Welcome to this humor-filled, not-so-Christmas, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS one-shot special that my other story's readers of the same anime have been requesting from me for... well... quite some time!
As always, before we start there's the usual Disclaimer that I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh VRAINS, only my OCs and OC cards yada yada yada!
The IMPORTANT stuff, on the other hand, is what will happen in this chapter: the entire cast of VRAINS plus my OCs will appear on friendly-grounds and won't try to kill each other. Moreover, myself, the writer, will be in the story to explain our game to the players and the entire story is set in a LINK VRAINS server (so everyone is in their VR form) but I'll use their real names for convenience.
(For any of those reading who do not know my OCs, just go to my bio where they're all described briefly. Three OCs won't appear because they have yet to make any real interaction with the story's characters, which are Bast, Kisskill, and Regalia)
When this story was written, the anime was on its 82th episode and my story at chapter 12 of Season 2, so characters that are introduced from then onward won't appear in this, along with the dead characters. Blood Sheperd will appear but only because the anime hasn't yet stated what happened to him after losing to Lightning.
As Yusaku logged into the LINK VRAINS server Sakushi Ryu created just for this event, he was immediately bombarded by shouts and people passing past his vision. The Light Ignis, Lightning, was kind enough to help Sakushi by summoning a bunch of Bits, Boots, Teras, and Bytes to aid him with adjusting the cameras and set. Moreover, Hayami from SOL made herself be known and is ordering the Ignis' A.I. soldiers what to do.
Speaking of the devil, Hayami saw Yusaku appear and she walked over, beaming him a smile. Her avatar was exactly the same as her real self.
"Welcome, Yusaku!" Hayami giggled.
[I'm here as well!] the voice of Ai exclaimed and he emerged from Yusaku's Duel Disk. He rubbed his non-existent nose with a smug expression.
"That's great! Everyone arrived, then." Hayami stated, looking at a list on her tablet. She looked back at them and spoke. "Follow me. I'll lead you to the audience room."
As they walked, Yusaku noticed two other familiar figures flying above their heads. One was Pigeon who was carrying Frog around and were setting up the cameras to film the entire server, allowing the people who are going to remain in the audience room instead of playing to watch all the action from every corner possible.
"Is someone not coming to play?" Yusaku asked after some silence.
"Sadly, yes." Hayami nodded. "Knowing Spectre would be here, Kai Trinitas refused to come because of what happened during their last Duel. Since their little brother isn't coming, Kenji and Ruka aren't here as well. Adam said Kioku wouldn't be ready to meet them yet, Mirg and Ylil aren't here, of course, because... reasons that Almark summarized as 'They're gods, they can't just appear like that', Kitamura chickened out after hearing who were invited, Nekro is in jail, Queen didn't come because she and Sakushi-san feared the readers will hate this story with her presence..."
[If I remember correctly, Sakushi mentioned something about giving Queen a good reason to be so evil since she has a daughter and-]
Ai's words were cut short as Hayami turned to stare at him with wide eyes that suggested anger, prompting him to chuckle. He forgot the one rule not to break: no spoilers.
[I-I mean... um... Phew! So good that woman isn't here! She killed Earth!]
"Ah, yes..." Hayami's expression turned to one of sadness. "A shame Earth can't be here... Go Onizuka couldn't come as well, seeing to what his body was reduced to. Deirdre and Orion rejected their invites because of Kioku's and Ryoken's presence respectively, and Miyu is still in a coma."
"I see." Yusaku said.
They arrived at a door in the set's far back, the words "Audience Room" were printed on it. Hayami opened it and let Yusaku with Ai in; the room pretty large, with an equally large screen in front of several rows of seats. The room looked like a mini-cinema, and everyone who wasn't mentioned by Hayami was here already.
"Yusaku arrived, Sakushi-san!" she told the writer, who was talking with Almark.
"Thank you, Hayami!" Sakushi shouted, evidently excited. "We'll now start The Game as scheduled."
"Understood!" she chimed before leaving and closing the door behind her.
Yusaku took a seat beside Takeru- who kept it free for him- and Azumaya Jeanne, the owner of the orphanage where Kioku lived, walked up to a podium that materialized in front of the screen. She knocked her walking-stick on the podium to grab everyone's attention.
"Oh, that must be Azumaya-san." Takeru thought aloud.
Kiku, who sat next to him, hummed. Just like Jeanne and Hayami, her VR self is exactly the same as her one. "She'll probably explain The Game's rules. She looks so calm and kind..."
"ALL RIGHT MAGGOTS LISTEN UP!"
Everyone was silenced by Jeanne's sudden shouting.
"I'll explain the rules of this game, so please listen. Before The Game starts, all of you will form six groups. Sakushi and I will remain here to watch all of you get scared while the readers are going to, well, read. You'll respawn in a different location, a wide forest set at nighttime where you have to scare other members of other teams to gain one Winner Counter if you can scare at least one of these members. In case you can't make others jump, you are disqualified. The Game lasts an hour, so try to scare as many people as possible. Any questions?"
"Um, yeah, I-"
Naoki couldn't finish because Jeanne's walking-stick was thrown at his stomach, hitting it and making him double over in pain.
"Never judge a book by its cover, they saw..." Kiku whispered.
"Now, any more questions?" Jeanne asked. No one said anything. "Good, then we can begin. Make your teams, please."
Chatter returned after those words, everyone teaming up with others and even betting who would win or get scared the most. After Jeanne sat down on a seat and the podium vanished, the formed groups appeared on the large screen.
[Team Ai & co. - Yusaku, Takeru, Flame, Naoki, Ai, Jin, Shoichi]
[Team Girl Power - Aoi, Aqua, Lily, Kiku, Mizumi, Cyndy]
[Team Hack and Hunt - Ema, Kengo, Shin, Akira, Kioku, Grim]
[Team Hanoi - Ryoken, Spectre, Aso, Kyoko, Akimoto, Genome]
[Team Humanity is our Slave - Lightning, Windy, Haru, Bohman]
[Team Screw the Rules - Kaiba, Almark, Nina]
"LET THE GAME COMMENCE!" Sakushi smirked as the players vanished...
"Th-This place is quite ominous...!"
Naoki shivered as he followed his other team members, who were walking ahead without any visible fear. Ai and Flame left their Duel Disks and changed their side to an average teen's size, walking beside their Origins.
"Hey, Yusaku..." Ai whispered to the said person. "Why is that guy with us, again?"
"Because he was intimidated by the other groups," Yusaku explained.
"But he'll get easily scared! We're going to lose before you can even blink!" Ai argued.
Yusaku just shrugged, prompting his Ignis to groan.
"If we're discussing our team..." Flame chimed in. "We should talk about our name."
"It's lame." Flame stated as a matter of fact. "Who would name themselves Ai & co.?"
"Uh, obviously, a cool team like us!" Ai said. "Although, with you in it, I'm debating with myself if we're that cool."
"We should call ourselves Flaming Soul!" the other Ignis told, not listening too much to Ai. "Or Flaming Power! Flaming Fist... or... AHA! Flaming Flames."
"That's even lamer." Takeru spoke. "Flaming Flames? That contains your own name. Twice."
"Well, it's not my fault my name is good."
"Maybe we shouldn't argue and raise our voices right now." Shoichi stopped them. "We need to be stealthy and catch other teams by surprise."
"Wait." Naoki started. "Why did Lightning release Jin from his control but not Miyu from her coma?"
"Because Sakushi Ryu is a horrible person and didn't want to add as many characters as he could to The Game because he thought it would be too tiring and confusing." Takeru said. "I mean, I wanted to have Kiku on our team but he separated us and give us Naoki instead..."
"Don't get too angry now, lover boy!" Ai chuckled.
"I was just sayin'!" Takeru shouted with a blush.
"Well, you do look like you have a crush on Kiku." Flame admitted. "You always phone her before going to bed and talk-"
"Oh, you aren't denying it?"
"No, I mean shut up! Someone's there!" Takeru whispered and ducked, the others doing the same thing.
"W-W-Which team is it!?" Naoki asked in a low tone.
"We're going to find out soon..." Shoichi murmured.
There was a moment of silence after his words, but then, the sound of branches breaking could be heard. The group tensed: the sounds were very close to them.
"Somebody is coming..." Flame whispered, followed by a nod from Jin.
"Everyone, be ready." Yusaku said.
The sound continued to play around the seven; whoever it was, they were doing a great job at raising the tension.
"...Is it just me or... is it coming from behind us...?"
Following Ai's words, everybody slowly started to turn their heads around... and saw Naoki eating popcorn from a bag which he got from who-knows-where.
"Sorry," he chuckled in embarrassment. "I get hungry when I'm scared..."
The other six gave him a 'what the hell?' type of look, before Naoki pointed at the sky.
The others looked up as well, seeing a strange object flying in the sky right above them.
"It's a bird." Ai said.
"No, it's clearly a plane." Flame corrected.
"Um, guys..." Takeru's eyes widen. "It's one of Kengo's drones!"
True to his words, Battledrone General was quickly descending towards them! It fired four missiles from its wings, causing Team Ai & co. to panic!
"RUN!" Shoichi exclaimed, and they all did just that. The missiles exploded where they were seconds ago, and they continued to run.
"HELP! SOMEONE! HELP!" Naoki screamed.
"This isn't scaring!" Ai shouted. "Are they trying to kill us!?"
The ground shook, much to their surprise, and a new Duel Monster erupted from it. They recognized it as Predator Plants Spino Dionaea, a monster from Shin's deck!
"DINOSAUR!" Flame gasped. "I thought they were extinct!"
Takeru had to grab the Ignis by his arm and yank him away from Spino Dionaea, which almost ate him! The plant-dinosaur hybrid gave a loud roar at the group, causing them to immediately turn around and run away.
However, they weren't able to get away because strings shot out from the trees, binding their feet together and hanging them up in the air, with their heads upside down.
"Team Hack and Hunt got us." Yusaku said, his expression stoic as always. The team he mentioned revealed itself from the bushes.
Kengo snapped his fingers as a screen materialized above their location, showing the team lists and making Team Hack and Hunt gain one Winner Counter.
"That was an easy hunt." he remarked.
"Altergeist Marionetter, you can let them go."
Following Ema's order, the said Duel Monster showed itself before vanishing, letting Team Ai & co. fall to the ground in defeat.
"HEY! I got something to say!" Ai shouted with anger. "That. Was. Not. FAIR! This is The Game, not 'kill others for fun to win'!"
"I admit we weren't very... peaceful." Akira admitted. "But the majority of our team agreed with the plan, so sorry."
"And this isn't a little kid's game, but The Game." Kioku laughed. "Or would've you liked to have Akira's Tindangle Hound running after you, perhaps?"
Ai's body froze. "No no! I don't want a scary pooch, thank you!"
"With this, we have one Winner Counter." Grim, who also left the Duel Disk, said. "We shouldn't waste time but instead move forward."
"Good point." Shin nodded. "Let's go, Team Hack and Hunt."
That said, the two teams walked on different paths...
"...And Revolver's nickname is Mister-named-after-a-gun."
Mizumi finished listing the names he attributed every Knight of Hanoi member, with the other girls listening.
"Hahahahaha!" Lily laughed, wiping away a tear from her eye. "Oh, that's a good one."
"Your ideas can be quite funny, Mizumi." Kiku giggled at the names. "I especially like Aso's: Ant-Man."
"Well, he, Akimoto, and Kyoko are Knights which don't scare me that much, so I went easy with them." the other admitted. "By the way, how large can this server be? We've been walking for at least ten minutes without seeing anyone."
"But we did hear some explosions and roaring." Cyndy pointed out. "That must mean other teams are already at it."
"I can't help but think who we'll encounter..." Aqua spoke. "I'm not very familiar with the other players' decks, so I can't imagine what monsters will be thrown at us."
"None of them will be good news, that's for sure." Aoi remarked. "Each team has at least one member with scary monsters."
"Wait, we do?" Lily asked her.
Mizumi raised her hand. "Yup. My Charybdine monsters fit this theme." she looked at Cyndy. "And..."
"My dragons can also do the trick." she nodded.
"Perfect!" Lily cheered. "Then let's scare someone!"
"Well, we have to find that someone first." Aqua pointed out. "But your enthusiasm is already a good start."
"Everybody, hide. I think I see someone coming our way." Aoi quickly said in a low tone, and Team Girl Power hid under a couple of trees. True to her words, Team Humanity is our Slave was walking by.
"I don't understand why this little guy is even here!" Windy seemed to be arguing with Lightning. He pointed at Haru. "What was his name again?"
"It's rude to treat your own teammates in such a way." the Light Ignis shook his head in exasperation.
"And it's not my fault I'm an underused character." Haru added.
"But you haven't done anything so far!" Windy shouted. "How should I take you seriously!?"
"Don't worry, if I exist in the anime, the writers must have a plan with me." Haru assured him. "Or else, Sakushi can make me do something in his story."
"Oh, you seem very positive about that." Lightning noted. "We're talking about the writer who organized The Game on Christmas."
"Don't even mention it..." Haru groaned.
The three continued to talk as they walked away. Team Girl Power came out of their hiding place to plot their next move.
"OK, how do we scare them?" Mizumi asked, a little excited.
"We use all the monsters we have!" Lily squealed in a low tone.
"That would be a little overkill..." Aqua admitted. "Shouldn't we only use Mizumi-chan's Charybdine banshees?"
"What's the matter, Cyndy?" Aoi looked at her fellow teammate, who had a hand on her chin with a thoughtful expression.
"Strange... Weren't there four members on Lightning's team?" Cyndy muttered. Her eyes widen in realization. "Bohman wasn't with them."
"It's nice someone remembered me." a voice told behind them. As they turned around-
Bohman was standing there, making a very weird pose with the JoJo's Bizarre Adventures' Pillar Men theme playing in the background. Team Girl Power sweatdropped.
"Um... OK..." Lily muttered.
"Is this some kind of meme or...?" Aqua thought aloud.
"I really don't know what to say..." Aoi admitted.
"A JoJo's reference won't scare us!" Cyndy remarked.
"Yeah, but this will."
The sudden voice of Windy's maniac voice said behind them, followed by the roar of a giant monster. The six girls screamed in horror as the one-eyed monster under Windy's control erupted from behind Bohman and scared them. A screen materialized above their location, showing the team lists and making Team Humanity is our Slave gain one Winner Counter.
"Ahahahaha! Got you, got you!" Windy laughed in glee as the monster vanished. "My pranks always work!"
"Indeed they do." Bohman said. "Now we have one Winner Counter. Good job, Windy."
The Wind Ignis rubbed his non-existent nose with pride.
"If your girls are wondering," Lightning addressed Team Girl Power. "We saw another team walking away in that direction." he pointed at his left.
The girls turned to Aqua, whose eyes glowed for a second. "He's not lying." she confirmed.
"Wow, thanks a lot!" Lily giggled.
"Let's get going, then." Kiku said, and the others nodded.
After Team Girl Power left, Haru turned to his boss. "Why would you give another team a hint?"
"Oh, it's not like I expect them to scare Team Hanoi." he chuckled.
"Now that I think about it, how are we going to scare others?"
Was Flame's question as the group continued to walk in the dark forest.
"Easy." Ai said. "We can always use dragons, or I can turn into my other form, or Yusaku can use Vector Scare Daemon and Zombie Prosaber, two monsters which fit this scary setting!"
"Ah, those cards which he used in one Duel and probably won't use ever again." Shoichi realized, and Jin nodded as in 'yes'.
"Why aren't you saying anything, Jin?" Naoki asked.
Jin shrugged. "I'm not a chatty person..." he said in a very low voice.
Not too late after that, the group stopped as they noticed someone walking in their direction with a dragon flying above their head.
"Oh. My. God..." Takeru suddenly breathed out. "KAIBA SETO AND BLUE-EYES!"
True to his words, the infamous Kaiba and Blue-Eyes White Dragon were coming their way.
"W-We have to scare him!?" Naoki asked.
"That would be... hard." Yusaku admitted, a little shaken himself, remembering his last Duel with the young man.
"Let's go the other way." Shoichi said.
Team Ai & and co. turned around, just to see Nina walking their way with Clear Wing Dusk Dragon.
"Um... on second thought, maybe not." Shoichi gulped with a nod from Jin.
"Hey, where's Ai?" Flame asked, not seeing his fellow Ignis anywhere.
"Bye-bye, suckers!" Ai's shout echoed in the distance as he ran away.
"AI! GET BACK HERE!" Flame cried out in anger.
He soon did so as a second Blue-Eyes White Dragon erupted from the trees in that direction, causing Ai to gasp and run back.
"DRAAAAAGOOON!" he screamed. "RUN! RUN OR DIE!"
"I-I don't want to die yet! I'm t-too young!" Naoki whined.
"Then run already!" Takeru said as he was the first to start running, the others on his tail.
"Why is this happening to us!?" Ai cried tears of sadness.
The group halted as they found their way stopped by a table in the middle of the forest, Almark sitting at it with a cup of tea in his hand.
"Oh, hi there." he chuckled with a warm smile. "I didn't expect so many people already. Would you like some tea? Or a third Blue-Eyes hunting you, perhaps?"
"The first option, please!" Naoki plead.
That said, Almark threw the cup to the ground, causing it to break apart.
"Oh, my bad! It seems the second option it is!" he laughed.
"RUN!" Yusaku shouted as a third Blue-Eyes appeared and chased them...
"Baka." Nina scolded her boss by punching him on the head. "You didn't have to break the cup for that."
"Ow!" Almark whined and rubbed his head. "But it was much funnier this way, Nina-chan!"
"In either way, we got our Winner Counter." Kaiba said. "Forty minutes remain. Let's make them count."
"It got too quiet." Kengo remarked as he looked around.
"We heard those roars a couple of minutes ago..." Kioku pointed out.
"True, but those came from far away." Grim told him.
"We've been wondering for quite some time without finding other teams." Ema pointed out.
"Team Humanity is our Slave and Team Screw the Rules have each gained one Winner Counter." Akira informed them, checking the scoreboard on his Duel Disk. "We also have one, but we have to take the lead or we'll lose."
"My sensors picked up some movement in our area." Shin spoke. "They're coming from east."
"This time, we should use Akira's Tindangle monsters to scare them!" Kioku smirked. "In case they try to run away, Grim and I will surround them!"
"Don't mess up, youngster." Kengo warned him and snapped his fingers, everyone getting into position behind bushes or trees.
"A-Akimoto! Slow down, would you!"
Dr. Genome's whisper/shout made the addressed person, aka Andal, halt with a confused expression.
"Any problems?" he asked.
"We shouldn't walk out in the open!" Genome scolded him. "We're easy prey if we do so! Our DNA isn't so primitive to do such foolish things!"
"Yeah, but if we try to hide too much, we end up making even more noise." Akimoto said. "Or at least that's how I see it. Don't worry," he chuckled. "It won't be that easy to scare the old fossil I am, hahaha!"
Genome sweatdropped at the joke. "I didn't like the idea to split our team into three to scare as many people as possible, and you sure aren't making it easy..."
The sound of bats flapping suddenly echoed in the background, prompting Genome to shriek. Ema giggled softly, being the one to make the sound with her Duel Disk's option.
"OK, I regret coming to play The Game!" Genome whisper/shouted again. "This isn't a game, this is survival... My DNA isn't ready for it!"
"You should calm down. Everything's gonna be fine!" Akimoto waved a hand.
Genome's face turned to one of total horror. "You fool!" he gritted his teeth. "Get back here!"
"You stopped onto a monster's tongue!"
True to the mad scientist's words, Akimoto was standing on a very long tongue which belonged to Tindangle Hound. As the Fiend-type monster emerged from the bushes and growled in a menacing manner, Akimoto took a step back, letting Hound retract its tongue.
"...Well..." he muttered. "This isn't very good for us."
"Very good? Very good is all you got to say!?" Genome cried out in panic. "Dear friend, I want you to know something!"
"In about three seconds, I'm going to scream like a little girl!"
"Three seconds? That's perfectly fine. I only need one second." Akimoto snapped his fingers. "Kyoko, Spectre, now!"
The ground under Tindangle Hound cracked as Dark Mummy Surgical Cooper flew out of it, cutting the poor hound into two with its scissor-hands. At the same time, Team Hack and Hunt was attacked by the trees' roots, grabbing their ankles and hung them up in the air, with their heads upside down.
"Our luck..." Kioku sighed.
"Why did I believe your plan is going to work?" Kengo cursed his choice.
"But only Akimoto and Genome are here!" Ema whined.
"Not exactly." the voice of Ryoken spoke up as he, Aso, Kyoko, and Spectre walked up from behind the other two Knights. "Our plan was to make you think we split up."
"Crafty as always..." Grim growled.
Spectre made a signal with his hand and the trees released everyone- Kengo was quicker, shooting down the root with the gun in his palm- and let them land on the ground.
"Now Team Hanoi has one Winner Counter, too." Aso said as he looked at the scoreboard on his Duel Disk.
"Let's change that, shall we? Team Hanoi, onward!"
Following Ryoken's words, his team left the area on the back of three Cracking Dragons.
"...What did we get ourselves into to...?" Shin thought aloud. "Poor readers..."
"We've been running in circles!?" Naoki exclaimed in shock as Team Ai & co. stopped running from the three Blue-Eyes White Dragons that lost interest in them, and saw where they ended up: the location where Battledrone General attacked them.
"That's the least that can happen to us." Shoichi panted, recovering from the run.
"We have to find another team..."
"And scare them." Takeru finished for Jin. "Or else we'll fall behind and lose."
"That's easier said than done!" Ai shouted. "We're doing horrible right now!"
"We can still turn this around." Flame said.
"W-W-What was that!?" Naoki stuttered at hearing a strange, female, ghost-like voice.
"We're under another attack!?" Ai's eyes widen.
"This one sounded different from the one before it!" Shoichi noted with an alarmed face. "Everybody, watch your back! Two things will jump on us any moment now!"
"Takeru, cover your eyes!" Flame shouted. "You are scared of ghosts!"
"Hey, I told you that I'm not!" Takeru argued.
"Then pray tell, why were you scared when I tried to get in touch with you?"
"That was different!" the teen remarked. "You started playing with my TV and stuff! This time, I won't get scared so easily by some ghosts-"
The horrific screams of two female ghosts echoed in the night as Charybdine Banshee of Sadness and Charybdine Banshee of the Tall Mast emerged from the bushes, screaming at Team Ai & co.!
"HOLY *beep* ON A *beep* SANDWICH!" Takeru cried out, jumping some meters into the air in shock and surprise.
Naoki scream was heard afterwards as Cyber Dragon curled down, like a snake, from a tree and roared in his face.
"OH SNAP BASKETS! LOOK OUT!" Shoichi exclaimed.
He had to grab Naoki by the arm and pull him away before Cyber Dragon could eat him! In the meantime, a large figure walked up behind Flame and Ai, causing them to stiffen.
"You look." they said in unison. "No, you!" they did it again, this time with anger. "NO! YOU LOOK!"
The monster that was behind them, Hunted Axe of Charybdine, gave a roar and swung down its axe!
"Just move!" Yusaku shouted and pulled them away before Hunted Axe of Charybdine could cut their heads off. Jin was just watching with a neutral face, which would be mirrored by Yusaku if he wouldn't have to help the Ignis.
As Team Girl Power got their first Winner Counter and their monsters vanished, they high fived with a victorious expression.
"That's the way!" Mizumi shouted.
"We got 'em good!" Lily laughed.
"I don't think Lightning was guiding us to this group..." Aqua said. "But we were lucky to run into Team Ai & co."
"There are twenty-four minutes of The Game remaining." Kiku pointed out as she looked at a clock on her Duel Disk. "We can still win this!"
The girls turned to stare at Jin, who pointed a finger at them.
The ground under Team Girl Power cracked open as Zombie Prosaber erupted from it with a scary and long groan, grabbing some of them by their legs while shouting 'braaainssss'!
"SUGAR HONEY ICE TEA!" Aoi gasped.
"MOTHER CAREY'S CHICKENS!" Mizumi shouted.
Thanks to Jin, Team Ai & co. finally gained a Winner Counter as well.
"Oi, that wasn't so fair!" Cyndy gritted her teeth as Zombie Prosaber vanished.
"You let your guard down..." Jin stated.
"Good job!" Shoichi exclaimed, happy for his little brother.
"Windy, don't walk so quickly. We aren't in a rush." Lightning said to his fellow Ignis, who was pretty far ahead compared to his team.
The Wind Ignis scoffed. "Of course we are! We don't even have half an hour at our disposal to scare others! Come on, come on! Move it, please!"
"Yeah, but if we separate too much..." Haru started.
"Do you guys want to win or not?" he asked them, turning around to walk backwards. "Whatever monstrosity others try to throw at us, we mustn't get scared!"
"Um, Windy..." Lightning started but he ignored him.
"Like, what monster could they throw at me that would scare me? Nothing can-"
Windy suddenly bumped into something, prompting the Ignis to stop. Lightning's, Haru's, and Bohman's eyes widen to dinner plates at that.
"You shouldn't move too much, Windy..." Bohman said.
"W-Why? What's that?" the Wind Ignis pointed with his thumb behind him. "Is it a dragon?"
"O-Of course it isn't...!" Haru chuckled.
His words were soon betrayed by a growl emitted from the thing behind Windy, causing him to stiffen.
"It is a dragon!" Windy started to panic. "It's always a damn dragon!"
"You should calm down." Lightning remarked.
"Whose dragon is it?" Windy continued. "Yusaku's? Kioku's? Or Ryoken's...!?"
"That's not important at the moment." Bohman said.
"That means it's super important!" Windy shouted before spinning around to see Starve Venom Fusion roaring at him, covering his face with its saliva.
"Well, snap..." he muttered before wiping some saliva away. "RUN FOR YOUR *beep* LIVES!"
That said, Team Humanity is our Slave fled the scene with Starve Venom flying after them!
"WHAT IS THAT THING!?" Haru shouted.
"It's Shin's dragon!" Bohman told him, dodging one of Starve Venom's mouths that almost ate him.
"ALWAYS A DAMN DRAGON, I TELL YOU!" Windy cried out.
"Off we go!" Lightning sang as their team an away.
"See? My plans always work." Kengo remarked to his team.
"And whose monster did the job?" Shin asked.
"Tch, shut up." Kengo muttered as Team Hack and Hunt gained its second Winner Counter. "Hold up, where's the youngster and his Ignis?"
"Last time I saw them, they were flying into the sky saying they saw Ryoken..." Ema said.
"Well, well, well. What do we have here?" Kioku smirked as he stood on one of Deus Executioner of Darkness - Grangadez's shoulders with Grim back in his Duel Disk.
"A good matchup, that's what this is." Almark remarked, flying in the air by unknown means.
"I'm not sorry for you, Baskerville." Ryoken remarked on the back of Cracking Dragon. "But four people can't Duel each other at the same time. There are only two Extra Monster Zones!"
"I suggest checking my team's name, Kogami Ryoken." Kaiba replied, his arms crossed over his chest and standing on Blue-Eyes' back. "We are Team Screw the Rules. Some puny rules won't stop me."
"I created a special program while waiting for teams to scare, which allows us to play with four Extra Monster Zones," Almark explained. "A couple of new rules were added to this kind of Duel as well, but rest assured, you can all play."
"'You'? You aren't going to Duel?"
"I prefer watching over taking part in Duels." Almark said. "And there's someone else who can take over my spot."
After a snap of his fingers, Yusaku suddenly appeared in the air with Ai, levitating in the air with the same power Almark was using.
[WOOOAAAH-Oh, I thought we were going to fall!] Ai sighed in relief, back in the Duel Disk. As he saw the other people... [NANI!? W-What's going on here!?]
"It seems we're going to Duel." Yusaku remarked, narrowing his eyes. "Against Kaiba, Ryoken, and Kioku... This will be tough."
"Are you getting cold feet?" Kaiba asked in a mocking manner.
"No." Yusaku shook his head. "I only said it will be a tough one. But I am not backing down. I accept this challenge because of one reason: it's Christmas, and if Sakushi Ryu's stories can't make the readers happy, then someone else has to."
"Is that so?" Kaiba said. "I wouldn't be surprised if you three run away because of the pressure."
"As if." Ryoken snorted. "Your dragons and God don't scare me! My Barrelload Dragon and Stardust Dragon are more than enough to defeat you, Kaiba Seto!"
"What a bold declaration." Kaiba scoffed.
"Don't forget about us!" Kioku grinned. "My Cyberse and Dragons, with the help of Grim, are gonna wipe the floor with you three."
[What an unnecessary but cool Duel this will be.] Grim couldn't help but say.
[It seems we can agree on that!] Ai exclaimed. [My partner will beat you all!]
[We'll see about that.] Grim answered back.
"You're all eager to start, good." Almark chuckled. "So, about the new rules for this Master Duel..."
"What are they doing, what are they doing, WHAT ARE THEY DOING!?" Sakushi Ryu cried out in utter dread, his hands in his hair.
"A-Almark changed the whole server's algorithm... Once the Duel starts, n-nobody can summon monsters outside of a Duel, S-Sakushi-san," Hayami explained.
The writer threw his head into his seat before letting out a long scream!
"Dear Hayami, could you get me some popcorn?" Jeanne asked her. "I have to watch this Duel for the sake of Kioku!"
"Popcorn coming right up!" she nodded.
"NO! This isn't popcorn-time! Nor Dueling-time for that matter!" Sakushi shouted. "The Game has to continue! The readers have been waiting for it so much and it's going to end just like that!?"
"Who are you talking to with that tone?" Jeanne asked with a dangerous vibe.
"S-Sorry ma'am!" the writer quickly said.
"That's more like it." Jeanne said. "Now, sit down and watch this Duel."
"I said sit down!" she raised her voice, causing Sakushi to do as he was told. "You know, it's rude to disrespect your elders like that."
"Sorry ma'am..." he turned to Hayami. "Call back the remaining players so they can watch the Duel, too. It seems The Game... *sniff*... will end with this grand Duel..."
That said, she pressed something on her tablet and the remaining twenty-seven players appeared in the Audience Room, sitting in their seats.
"LEAP IN LIZARDS!" Windy cried out. "Kioku, Ryoken, Kaiba, and Yusaku Dueling!? BLESS THIS DAY! I GOTTA SEE THIS!"
"We can agree on that." Lightning chuckled.
"This is a good way to discover more about humans' Dueling." Bohman added.
"One popcorn for me, too!" Haru shouted in Hayami's direction.
"Shin, you owe me money." Ema reminded her teammate.
"That idiot Sakushi just had to conclude The Game in such a way...!" Shin cursed in his mind while handing Ema her promised money. His chibi Starve Venom was laughing at him while Kengo only gave a rare smile.
"Of course, my team had to screw the rules like their life depended on it." Nina sighed in exasperation, her chibi Clear Wing Synchro Dragon resting in her lap.
"Well, at least the matchup is good." Shoichi shrugged while Jin ate a mouthful of popcorn.
"EKAY, PLAYMAKER!" Naoki shouted in excitement.
"I wonder who will win..." Aqua thought aloud.
"This will be very interesting." Aoi remarked, the rest of Team Girl Power nodding in agreement.
"Ryoken-sama got this in the bag." Spectre chuckled.
"Let's hope Ryoken will have some fun, too." Kyoko said, Aso nodding to her words.
Akimoto was getting his notebook and pen out, ready to take notes.
"I'm just happy we're out of that forest..." Genome admitted.
"Kaiba Mokuba? What are you doing here?" Akira asked in surprised after seeing the said person appear in the Audience Room.
"I came to see Nii-san Duel, of course!" Mokuba smirked. "I cleared my schedule just for this!"
"Was this your plan, perhaps?" Takeru addressed Almark who, after explaining the rules, returned to the Audience Room. "To make everyone have fun by watching a Duel?"
"You caught me red-handed, haha." the mysterious fellow chuckled.
"Well, it can't be a real Christmas without some Dueling." Flame remarked.
"DUEL!" the four Duelists shouted in unison on the large screen. They all smiled. "AND A HAPPY CHRISTMAS!"