This has no right existing, but it does, mostly because it would literally not leave my mind for the better part of two years. I got sick of it plaguing my thoughts. Hopefully, this should stop it from coming back.
Also, because it's April Fools, I decided to post this.
*Talking with my brain*
Wait, what do you mean that April Fools jokes are supposed to be low-effort?
Huh... okay then. Whoops.
Enjoy this wonderfully AU world!
Today, is the day.
Those were the thoughts that rang through his head. The boy's eyes roamed and took in the detail of the bus he rode. He did not meet anyone's gaze, mostly because everyone was far too busy gazing at the radio built into the bus to pay any attention to him.
"Ancient Gear Golem, finish it with a direct attack!"
"Too bad, I play Kuriboh! Your attack does nothing!"
The boy had no idea what exactly was happening, but he could tell that it must've been an amazing play if it got some of the people on the bus to widen their mouths.
Idly, the boy wiggled his hands around the bump in his pocket. He could feel the delicate sharpness of the rectangular cardboard – that should really have no value but it actually did – and felt comforted by its presence.
It was what the bus denizens were watching, a card game that started out small for children but eventually overtook many of the world's physical sports before becoming the international superpower that it was today. It was actually quite an amazing story, one that the boy had paid close attention to.
He couldn't ignore it, not that he wanted to in the first place. He remembered how his grandfather used to have him sit on his lap as he taught him how to play the game. Those memories were sparse, but they were some of the best he'd ever had.
Duel Monsters. Truly, it was a game that brought a smile on his face every time he thought of it, even though his father had opposed to him playing it at every single turn.
Becoming a professional duelist was a pointless task. The pay sucked, popularity always waned, and you'd never know when your next paycheck would end up coming… but even with the realities of the job, the boy still pushed forth with the idea.
"Vale Docks!" The bus driver shouted as they came to a halt, with the bus doors opening in clockwork tandem.
… It was what drove Jaune Arc on this path in the first place.
Jaune grabbed his bag from the overhead compartment and hurried along, not wanting to disturb any of the passengers or hold up the bus any longer than necessary.
When he got off, the bus closed and left without much fuss. Jaune turned to the vast expanse of the sea before him, seagulls flying overhead as a multitude of ships both set sail and docked. In particular, the boy focused on a single ship.
A single black ship with white paint to coat the top of it. Really, it looked like any other boat you could find… except it wasn't. The ship had a huge insignia painted onto each side, a symbol of a lighthouse with three letters on the back of it.
B, D, and A.
And it stood for…
"All students of Beacon Duel Academy, we are ready to set sail!" A stern and strict feminine voice shouted across the mega speakers. "Please make your way into the ship in an orderly and timely fashion!"
The boy smiled. He didn't even need to remind himself of it.
It may seem odd to board a ship just to head over to an academy… but it was an academy set on a futuristic island, fully sponsored by over a hundred different sponsors and birthplace to the most renowned duelists in the world!
… Not that Jaune knew any of them. He just looked up a good school to learn dueling online. Beacon was the closest, with it being in Vale and the others being in other countries entirely, so that meant it was the logical choice, right?
He remembered looking at the brochure years ago… before his father grabbed it. He only found out that his father shredded it years after. Yeesh.
Not wanting to waste anyone's time, especially the time of someone who was screaming at him through a megaphone, Jaune followed suit with the tide of presumed students around him.
Remember why you're here, Jaune.
The boy breathed in slowly in order to calm the rapid beating of his heart.
You're going to become a professional duelist, just like you always wanted to be!
Jaune told himself those words every day, for they were the only things that provided him solace.
Apart from shredding the brochure, his father had kept him from learning about as many duel monster cards as he could. It was obsessive to the point where he literally removing any duel related TV channels from their subscription.
That wasn't even the worst part! Jaune was literally home-schooled just so he wouldn't get the chance to play duel monsters with other kids!
Don't get him wrong, Jaune loved his dad with all his heart, but this was mutiny! Actually, wait, he was technically the captain of the house… Sabotage from his own flesh and blood!
It didn't make sense to Jaune then and didn't make sense to him now. Jaune knew his dad just wanted him to get a good old regular job and support any future grandchildren – damn it, Mom! – but at least let him try!
At least grandfather kept him up with dueling knowledge. Heck, the old man even left him his own deck of cards too, which were the ones that Jaune had in his jacket pocket. He even had practice duels on top of a cardboard box with him!
Well… before he left. Jaune never knew why he did, but the years he spent learning nothing but arithmetic and etc was… just a little disheartening.
At least he still had his cards as a memento. His grandfather had always said that these cards were his greatest achievement, that they were special and unique beyond compare, completely tailored to their family, and that they would always help him out in his time of need.
Hopefully, they'd help him now. He got this far, through countless lost roads and maps that didn't really make much sense, so he wasn't going to be turning back now!
Although, he was a bit confused as to why such a prestigeous academy allowed any and all prospective students to arrive on the cruise ship. Wasn't there going to be an entrance exam? He remembered filling out a sheet online and received an email that he was accepted… but it didn't really sit right with him.
Oh well, he got the form in the email, printed, laminated, and checked with some dudes online, so it must be real!
Jaune's first steps onto the boat were… admittedly disorienting, but he managed to stay on his feet.
Phew, at least he didn't have motion sickness!
Keeping his mind off those unneeded thoughts, Jaune focused on the vast expanse of the ocean. The ship swayed from side to side, which admittedly didn't sit right with Jaune.
What if the ship turns over? What if we all drown!?
Nah, that wouldn't happen. Beacon Duel Academy wouldn't invest in a terrible boat, not one that carried all their students back and forth on the daily. He wasn't worried at all!
No, he wasn't gripping onto the steel railing because he was worried or dizzy, that's just your wild imagination!
… Should he be worried that he was talking to himself?
Jaune shook the thoughts away and took another deep breath. It didn't calm him down as much as he'd like. He thought of other ways to calm down and focused on the nice and calming sea breeze… and not the constant swaying and bobbing of the mechanical death trap–
Okay, maybe he did have motion sickness.
Jaune held his breath and walked away from the side of the nauseating swaying ship in an attempt to quell his stomach–
–Only to walk headfirst into a young woman and knock both of themselves onto the wooden floor.
"Ow…" He heard the girl mutter.
"Sorry…" Jaune muttered out as he struggled to get onto his feet. Luckily, none of the cards in his jacket fell out. Deep pockets were nice.
Once Jaune had gotten onto his feet, he took a look at the girl and held out his hand. "Again, sorry. This is my fault, I should've looked where I was going."
The girl just nodded and took his hand. It took a bit of effort to pull her up, which Jaune wisely didn't mention, but eventually, she was upright and dusting away at her skirt.
The girl a brunette from what Jaune could gather. She wore nothing really notable, and she didn't really stand out, but there was one feature that Jaune was instantly focused on.
The girl had two bunny ears.
Admittedly, this was the first time that Jaune had ever seen one of them. Ansel, the small town he was from, didn't really have any Faunus living there, so this was a new experience.
Three cheers for Beacon!
"It's no problem, I should've looked where I was going too," the girl also apologized. It took a moment, but the girl finally looked up and gazed at him, with her ears twitching slightly. "… are you a freshman? I haven't seen you before?"
Freshman? Did that mean she was his upperclassman?
Shit, he needed to make a good impression! What was that thing that his dad had always told him…? Oh, yeah!
Jaune coughed to clear his throat nodded. "Yeah– I mean, yes I am. My name is Jaune Arc. Short, sweet, rolls of the tongue – the ladies love it!"
Wow. That sounded way worse than he thought it did.
She looked at him oddly. "… Do they?"
"Well… They do!" Jaune tried to justify, but it was extremely weak. "At least, that's what my dad always said…"
In that short second, the girl just chuckled while hiding her face. Jaune wasn't blind, he could see the small smile from behind it.
Thanks, dad. Truly, thank you.
"S-Sorry, I shouldn't be laughing," She managed to get out, which did nothing for Jaune's already dwindling self-esteem. When she calmed down, she introduced herself. "My name is Velvet Scarlatina. I'm a second year at BDA and enrolled in the Pendulum course."
Jaune just nodded and smiled. At least she was a nice person, though Jaune had no idea what a 'Pen-dyum' course was. Maybe he'd learn when he got to Beacon itself? That was what a school was for, right?
"You don't look too good," Velvet commented as she rubbed her chin. "Are you sure you didn't get hurt?"
Jaune shook his head vehemently. "Nah, don't worry about it. It'll fade."
At least, Jaune hoped so… He didn't really feel like spending the entire trip feeling like the wheel on a wheelbarrow.
"Well, congratulations on being accepted into Beacon," Velvet said after getting his reply. "The classes here aren't that hard, but I'm sure you can do it if you try hard enough."
That didn't really sound right to him, but Jaune nodded anyway.
"Aren't that hard?" A stoic yet smooth voice came from behind him. "Easy for you to say, Velvet. You study every second of the day."
Jaune didn't even have to turn his head before a dark-skinned young man entered his vision. He had ginger hair, and to top it all off he also had the strangest eyes. It was almost as if he was blind, but that couldn't be right seeing as he managed to pat his shoulder before standing beside Velvet.
"The name's Fox Alistair," the teen introduced. "I'm a friend of Velvet, we're both classmates in the Pendulum course."
…Okay, that was the second time it was mentioned. Jaune was starting to think that it had some special meaning.
"Hi there, I'm–"
"Jaune Arc, I know," He interrupted. "I heard after you bumped into my friend."
Huh? He was watching them from the start?
"Fox…" Velvet said in a vaguely irritated tone. It seemed out of place on the girl, but very fitting given the situation. "Don't scare him away. We're representing Beacon, so we should be role models for him."
"Of course an honor student like you would say that," he muttered, but it was in a very friendly tone. The two of them must be close friends. "Fine then. Jaune, I'm going to be real with you. Beacon isn't going to be easy, I nearly failed twice already."
Jaune felt his face pale instantly.
"That's because you woke up late to both the final exam and final duel," she reprimanded. "You're lucky that professor Xiao Long was feeling forgiving."
Fox only shrugged in reply.
… Okay, that was weird. Lots of words there, most of which Jaune only recognized vaguely.
Maybe this 'Pendyum' course's professor was this Xiao Long guy? He seems nice, based on what he was hearing right now. Maybe Jaune should try out that course, whatever it was.
The sound of the ship letting out steam signaled the departure of the Beacon's ship. The ship swayed and flowed as it began its journey to the Academy…
… and instantly, Jaune felt his motion sickness get a hundred times worse.
The two upperclassmen noticed his rapidly paling face and winced.
"Okay, I might've been overplaying how hard Beacon could be, but isn't this a little much?" Fox muttered.
"Are you alright? You seem a little under the weather," Velvet pointed out with a concerned gaze.
Already concerned with the younger student…?
She must be a saint!
Jaune just raised his hand in an okay gesture. "I'll be fine… I just need to use the restroom!"
Jaune heard Velvet cry out, but he didn't really look back.
Where was that damn toilet!?
"Dad?" The quiet voice escaped the mouth of a scrawny boy. It echoed within the library in which he sat. Normally, a librarian would have berated him, but seeing as this was a privately owned by his father there was no such reprimand. "When can I play with the others?"
"When you're done studying," the short reply came soon after from behind him.
Jaune didn't turn to acknowledge him but nodded in reply. He squirmed in his seat, not too comfortable where he was despite the fact that he wore his blue overalls. His mom said he looked cute in them, so that was enough reason for him to wear it.
No… the reason why Jaune wasn't very comfortable was very simple.
"… I heard that Saphron visited today," Jaune muttered in an attempt to start a conversation.
"Yes, your sister did," his father's every strict tone came out. "She only came by to say hello. Her job takes priority, after all. It's not easy being a hard-light engineer."
Jaune frowned, but luckily his father couldn't see it. Instead, the boy sighed as the window showered his books in its light. Jaune took up his pen and continued writing down eligible notes, just as his father wanted.
Once more, an uneasy silence took hold. Jaune couldn't really do anything about it… and both of them knew why.
"Jaune," his father's voice called. "I know what you're thinking, but please understand. Your grandfather was a great man-"
"He's not dead."
"He can't be dead…" Jaune whimpered, his fingers trembling across the parchment of his notebook, scratching a line through the seams. "He promised that he'd be back soon… He's not dead…"
Jaune closed his eyes as he felt something wet dribble down his face.
His hair ruffled, but it wasn't from any action on Jaune's part.
"Jaune, it's alright to cry, just don't let sadness overwhelm you. I'm sure dad – your grandfather – wouldn't want that." his father said, patting on his head for added comfort. "Me and your grandfather… we don't agree on many things, but I still loved him."
His hand left Jaune's head and rested on his shoulder. Soon enough, an odd sound of consideration left his throat. "How about this? When you're done studying, let's head out and get ice cream. I'm sure that'll make you feel better."
Jaune didn't really react but slowly nodded in response.
"… and, I'm sure that he'd want you to have this."
Jaune blinked as his father wiped the tears off his face, drawing attention to the wooden box placed before him. Internally, the boy questioned when it actually appeared there? He hadn't heard his father place it down.
Engraved atop the smooth and lacquered wood were two crescent moons stacked neatly on top of one another, almost forming a single crescent on its own.
"You're grandfather left this in the attic before he left," his father added. "I didn't open it so I don't know what's in it, but he said it was very important to him. I'm sure he'd be happy to know you'd keep it."
Jaune, squirming in his seat with childish excitement, leaned forward and grabbed the box, noting how the lock on it failed to keep him from gleaming the contents.
Jaune was happy that it didn't.
The only thing that escaped that box was the shine of a neat stack of mint condition cardboard.
Duel Monsters cards.
"I should've known…" his father muttered with mild exasperation. He made to grab it, but stopped midway in consideration. "… If you want to keep it, then I suppose you could. However, you'll have to redouble your study efforts."
"Yes! I'll do it! You can count on me!" Jaune exclaimed, leaning forward and looking through each card one by one.
… They were nothing like the cards he had ever seen before. All the regular cards that his grandfather would show him from his personal stash, none of them held a candle to these ones!
Of course, they wouldn't. These weren't regular cards.
These were grandfather's cards.
And he would take care of them with all of his heart.
"Happy?" His father asked with mild mirth. "Well, if you have that much energy, then get back to studying or else no ice-cream."
Jaune felt a shiver run down his spine.
As Jaune resumed his note-taking, the cards were set neatly back into the box. The lid stood open, allowing the window light to shine down upon it.
Neither of the Arcs noticed the glow get brighter for a second or two, but that was fine.
It wasn't time yet.
Jaune loved his dad, he truly did. He might've been strict as a drill sergeant, but he was only like that because he cared. His sisters had often talked about how he was the brightest of the whole lot and thought that it was also for his best.
He had the best education his parents could afford and the best results with straight A's across the board. It was honestly a grand feat, one that Jaune wanted to achieve for one reason alone.
If he did, then he'd earn one unquestionable request, something that any kid would kill for.
He could've asked for a whole new car, or perhaps the latest and greatest developments in technology. Hell, he could've even asked for alcohol and they'd allow it!
… but he didn't. There was only one thing Jaune had asked for.
A single shot at becoming a professional duelist.
And they gave it, but his father was adamant about not helping him actually get there. Jaune made his request and probably should have worded it better so he could catch a ride… but that was fine.
It was all he needed to get this far.
… but if he knew that his stomach would be turning itself into literal sewage, then he might've rethought his plan to get here.
Well, this sucks.
Jaune was hobbled over a toilet, a hand rested on the flushing mechanism. It had been a total of five barfs before he managed to get a hold of himself… Actually, he took a nap in one of the vacant rooms during the entire trip!
Blissful sleep kept him from barfing any further, but every now and then he had woken up just to empty the bile from his gut.
It was official, he was never going on a boat ever again. He only took this route because it was the shortest! Beacon had a bridge connecting it to the mainland, but it was always congested with traffic – something that the news stations covered whenever his father wasn't looking – so Jaune felt inclined to stray away from it.
Now, though? He'd welcome hours of traffic over this insane hell he was going through!
He heard the door behind him rattle as if someone was trying to get in. "Hey! Is anyone in there? We've docked a minute ago!"
They're docked? Away from the oceans? Land!?
Jaune immediately got up and grabbed his bags. He flushed the toilet behind him for good measure and opened the stall door.
Upon opening it, he was met with a stereotypical sailor, except this guy was buff beyond comparison. Seriously, he made some bodybuilder's look like shrimps!
"You a student?" the sailor asked. Upon receiving a nod, he just pointed outside. "You're going to want to head out. Unless you're one of the unaccepted, then you can do whatever you want."
Unaccepted? Jaune was pretty sure he was accepted to Beacon, though?
"I don't think I'm one of the 'unaccepted'," Jaune said, noting the way that the sailor had said it. "Thanks for the heads up. I'll be on my way."
The sailor shrugged as Jaune made his way out. The boy did feel bad once he heard the sailor retch and curse at the state of the toilet. Jaune narrowly dodged a paper bag thrown his way.
"Take that shit with you!"
Jaune wasn't going to argue with the big scary sailor man and shoved the vile thing quietly into a very isolate pocket in his bag… after wrapping the thing up in several see-through plastic ones. Wouldn't want it to spill.
Stepping onto the top deck of the ship, Jaune was greeted with the sight of Beacon Academy… and what a sight it was.
There was a garden to each side of a cobbled path. It led directly to a large building, most likely the school itself. Tall, was what Jaune could describe, but it felt like an injustice to do so.
There were huge spires from behind it, and moving around just told Jaune that there was far more to see than just the front of the building. There must've been a whole slew of facilities, which made sense because, you know, this school was built on an artificial island!
It was as if he had stepped into a whole new world.
While being awed, and walking steadily to avoid falling off the boat, Jaune didn't notice the two people walking up to him.
When he finally did, the two of them grabbed a side of his shoulder and looked into his eyes.
Oh look, its Velvet and that Fox guy.
"Jaune, there you are! We were getting worried," Velvet cried out.
"Yeah dude, I thought the ship was going to leave with you," Fox added.
Jaune looked over them with a raised eye. "Why would I be? I got accepted into Beacon, remember?"
Fox just nodded. "Right, makes sense. Maybe your duel took longer than most."
Velvet let out a sigh of relief. "That's good. I was worried you failed. It wouldn't be very nice to welcome you to Beacon, only for you to get kicked out."
The ship blared its familiar horn, prompting Jaune to turn around and watch as the torture machine, left the island… Wait a minute.
Were those people on it?
Jaune recognized a few of them from his time on the ship, before he actually ended up being the resident toilet guardian, and noticed that several of them were frowning, crying, growling to themselves, or even hitting a wall.
They were all clearly frustrated.
As Jaune contemplated, he didn't realize that Fox and Velvet were shaking him out of his stupor.
"Hello? Freshy?" Fox called. "You alright in there? Need a drink or something?"
"You look… really pale?" Velvet muttered. "Are you alright?"
Jaune had no time to reply seeing as a stern voice grabbed their attention.
"You three, what are you all still doing here?"
Jaune turned and noticed the two upperclassmen shiver in fear. He only bent his neck slightly to see what they were afraid of… only to see the oddest sight.
It was a blonde woman wearing glasses on her face. Her hair was styled up in a bun, which actually drew attention to her face a lot more than it should… but that's not actually what caught Jaune's eye.
She wore a cape.
And she had a riding crop.
Well… I guess duelists were more eccentric than I thought?
"Miss Goodwitch!" Velvet called out, more out of habit it seemed. "We were just making sure the freshman was okay."
"Yes, ma'am! We weren't doing anything suspicious!" Fox blurted out, prompting an elbow from the brunette faunus.
The woman, miss Goodwitch from what Jaune heard, gave them a scrutinizing glance before sighing. "Well, at least you two are caring enough of your fellow students. I assume that he was lost on the ship and came out late? It wouldn't be the first time."
Jaune scratched the back of his head in minor confusion. "Actually, I wasn't really lost. I was just busy in the toilet… you know, barfing."
The woman blinked. "Barfing…?"
"Yeah," Jaune confirmed with a laugh. He felt like complete dog poo the entire ride, so he took the time to vent at the moment. You can't blame a guy for venting, right? "It looks like I'm motion sick! I spent the entire ride taking a nap! It was horrible! My sides were in pain for literally hours and… why are you all staring at me like that?"
In the midst of his rant, the hands on his shoulders slackened until they eventually fell off. Both Fox's and Velvet's eyes widened and even miss Goodwitch's own rose in surprise.
"… I'm missing something, aren't I?"
"Yes… yes, you are," miss Goodwitch uttered. She turned towards Velvet exasperated. "Fill him in while I retrieve a test deck. This shouldn't take too long."
Velvet nodded as the presumed teacher left for a minute, which finally allowed her to face him. She seemed to lean forward and take a few sniffs before recoiling in utter disgust.
"So, not lying?" Fox asked.
"Eugh! Nope, he wasn't lying. He smells horrible!" Velvet declared.
His self-esteem aside, Jaune managed to let out a small laugh. "Okay, so can I get filled in?"
"No problem," Fox started off. "You see, during the cruise, you were supposed to duel an instructor. Once you win, you get a blank standard Beacon ID, which lets you use almost every facility on the island. Basically, its the real entrance exam."
Jaune was starting to see the problem.
"So because I was hurling my guts out, I missed it?" Jaune muttered, feeling a strange feeling of dread settling on him. If he hadn't met that sailor and got up, he would've been one a one-way ticket home!
"Okay, I got it!" Jaune cheered as he took out his deck. "I just need to win, right?"
Velvet recovered long enough, covering her nose when she faced him. "Well, not necessarily. You just need to impress the teacher well enough. There's rarely been anyone who actually beat an instructor."
Fox snorted. "Especially, miss Goodwitch."
… that felt important, but Jaune didn't know why. He expected the instructor to be tough, why wouldn't she be? She was literally teaching a whole school of aspiring duelists. Beacon wouldn't hire a horrible duelist to teach them, right?
Maybe Fox was just playing things up again as he did before.
Fox coughed to himself. "Anyway, miss Goodwitch will be back in a minute or two. Get your duel disk ready, you're in for a tough one."
"… Duel disk?" Jaune muttered.
Suddenly, Fox stopped and gave Jaune a long hard look.
"Wait a sec, you brought your Duel disk, right?"
Uh… What the hell was a Duel disk?
Jaune grabbed his back and ruffled around in it. He pushed past the clothes, the comic books, the plastic bags with chips in them, and took out a round disk.
"You mean this right?"
"That's not a duel disk, that's a CD!"
"But… this is a duel monsters tutorial disk," his grandfather even gave it to him days before he left! Jaune tilted his head in confusion. "What else is a duel disk?"
Fox genuinely gave him a wide-eyed stare. "Vel, you seeing this?"
Jaune turned to see the faunus giving him the same slack-jawed look. "… You said you were from a small town called Ansel, right? How good is the television signal there?"
Jaune shrugged. "Pretty good, but dad never put on any channels with dueling on. I mostly learned through a manual my grandfather left behind. Why?"
… Why weren't they saying anything?
"Vel, I'm not going to–"
"Oh for the love of– Fine!" The dark-skinned teen blurted out in frustration. "Here, take this!"
Fox reached into his own back and took out an oddly cylindrical device. It looked like a wristwatch, but it was way too big to be one. In fact, Jaune was pretty sure it couldn't even tell the time.
"Normally I wouldn't do this, but Velvet already took a liking to you, so you need to listen closely."
Without wasting a second, Fox strapped the thing onto Jaune's left arm.
"The bottom row is where you set spell and trap cards. The button under the wrist zone activates the corresponding spell and trap card zone. The five slots on top are for monster cards, you have to place them either face-up or face-down defense position. The LED is where you get what your life points are and it also doubles as a way to banish cards from play. The graveyard is by your knuckles and the field spell slot is by the very end of the disk. Got it?"
"I understood all those terms, but not all of them together."
Fox's blank eye twitched before he groaned to himself.
"Fox, miss Goodwitch is getting closer!" Velvet cried out while holding a strangely flat device to her head. It kind of looked like a scroll.
The faunus ran towards the cobbled path, leaving the two boys alone.
"Man, you are so not worth the effort right now," Fox mumbled. Jaune felt mildly offended but decided not to comment on it. He definitely deserved some down talking right now. He didn't even know what was going on! "If Velvet wasn't here, then I'd probably still help you because my dorm mate would kill me if I didn't."
He sighed. "Listen, you look like a guy that likes reading. Am I right?"
Jaune nodded. He was pretty good at it too.
"Good, then read this in under a minute," Fox said as he shoved Jaune a paper pamphlet. "You've always played Duel Monsters without any Duel disks, right?"
The top layer corresponds with the cards of your deck–
"Yeap," Jaune replied as he continued reading. Multitasking, something that his father drilled into him. "My grandfather left me these cards, and he's never heard of a duel disk before, which means I never knew about them."
"Well, you better get acquainted fast because there's no professional duelist that doesn't know how to use a duel disk!" Fox exclaimed. "This thing is a standard issue one, which I need to return to Beacon when you're done. My disk is in repairs so we'll just use that excuse for yours too, whenever you get one. Geez, this is so fucked up."
–and finally, the banish cards are placed in a miniature pocket dimension for the duration of the duel and until it ends.
"Okay, I think I'm done reading it…" Jaune said, looking it over for any missing notes. "I see the problem now."
In hindsight, Jaune should have looked up as much information as he could about Duel Monsters so that he would've been more prepared. Grandfather never talked about this! He always said they dueled on flat plains, on the floor!
It was official, Jaune Arc was completely and utterly screwed.
Damn it, dad! This is your fault!
Actually, wait. It wasn't just his. It was Jaune's too… and probably his grandfather's too.
The male Arc hindsight was not twenty-twenty, apparently.
"I am so screwed."
"If you keep thinking like that, then you sure as hell are, buddy."
"Fox! Is he ready!?"
"Shit! She's back!" Fox blurted out in panic. "Okay, learned everything? Act natural! If Goodwitch catches us, forget the initiation duel because she'll send you home without a damn second to spare! Then after that, Velvet and I are both dead!"
Right, no pressure!
Jaune stood as naturally as he could when Fox leaned away, looking nonchalant. His acting skills were honestly terrible, but luckily miss Goodwitch didn't seem to care.
She looked… tired. More so than anyone that Jaune had ever met. Internally, he wondered why. Externally, he wore the fakest smile he had ever had on his face.
"Good morning, miss Goodwitch." Jaune greeted, hoping to at least be amicable with the teacher.
She didn't seem to care.
"Jaune Arc, was it?" She asked as she held a duel disk in one hand – thank god that the two upperclassmen took pity on him – and a deck in the other.
"Pardon me for not asking this earlier," miss Goodwitch spoke up as she rubbed the side of her head. It seemed like she had a headache. "but are you sure you didn't take the duel on the cruise? We've had prospective students attempt to falsify before, but they were always found out sooner or later."
Jaune nodded vehemently. "Yes, ma'am! I even have proof!"
Fox and the professor blinked.
"Proof?" Fox blurted out.
"P-Proof?" Goodwitch muttered in incredulity. A few short seconds later, when Jaune pulled out a plastic bag, with a paper bag inside it, torn to reveal the disgusting bile flowing out and into the paper bag.
Velvet, who returned just recently, immediately turned green and faced away. Fox, who had enough sense to not look in the first place, grabbed it and dropped it into the nearest trash can he could find.
"That was nasty."
"Thank you, mister Alistair," the Goodwitch muttered, "Well, I suppose you don't have a number for me to dial? I'd like to contact your guardians about this development."
"Uh, I guess you can do that," Jaune muttered, reaching into his bag – thankfully on the opposite end of where the bag of bile came from – and pulled out a phone…
… a phone whose model went out of production over ten years ago.
With fingers like lightning, Jaune typed in his father's number and handed it to miss Goodwitch while it rang. All the while Fox and Velvet stared at the thing like a fossil.
"Where did you get that thing?" Fox asked as miss Goodwitch spoke on it.
Jaune shrugged. "I found it at a lien store on my way here. I didn't really have a phone so I thought a cheap one would be fine."
"… Oh my god, it's like you lived in the boonies," Fox muttered. "You at least know what a scroll is, right?"
"Of course, I do!" Jaune responded, mildly offended. "But there's no way I could afford one of those anyway. I used most of my allowance getting here in the first place."
Seriously, despite the education he got, he wasn't filthy rich! If anything, his family only owned that library because nobody in their town even wanted the responsibility of taking care of it!
"Fine, I suppose," miss Goodwitch finally said as she handed back the telephone to the Arc. "While your parents were surprised at your sea-sickness, they did allow you the chance to stay and take the entry duel."
'You get one chance, and just one.'
Miss Goodwitch pivoted on her heel and walked away. "There's a training field nearby the front garden for visitors to use, let us get started."
It didn't take long before they reached the field. It was nice, flat, and perfect for a cardboard box for playing Duel Monsters– wait a minute, he relapsed. Dang it.
"We begin when you are ready," miss Goodwitch said, but snapped her eyes on the duel disk Jaune was holding. "Pardon for just a moment. Where is your duel disk?"
Jaune immediately imagined the worst-case scenario, but calmed himself down and replied. "My duel disk is under repairs at home. I managed to get a replacement for until then."
Although, Jaune had no idea where he'd even get one of these things.
To the side, Fox sweated a storm. Only a quick and hidden towel from Velvet managed to save him.
"That is a standard beacon disk…" miss Goodwitch muttered. "I suppose that it should suffice for now. I assume that mister Alistair provided it to you?"
As long as they don't mention that Jaune never had a duel disk whatsoever, they'd be fine.
"Very well then," miss Goodwitch toned. "Since you are a prospective student, you may go first if you wish, mister Arc."
He was so glad that the manual Fox gave him showed that he was supposed to ONLY have five cards to start the turn, not six. Grandfather always said that he needed to draw a card at the start of every turn. Then, he finds out that the one going first wasn't supposed to draw.
If he had done that amateur mistake… goodbye Beacon.
Jaune took a deep and calming breath – one that was more effective than the ones he did on the boat itself – and smiled to himself.
Jaune shoved his deck into the duel disk, watching how it automatically shuffled the cards in the deck – which was awesome to look at – and drew five cards.
In that instant, the LED on the duel disk showed the number four thousand. That was his life points, and a quick glance towards miss Goodwitch showed that there was a holographic projector creating a screen above her.
It showed her life points, also at four thousand, and the number of cards in her hand… and her name, Glynda Goodwitch.
Okay, so far nothing weird. He could do this!
"Okay, thank you miss Goodwitch. I'll be going first!" Jaune cheered to himself.
To the far side of the visitor training field, leaning on a steel railing, Fox grunted. "This wasn't worth the effort."
Velvet smiled beside him. "Well, it's up to him now, right? We did our part."
"Which makes me question, why did we do this?" Fox mumbled. "Right, because Yatsu would kill me for being a dick and Coco would hamstring us."
"Sounds about right," Velvet nodded. "On the bright side, we got to help out a prospective underclassman!"
Fox gave her a thin-eyed glare.
"… You just wanted to act like a second-year, didn't you?"
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Fox snorted. "You've definitely come a long way from that shy rabbit girl. Coco did wonders."
Velvet smiled. "Yes, yes she did."
"Well," Fox muttered. "Let's see if the kid is any good."
Jaune picked a card and placed it on the duel disk, marveling at the swirling light and holographic marvel happening directly before him.
"I summon, in attack mode, Noble Arc Swordsman, Arthur!"
In that instant, a blonde knight in white and blue armor rose from the floor in a splash of wind.
["Noble Arc Swordsman, Arthur" L4 Light - Wyrm - 1900/300]
It was… incredible. He watched the knight in wonder, marveling at how the faint wind moved the smallest tuft of his monster's hair. It was… life-like, something that Jaune had never noticed before.
Duel disks… huh?
He gave the knight a single glance before focusing back on the duel. The cards left to him by his grandfather… Jaune finally saw them come to life, in a way that he never before imagined to be possible.
… beats his regular old imagination by a long shot.
"Nineteen hundred attack and three hundred defense," miss Goodwitch muttered she was glancing at her Duel Disk, likely trying to glean information on his card. The manual did say that these things could do that. "Very well, let us see what it can… do?"
She looked up from her duel disk and towards the noble knight before her… with her own eyes widened in genuine surprise and… disbelief.
"A Normal monster?"
Jaune didn't pay attention and focused more on locating where the spell and trap zone was on the duel disk. It was because of that, he didn't notice the reactions of his upperclassmen.
"Well, Yatsu can't blame me for this!" Fox blurted out. "We tried! We really did!"
"… Maybe he's going to use it to a fusion summon a monster?" Velvet muttered in hope. Very little hope, but hope nonetheless.
"Okay, found the slot…" Jaune muttered. "I set two cards face-down and end my turn!"
"… or not." Velvet muttered.
"Okay, those two set cards should help him. He'll be fine," Fox reassured, but it felt more like he was assuring himself.
"An… odd choice for a monster, mister Arc. A Wyrm type isn't seen much," miss Goodwitch complimented, digging the bottom of the barrel to find that compliment, and drew from her deck. "My turn, I draw. Then, I normal summon Normally Normal Wizard from my hand."
An incredibly basic wizard looking man stood up.
["Normally Normal Wizard" L3 Earth - Spellcaster/Effect - 1600/1600]
"Next, I activate its effect. When it is normal summoned, I can add another Normally Normal monster to my hand. I add Normally Normal Imp, which activates its effect. I special summon it onto the field, which in turn chains another effect of a monster card in my hand. Normally Normal Knight summons itself to the field whenever a monster is special summoned from my hand, except for itself."
An incredibly basic Imp stood up, followed by an incredibly basic Knight.
["Normally Normal Imp" L3 Dark - Fiend/Effect - 1500/1500]
["Normally Normal Knight" L3 Wind - Warrior/Effect - 1600/1600]
"Yeah, no. He's screwed." Fox had lost all hope. "I remember that deck, I went against it at my initiation duel."
What Goodwitch was playing was a hyper-aggressive rush-down deck. From what Fox could see of Jaune's deck… yeah, that wasn't going to go well.
Jaune could only widen his eyes. Yeah, he was definitely going to be studying duel monster cards later. He didn't even recognize any of these monsters! And there were three of them in one turn. Normally Normal? What a cruel joke, that wasn't normal at all… or maybe it was.
Just how much did Jaune actually know about Duel Monsters nowadays… and how much of it was obsolete?
"And now, with the level three Normally Normal Wizard and level three Normally Normal Imp, I construct the Overlay Network…" miss Goodwitch spoke.
It was then that things… changed.
Jaune didn't notice it at first, but eventually, he saw what seemed to be particles drawn towards the center of the field.
What was going on?
In that instant, the purple and yellow particles swirled, coalescing together like a whirlpool. Reality shifted, and despite it being a holographic projection, Jaune was certain that he felt… something, stare back at him from those depths.
The imp and the wizard leaped forth, turning themselves into pale golden light, before being dragged into the whirlpool as well. It didn't take long, but an eruption burst forth from the depths of the rift… revealing a new monster.
"… and I Xyz summon, Abnormally Abnormal King."
The monster growled like a rabid animal as two glowing orbs swirled slowly around it. It wore a golden ornamental crown over its pitch black body, carrying a bloodied axe in its grasp. It was a jarring shift from the regular and basic monsters he had seen just seconds prior.
It was… frightening. It glared down at him as if he was just an ant, waiting to be stepped on. A mere insect that the odd ruler wouldn't even bother giving a second thought–
"The King attacks your Knight."
Jaune took a few seconds to realize that the monster barreled its way towards him like a canon. In that short second, Jaune's eyes widened…
… and closed shut, flinching from the sudden burst of speed. His noble knight, the one he had only summoned seconds prior, was torn asunder and scattered into the wind.
Just like that, his knight had been vanquished.
And Jaune Arc couldn't even raise a finger.
Miss Goodwitch sighed and set a card, ending her turn. However, Jaune didn't catch any of the words. He was still… reeling.
The holographs, they were definitely more impactful than just his imagination. At least there, Jaune was safe. He knew that he was still safe here, rationally… but his far more primitive reactions and instincts screamed at him otherwise.
This… this a duel.
This was what he wanted to do for a living.
This was what his father didn't want him to do.
He took a glance towards the teacher and–
Why wasn't she looking at him? Why was she looking away? Isn't this a duel? Weren't they supposed to stay focused at all times? Why did she look so disappointed?
Was he that bad? Did all the regular students deal with this on a daily basis?
"Why won't you let me play, dad!" A small Jaune complained as he held a deck of cards in his hands.
They were taken off of him and placed on a shelf. "This is a kid's game, please understand. A real job will provide better, Jaune."
Was he going to be a disappointment, again…?
"Why can't you focus on a real job. That game isn't going to help you in the future." His father berated, sighing to himself as he gazed at his child.
Said child was pouting from behind a chair. "Yes, it is!"
"You're a bright kid, Jaune." Those words came out from the most withered face Jaune had ever seen… yet it was also the kindest. "I believe in you."
Jaune, with a beaming smile on his face, cheered in happiness. "Thanks, grandpa!"
Jaune growled and drew a card, his fingers shivering at the adrenaline pumping through his veins.
Calm down, Jaune. It's a hologram, it isn't real.
He was just surprised, that was it. Nothing more.
He looked at his duel disk and checked the recap feature, which the manual was a godsend for telling him about. When that monster was summoned, he froze up, which cost him quite a lot.
The monster was named Abnormally Abnormal King, an Xyz monster.
["Abnormally Abnormal King" R3 Dark - Warrior/Xyz/Effect - 2000/2000]
Jaune had no idea what that was, nor did he know what it meant when it said it was rank three, not level. What he did know, was that it had two thousand attack and defense points, and had the ability to use it's effect twice before essentially becoming a beat stick.
It already used it once during the battle phase. Until the end of the damage step, the thing's attack would double. It already had two thousand, so it doubled to four thousand.
That was higher than a Blue-eyes White Dragon! What the hell happened to this game since grandfather last played it!?
It was during this same battle phase that Jaune took over two thousand damage, leaving him at nineteen hundred life points. After that, the Normally Normal Knight attacked him, leaving him with…
[Jaune: 300 / Glynda: 4000]
… three hundred life points.
However, the monster had a drawback. If that effect was used, then the king would kneel into defense position, where he was vulnerable enough for Jaune to strike at… if he had monsters.
The worst thing about it was… Jaune had a trap card that he could've activated at that moment! Then, its secondary effect of protecting his monsters from being destroyed by effect monsters would have activated!
He could've made a come-back turn right now!
Jaune sighed and shook away the thought. Right now, he focused on the duel.
Father had always given him a hard time when it came to Duel Monsters, but he always gave life advice that Jaune chose to live by. His mother helped him whenever she could, but never with duel monsters.
His grandfather though? He had always told him one thing when playing this game… No, when dueling.
No use worrying about what could have happened, focus on the present and the future.
Watch me, old man. With your deck, I'm going to make you proud!
"I activate my trap card, Arc Contract!" A symbol on parchment which held two upside-down crescent moons stacked on top of each other, the Arc symbol.
His family's symbol.
Miss Goodwitch raised her brow at the activation.
"If an Arc monster is in the graveyard, then I can special summon up to two Arc monsters from my hand or graveyard!" Jaune declared. He pressed a button on the duel disk and ejected a card from the graveyard.
Welcome back, Arthur.
"I special summon Noble Arc Knight, Arthur from the graveyard!"
Once more, the noble knight rose to do battle.
["Noble Arc Knight, Arthur" L4 Light- Warrior/Effect - 1900/300]
"Just one…?" Velvet muttered from the sidelines. She had been silent for a while, but that was due to simple etiquette. It was rude to scream and shout during a duelist's harshest times.
It'd disturb their concentration otherwise… something that Beacon Academy will end up teaching each student to deal with. Audience members were always a rowdy bunch.
"I activate a spell card, Heirloom of the Arc, Crocea Mors!" Jaune declared. It held an image of a sword, a mere sword with nothing special, save for the Arc symbol on its sheath-shield. "This card allows me to equip itself to a Wyrm-type 'Arc' monster I control."
"…There's a theme," Fox noted.
"Yeah, so?" Velvet asked. "Most decks around the world have a theme too? Even all the freshmen decks so far have themes like his."
Fox narrowed his eyes. "But how many can boast of having unique cards?"
Today, Velvet had found herself shocked into silence more than once, but this one was something else entirely. Realization.
"… He said he came from a small town…" Fox muttered. Velvet raised a brow at the information. "How does a kid from a small town end up with three unique cards? Scratch that, from the looks of it, his whole deck is composed of unique cards."
"Did the SDC release a new arch-type?" Velvet questioned. "They'd need to make a public announcement if they did… and no one knows how to make legit duel monster cards nowadays other than them."
It was well known that counterfeit cards circulated the market, but they were absolutely worthless when tested on actual Schnee brand Duel Disks. Then they interact, the disk would detect the counterfeit and send out an alert.
What Fox had given Jaune was a standard issue brand, but one made for cheap by the SDC. If they were ignoring the implications of monopoly that the SDC had for the creation of cards, Jaune's cards were legitimate in their eyes… which meant that Jaune had a trove of unique cards in his grasp.
"He said he got those cards from his grandfather…" Fox muttered, "Things don't add up."
"Think on it later," Velvet advised. "There's a duel going on."
"My battle phase starts here," Jaune declared. "Arthur, attack the King!"
Goodwitch raised a brow.
That wouldn't work. That knight had 1900 and her King had a hundred more.
The knight leaped into the air with Crocea Mors held fast in its grasp, and prepared to drive it through the King's kneeling form. The King sneered and readied itself to batter the foolish knight away.
"Crocea Mors' effect activates!" Jaune declared, drawing the teacher's attention. "When it battles an effect monster, my equipped monster gains attack equal to its own level multiplied by a hundred! With a new attack value of twenty-three hundred-"
"-My king falls," Goodwitch finished, causing Jaune to momentarily stumble at being interrupted.
In that instant, the Knight cleaved through the king, whose eyes were widened in disbelief at failing to batter him away. Unfortunately, miss Goodwitch had him in defense position, which meant that she took no damage.
Jaune sighed. "I set a monster in face-down defense position and end my turn."
This time, the woman known as Glynda Goodwitch, frowned.
Towards her inner thoughts, she wondered why he had not summoned that set monster with his own trap card 'Arc Contract' effect? Surely that would've been a better idea? It would have allowed him to possibly perform an extra summon of some sort.
Perhaps it had a flip effect, which meant that Goodwitch should avoid it.
No matter, the Goodwitch thought, for it was her turn.
"I draw. Now, I activate a spell card, A Book for the Normally Normal." It was just a normal book. "It allows me to discard a card and add a Normally Normal monster to my hand. I choose to add Normally Normal Imp."
Jaune cringed. "Ah, Kuriboh's balls."
"Language, mister Arc. Due to Imp's effect, I special summon it to the field," once more, that generic imp appeared. ["Normally Normal Imp" L3 Dark - Fiend/Effect - 1500/1500] "In response to that, I activate a monster effect from my graveyard."
"I activate Normally Normal Priest's effect. When I control a Normally Normal monster on the field, she special summons herself to the field from beyond the grave."
A portal opened, and from it escaped an incredibly generic male priest.
["Normally Normal Priest" L3 Light - Spellcaster/Tuner/Effect - 1300/1300]
A Tuner? Jaune grimaced. This was going to be one of those things he should have learned.
"And now, I tune the Tuner Monster, Normally Normal Priest, with Normally Normal Imp…" miss Goodwitch spoke.
Once more, things changed.
It was… different from the Xyz summoning thing. Instead of a coalescing of energy, the Tuner monster split into several orbs of light. The Imp followed it into the sky, where those orbs enlarged into rings of pure and unadulterated energy.
It was… beautiful. The energy surrounding the Imp turned the creature translucent, where only three orbs of light shined within it. It was then, that Jaune realized it corresponded to their levels.
While Xyz summoning was three mixed with three to form some kind of… negative three? Levels into a rank basically, but this next one was different. It was using addition.
"… and I Synchro summon, Crazily Crazy Jester."
As if to spit on the utter beauty of the energy, a darkened and crazed monster leaped from the union of light. Its body similar was to the mad king, pitch black at all points of view, yet the very visible violet jester hat alongside a very mad and twisted grin differentiated it entirely.
He took a calming breath.
Calm down, it's just a hologram, not a real monster.
["Crazily Crazy Jester" L6 Dark - Spellcaster/Synchro/Effect - 2000/2000]
"… Hey there, psycho guy?" Jaune found himself muttering, just so he could remain calm. Was this why the radio kept playing the banter between duelists?
"I activate his effect," Glynda declared. "Once per turn, I may return a monster in my graveyard to the bottom of my deck. If I do so, then I may change the battle position of one of your monsters."
She took a quick glance at the set monster and shook her head. Whatever it was, she didn't want to see if it had a flip effect. Besides, it was more efficient for field clearing if she had the highest attacking monster attack the face-down one.
"I change your Knight to defense position."
The jester laughed and tossed a ball towards the knight. He made to catch it but was forced to kneel when he did. The ball was too heavy for it to lift, and merged with the ground itself.
"With that change in mind, I enter my battle phase," she declared. "You remember my Knight, correct? He has not left the battlefield yet, so he attacks your own knight."
The knight with sixteen hundred attack points destroyed the knight with three hundred defense.
"Not very chivalrous, was it?" Jaune quipped.
Surprisingly, miss Goodwitch didn't berate him, almost as if she expected it out of him. "Is that so? Well, hiding like a coward isn't very chivalrous either. Let us see what you have left for us, then? Jester, attack the face-down monster."
The Jester laughed and leaped its pitch black form morphing into a drill, whirling to spear straight through the enemy monster.
It didn't succeed.
"I activate my trap card, Arc Force!" Jaune exclaimed, pressing a button on his duel disk just in time, revealing the Arc symbol expanding like a shield, with a knight hidden behind it.
In truth, Jaune had missed pressing the button a few times and praised whatever god existed out there that the animations for the attack took a while.
"When a monster of mine is attacked, I can special summon a Wyrm-type 'Arc' monster from my graveyard as the new attack target!"
Glynda frowned but grew interested in the effects.
After all, these weren't cards she had seen before.
"I special summon Arthur once more, but in defense position!" Jaune declared, and the monster returned. "In addition, the special summoned monster cannot be destroyed by effect monsters!"
Glynda raised a brow, not the first one she rose during this match.
It was a feat many couldn't even claim.
Normally, Glynda would end the test and they'd allow the boy to enroll…
The jester twisted midair and impacted the resurrected knight, who battered it away with a roar of effort. The jester growled in irritation before returning to Glynda's side.
"Well played. I set a card and end my turn."
… but the duelist within her cried out.
'Let the boy have one more turn, just to see more of his deck in action.'
Duelists, truly they were children at heart. She was no exception.
"I draw!" Jaune called out. Idly, Glynda wondered what he could do with two normal monsters and two hand cards. "I activate Arc-tifact of Hope! With this card, I can look at the card on top of my deck. If that card isn't an 'Arc' card, then I can send it to the bottom of my deck until I find one."
It held the image of the Arc symbol once more. However, it was scattered in darkness, with only a single piece shining faintly.
A search card, that was what the Arc boy had drawn.
Glynda had seen a lot of searching cards in her life, most of them aiding their deck in some extreme fashion like the Dark World decks… but this one was odd for a single fact.
It was well and truly, random.
He drew. "Nope."
He drew once more. "No dice."
One more draw and he smiled. "Here we go."
His deck shuffled automatically once the effect was complete.
"You didn't get to see what monster I had under here, right?" Jaune called out. Flamboyancy made itself known, and Glynda did not berate it once more. "Well, you can see it now. I flip summon Spellsworn Arc Paladin, Aleistar!"
For a moment, Fox blinked at being called. However, once he noticed it was just a monster, he relaxed.
The monster was similar to the knight, Arthur. It had blond hair in a ponytail, yet was hidden by a generous amount of white and blue armor, not to mention accompanied by a large spear and shield.
["Spellsworn Arc Paladin, Aleistar" L3 Light - Wyrm- 1400/1900]
"Another Wyrm-type Normal monster?" Velvet muttered. She soon chuckled afterward. "It shares a name with you, Fox."
"Hey, Alistair isn't the same as Aleistar," Fox Alistair muttered. "This is going to be annoying in the future, isn't?"
"And now, since I control two Wyrm-type Normal monsters, I can special summon this guy from my hand!" Jaune bellowed, excitement rising in his veins. The moment he pulled the card from his fingers and placed it on the duel disk… it was one that he was going to remember.
"I special summon Golden-Winged Arc Dragon!"
A blast of wind, the herald of the sun, a bellow of a new dawn. A golden dragon rose from a literal cloud of golden dust. Its gaping widened at the sight of its enemy, but it did not growl and nor did it roar in fury.
Instead, it rested beside the two Wyrm-blooded warriors beside it, laying a watchful eye at their shared foe.
["Golden-Winged Arc Dragon" L7 Light - Wyrm/Effect - 2500/2100]
"Lowered points, mister Arc."
"Boo!" Fox shouted.
"You should've chanted a lot more, this creature is clearly one of you ace monsters, is it not?" Miss Goodwitch berated. At Jaune's nod, she continued. "A duelist's job is not to merely win a duel, but to excite those who watch them. If I saw a top duelist summon their ace monster in a more static manner than you have, then I would have an aneurysm."
"She's right Jaune!" Velvet shouted in agreement.
"Not flashy enough!" Fox shouted.
"Uh… Sorry?" Jaune tried to utter. Was this really that important? "Hey, wait a minute! Why didn't miss Goodwitch do any of that, then?"
"Obviously," Fox answered. "Those aren't her real cards! You're being graded here, wouldn't want you to get beat up that bad."
Ah, that made sense– Wait just a sec, he was being graded!?
No, it made sense. This was still a test. He would be graded based on his performance, just like what Velvet said, not if he won or not… then that meant his show earlier when that king attacked, where he panicked and closed off his eyes from the world… yeah, that was probably a lot of points gone.
But now, he could make some back.
Jaune nodded resolutely.
"Right, I'll remember that next time, but for now…" Jaune snapped his gaze back to his ace. "My dragon's presence will be known."
In that instance, Glynda noticed her Jester and Knight stagger in unison… as if weakened.
"During my turn, the attack of all opposing effect monsters are lowered by their own level – or rank…? – by 100!" Jaune shouted. Luckily, nobody noticed his minor confusion.
What was that? Why did his dragon suddenly snort? Why did his card vibrate? From all the days Jaune played with the Golden-Winged Arc Dragon, it had never said anything about ranks, not even a bit… so why did it…?
Jaune huffed and put aside the thought for now. He focused on the enemy as their attack points decreased.
["Crazily Crazy Jester" L6 Dark - Spellcaster/Synchro/Effect - 2000/2000]
["Crazily Crazy Jester" L6 Dark - Spellcaster/Synchro/Effect - 1400/2000]
["Normally Normal Knight" L3 Wind - Warrior/Effect - 1600/1600]
["Normally Normal Knight" L3 Wind - Warrior/Effect - 1300/1600]
Good. Now, next was this…
"I activate Arc-verload!" Jaune bellowed. A spell card depicting the Arc emblem being destroyed from the inside-out. "This spell increases the ATK of 'Arc' Normal monsters based on their level multiplied by 200!"
["Noble Arc Knight, Arthur" L4 Light - Wyrm - 1900/300]
["Noble Arc Knight, Arthur" L4 Light - Wyrm - 2700/300]
["Spellsworn Arc Paladin, Aleistar" L3 Light - Wyrm- 1400/1900]
["Spellsworn Arc Paladin, Aleistar" L3 Light - Wyrm- 2000/1900]
"Oh?" Glynda muttered.
"Jaune has no more hand cards. He's going to try to end it now." Velvet muttered.
"Battle phase, Arthur attacks the Jester!" Jaune called out. His knight obeyed and blast forth, a golden trail of radiance from his recent spell card aiding him.
Glynda did nothing as the jester was cleaved in half. 2700 versus 1400. Her health decreased to 2700.
"Next, Aleistar attacks the Normally Normal Knight!"
Once more, Glynda did nothing as her knight was obliterated. 2000 versus 1300. Her health decreased to a mere 2000… which left her in range.
In range for a defeat.
"This is it!" Jaune Arc screamed out to the world. "Golden Winged Arc Dragon, flare resonance!"
The dragon roared, flew above the heavens and allowed the sun's rays to pass through it, amplifying the flare and sending a pulse of pure energy towards the defenseless teacher.
It was then that Glynda Goodwitch finally did something.
"I activate Consequences of the Normally Normal," she said. The violet card raised from the ground with the image of the Wizard berating a priest.
In her hand, she flipped to reveal a Normally Normal Imp. "When you declare a direct attack while I have a Normally Normal monster in my hand, I can negate the next instance of battle damage I receive. Should I do so, then you take double the damage that I would have taken instead."
The trap card expanded like a barrier in response to the golden dragon's charge. It roared in defiance and barreled forward in a shower of bright golden sparks–
Velvet's ear twitched. "Is it over?"
"Yeah…" Fox muttered in disbelief…
A flash of golden light enveloped the training field.
"… for her."
… as he saw miss Goodwitch's health reach zero.
She had been surprised before, much like any other person in the world. Disbelief, however, was an emotion that she was not exactly comfortable to feel.
Glynda Goodwitch widened her eyes to almost comical proportions as she gazed at her duel disk in blatant confusion.
"What in the world…?" She muttered.
Did her trap card fail? But the Arc hadn't activated a spell or trap card, or even a monster effect to indicate it… almost as if the trap did indeed work as intended, but didn't manage to do anything.
Normally Normal Consequences was an odd trap card. Like all Normal Trap cards, it could activate in response to any action, like a direct attack. Much like cards such as Widespread Ruin or Waboku.
It would activate its effect and send itself to the graveyard, but Normally Normal Consequences didn't. It stayed active as if awaiting the next instance of battle damage to come… but hadn't it–
Oh, that made sense.
"You said the next instance of battle damage," Jaune Arc said, walking up to her as soon as the holograms dissipated. "Here's the thing, all my Normal monsters deal battle damage, but all of my Effect monsters…"
"… deal effect damage," she muttered as she finished the boy's trail of thought. "That… is a very odd quirk for a deck, mister Arc. It is one that I did not expect."
Normally Normal Consequences activated without issue, but there wasn't any battle damage for it to reflect.
She should have read the card… No, even if she had known its effect, her card was already set. She wouldn't have been able to block that dragon's attack either way.
Perhaps if mister Arc had attacked with his knight last, then she would have won as expected. After all, most amateur duelists liked to end it off with a big and flashy attack from their highest attack point monster.
But she didn't win, because the Arc went with his ace to finish it off.
Truly. After receiving battle damage from monsters on a daily basis, who would have guessed that she would have taken effect damage from a battle? Duel Monsters was truly a varied game.
Well played, mister Arc.
"So does that means… that I pass?" He muttered sheepishly.
Glynda spent just a single second looking at the blond boy before her. Shuffling in his utterly average trousers and jacket.
That lost him points. Duelists were always to appear as appealing as possible to draw in the audience. In fact, the boy had a lot of possible points lost from the fact that his dueling lacked any form of showmanship at all…
… but the boy had won without the use of any extra deck monsters.
Perhaps, that alone would have drawn in an audience.
Perhaps this boy…
Glynda sighed and forced the thought away. No use getting her hopes up, after all. She had done that before and wasn't planning to make that mistake again.
Jaune suddenly looked a lot more meek. "I mean, I won, right?"
… and in the second that Glynda had forced a clear mind upon herself, the boy shriveled into a less than confident mess.
She couldn't stop the snicker escape her lips.
Soon enough, she held her mouth and turned her face away in an attempt to hide it, but it was futile. Her students had already seen it, and so did the young man before her.
The said young man was blushing a storm at being laughed at, more confused than anything.
"M-My apologies," Glynda uttered out. "I do not mean anything against you, mister Arc. It has been quite some time since a freshman has bested me. I admit that, while I was not using my personal deck, it was still a wonderful showing."
She fixed up her appearance and faced the boy.
The boy had some odd cards… but maybe odd cards were what would help him succeed.
"Yes, mister Arc. You pass."
Jaune's eyes widened in sheer joy.
Glynda Goodwitch nodded.
"Yes, mister Arc. Although, it was not a perfect performance. There are places where you can definitely improve, but overall it was–"
"Yes! Thank you!"
In that short second, overwhelmed by sheer joy, the Arc had run up to the teacher and wrapped his arms around her. She tried to shove him off, but the blasted boy was too wrapped up in his own happiness that she couldn't muster any strength to do so!
Why was this boy so happy at this development!?
She had seen students happy at passing before, but those were mere passing emotions. Fleeting, one might say, but this boy currently smothering her was anything but that.
He held joy. Pure and unadulterated joy.
It was as if he had been gifted the world itself.
For that reason alone, Glynda Goodwitch opted to allow this behavior for just a while. She was by no means cold-hearted, but any other student would have been dragged into a lecture about proper public interactions.
This victory meant a lot for him, but she had no idea why… but perhaps that was for the best.
She sent a quick glare towards the only other two witnesses of the duel. The words and intent behind the glare were simple.
Speak of this, and no one would hear you scream.
Both Velvet's and Fox's clockwork nods were enough to assuage Glynda's worries…
… Now, how was she going to get this student off of her?
"Eight unique cards," Fox muttered. "That's… a lot. If he has three copies of each then that would already be more than half a deck. I'm willing to bet he's got a load more in there."
Velvet looked over the training field. While Jaune didn't see it, there was a counter keeping track of how many cards he had in his deck.
"… He managed to win with a sixty card deck?" Velvet muttered as well. "Either he's really skilled, or he was really lucky."
"I'm willing to bet on the latter," Fox replied. "Come on, let's get the kid off of miss Goodwitch before she blows a fuse."
The bunny faunus nodded and followed her friend to the training field. Unbeknownst to Fox, however, was the growing smile on Velvet's face.
She was glad that they helped out this freshman.
Because now their school year was beginning to look a whole lot more interesting.
From his perch above, high above in an obsidian tower at the heart of the academy itself, a silver-haired man gazed towards his screen. A camera depicting the recent duel between student and faculty had come to an end… a very interesting one.
The Arc Wyrm archetype.
"It has been quite a long time since we last saw those cards. Right, Ozpin dearest?" A collected voice spoke from beside him. "Noble Arc Knight, Arthur. Old Jonathon named it after an ancestor of his, didn't it?"
The silver-haired man, Ozpin as he went by, merely chuckled and let out a soft smile. "Yes, I believe so. That man always did love his family. He used that card well over two generations ago, didn't he? Or was it longer?"
"From these records we have…" His blonde companion muttered as she held a book in her hands. She had never liked moving on with the times, always sticking to tradition. "Yes, that seems to be correct. Although, I swear that there were only Normal Monsters in that deck before… did Jonathan update his deck somehow?
Ozpin shrugged. "Possibly so… if only we could ask him."
"Have we still no data on his whereabouts?"
Ozpin's smile turned to a frown in a second. "No, no news whatsoever. It is likely that his grandchild knows nothing either."
"A shame… we could really use his aid," she muttered. "Safeguarding these cards isn't an easy task."
"It has never been easy. In fact, it's been more mundane than anything," Ozpin muttered before a small smirk took hold. "But… perhaps this boy's presence will make things less so."
His companion rolled her eyes.
"Always with the scheming. I'll never know why you enjoy it nowadays."
"Perhaps you should try it out. It may give you a new perspective."
"Quite… but perhaps not today," she refuted. "I need a nap. There have been far too many unruly freshmen today." Her beautiful sky blue eyes soon opened up to send him an irritated glare. "Maybe we shouldn't have an open-entry exam, like always, co-headmaster Ozpin."
She sauntered off, but Ozpin could still see the pout on her face. Admittedly, it brought a smile to his face. While she hated it, she could not argue that it gave results. Their academy was the best in Vale for a reason.
And that reason was that they polished any form of talent they find to the best of their abilities, no matter how rough it is.
"Whatever you say…" Ozpin chuckled once more as his companion left the room. Actually, she was much more than that. "… Co-headmistress Salem."
Next Chapter: Early May (yeah that's right, I'm adding another one u nerds. It would've become out this month, but am a lazy pepega)
A/N: Happy April Fools you sons of [Censored].
Just a heads up. If you thought Jaune was pretty stupid for coming to a duel academy without foreknowledge about the basics of a duelist, I point you to canon, where he went to Beacon with absolutely ZERO training or knowledge about Aura. Jaune might be a smart guy, but he isn't exactly smart if you get what I mean.
This entire thing was planned to be AU, with a whole load of twists and turns, school factions and dynamics, dueling with a children's card game, and mostly RWBY but translated into a Jaune-centric Yu-Gi-Oh series. Sounds fun, right? I don't even need brain power to write this, because just like in the Yu-Gi-Oh anime's, it's perfectly okay to dues ex-machina your way through the story! (You can't convince me otherwise either).
This fic will almost NEVER be updated, or updated very often, mostly depends on whether I've already finished a chapter in between college and my other fanfics. So in short, this thing is inconsistent. It could update tomorrow or the next few months. I don't really think this will be a fic that people will want to read either, so I'm just leaving it out here.
Oh yeah, no link summoning, or at least until I fully understand how to write it in a literary format. I.E, slots on the field. Sounds possible but would be clunky and awkward to write with, so no dice until I figure it out.
Normally I'd ask for a review if I had any errors, but seeing as this is a chill fic with ABSOLUTELY ZERO deadlines, it's up to you. You could type in p33p33 for all I care, this fic is for chilling.
I just wrote this cuz I wanted to have fun.
A/N 2: Fixed a minor error and another during the duel. Referred to some L3 Monsters as L4.
A/N 3: You didn't see the retcon that will be explained next chapter. You saw nothing because everyone knows Yugioh players don't read.