Chapter Seven: The Tournament Begins!
The evening passed pretty smoothly after everyone gathered in Mai's recently acquired room. After brief introductions between Mai, Tea and Tristan; the girls immediately claimed the bedroom to share the huge King sized bed, which forced all the boys to have to fight over who got the couch and armchairs. In the end, Joey fell asleep upside down on one of the armchairs, Tristan got comfortable on the couch, and Yugi curled up in the other armchair.
Amelia was the first to wake up the next morning. Carefully, she weaseled her way out from between Mai and Tea, who were both still fast asleep, and quietly made her way over to the restroom to get ready for the day. She decided to take a quick shower, since she was not sure when the next time would appear for her to get a proper cleaning. Once showered, she dressed in her favorite dark blue denim shorts, with a lilac colored quarter-sleeved soft shirt on underneath her favorite blue denim jean jacket that had a hoodie attached to the top. Currently, she left the hoodie down, but later she knew it would come in handy. Then she pulled on her hiking socks and her favorite light brown, thigh-high hiking boots to support her feet for all the walking that she was sure that her group would be doing. The final touch was that she took her long hair and tied it back in a simple ponytail in the back of her head to keep it out of her face when dueling.
When she came out of the bathroom, she saw that Mai and Tea were now awake as well. "Good Morning ladies!" She greeted both with a smile, making both girls turn to look at her and blink in surprise. Giving a low whistle, Mai smirked and stated, "Well, well, don't you look adorable?" Amelia blushed in embarrassment and asked shyly, "Is it to much? I could put my capris on instead?" Tea frantically shook her head and said, "No, no, no! Don't you even think about it Amelia! You look perfect." After being reassured by her female friends that her outfit was fine, she left both of them to take their turns using the shower, as she made her way out to the common area to wake the boys.
As she suspected, Tristan and Joey were still out cold, with Joey snoring loudly with a tiny bit of drool dribbling down his face. Yugi, surprisingly, was already awake and sitting by the single window in the room watching the ocean in deep thought. For a brief moment, Amelia almost thought that she saw the shadow of 'Other Yugi' leaning against the wall watching over the smaller one. But then she blinked and the image was gone.
Walking over to her short male friend, Amelia came to stand quietly beside him. After a couple moments of silence between the two, she asked quietly, "Thinking about your Grandpa?" Yugi flinched slightly in surprise, but when he saw it was her, he relaxed and nodding his head he replied,"I'm worried about him. I hope he's doing ok wherever Pegasus is keeping him."
Amelia nodded in understanding and placing a comforting hand on Yugi's shoulder, which unknown to her, made him blush though he did not understand why, and she said, "I know what you mean. I am worried about what he is doing with Mokuba. I hope my brother can escape, he can be pretty sneaky when he wants to be."
Soon, after both Tea and Amelia rudely woke up the two still snoring Teens, everyone was awake. And after snacking on the rooms offered selection of muffins and fruit, the group of friends bid their goodbyes and thanks to Mai, then headed outside to stand at the front of the ship to watch the ship approach Duelist Kingdom Island.
"Wow, this Duelist Kingdom looks like a pretty big place Yugi. Finding your Grandpa, or Amelia's brother, is not going to be easy." Joey commented, as they watched the Island grow bigger and bigger. Yugi simply shrugged his shoulders and replied, "Well, we have to start somewhere."
In no time at all, the ship began it's docking procedures. As this was happening, the group noticed that their seemed to be a lot of security guards present on the dock, which started to make Tristan fidget nervously. Sweat began to form on his brow when one of the security guards announced on the ships intercom, "ATTENTION ALL DUELISTS, PLEASE DISEMBARK IN AN ORDERLY FASHION."
"Hey Tea, what if one of those Security guards finds out we're both stowaways, should we save ourselves and start swimming back now?" Tea and Amelia both rolled their eyes in annoyance and Tea snapped, "We're in the middle of nowhere lamebrain! If you can just try and act normal, we'll be ok." Then Amelia smirked and cheekily added, "Though I would absolutely love to see you attempt to swim such a long distance, do you even know how to swim Tristan?"
"Shut up Lia," Tristan grumbled as they began to make their way off the ship. Amelia found herself at the front of their group walking next to Yugi and so she was the last to notice her group stop and turn around nervously when a Guard called out, "Hey you!" Everyone tensed, but then relaxed as the Guard simply smiled and stated, "Don't look so nervous, you guys are our guests here!" Nervously Tristan grinned and replied, "That's right! I'm your guest!" He did an awkward bow to the guard then turned and quickly made his way towards their group.
Once they made it far enough away from the prying eyes and ears of the guards, Tristan crouched down and began breathing heavily. "I think I just had a heart attack!" Rolling her eyes once again, Tea sarcastically stated, "Way to play it cool Tristan." Amelia giggled and added, "That wasn't suspicious at all."
Suddenly Joey sneezed causing Tea and Amelia to jump away in mild disgust, "Use your elbow!" Amelia exclaimed while Tea just shouted, "Ew!" Yugi looked at his friend sadly and said, "You never would have caught that slight cold if it wasn't for Weevil…" Everyone quieted as they remembered what happened last night. Amelia's gaze began to wander as she let her friends reminisce the unpleasantness that happened last night. Suddenly a head of turquoise caught her attention and she brought everyone's attention back to the present when she stated, "Speaking of the slime ball, looks like he just got off the boat as well." Everyone followed the direction she was looking and they all immediately glared at the smug look that he was directing towards their group. "Yeah, slime ball indeed, boy how I'd love to wipe that smirk off his ugly face." Joey growled.
Before anyone could say anymore about Weevil, one of the Guards stepped forward to gain everyone's attention. When Amelia looked towards him, she gasped and immediately tried to hide behind Tristan and Tea. Both blinked in surprise and Tea asked in concern, "What's wrong Lia?" Subtly pointing towards the mullet haired guard, who was currently instructing everyone to take the stairs to meet their host, Amelia whispered, "That's Kemo. He is the one that took Mokuba." Now the groups glare was directed towards the tall, intimidating looking guard. "Just say the word Amelia, and I'll beat this guy black and blue for you." Shaking her head, Amelia responded, "Thanks Joey, but let's not get distracted from who we really need to beat."
Yugi nodded in agreement and said, "I agree, Pegasus is the real person we are after, and I bet he is up in that castle." Looking up to the top of the massive stairs, the group saw a ginormous castle standing proudly at the top of the Island. "Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get going!" Joey exclaimed, and with that, they began the long climb.
Before they reached the top, Amelia paused in her walking and pulled her hood of her jacket on. When her friends gave her looks of confusion, she simply shook her head to indicate that it was nothing important. When they did finally reach the top, they could suddenly hear a bunch of Duelists gossiping with each other, and suddenly the reason for Amelia hiding her face with her hood became apparent.
"Wow, look that's Weevil Underwood, he's the Regional Champion!" One kid muttered and the one he was talking to added, "And there is the runner up Rex Raptor. And over there is Mako Tsunami! He ranked Third in the Regionals." A third person then joined the discussion and said in awe, "Wow these are some of the best Duelists in the world! But where is the World Champion Kaiba?" By this time, Amelia and her friends were standing in the middle of the crowd, and were standing pretty close to the gossipers.
Yugi slightly tensed as he saw some other person near them turn to the gossiping group and said with a smirk, "Didn't you hear? Some kid beat him! And on his own turf too!" The original boy that started the conversation's eyes widened in shock as he exclaimed, "Are you serious! I thought Kaiba was the best?" The other kid shook his head and replied, "He was, but not anymore. Some kid named Yugi is supposed to be the one to beat now."
Yugi blushed in embarrassment at the comment, especially when his friends all gave him proud smiles and Joey nudged him playfully. Amelia was smiling as well, until she suddenly heard a female Duelist scoff at the boy that had spoken and say, "Oh please, Yugi's good, but the real person to beat is Amelia Kaiba! Did you hear that she is actually competing this time?" "Seriously?! But i thought she has severe stage fright and can't duel because of that?" "Who knows? Maybe she has finally found a way to work through it." All of Amelia's friends, minus Yugi's, eyes widened in surprise at the female Duelist's statement and the comments that followed it.
But before any of her friends could ask her what the one Duelist meant, Kemo's voice suddenly called down from the Castle Balcony, "Attention Duelists, please gather around. Your benevolent Host is anxious too greet you all." As one, both Yugi and Amelia looked up and their eyes narrowed in determination, and anger, as Maximillion Pegasus appeared on the Balcony.
"Boy would I like to get just five minutes alone with that guy…" Joey growled low enough for only their group to hear. Nodding her head, Amelia muttered, "Get in line Joey, get in line…" When Pegasus came to a stop, it seemed that his eye immediately sought out Yugi, and then drifted over to look at Amelia as well, making both tense as they both remembered the threat that he had issued to them:
"I have taken a measure of your talents this day, Yugi Mouto, and you as well Miss Amelia Kaiba. And when next we duel, Yugi, we shall play for far higher stakes." Holding Amelia close in a protective hold, 'other Yugi' glared at Pegasus and said, "I'm done with your games." Amelia, despite being really freaked out by Pegasus, firmly nodded her head in agreement with 'other Yugi's' statement.
Pegasus simply waved his pointer finger side to side and made a tsk tsk sound, as he then stated, "You both presume I'm giving you a choice in the matter. But I'm not. For I too posses one of the eight mystical Millennium Items, the all powerful Millennium Eye!" Both teenagers stared in shock at the completely golden left eye that Pegasus had hidden under his curtain of hair.
"And now I'll show you the true extent of it's magic." With those words, a beam of golden light shot out of the Millennium Eye, over the two still moving teenagers heads, and right into Grandpa Mouto! As this happened, Pegasus continued saying, "You see, I have found that, given the proper incentive, anyone can be made to play my game!"
Amelia watched in horror as a transparent image of Grandpa Mouto floated out of the older man's body and shot into the television screen! Suddenly, she stiffened as she and 'other Yugi' once again heard Pegasus's voice ominously state, "Don't think I haven't forgotten about you Miss Kaiba. If you don't agree to come along and play as well with your little friend, I may do the very same thing with your little brother!" And with that Grandpa Mouto's face appeared on the screen calling out to Yugi, who immediately seized control of his body back, as he began frantically calling for his grandfather. As the darkness in the room faded, and the others became unfrozen, they all could hear the evil CEO's parting words, "Yes we will duel again Yugi. How else will you ever reclaim your Grandfather's soul? Ha ha ha!"
End of Flashback
'I'm not leaving here without my Grandpa's soul and Amelia's little brother, no matter what Pegasus may have planned for me.' Yugi thought with determination shining in his eyes as he stared defiantly up at Pegasus. Not realizing that his Millennium Puzzle glinted ominously in agreement with his silent thought.
Amelia also glared up at her business rival and thought to herself; 'I'm going to protect my family and friends from your evil clutches Pegasus! No matter what it takes.' As her fists clenched in determination, hidden under her shirt, her Millennium Jewel faintly glowed for a brief second, as if agreeing with her silent promise.
What neither of them realized, was that at the same moment that the two were thinking their separate thoughts, Pegasus was also slightly smirking as he watched the two defiant teens, thinking he had them right where he wanted them.
Pegasus then began his speech of greeting all the Duelists and going over the rules of the Tournament. He ended his speech by saying, "You have one hour to prepare yourselves. And when the skies light up with fireworks the Tournament shall begin!" Everyone, except Yugi and Amelia's group, cheered at the end of Pegasus's speech. Soon everyone began dispersing throughout the Island to prepare themselves. As their group walked, Joey looked uncertainly down at the single Star Chip in his hand and said, "Yugi, I don't know if I can do this. Maybe you should take your Star Chip back…"
Yugi smiled and shook his head,"Nah, you keep it. Your little sister is counting on you to win the prize money for her." Joey smiled and replied, "Thanks man." Amelia smiled as well and giving Joey an encouraging nudge with her shoulder, she said, "You can do it Joey, we're all in this together." With that she held her hand up and out, palm face down, a silent reminder of the promise they all made back when Yugi faced her brother. Sharing the smile, Tea also put her hand in and said, "We're all a team. We'll get through this challenge together." The boys shared a smile and together placed their hands with the girls.
Pulling away from the circle, Joey grinned in determination and said, "Well guys, between my sister, Amelia's brother, and Yugi's Grandpa, we don't have any room for mistakes." Amelia and Yugi nodded and replied together, "Right!" Suddenly Tea pointed off to the distance and said, "Look the Fireworks! It's starting!" They all turned to see the Fireworks shooting up into the air in brilliant colors.
After watching the Fireworks for a bit, Yugi turned and began leading the group away from the sight. They walked for a few minutes in silence, before Joey spoke up and asked, "So what's the plan Yugi?" Amelia was also curious to the answer. Continuing to walk in front of them, Yugi answered calmly, "Well I might as well stick with Weevil, after all, he and I have a score to settle." Amelia smirked at that. After having played against Yugi herself, she knew Weevil stood no chance.
Suddenly Tea stopped and asked, "Uh guys, isn't that Weevil over there?" The rest of them stopped and turned to see Weevil standing at the edge of one of the forest paths. "It is him! Weevil, I challenge you to a Duel!" Yugi shouted, only to gape in shock as Weevil turned and ran away!
Surprised, but determined, Yugi ran after the Insect Duelist, quickly followed by the others. After running through the forest and a swarm of moths, they came out of the trees to see Weevil standing smugly in a clearing, "Welcome, said the spider to the fly!"
With those words the Tournament officially began.