarters...*

Yugi, Tristan, Joey, Téa and I ran into KaibaCorps and entered the nearest elevator. The elevator took us to the top level. The doors opened and we saw Grandpa, on the floor, in pain.

Téa gasped in shock, while Yugi and I ran to the injured elder, "Grandpa!" "Mr. Muto!"

Yugi and I went to our knees. "Grandpa, a-are you okay?" Yugi asked.

Grandpa tried to prop himself up with an elbow, "Yugi, I failed. I wanted to teach that boy, Kaiba, a lesson about the Heart of the Cards, but I lost."

Grandpa's elbow gave out. Yugi gasped, "Grandpa...!"

I placed a gentle hand over Grandpa's shoulder, "Don't push yourself."

"How's the old man feeling, hm?" A familiar voice asked.

My friends and I looked and saw Kaiba, standing in front of a doorway. My eyes narrowed at the young man. His aura was no longer calm. It was completely shadow-like. It felt like the darkness within Kaiba's heart has surfaced and consumed his entire psyche.

"Kaiba! You sleaze! What have you done to him?!" Joey shouted.

"We had a duel, that's all, with each of us putting up our most valuable card as the prize." Kaiba answered in a simple tone. Then he chuckled, "But I guess playing against a champion like myself was just too much stimulation for the old fool."

"Kaiba! You should be ashamed of yourself!" Téa shouted.

"It was fair." He answered, then he showed Grandpa's Blue-Eyes White Dragon, "And look at the sweet prize I won."

Then Kaiba ripped the card in half. A surge of pain shot through me, as I placed my hand over my heart. Tristan, Joey and Téa gasped in horror.

Devastated, Yugi shouted, "Grandpa's most treasured card!"

Kaiba threw the pieces to the ground, "Yes, the Blue-Eyes White Dragon is a rare and powerful card. And this one will never be used against me."

Grandpa gasped, "My Blue-Eyes White Dragon! M-my treasure!" He tried to reach out for it, but he was in too much pain.

Yugi turned his attention to his injured grandfather, "Grandpa, hold on." Then he looked at Kaiba, "How could you do such a thing!?"

Grandpa lifted a shaking hand to Yugi, giving him a Deck of cards, "Yugi, here. Take this."

Yugi looked at him, "Huh? Grandpa..."

"I built this Deck; I put my soul in these cards. And I taught you everything I know, Yugi. Take them! Take my cards and teach him respect. Teach Kaiba respect for the Heart of the Cards, Yugi." Grandpa told him.

Yugi shook his head, "But Grandpa, you need help. I've got to get you to a doctor-"

Kaiba spoke up, "Sounds like an excuse. Your friends can care for your grandfather, while you and I duel. Unless you're afraid...?"

Yugi stared at Kaiba, on the verge of tears. His aura was flaring in fear.

Joey's words took Yugi by surprise, "Take 'im, Yugi!"

Yugi turned to his friends.

"We can take care a' your grandpa while you take care of creepy Kaiba. Teach that rich, spoiled brat what a real Duel's all about." Joey encouraged.

Téa nodded, "For your grandpa, Yugi."

"I don't know..." Yugi said.

"Trust me; you're, like, the best player I've ever seen, and you've got the Millennium Puzzle." Joey reminded, then encouraged, "You can do this, Yugi. I know ya can."

Téa nodded again, "We all do."

Yugi looked at me. I gave him a confident nod. Yugi nodded back and accepted Grandpa's Deck, "Okay, Grandpa. I'll do it."

Grandpa smiled, "I know you will, my boy."

Téa smiled, as she pulled out a black marker, "Everyone, put your hands together, and I'll mark us with a special sign."

She, the boys and I put our hands together. Téa drew a smiling star on the back of our hands. Unplussed and confused, the boys looked at their hands. I smiled in understanding.

"What gives, Téa?" Joey asked.

Téa smiled and showed her hand, "It's a symbol of our friendship. So when Yugi's dueling, no matter how tough it gets, he'll know that he's not alone. We're all right there with him."

Yugi nodded with a smile. After a few minutes of waiting, the ambulance arrived. Tristan carried Grandpa to the vehicle, via piggy-back.

Téa turned to me and Joey, "Joey, Ellie. Tristan and I will take Yugi's grandpa to the hospital. Why don't you get back in there and cheer Yugi on."

Joey nodded, "Okay! Take good care of 'im, Téa."

I nodded in agreement and followed Joey into KaibaCorps Tower. Once we got there, Joey and I were surprised of what we saw. Yugi and Kaiba were standing on two podiums, facing each other and extended over a large field, that looked similar to a Duel Monsters Play Mat.

On Kaiba's side of the Field was a large, green, hideous cyclops; Hitotsu-Me Giant. And on Yugi's side was a larger, blue dragon with wings for arms; Winged Dragon: Guardian of the Fortress. So, this is how Kaiba defeated Grandpa. Hologram simulations. How low could you go?

Joey took a step back and gasped at the sight of the monsters, "Wha-? Monsters? Real monsters?!"

I smiled in excitement, "Awesome!" This makes the game much more interesting.

Then, I sensed something odd. I looked up at Yugi's podium. It was coming from him. Yugi didn't feel like himself anymore. From what I could see, he was taller and his bangs were more defined. His aura was different too. It had a strong sense of confidence and power of authority. Kinda like an ancient king.

My eyes narrowed at my childhood friend. I've sensed that aura before. But, from where, when, why and who?

"Fireball attack!" Yugi shouted. Even his voice is different. It's deeper and more stronger. It's like he's a whole different person.

Obeying his master's command, Winged Dragon attacked Hitotsu-Me Giant with a fireball to the chest. Kaiba braced himself as the shock of the collision rocked his podium. The giant vanished and Kaiba's Life Points dropped to 1800.

"All right! Go Yugi!" Joey cheered, while I smiled and clapped my hands. So good so far.

Now, it was Kaiba's turn. He drew his next card and smiled, "Ha. Well-played, Yugi. For a beginner." He laid a card on his podium, "But how will you deal with this?"

Kaiba's next monster appeared on the Field. It was Saggi the Dark Clown. A Dark attribute Level 3 monster, with 600 attack points and around 1800 defense points. Saggi looked like a dark medieval jester with a Picasso mask. Like something that eats your dreams for breakfast. My smile faded.

"Saggi the Dark Clown?" Yugi wondered, and added, "But that card has hardly any attack strength."

Kaiba nodded, "True, your Winged Dragon's attack is fourteen-hundred, while my Dark Clown's is only six-hundred." He placed another card on to the board, "But if I combine it with this card..."

Yugi and I gasped, "Ah! A magic card!"

Kaiba nodded with a wider smirk, "Exactly. The 'Negative Energy Generator'. It multiplies my monster's attack by three."

Dark energy circled Saggi, as he grew three times his size. His attack power increased to 1800. This isn't good.

"Dark Clown, attack with Dark Light!" Kaiba told his monster.

Saggi obeyed and attacked Winged Dragon with a ball of dark energy. Winged Dragon vanished in a swirl of a black hole. Yugi's Life Points dropped to 1600.

Kaiba smiled, "As you can see, combining cards can be very effective."

Yugi was staring at Kaiba. This is bad. There's a reason why Kaiba is the number one Duelist in the country. He turns your strategy around and plays his strongest monsters last. Saggi and Negative Energy Generator is just one of his best combos.

Yugi drew a card and looked at it. He put it in his Hand and placed a card, face-down and in defense mode. Which is when you place your monster in landscape, than portrait. Portrait is attack mode. The center of Yugi's Field glowed.

I narrowed my eyes, "Kaiba has Yugi on the ropes."

Joey looked at me, "That's a bad thing?"

I nodded and pushed my glasses up my nose, "Saggi has 1800 attack power, which is very high for a low-level monster. Until Yugi can draw a monster with a higher attack level, all he can do now is play defensive."

Kaiba shouted, "Dark Light attack!"

Yugi's defensive monster, Sangan, was destroyed in seconds.

Joey pounded his fists on the stone rail, "Hang in there, Yugi!"

Saggi continued destroying Yugi's defensive monsters, one after another. Yugi wasn't looking too good. He has to find a stronger monster, and quickly.

"You're not faring any better than the old man did, Yugi. Your deck is just as weak and feeble as your grandfather!" Kaiba insulted Yugi.

My hands balled into fists of anger.

"My grandpa is a great man, and a better Duelist than you'll ever be! He entrusted me with his cards, and I can feel his heart in this Deck." Yugi replied, "I doubt you have that kind of faith in your cards, Kaiba!"

Kaiba's smile faded, "Wha?"

I smiled at Yugi's new-found confidence. Whatever has gotten to Yugi, maybe, is a good thing.

Yugi put his hand over his Deck, "But I believe in my grandpa's Deck!" He drew his next card and smiled, "And my faith rewards me with Gaia the Fierce Knight! With a destructive power of twenty-three-hundred!"

Gaia the Fierce Knight appeared on the Field. Gaia was a jousting knight, riding a large, purple horse, and held two lancers, one in each hand.

Gaia charged to Saggi and destroyed him. Saggi disappeared and Kaiba's Life Points dropped to 1300. I smiled. Yugi made an amazing come back.

Joey cheered with a smile, "Way to go, Yugi!"

Yugi smiled, "All right, Kaiba, your move."

Kaiba regained his smile, "Ha. This'll be over sooner than you think." He drew his next card and smirked, "I call on the Blue-Eyes White Dragon!"

A Blue-Eyes White Dragon appeared on the Field and roared at Gaia with supremacy. Its appearance made Yugi, Joey and I to take a step back in shock. I knew Kaiba was hiding something strong in his Deck, that he hardly let anyone know. But, I wasn't expecting a Blue-Eyes White Dragon.

Yugi gasped, "Huh? No way!"

"Impossible! We all watched Kaiba tear that card in half!" Joey shouted.

I calmed down and grimaced, "Just as I feared."

Joey looked at me, "You knew?!"

I nodded, "Remember Mr. Muto saying that there were only four Blue-Eyes White Dragon cards in the world?"

"Surprised? Did you think your grandfather was the only one to possess a Blue-Eyes White Dragon?" Kaiba asked Yugi.

The Blue-Eyes White Dragon roared and attacked Gaia with white-blue lightning. Gaia vanished in the blast.

Kaiba chuckled, "Ha, your Fierce Knight is destroyed!" Yugi's Life Points dropped to 900, "Faith or no faith, you will fall before my superior monsters, Yugi. Power is what this game is all about, you fool. Faith is for losers like your pathetic grandfather!"

Yugi tried to play defensive again, but the dragon destroyed each of them.

Kaiba gloated, "In your entire deck, there's not a single card that can stand up to a Blue-Eyes White Dragon! So what hope do you have against two?"

Another Blue-Eyes White Dragon appeared next to its brother. My hands balled in fists. Yugi can't give up to Kaiba. No matter if he has two Blue-Eyes.

"Why don't you just admit defeat, Yugi." Kaiba told Yugi.

Yugi was staring at the dragons in silence. His aura was wavering. I hate seeing Yugi like this, no matter how different he looks.

"You can't give up, Yugi! Grandpa is counting on you! You can beat him, I know you can!" I encouraged.

Yugi looked at me. Even his face was different. More intimidating, and stronger. He nodded at me with a small smile, then drew his next card.

He announced, "'Swords of Revealing Light'! It stops all monsters on the field for three turns!"

Swords of light appeared and rained down upon the dragons. The swords trapped them in a paralyzing prison.

Kaiba smirked, "How desperate! What possible good will a three-turn delay do you?"

I growled in frustration. Kaiba was getting under Yugi's skin. This isn't fair. By the looks of Kaiba's aura, the shadow was growing stronger. He was enjoying this duel and talking Yugi down.

Joey looked over to me, "Ellie, does Yugi really have a chance against two of those dragons?"

I pushed my glasses up my nose, "I really don't know, Joey. Kaiba's good, but his strategy throughout this Duel has been overpowering his opponent and talking Yugi down." I answered, "Mr. Muto's Deck is not bad, but Yugi's never worked with it. Sometimes cards are like a puzzle. You just need to put the cards in their rightful place."

I closed my eyes and thought back about Grandpa's lessons. Then a memory hit me.


Yugi, Grandpa and I were around the counter of Game Shop, and Grandpa was giving a lesson about a certain monster.

"Duel Monsters contains only one unstoppable monster; Exodia. But he can only be summoned by drawing all five special cards. A feat that to this very day, no one has ever accomplished." He explained.

*Flashback End*

"Quit your stalling, Yugi, or you will forfeit the match!" Kaiba shouted, snapping me back to reality.

"I never forfeit!" Yugi answered.

He drew his next card. I noticed his eyes widen. Yugi must've figured something out. He put a card face-down and in defense mode. Then it was Kaiba's turn.

Kaiba smirked, "Draw any card you like, it won't change a thing! My dragons may be frozen for another two turns, but my new monster is under no such spell!" He played a card and an ogre in medieval judge-warrior clothing appeared on the Field, "The Judge Man, with an attack power of twenty-two hundred!"

The Judge Man attacked Yugi's monster and destroyed it. Then it was Yugi's turn again. He drew a card and gasped. He played the card he drew in attack mode, which was a magician in layered armor.

I narrowed my eyes at the magician. His face looked familiar somewhere. Just like Yugi's.

I gasped in recognition, "That's Dark Magician!"

Joey looked at me, "That's a good thing, right?"

I nodded, "For the time being. Dark Magician is the most powerful sorcerer in Duel Monsters."

"Dark Magician, attack!" Yugi instructed.

Dark Magician thrust his hand at Judge Man. A powerful pulse of dark energy struck Judge Man and the ogre shattered like glass. Kaiba's Life Points dropped to 1000.

"Your Judge Man falls!" Yugi announced.

Kaiba just smiled, "Oh... A sacrifice that doesn't even faze me." Then he drew his next card, "And though neither dragon can move for one more turn." He looked at Yugi, his smile growing tighter, "My next card is... the third Blue-Eyes White Dragon!"

In unison, Yugi and I took a step back in shock as the third dragon appeared on the Field with a loud cry. That's impossible! Kaiba had the remaining three Blue Eyes White Dragons the whole time? How?! When?! Where?! Why?! What?! Who?!

"Now, my dragon, attack!" Kaiba ordered.

The mobile dragon fired a stream of white lightning-fire at Dark Magician. Dark Magician braced himself and was vaporized by the attack. Yugi's Life Points hit 400.

"So tell me, Yugi. How's your faith now?" Kaiba asked Yugi with dark smile, "On my next turn, all three Blue-Eyes White Dragons are free to attack. This game's over no matter what card you draw! You can't possibly stand against my three Blue-Eyes White Dragons. It's over, Yugi; you were never a match for me!"

"Don' listen, Yugi!" Joey shouted.

My eyes never left Yugi since Kaiba's turn ended. His aura was wavering and the confidence was slipping from him. If I'm not mistaken, Grandpa's Deck has Exodia hidden inside. So far Yugi has kept four cards in his Hand. That must mean he has only one card to go. But that's a lot of cards to draw next.

'I don't think I can do this...!' I heard Yugi's normal voice from inside my head, as something powerful surged through me. How did I do that?

I closed my eyes and saw a black area. Yugi was reaching from the Deck, but it was shy-ing away from his hand, before he can draw the card.

Yugi noticed and gasped, "The Deck! It senses my doubt!"

Then Yugi split into two different sides of himself. Yugi was panicking and the other Yugi was having trouble staying calm.

"Don't lose focus, Yugi, don't lose faith! Concentrate!" The other Yugi assured Yugi, as they became one again.

He looked at his hand and gasped, 'Our friendship symbol!'

I reach out my hand to Yugi's Deck, alongside the specters of our friends. The specters and I looked at Yugi and smiled.

"Yugi, we're all right here with you." Téa's specter encouraged.

"Yugi, you've got to believe in yourself." Tristan's added.

"Never give up, okay?" I supported.

Joey's specter smiled, "You can do it. Just kick Kaiba's butt!"

Yugi regained his confidence and smiled, "They're right. I've got to believe in the cards like my friends believe in me!"

I opened my eyes, finding myself next to Joey and smiled.

"Draw your last pathetic card, so I can end this, Yugi!" Kaiba told Yugi.

Yugi smirked, "My grandpa's Deck has no pathetic cards, Kaiba. But it does contain..." He drew his next card and showed it to Kaiba, "The unstoppable Exodia!"

Shocked, Kaiba screamed and shouted, "Impossible!"

"I've assembled all five special cards, all five pieces of the puzzle." Yugi announced, as Exodia appeared on the Field via a star-like seal.

Exodia was a giant of a Duel Monster. He towered over the three Blue-Eyes White Dragons. He looked like a hybrid of a zombie and a statue of an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh. Rumor has it that Exodia was sealed away due to being very powerful and very dangerous.

"Exodia!" Kaiba stuttered, as he stumbled on his podium, "I-it's not possible! No one's ever been able to call him!"

"Exodia... Obliterate!" Yugi instructed.

Exodia obeyed and fired a blast of powerful energy at the three dragons. Kaiba screamed as his Life Points dropped to 0. Yugi won the match.

Joey smiled and cheered, "Ya did it! Yugi, you won!"

I smiled and clapped my hands in happiness and relief.

"You play only for power, Kaiba, and that is why you lost." Yugi told Kaiba, "But if you put your heart in the game, there is nothing you can't do."

Kaiba leaned over the podium in shock, "But- but how?! How could I have lost to him!"

"Kaiba... If you truly want to know..." Yugi started. I noticed an eye symbol glowing on his forehead, as Yugi extended his hand to Kaiba, "Open your mind!"

Yugi's aura flared and the shadow of Kaiba's aura disappeared in a blink. Kaiba gasped and fell to his knees.

Yugi lowered his hand and smiled, "There, Kaiba. Maybe now you will begin to see."

After that, Yugi's podium lowered and Yugi was himself again. Joey and I met up with him and cheered that he was able to defeat Kaiba at his own game.

I'll admit, I was happy Yugi defeated Kaiba. But, I can't shake the feeling that this is just the start of something larger than just a simple card game.

Whatever it is, we'll be ready for it.