Welcome back for the second chapter of this story! I thank everyone for their reviews of the last chapter and the other forms of support you have given me! I will now go over a few reviews and then start this chapter.


Review Responses:

-To And then the sky: Thank you for your extensive review! It's amazing to get one going this much into detail for a story's first one. To pick out the point about Yukemi's different character, as you mentioned, I didn't want to make someone too similar to Playmaker. That goes from behavior and general personality to the fact that I didn't want yet another Storm Access User being around. Hence I moved that power to his Prowess – which have a valid reason for why these powers exists that will be explained eventually. Regarding Yukemi himself, I just felt that someone like him was needed to have a contrast to the overwhelmingly technology-versed cast so far. That's why I liked Takeru when he appeared, he was something different with how he had no clue about technology at all. The fact that he later turned into Playmaker 2.0 regarding his dueling results of never losing diminished that a bit, but luckily he finally experienced defeat at the end of Season 2. I hope Yusaku does so this season as well, could be really interesting how he deals with "You lose" flashbacks and develops after that.

-To ZarcEternal: It's good to see you around in this story as well. Sorry for the usual lengthiness by the way. But you know me by now, so that shouldn't be a surprise, right? I must admit though that I found it kinda amusing how I have this reputation as that guy whose writes whole novels for a single chapter by now. Beware the day when my writer's block about Dawn of Twilight wears off, because then your eyes shall be dried until they turn into a desert! (*laughs evilly)

-To Insertname: No worries, everyone has a bad day sometimes. No offense taken.

-To Romadrox8975: Yukemi's hate for tech is not unfounded. It will be explained pretty soon. And yeah, I also think there could be more female monster archetypes. Though Heavenmail's Goddesses have only a small portion of such monsters in the Main Deck. His Extra Deck on the other hand has – besides the angels like Michael – exclusively female monsters, so I guess that's a start.

-To SakushiRyu: Yeah, this story sure is different. That was one of my main goals when I started it after all. About the length of the chapter though, I kinda had to grin when I read that part of your review. Did you know that the word counter for a single chapter here on this website has a cap of 65,535? How do I know this? Well, I have surpassed that word number in the chapters of my first story Dawn of Twilight already. Thrice to be exact. And I don't do card corners there, just rarely upcoming card collections when a certain character has a big enough number of cards (it happened twice so far and one of them was only half completed). The longest among those three chapters, which is Chapter 10, currently sits at 101k words, with a count of 115k words being the original pre-exclusion of a problematic section. So I guess that should give you an idea of why this story has comparably small chapters for me. It was one of the reasons why I began writing this story too, as I can relax way more with only 15-25k words on average per chapter. The original seven chapters of Dawn of Twilight were released as a bundle to form a first exposition and were really short for my standards, but the eighth and every subsequent one has never managed to get under 30k so far, with the only exception being Chapter 9 with 16k words. All others though (8; 10 – 14) have an average length of 67k. So yeah, for me Destiny Junction has rather tiny chapters. To celebrate my compulsive habit of writing long chapters I dedicate the following parody poem to you and ZarcEternal. You better like it!

In brightest day, in blackest night

No reader shall escape my sight

Reading fanfic should feel like a fight

Beware my chapters – your eyes shall be dried!


With this terrible Green Lantern oath parody out of the way we can nearly start! I just want to mention that Ai looks interesting with his new human form. And that I made one hell of a prediction with Chapter 14 of Dawn of Twilight. I had conflicted feelings about making Ai evil and giving him a human form at first, but it now appears that I made evil human Ai before it was even a thing in VRAINS. Hoo boy was I astounded when I saw that my idea became reality in the actual show! I even predicted that he would make a pun with his name, be it his AiLand field spell from the show or the ainihilation he announced to his opponent in Dawn of Twilight! But oh well, that makes it easier to write the new Cyberse Overlord, given I can use the show as inspiration for it. Now then, I have talked enough. Let's start this chapter, alright?


Chapter 2: Disputes

The Next Day, Shimizu Residence...

"Man, that was some good sleep! Good morning, Hector!" Yukemi yawned in a groggy voice, rubbing the sleep from his eyes while sitting up.

"Good morning, Yukemi!" Hector said, appearing from the duel disk on his nightstand.

Yukemi raised an eyebrow. "Wait, didn't you attach yourself to my brain or something?" he asked, slightly confused by the physical presence of the Anti Ignis.

Hector shrugged his shoulders. "I did, but I can just separate at any time I please. I felt like looking into your eyes for our conversations unless I needed to stay inside of your brain for protection was common courtesy. We'll have enough of that once you leave your house anyway," he retorted.

"Guess you have a point there. Anyway, I just realized that I didn't change clothes when I came home yesterday, which is pretty unfortunate as I now have to go to school with this wrinkled uniform," he moaned, looking at the clothes from yesterday dissatisfied, which he hadn't even taken off before he had fallen asleep, as he now noticed. Irritated he realized that the duel from the day before must have had tired him so much that he didn't bother to get rid of the dress shirt, alongside the other components of the Den City School uniform. He sighed, standing up from his bed. "Well, I can get a shower I guess to look at least somewhat decent," he announced, beginning to leave the room. "Oh, and I hope you don't mind me picking you up for breakfast after I'm done with showering. I really like your company, but I think I'd rather be alone in the bathroom," he addressed Hector before exiting his room.

Hector nodded. "Sure, go ahead. You have every right for privacy in your own house. See you in a few minutes," the white AI responded.

"See you in a few minutes," Yukemi replied, heading for the bathroom.


Den City, Streets...

'So, what should we do from now on, knowing that the Knights are after us?' Yukemi addressed Hector via his thoughts while he was on his way to school, the A.I. within his mind taking a moment to deliberate.

"I think the best thing would be staying away from the network, as that is the place where we're the most vulnerable to their attacks. However, I am slightly intrigued by the reasoning of that Playmaker person to hunt down the knights, so I somewhat want to find out why he's persecuting them so extensively. According to data from the network he already defeated over a hundred Knights of Hanoi and judging from the few visual recordings of his duels that are still left, he doesn't just fight them to protect the network, but because he has some sort of personal thirst for revenge. And just that raised my interest. Maybe these Knights of Hanoi have done more things than we are aware of. And in that case it would be advisable to find out what exactly that is, as we need to know as much as possible about them in order to prevent them from capturing me. Or would you disagree?" Hector asked him, having reattached himself to Yukemi's brain.

Yukemi shook his head. 'No, you have a point there. We should definitely find out what exactly those Knights of Hanoi are plotting. Given that Playmaker as the practical Hanoi Terminator probably knows the most about them aside from the knights themselves of course, we should contact him somehow,' he responded to the AI.

Hector chuckled in amusement. "You want to cooperate with Playmaker? From what I saw so far you and him don't seem to get along very well."

Yukemi huffed sulkily. 'That's his fault though, first he thinks he can just take my duel – which he would have probably lost by the way – and then he snaps at me for letting White Diamond get away! He acts like he is allowed to do anything when the topic at hand are the Knights of Hanoi, as if he had a monopoly on defeating that hacker group!' he yelled inwardly.

"Maybe he has a personal grudge against them, so don't be too mad on him. After all he apologized to us after I gave him the files," Hector defended the other male.

Yukemi laughed. 'Exactly! After you gave him the files! That cold-hearted guy just cares about bringing down that group and behaves like the king of VRAINS because of it! He offends you with his insulting commands, and only once you give him what he wants he makes a half-assed apology! And on top of that he constantly has this neutral "I know and am an expert at everything without even trying, nothing you have is good enough to impress me, and even when I'm put against insurmountable odds I'll still win, just because I am that awesome"-expression that pisses me off to no end!' he ranted violently.

Hector sighed. "Geez Yukemi, now you are just pointlessly hating on him. I don't think he truly thinks that way, much rather he is just bad at expressing what he feels and not very enthusiastic. I'm sure he isn't the type of jerk you just described. But you have a point in the claim that he is not the most thankful of persons, his way to express his gratitude after receiving the files was indeed really lackluster and didn't sound much like it was meant honestly. But that's still not a valid reason to avoid him, as he probably knows what we need to know," the Anti Ignis appeased his partner.

Yukemi nodded with a slight sense of guilt. 'You are right, I got too emotional there. Sorry for freaking out like that,' he apologized, despite the subject of his rant not even being present now.

The AI in his mind gave him a reassuring smile. "No worries, it's okay. You can't like every person you come across equally, right? What's important is that you overcame your anger and are willing to cooperate with Playmaker now. Anyway, how do we find him?" he asked Yukemi.

The dark green and purple haired male sighed. 'Honestly, I have no idea. We have to wait for him entering the VRAINS again – or in other words, for the Hanoi to become active. Wherever they appear, he will as well,' he retorted to the white humanoid in his mind.

Hector hummed. "That would be the way I suppose. Now then...," the A.I. began before a shout of Yukemi interrupted him.

"Hold up, I think I just saw something important! Let me check really quickly, okay?" Yukemi asked the Anti Ignis, this time using his voice, making his statement audible to the outside world as well.

"Something important? And what, may I ask?" Hector inquired from within his mind.

"Her," Yukemi responded, glancing at a female who was on her way to school, much like him. Hector gave the girl whom Yukemi had already seen on the previous day a look as well using the visual organs of his host, speaking up again shortly afterwards.

"That girl over there? Do you like her? Maybe you should talk to her then," Hector suggested.

"Are you nuts?!" Yukemi shouted, earning him the attention of a few surrounding students, much to his embarrassment. He blushed, continuing in his thoughts after a few moments so they wouldn't hear him again. 'That girl is way out of my reach! Zaizen Aoi is in another league than I, someone like me could never deserve her!' he protested on the inside.

"Oh come on, you are a fine person, you just try to talk yourself into believing that you're not good enough for her!" Hector encouraged him in a soft tone.

Yukemi shook his head violently. 'No, I am really that unworthy! I am not deserving of her, she is a Raigeki while I am a Fissure with a discard two cost at best!' he yelled back.

"Please Yukemi, you are really not that bad of a person. If you just went and talked to her properly, I'm sure that she will ac-"

'NO!' Yukemi snapped, causing the Anti Ignis to flinch. 'I am an utter disgrace no one likes or needs! Besides, I look like crap today with my wrinkled uniform and would only disgust her with my lack of self care, so forget about it!' he shouted at the AI internally.

Hector sighed. "Okay, the last point may have some value. But promise me to try talking to her on another day," he pleaded, only to receive an upset huff of discomfort from the male. 'I really wonder why he's acting like that. He must have some sort of inferiority complex,' Hector debated with himself as the teenager increased the distance between him and the female student, changing his route as he continued heading for school.


Den City, High School...

'Man, when is this lesson gonna end? We need to get into the VRAINS and find Playmaker!' Yukemi cursed inwardly, awaiting the end of his classes impatiently. 'Anyway, what about the network, Hector? Did any things worth of mention happen since yesterday?' he addressed the Anti Ignis within his mind.

"Actually quite a few things happened since you beat White Diamond yesterday. Only one hour later another Knight of Hanoi ravaged the network and Playmaker logged in again. He defeated said knight with another new monster he created with his Skill," Hector reported.

Yukemi put his hand to his chin while deliberating. 'That means that he has two of these Code Talkers now. If he keeps acquiring them, he might eventually have enough power to defeat even someone like White Diamond,' he contemplated, dividing his attention between Hector and his teacher as he kept on following the latter's lecture, though not with his full attention obviously.

"And once that happens he will be a main concern for the Knights of Hanoi," Hector concluded.

'Exactly. Due to that he will redirect the Hanoi's attention to himself in our favor, while also potentially eliminating them which saves us from the trouble of protecting you. But I'd rather find and help him to take down those knights so they can't harm you than just sitting around and waiting for Playmaker-sama to finish the job for us,' Yukemi retorted.

"But for that we have to contact him somehow. He only logs in when the Knights of Hanoi approach and then vanishes again immediately. Or in other words, for us to find him we have to predict where the Hanoi will strike for the next time," Hector told the green haired male.

'Which is not exactly easy,' Yukemi replied with a sigh. He looked up startled as a sudden voice from the seat rows below him spoke up at once.

"Adachi-sensei, may I please leave and head to the infirmary? I don't feel very well," a male voice asked from behind Yukemi.

The English teacher nodded. "Alright, Fujiki-san. I hope you feel better during our next lesson," the man responded, the teenager standing up from his seat after receiving the permission to leave.

Yukemi raised an eyebrow as he turned his head around towards the other male. 'Hmm, that's suspicious. While I'm glad that he isn't asleep at the very least he still finds a way to avoid education. I would normally don't raise any suspicions, but with him getting around the lessons permanently and not looking particularly sick on the last evening I somehow doubt that he's really feeling as bad as he claims. Hector, I have no big idea about technology and your capabilities in particular regarding it, but can you attach some sort of tracker to him? I want to know if he does something backhanded so I can get him punished if he indeed steps out of line again,' he debated with himself, addressing his Anti Ignis for the last part.

The AI transmitted an affirmative emotion to his brain, nodding. "Sure I can! Here it goes!" he said, emitting a thin green energy stream from Yukemi's palm that bridged the distance between his seat and the leaving male, attaching itself to Yusaku inconspicuously.

"Er, Playmaker-sama, I just felt something weird," the eyeball in Yusaku's disk addressed the teenager discretely.

"Be quiet, we need to get out of here and defeat the Knight of Hanoi that has just appeared," Yusaku quietly retorted to the Ignis, leaving the room at that.

A few minutes passed, Yukemi resuming to pay attention to the subject matter. After a while Hector spoke up to him again, notifying him of a change.

"Yukemi, I feel something! Fujiki Yusaku hasn't gone very far, in fact he's still in the school building, but he logged into the VRAINS!" the A.I. reported to his partner.

'What?! Into the VRAINS you say?! As far as I know Yusaku has no liking for being within the network whatsoever!' he shouted inwardly, surprised by this development. 'Anything else?' he went on inquiring.

Hector hummed. "Actually yes. Another Knight of Hanoi has appeared within the network. And Playmaker has just appeared as well."

Yukemi's expression changed in shock. "Wait a minute, could it be?! This is way too much of a coincidence!" he murmured in disbelief before addressing his AI anew. 'Can you give me visual footage of Yusaku within the network? That is if your tracker still works if the target enters the VRAINS of course,' he asked his partner.

"Sure," Hector retorted, a small flash of the usual energy coming from Yukemi's fingertip and connecting to the tablet in front of the green haired male. "Look at your electronic device, I transmitted the data to it!" he instructed the male, Yukemi doing just that by switching on his tablet, taking a look at it, though with some remorse as he hated to ignore his teacher's lesson and his own code of not violating classroom rules. The image the teenager then saw only helped to strengthen his emotions, mostly by increasing his earlier shock.

'No way! His coordinates within the VRAINS are the exact same ones as those of the current location of Playmaker! Which means that Fujiki Yusaku IS Playmaker!' Yukemi screamed internally.

Hector giggled. "Man, and it was so obvious too! Their appearance is nearly the same after all! How could we overlook that?" he laughed at their own stupidity before continuing in a more serious tone. "But anyway, that makes things a lot easier for us! Now we can just approach him in real life and get the information we need!" he stated victoriously.

Yukemi grinned. "And on top of that we have a bargaining chip with his misbehavior in school and of course his real identity, so he can hardly refuse!" he whispered, his tone showing a hint of deviousness. Hector guessed that his partner had still not fully forgiven the other male for addressing them so rudely after the duel.

"I guess so. But if we intend to team up with him, we also have to reveal our own identity to him, right?" Hector interjected.

Yukemi nodded, still with a slight grin. 'That's right, but we have fewer weaknesses than him! He is vulnerable in real life, while I am not thanks to you! If for say the Knights of Hanoi knew about both of our identities, he would be screwed over while I would only have slight problems.' he reminded the Anti Ignis.

"You would sell him out to the Hanoi if he refused your request of giving us the information we need?" Hector asked in surprise.

Yukemi shook his head. 'Of course I wouldn't, but he doesn't have to know that when I make my threat, right?' he asked with a brief smirk.

Hector chuckled. "Geez Yukemi, you can be so evil sometimes!" he laughed, far more amused than disgusted by this declaration of Yukemi. He wasn't making any real threat after all, so in the end it wasn't all that malicious to tell this to Yusaku.

'Well, let's just say I find a way to get what I want. If saving my pretty much only friend means briefly scaring another teenager who also happens to severely disrespect our teacher, then I am ready to make those kinds of threats! Let's just hope that he accepts right away, if he doesn't, I'll have no means to further pressure him given I cannot tell some terrorists the name of their greatest enemy. He would be doomed if the Hanoi knew about who he was in real life,' Yukemi responded.

Hector nodded in approval of the morals his partner had. "Right. Let's just hope he is cooperative so we can find out what we need. And then let's apologize for the threat we made," he suggested.

Yukemi nodded. 'Of course. Anyway, it looks like the famous Playmaker just got his next Code Talker,' he stated, looking at his tablet which showed Playmaker pulling a new monster from the Data Storm.

"Now he has three of those," Hector briefly commented before continuing. "Now then, are we gonna approach him after school?" The A.I. inquired.

Yukemi nodded. 'Hell yeah we will!' he retorted eagerly as he put away his tablet and resumed paying attention to the lesson, his inner voice full of anticipation.

And just like that the rest of his lessons went by rather quickly, the male spending them with listening to his teachers and deliberating how he would approach Yusaku once school was over.


Den City, High School Entrance...

"Well then, where is he?" Yukemi murmured, scanning the leaving masses of students for the person he was looking for.

"I'm looking, don't worry! He won't escape the sight of my scanners!" Hector reassured him from within his mind, using the full capacity of his internal programs to look for the blue haired male they wanted to approach.

"Hey, Shimizu-kun! What are you doing standing around over there?" Yukemi heard a loud voice speaking – or rather yelling – up at once. As Yukemi turned leftwards his eyes widened with a mix of shock and annoyance.

"Oh god, not him! Why are you so cruel to me, you gods and goddesses out there? My reputation will be ruined for good if I spend too much time with that guy!" he sighed under a breath, heavy-heartedly facing the familiar appearance of Shima Naoki.

"Shimizu, did you catch the news?" the corpulent male addressed the other teen excitedly.

Yukemi raised an eyebrow. "The news? What news?" he inquired in a bored tone.

Naoki chuckled. "Oh, my bad, I forgot you didn't like the VRAINS, so of course you missed it," Naoki remarked more to himself than Yukemi before looking up and continuing his conversation with the other male. "Playmaker fought a Knight of Hanoi who attacked LINK VRAINS and the people within it! Of course he won, but the way he dueled was something entirely different than before! He and that knight were riding some kind of data wind, standing on flying boards they mounted whilst dueling! And here I though VRAINS couldn't get any better!" he enthused, much to Yukemi's annoyance.

"Oh, is that so? Sounds not the least bit boring at all," Yukemi responded with an eye roll, turning around to make his exit.

"And that other guy in the ancient armor was something as well!" Naoki continued, Yukemi freezing in panic.

"What did you say?" he asked, trying to mask his insecurities so the other male wouldn't notice.

"There was another duelist who battled the Hanoi yesterday! And he even fought one of their elites! The source material is gradually getting all but deleted, but as I saw it live it won't matter to me! His name is Heavenmail, a duelist who runs around in some ancient armor! A bit odd of an outfit, but his dueling skills make up for that! He dueled a girl who claimed to be the sister of their leader, which doesn't seem all that unlikely with how good she was! But luckily Heavenmail was stronger and defeated her! Man, I don't know whom I should prefer, Playmaker or Heavenmail! Well, I guess with a little bit of time those two are bound to meet and then they will engage in an epic duel and we will all know who of them is the superior duelist!" Naoki continued, going into ruptures with his fanboying.

'Shit, my duel was being recorded?! That damn pigeon and frog must have followed us around to broadcast the damn thing! Curse them, publicity is the last thing I wished for! I'm gonna search the telephone book of Den City for every goddamn person called Yamamoto and pay those people a visit until I find the frog in real life! And then he is going to receive the fattest beat-up session of his entire damn life! And if the real life version of the pigeon happens to stick around, I'll let him join in of course!' Yukemi cursed violently on the inside.

"Hey, it's just some reporters, Yukemi. No need to get upset because of that," Hector pacified him.

'Do you honestly think so? Them parading you around all across the media so other people beside the Knights of Hanoi know about your existence is a good thing?' Yukemi asked sarcastically.

Hector sweat dropped. "Forget what I just said."

"Anyway, that Heavenmail guy sounds interesting. Maybe I'm gonna have a look at him," Yukemi stated, putting up a facade with the knowledge that saying literally anything was less suspicious than just avoiding the topic altogether.

"You better do! Man, I wonder when and where he will appear next!" Naoki swarmed enthusiastically, much to the embarrassment of the other green haired teenager.

"Nowhere near you, that's for sure," Yukemi whispered awkwardly, walking away. As he looked ahead once more he smiled, having finally spotted the person he was here for.

"Alright, there he is! Let's do this!" Hector shouted encouragingly.

"Fujiki Yusaku, it's nice seeing you around!" Yukemi exclaimed, walking up to the blue and pink haired male who was just making his way back home.

"Good afternoon," Yusaku responded, barely giving the green haired teenager a glance, his eyes looking tired and bored. Yukemi had observed that he seemed less deprived of sleep today, sending a thank you prayer to Kusanagi for keeping his promise. Of course he had still been up late, the fact that he battled another Knight of Hanoi one hour later on the previous day was proof of that. But he heeded his warning at least partially, which was a huge success for Yukemi.

"Good afternoon!" Yukemi retorted in a friendly tone, trying to appease the other male by putting him in a better mood for his eventual proposition. "You look less tired today. Looks like Kusanagi-san made sure to get you a bit more rest than usual after all!" he continued.

Yusaku nodded. "Uh, he did. Anyway, do you have something to talk about with me? I'd rather not waste my time with meaningless conversations," he retorted to the other male.

Yukemi's golden eyes narrowed, slightly angered by Yusaku's attitude. "Well, I have something important to talk about indeed!" he said in a definite tone, putting a hand onto the shoulder of the other male to stop him.

"Eh? What are you doing?" Yusaku wondered, confused by the course of action taken by Yukemi. The latter then pulled him into a seemingly friendly embrace before speaking up.

"I know your secret, Yusaku! I know that you are Playmaker!" Yukemi hissed into Yusaku's ear, his tone midway between being friendly and making a threat.

Yusaku tensed up in terror. "What... what are you talking about? I have nothing to do with the network!" he lied, desperately trying to sound convincing. However, that didn't fool the green haired male.

"Don't even try to deny it! I have evidence that proves it! When you left I had Hector attach a tracking device to you that revealed it! You logged into the VRAINS, and since the tracking device functions there as well and the paparazzi spotted a certain yellow haired person called Playmaker in the exact location of your signal it is safe to say who that mysterious duelist in the black bodysuit is!" Yukemi whispered to him victoriously.

Yusaku's eyes widened both in shock and realization. "Hector? Then you are...?"

"Heavenmail? That's right! And I am here to ask you for a favor!" Yukemi retorted.

"A favor?" Yusaku asked nervously. Even if he also knew about the identity of his conversation partner he was still feeling a hell lot uncomfortable with this situation.

"A favor?" the black eyeball Ignis of Yusaku repeated, manifesting on the surface of his duel disk.

"Yeah, a favor! I heard that you like to fight those Knights of Hanoi a lot! In fact that seems to be your sole subject of concern! Back yesterday when the two of us and Shima Naoki were talking I imagined that you were reacting each time when I mentioned said hacker group! At first I thought it was really just my imagination, but with you as the Hanoi Terminator it all makes sense! They are your archnemesis and you probably know a lot about them compared to other people, right?" Yukemi inquired, not dropping his "I know your deepest secret, so you better do everything I say"-tone.

"I know a few things about them that others do not, yes," the blue haired male responded, still with an anxious undertone.

"That's good! Because they are out there looking for me and we'd rather defeat them before they get ahold of me!" Hector proclaimed, manifesting as an eyeball as well as he moved from Yukemi's mind to his duel disk.

"And for that we want to join forces with you!" Yukemi finished, giving the other male a solemn look.

"Did you just say... join forces?" Yusaku repeated in disbelief.

Yukemi nodded. "Exactly! You are the top fighter when it comes to battling the Hanoi! You seem almost obsessed to defeat them and therefore have researched them thoroughly! I want to make use of that knowledge, help you to defeat those guys, and then I can continue to sit on my couch safely without having to worry about them taking Hector!" Yukemi explained.

Yusaku frowned. "And why should I accept your help? I don't work with other people," he replied coldly.

Yukemi chuckled. "Again a lie! I remember Kusanagi-san bringing up that the two of you worked a lot with computers! With him being pretty much your only friend it is safe to say that he is your helper on the outside who coordinates your movements within the VRAINS while aiding you with his own skills as a hacker! The next time you try to fool me, try harder please!" he challenged Yusaku in a triumphant tone.

Yusaku gritted his teeth. "I still see no reason why I should agree to that! You have nothing you can bargain with, no threat to make! You know about my identity, but so do I about yours! You have no bargaining chip against me!" he hissed back.

Yukemi smirked. "So you think someone like the Knights of Hanoi could hurt me in real life? Then let me show you a little something!" He mocked, stealthily pulling out a pocket knife. Yusaku's eyes widened in horror, for a moment fearing that the other male would just stab him to death here on the streets. But only moments later he recovered from his panic. No, that wouldn't be a wise idea. They were in public, he would be arrested immediately if he assaulted him here. Yusaku's surprise returned as Yukemi pointed the tip of the knife at his own hand which he shifted so that it was in the space in between them that was shielded against views from the outside, consecutively addressing his Anti Ignis.

"Hector, would you please reattach yourself to me?" he asked politely.

The eyeball blinked in confirmation. "Alright, Yukemi," Hector responded, a flash of green light shooting out from the disk and connecting to his head.

Yukemi smirked. "Did you see that? My Anti Ignis merged with me! He now resides within my mind!" he declared cockily.

"What?! He is inside your mind right now?!" Yusaku's AI shouted hysterically.

"That's right! And he says that your constant loudness is really annoying! Please calm it down a few levels!" Yukemi retorted, the eyeball grumbling in upset. "Anyway, in this state I have greatly increased attributes, including for instance resilience! Look!" Yukemi commanded, pressing the knife against his skin.

"Are you crazy?! Why are you hurting yourself?!" Yusaku exclaimed, muffling his voice to not alert the inconspicuous students that passed by around them.

Yukemi chuckled. "I am not hurting myself! Just look!" he instructed Yusaku. The latter obeyed, his eyes widening in shock: Despite Yukemi thoroughly pressing the blade against his hand the knife didn't pierce into it. He kept on increasing the pressure, but it just wouldn't enter his flesh. Eventually he pushed so hard that the metal snapped, the blade breaking away and shooting towards Yusaku's chest with the sharp edge aimed forward. Unable to react in time the blue haired male could only observe and await the painful impact with horror on his expression, his AI letting out a panicked shout. The hand darting forward and catching the projectile startled Yusaku though, with shock realizing that Yukemi had stopped the flying knife blade.

Yukemi smirked. "Oh, empowered reaction speed and speed in general are also abilities gained from the symbiosis with an Anti Ignis! Quite practical, right?" he addressed the other male with a victorious grin.

Yusaku nodded nervously, still appalled by the experience of almost taking a nigh lethal hit to his chest. He understood the message behind Yukemi's act immediately: "I am safe in the real world, but you aren't. Disagree and you will have both of us reveal our respective identities to the Hanoi and others, but that won't matter to me. You on the other hand will be helpless." After a few moments he regained his composure though, a frown reoccupying his face.

"Even if you can barely be harmed in the real world while I can, I don't think that I can work with you. I only work with people who don't hold me back. I need helpers, not burdens," he addressed the dark green and purple haired male.

Yukemi frowned. "So you think that I'll hold you back? That I'm not good enough for your little team?" he hissed.

Yusaku nodded. "One: You likely don't offer any technological help with your hate of it. It's safe to say that you have no hacking skills at all. Two: You lack any countermeasures against being found out. You neither have a dummy deck nor do you act discretely enough. The fact that you brought up school in the duel against White Diamond is proof of the latter. You give away too much information about yourself that could lead to your identity or even mine and Kusanagi's being exposed. Only because of that I had to delete a great deal of source material about your duel against White Diamond," he chastised in a neutral analyzing tone.

"I never planned on becoming a VRAINS celebrity like you, so the part of not having a dummy deck yet is a little unfair, don't you think?! About White Diamond, the words just slipped past my tongue, okay?! It won't happen again, now that I'm aware of the stakes! Also, I am surprised that you even know that I mentioned subject matter, given you are almost never fucking awake during class! And lastly, if I'm not mistaken, you are the one who has been exposed, aren't you?!" Yukemi shot back.

Yusaku flinched. That last bit stung. He recollected himself quickly and continued. "There is still a third thing that eliminates all counterarguments: You aren't helpful enough with the one thing you can actually do. And as I said, I need no burdens," he retorted calmly.

Yukemi's face twisted in outrage. "Did you just say... THAT I WAS A BAD DUELIST?!" he snapped, a few of the other students looking around to them in surprise at his loud shout.

"No, but you simply aren't good enough," Yusaku responded neutrally.

"Well then, what is 'good enough' according to your definition then?! Being nearly as good as you?! As good as you?! Or better than you?!" Yukemi hissed angrily.

Yusaku shrugged his shoulders. "The latter two preferably. And I doubt that you are either of them," the male replied calmly.

Yukemi's dark frown intensified. "I defeated White Diamond whereas you beat only foot soldiers so far, by the skin of your teeth at that! I don't see you as better than me by a long shot!"

Yusaku vocalized a small chuckle. "Do you honestly think that what I have shown so far was my full strength? These lackeys don't require the full force of my deck. Besides that, I have fought many Knights of Hanoi already, most of them you haven't seen officially broadcasted duels about! And before you go on about how my recent duels against the knights seemed like close calls, I merely took advantage of those weaklings to gain more power to fight the Hanoi with via my Skill Storm Access! If I ever decided to go full power, you wouldn't even stand a chance," he proclaimed with certainty in his voice.

Yukemi shot him a challenging smirk. "Oh, so you think that you are that unbeatable, huh? Then let me show you that I can not only match your strength, but surpass it! How about this: We duel, and if my skills as a duelist satisfy your demands, you let me and Hector join your little troupe!"

Yusaku raised an eyebrow. "And what if you don't?"

Yukemi narrowed his golden eyes. "If I don't, you are free to delete my and Hector's memories about your identity with whatever black magic technology crap you and Kusanagi-san have access to! You will once more become the mysterious Playmaker no soul knows anything about! Deal?!" he asked with great intensity in his voice.

Yusaku nodded. "Deal."


Den City, Kusanagi's Van...

Shoichi leaned against his vehicle, looking around for his friend. He usually picked him up after school to start their research about the Hanoi as soon as possible. However, the younger male was late today. 'Please don't say Yusaku got into trouble!' he cursed inwardly. He looked up again, only to see not one, but two people approaching his vehicle.

"Yusaku, why are you bringing him along? I thought we would...!" Shoichi began in a confused tone.

Yusaku raised his hand to silence him. "There are other matters to deal with at the moment, Kusanagi-san. He knows," he responded.

Shoichi raised an eyebrow. "Knows what?" he asked, clueless.

Yusaku sighed. "You know, what I am doing within the network. My VRAINS identity," he admitted uncomfortably.

Shoichi's eyes widened in shock. "You know about him being Playmaker?! How did you find out?!"

Yukemi tapped on his duel disk from which a familiar white and dark green humanoid arose. "Oh, with a little bit of help," Hector responded for him, grinning proudly as he crossed his arms.

Kusanagi's shock intensified. "Then you are... Heavenmail?" he stuttered in disbelief.

Yukemi nodded. "The one and only. Anyway, let's cut to the chase now. Yusaku and I made a deal, as I want to join your whole cause so the Hanoi don't get Hector, but he wouldn't accept me: We duel and if my performance is enough for the demands of the oh so mighty Playmaker-sama, you two let me join in. If I don't duel well enough, you are free to delete any of my and Hector's memories regarding you. Do you have any kind of device that could do that? I honestly have no clue about the capabilities of modern day technology anymore," he asked.

Shoichi nodded. "I think I can come up with something with a little bit of time. Anyway, are the two of you going into the VRAINS to carry it out there?" he addressed the two younger males.

Yusaku nodded. "That is the plan. But before that we are going to pay Shimizu Yukemi's place a visit. He said that there was something there he needed to get before we could duel."

Kusanagi hummed. "Alright. Then get into the van," he said, entering his vehicle and inviting Yusaku and Yukemi into it.


Den City, Street in front of the Shimizu Residence...

"What's taking him so long? I want to get this over with already," Yusaku grumbled, leaning against one of the seats in the hinder part of the van. He and Kusanagi usually did their research before these monitors, but now that was being postponed by this sudden development of Yukemi wanting to join in by proving himself in battle. Yusaku knew that he should be doing research about the Hanoi now instead of having to duel some guy from school. But at least he could work while he was waiting for the other male to get ready, so that was something he guessed.

"Maybe he's taking a little snack or drink, who knows," Kusanagi replied absent-mindedly before looking up. "Oh, there he is!" he exclaimed, relieved that the waiting was over. After a moment his eyes widened in terror. "Wait a second, what is he carrying?! Is that a sword?!" he cried out in shock, spotting a blade in the arms of the green haired male. "Is he trying to kill us with that?! Is he from the Hanoi?! Was this whole story about dueling you just a trap?!" he stuttered in panic.

Yusaku put his hand on Shoichi's shoulder to calm him down. "Most certainly not. One: He already had a chance to severely hurt me prior to us coming to you, but he didn't take it. So why would he do it now? Two: When he told me that he needed to go home first, he mentioned a good luck charm. Given how old fashioned he is that sword is probably a treasured possession of his family he wants to have close by when we log into the VRAINS and duel. Especially with how fitting it is to bring along a katana for a fight. And three: He knows that we could just drive away if he was serious to murder us with that sword. You spotted him early enough for us to just make a run for it. And he is not that stupid to trade a prior situation where he could have seriously hurt me for another where he could get the two of us with only very slim chances. A true Knight of Hanoi would have killed me to make sure I wasn't in their way instead of speculating on earning my trust and then very possibly get the both of us. The Hanoi mainly care about me, the man in the chair supporting Playmaker from the real world isn't that big of a threat to them," he elaborated.

Kusanagi nodded. "That makes sense. Sorry for overreacting," he apologized.

Yukemi chuckled as he reached the van, approaching the two of them. "Well, I wouldn't exactly call a nigh stranger walking up to you with a katana in his hands overreacting, but your friend is right. I only brought this sword because it is a treasured possession of my family and a personal good luck charm," he explained, talking a seat on the chair next to Yusaku as Shoichi stood up to make room for him, placing the sheathed katana on his lap.

Kusanagi nodded. "I see. Does it have a name?" he inquired.

Yukemi hummed. "It has. It's called Tenkire Yoakruri," he replied.

The purple haired man raised an eyebrow. "Heaven-Slicing Lapis Dawnbreak?" he repeated, rather surprised by the name.

Yukemi nodded. "I didn't come up with the unusual name, but I don't dislike it."

Shoichi reached out his hand. "Can I hold it please?" he requested.

"Do you know how to hold an unsheathed katana? I don't want you to cut off one of your precious typing hands, you need both of those for your crusade against the Knights of Hanoi after all" he asked with a smile of joking concern on his face.

Kusanagi chuckled. "Don't worry, I know how to properly hold one! Before I got into the whole computer stuff I was a lot into sports! I also had a certain interest for traditional swords, after all I am named after one!"

Yukemi allowed for a brief grin. "That's a point, I suppose. Here you go!" he said, handing over the weapon.

Shoichi unsheathed it and looked at the raw metal. "Extraordinary quality. The steel isn't rusty at all," he analyzed.

Yukemi hummed. "Yeah, mainly because I polish it every week," he responded.

Shoichi nodded. "That much I can see," he said, turning the weapon. From the dark blue hilt wrappings the katana had on its silver handle and its eight-edged guard that was, much to his surprise, made from sapphire – Like what the hell? How expensive was that thing? – he could guess where the "lapis" in the sword's name had come from. He took a closer look at the cutting edge, spotting a surprising feature on the curved blade. "Wait, what's up with the cutting edge? It's a zigzag, almost saw-like," he stated.

"Yeah, it's unusual, I know. My father said that my great-grandfather had such a blade too. It was much longer, he described it as an odachi that was less curved than a normal katana-class sword with a broad and saw-like blade that gave one the impression of a cleaver with shark teeth. According to him the cutting edge of that sword had a length of a hundred and ten centimeters, so with it having that length I always considered it a large odachi-type weapon, though it was for sure a very unusual odachi in that regard with how broad and cleaver-like its blade was," he narrated.

"A hundred and ten centimeters?! That's colossal for an eastern blade! And your great-grandfather could use such a weapon?!" Kusanagi repeated in disbelief.

Yukemi shrugged his shoulders. "Apparently he swung it like it was nothing, my parents said that he could even use it effectively with just one hand. It was a great sword that instilled fear in those who opposed it. I figure he used it in some kind of war and was rather successful there," he explained.

Kusanagi let out an impressed whistle. "Man, that sounds interesting! Your great-grandpa surely must have been impossibly strong if he had the muscles to wield such a heavy thing with one hand! Do you have it somewhere home as well?" he inquired.

Yukemi shook his head. "Unfortunately it's not in my family's possession anymore."

Kusanagi wanted to speak up again, but the discrete sound of Yusaku clearing his throat interrupted him. "Right, the duel." Shoichi sweat dropped, sheathing the katana and handing it over to Yukemi again. "Are you gonna log in now?" he inquired.

Yusaku nodded, standing up and heading for the neighboring closet-like room. "I intend to. I'm going to use the usual room, okay? Shimizu, you can sit down here," he said, gesturing to the chair Yukemi was seated on.

Yukemi nodded, preparing his duel disk. "Alright, I am ready!"

"And so am I!" Hector chimed in, appearing from the disk. He pointed towards Yusaku's disk at that. "What about your partner? Is he ready to?" he asked.

Yusaku looked around. "He isn't my partner. He's just a hostage," he said before shrugging his shoulders. "But I guess I can unmute him now." Following that he tapped a button on his disk.

"Ah, freedom!" the AI sighed in relief as it manifested as an eye. It then gave Yusaku an accusing look. "How do you dare to just mute me? I am your savior!" it addressed the blue haired male indignantly.

"You're annoying," Yusaku replied coldly, the eyeball deadpanning. He then looked back to the two others. "Anyway, I am ready. Can we start this duel?" he inquired again.

Yukemi nodded. "Bring it on," he declared resolutely.

Yusaku nodded as well and entered the narrow neighboring room. "Then it's decided," he said, the two of them continuing in unison after that.

-"Deck set! INTO THE VRAINS!"- they shouted together, both of them transforming in order to gain new looks while their consciousness transferred into the network.


LINK VRAINS...

Heavenmail looked around, realizing that he and Playmaker were standing in the middle of some square. The place looked like it was modeled after the Forbidden City in Beijing, with them standing on one of its main squares. While he felt every usual sensation of the armor on his body, there was something new. Looking into his hands he realized that Tenkire Yoakruri had followed him into the network.

Playmaker looked around to him, spotting the katana in Heavenmail's hands with slight interest on his expression. "Your weapon came along? I guess you really have a good luck charm now," he stated calmly.

Heavenmail nodded, fixing the katana on his back by sacrificing the broadsword that was usually attached to it. Unlike Tenkire Yoakruri it was a purely fictional construct after all, while this sword was existing in the real world. "I suppose that is a message," he responded cryptically.

Playmaker raised his eyebrow. "And what message, might I ask?"

Heavenmail's expression turned serious. "It's a sign that I am destined to win this duel! Prepare yourself!" he shouted, drawing the new blade from his back and pointing it at Playmaker for emphasis.

Playmaker frowned. "It will require more than a sword transferring into the network to beat me. Now then, what kind of duel do you want to have, Speed or Master?" he addressed Heavenmail.

Hector arose from his disk with crossed arms. "I suggest something a little more spectacular. We challenge you to a Dominus Duel!" he proclaimed.

"Dominus Duel?" Playmaker repeated in confusion. His AI luckily had his back.

"A special form of duel in between the two others. It has the board, phases, and starting hand of a Master Duel, but the Skills of Speed Duels. Furthermore each player can once per duel pay half of their lifepoints to refresh their Skill, but they still cannot use their Skill twice per turn, but must wait if they already activated their Skill on the very same turn. And lastly there is a draw ruling that allows the player with fewer lifepoints to draw two cards instead of only one for their normal draw from their second turn onward. Plus the first turn player draws a card," it explained.

Hector smirked. "You are well informed, Ignis! Yeah, that's what a Dominus Duel is! It's the form of duel where you have to consider the most and the message behind it is clear: Crush your opponent early on or they will recover and then possibly crush you! The resolute finisher wins, the occasional hitter loses! Only the most consequent duelists can win in a Dominus Duel, for its recovering rules allow for rapid comebacks! So it's perfect for proving Heavenmail's worth, isn't it?" he asked.

Playmaker nodded. "It sounds like something I would give a shot. Fine, I accept! Do you agree with your A.I., Heavenmail?" he addressed the orange haired male.

Heavenmail hummed in agreement. "Hell yeah I do! Let's duel and settle this issue already!" he exclaimed, activating his duel disk.

"You speak words I couldn't possibly agree with more!" Playmaker retorted fiercely, repeating after the other male.

"Ou, that's gonna be a fierce battle. Good luck, Playmaker!" the eyeball spoke up.

"Do your best, Heavenmail!" Hector cried out encouragingly, summoning a sword suited for his size with the green energy of his body, thrusting it forward with great anticipation and enthusiasm.

"Hey, look there!" a voice from afar exclaimed.

Looking sideways, Yukemi spotted a frog with a microphone being carried around by a pigeon with a camera on its head. "Great, the media has arrived. Stupid paparazzi," he sighed in exasperation.


Den City, Central Plaza...

Zaizen Aoi was annoyed, to say the very least. Receiving company that stuck to her on her way home because of shallow reasons was one thing. Said company being Shima Naoki of all people, talking about how amazing certain duelists were, was another. Though his praise about Blue Angel made up for his annoying babbling to some degree at least.

"...and then his angel brought down its flaming sword, and boom, Heavenmail won! He is so awesome!" Naoki enthused excitedly.

"Sure, if you say so," Aoi retorted indifferently, bored by the corpulent teenager and just wanting him to leave already. She had other concerns after all, her priority being to make her brother proud of her at last, proving him that she could hold her own. Aoi was also worried because of the new Speed Duels. As the most recent advancement in dueling she would have to hop onto the Speed Duel bandwagon eventually to not lose her popularity as a duelist. And she knew about the risks of those duels. Her brother wouldn't approve of his little sister putting herself in danger like that. Fear of Akira forcing her to quit her career as Blue Angel permanently gnawed on her heart. Dueling as Blue Angel was the only thing that still made her happy. If that was taken away from her as well, there would be nothing left for...

She was interrupted in her depressive thoughts as the MC entered the stage of the square and spoke up to the people on the plaza who quickly gathered around him.

"Hello, everybody! Are you ready for the duel of the century?" he asked the crowd.

"The duel of the century?" Naoki repeated, coming to a halt alongside Aoi, both of them looking at the MC in curiosity.

"Today two of the strongest individuals of LINK VRAINS have met for a fight!" the MC told, gesturing at the screens. "Furthermore it is going to be a form of duel you have never seen, one called Dominus Duel!" he went on, causing excited whispers among the spectators. "In the left corner we have the savior of LINK VRAINS and number one combatant against the Knights of Hanoi, the amazing Playmaker!" he shouted enthusiastically, the screens showing images of the yellow, red and pink haired male in the black bodysuit at the one end of the Chinese-looking square.

"Playmaker is dueling?! Wow, is he facing another Knight of Hanoi?!" Naoki shouted, getting fired up.

"Obviously not," Aoi responded with her trademark clear, neutral tone, Naoki looking around to her. "I don't think the MC would praise a Knight of Hanoi like that. It must be a Charisma Duelist, like Blue Angel or Go Onizuka," she explained, the male nodding understandingly.

"And in the right corner we have our newest star who made himself a name just yesterday by besting the sister of the man who leads the Knights of Hanoi! Applause for our newcomer, Heavenmail!" the MC continued, the cameras shifting to show the male on the other side of the square in LINK VRAINS.

Naoki's enthusiasm skyrocketed on his expression. "WHAT?! Playmaker and Heavenmail are going to duel?! I was expecting this to happen eventually, but not so soon! Man, this is awesome!" the obese teenager went into ruptures.

Meanwhile the brown haired female next to him had a surprised look on her face. It had been surprising anyway that this weirdo clad in ancient armor who had run past her with two Knights of Hanoi being in hot pursuit of him had been able to take down a duelist such as the sister of the Knights of Hanoi Leader. The fact that he now dueled Playmaker only helped to increase her interest for the strange newcomer.

A few dozens of feet away, a familiar light blue and white haired girl and a young adult with similar hair colors gazed at the monitors as well.

"This is an intriguing development, isn't it, onii-san?" Atsuko spoke up to her brother.

The white and dark blue haired male nodded. "Most certainly, Atsuko. No matter how this duel goes, we will learn something about our enemies either way. It's also interesting that they decided to engage in a Dominus Duel," Kogami Ryoken said.

"So it's Ignis owner versus Anti Ignis owner? Hah, with this matchup Heavenmail should win by default!" Noctis laughed from within Ryoken's mind.

"Don't be foolish, Noctis. This is a battle between humans, not Ignis. If it were only a fight of the latter, the result would indeed be already determined, but with them only playing a part of the role, it can go either way. So we shouldn't make hasty presumptions just yet," Emerald retorted from within Atsuko's mind.

Noctis clicked his tongue. "Fair point, Emerald. Then let us observe and make our judgment later on!" he admitted.

Ryoken nodded. "That would be wise. Anyway, it looks like they are about to start. Noctis, do me a favor and record this duel over my eyes!" he instructed his Anti Ignis.

Noctis smirked. "As you wish! I'm already on it!" he reassured his partner.

"Hmm, I am truly interested how Shimizu Yukemi is going to fare against someone like Playmaker. He better not loses, because if he does, he implies that Playmaker is stronger than me as well! And I cannot have that, it's already embarrassing to have the MC proclaim that I lost against one person! Having the media boast about me being inferior to two people I cannot tolerate!" Atsuko grumbled, slightly annoyed.

The A.I. within her smirked. "Oh, don't worry, Atsuko! I am certain that your precious Yukemi-kun will defeat the mean Playmaker to defend your glory!" she chuckled, Atsuko rolling her eyes in annoyance at her Anti Ignis' teasing.


LINK VRAINS...

-"DOMINUS DUEL!"- Heavenmail and Playmaker yelled together, a field with five zones in each row except the one with the Extra Monster Zones appearing before them.


HEAVENMAIL: 8000 LP

VS.

PLAYMAKER: 8000 LP

(This Duel is conducted as a Dominus Duel Standing Version.)

"I'll make the first move! My turn!" Playmaker shouted before looking at his disk in confusion. After a while he figured out why it wouldn't let him proceed to his Main Phase. "Oh right, the Dominus Duel has the first turn player draw a card. Guess I wasn't used to that. I draw!" he yelled, ripping the top card from his deck and adding it to his hand, increasing it to six. "I start by normal summoning Draconnet!" he declared, a small cybernetic dragon of light blue color with dark blue lines running over its body taking off into the sky.

Draconnet

Dark/ Level 3/ ATK 1400/ DEF 1200/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Cyberse. So that's your special type, huh?" Heavenmail spoke up.

Playmaker nodded. "And I will summon a couple more of them! The effect of Draconnet! When I normal summon it I can special summon a Level 2 or lower Normal-Monster from my hand or deck in defense position! I special summon Bitron from my deck!" A small white ball with white wing-like protrusions on its sides appeared, its face being a black screen with two blue circles on it for its eyes.

Bitron

Earth/ Level 2/ ATK 200/ DEF 2000/ Cyberse

"Appear, the circuit that leads to the future!" Playmaker shouted, raising his arm to fire a flash of blue energy from it.

"That was fast. He's Link Summoning already," Hector remarked.

Heavenmail nodded. "That's his trademark. Consecutive Link Summons eventually ending in a great monster formation," he responded.

"Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are one Normal-Monster! I set Bitron into the Link Marker! Circuit combine!" Playmaker yelled, the monster heading skywards. "Link Summon! Appear, Link 1, Link Spider!" he announced, a metallic arachnid appearing before him.

Link Spider

Earth/ Link 1/ ATK 1000/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↓)

"Link Spider's effect! Once per turn I can summon a Level 4 or lower Normal-Monster from my hand to a zone it points to! I special summon Leotron to my fourth Main Monster Zone!" he went on, a cybernetic lion making its entrance with a roar.

Leotron

Earth/ Level 4/ ATK 2000/ DEF 0/ Cyberse

"Appear for a second time, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two Level 3 or higher Cyberse Monsters! I set Draconnet and Leotron into the Link Markers! Circuit combine!" he shouted, another circuit forming above him. The two monsters turned into bolts of energy, filling up its markers. "Link Summon! Appear, Link 2, Elphase!" Playmaker finished, a blonde haired elf clad in a rather futuristic outfit appearing in his fourth Main Monster Zone.

Elphase

Wind/ Link 2/ ATK 2000/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑→)

"Its effect! Elphase gains 300 ATK for each monster it points to! With Link Spider that's one!" Playmaker declared, his monster powering up.

Elphase: ATK 2000 → 2300

"Following that I activate the continuous spell Cynet Codec!" he went on, reducing his hand to three with the activation of his card. "Then appear for a third time, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two or more Effect-Monsters! I set Link Spider and Elphase into the Link Markers! Circuit combine! Link Summon! Appear, Link 3, Decode Talker!" he cried out as a dark blue, purple, black and yellow humanoid made from metal appeared, wielding a purplish blade.

Decode Talker

Dark/ Link 3/ ATK 2300/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑↙↘)

"That's one of his ace monsters." Heavenmail whispered with slight concern in his voice.

"Now Cynet Codec's effect! When a Code Talker is summoned from my Extra Deck I can add a Cyberse Monster of the same attribute from my deck to the hand! I pick the Dark Attribute Micro Coder! Furthermore Elphase's effect! When I use this face-up Link Summoned monster as link material I can special summon a Level 4 or lower Cyberse from my graveyard, but it has its effects negated and cannot be used as link material this turn! I bring back Draconnet!" he proclaimed, the monster returning in his fourth Main Monster Zone.

Draconnet

Dark/ Level 3/ ATK 1400/ DEF 1200/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Next is the effect of Backup Secretary! When I control a Cyberse I can special summon it from my hand! Come!" Playmaker went on, a purple haired female with an eye visor and overall futuristic attire joining Decode Talker and Draconnet.

Backup Secretary

Light/ Level 3/ ATK 1200/ DEF 800/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Since Backup Secretary is in my third Main Monster Zone Decode Talker points to, the latter gains 500 ATK! Power Integration!" Playmaker stated, his monster powering up.

Decode Talker: ATK 2300 → 2800

"Now I activate the spell Cynet Bargain! By tributing a Cyberse Link-Monster I control I can draw cards from my deck equal to its Link Rating! However, the damage you take for the rest this turn is halved! I tribute Decode Talker and draw three cards!" he said, his hand growing back to five cards.

"He sacrificed his ace monster," Hector spoke up.

Heavenmail frowned. "He most certainly plans for something bigger if he is willing to make such sacrifices," he muttered worriedly.

"Appear for a fourth time, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are one Level 4 or lower Cyberse Monster! I set Backup Secretary into the Link Marker! Circuit combine! Link Summon! Appear, Link 1, Link Disciple!" Playmaker went on, a white, red and black humanoid appearing in the right Extra Monster Zone.

Link Disciple

Light/ Link 1/ ATK 500/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↓)

"Link Disciple's effect! I tribute the Draconnet in the zone it points to in order to draw one card!" Playmaker shouted, bringing his hand to six. "However, I must then put one of my hand cards to the bottom of my deck! I select Reverse Rebooter! This then triggers the effect of Reverse Rebooter! If this card in my hand, graveyard or on my field would be sent to the deck, banished or added to my hand, I can special summon it instead! Furthermore it can bring along a Link-2 or lower Cyberse Monster from my graveyard with negated effects! Come, Reverse Rebooter, Elphase!" Playmaker said, a splash of pixilated water revealing the arriving monsters. Alongside the elf was a black and blue robot enveloped by a watery aura, its signature element flowing upwards instead of downwards, true to its reversing name.

Elphase

Wind/ Link 2/ ATK 2000/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑→)

.&.

Reverse Rebooter

Water/ Level 4/ ATK 1500/ DEF 800/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Appear for a fifth time, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two Cyberse Monsters! I set Link Disciple and Reverse Rebooter into the Link Markers! Circuit combine! Link Summon! Appear, Link 2, Flame Administrator!" Playmaker continued, a reddish robot arising in the left Extra Monster Zone.

Flame Administrator

Fire/ Link 2/ ATK 1200/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←↘)

"Its effect gives all Link-Monsters I control 800 ATK!" Playmaker pointed out, his monsters powering up.

Elphase: ATK 2000 → 2800

Flame Administrator: ATK 1200 → 2000

"Then I activate the continuous spell Cynet Optimization! Before I use its effect, appear for the sixth time, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two or more Effect-Monsters! I set Elphase on my field and Micro Coder from my hand into the Link Markers! Circuit combine!" Playmaker declared.

"From your hand?!" Heavenmail repeated in disbelief.

"That's right! I can use Micro Coder from there when I use Cyberse Monsters on my field to Link Summon a Code Talker! Link Summon! Appear, Link 3, Transcode Talker!" he shouted, a bulky orange robotic humanoid wielding a rifle appearing in Playmaker's third Main Monster Zone.

Transcode Talker

Earth/ Link 3/ ATK 2300/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑→↓)

"Now the effects of my cards! Cynet Codec gives me an Earth Attribute Cyberse from my deck since I special summoned an Earth Code Talker from my Extra Deck! I search out Dotscaper! Furthermore Micro Coder allows me to add a "Cynet"-Spell or Trap from my deck to the hand when used as link material for a Code Talker! I add the field spell Cynet Storm to my hand! Now the effect of Transcode Talker! Once per turn I can revive a Link-3 or lower Cyberse to a zone it points to! Arise, Decode Talker!" he proclaimed, the bluish humanoid reappearing beside its comrade.

Decode Talker

Dark/ Link 3/ ATK 2300/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑↙↘)

"I see. So he sacrificed one gundam to bring it back later on for no cost at all," Heavenmail murmured to himself.

"Much like Transcode Talker before, Decode Talker gains 800 ATK from Flame Administrator!" Playmaker reminded his opponents as his monster powered up.

Decode Talker: ATK 2300 → 3100

"Next I use the quick-play spell Cynet Shifting! This allows me to target and then move up to two monsters to neighboring monster zones while switching the locations of monsters when necessary! However, I cannot have two monsters in the Extra Monster Zones after this effect resolves! I move Flame Administrator to my first Main Monster Zone and Decode Talker to the right Extra Monster Zone! I furthermore gain 600 LP for each monster I targeted with this effect! I therefore gain 1200 LP!"

PLAYMAKER: LP 8000 → 9200

"Decode Talker now points to a monster, namely Transcode Talker! This gives it 500 ATK! Power Integration!" Playmaker told as his monster became stronger.

Decode Talker: ATK 3100 → 3600

"Now the effect of Cynet Optimization! Once per turn I can activate it for another normal summon of a Cyberse! I summon Cyberse Gadget!" he declared, another robotic monster showing up.

Cyberse Gadget

Light/ Level 4/ ATK 1400/ DEF 300/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Upon normal summoning it I can special summon a Level 2 or lower monster from my graveyard in defense position! Come, Bitron!"

Bitron

Earth/ Level 2/ ATK 200/ DEF 2000/ Cyberse

"Appear for the seventh time, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two Cyberse Monsters! I set Cyberse Gadget and Bitron into the Link Markers! Circuit combine! Link Summon! Appear, Link 2, Honeybot!" he announced, a bee-like robot descending from the circuit onto the fourth Main Monster Zone of Playmaker.

Honeybot

Light/ Link 2/ ATK 1900 → 2700/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←→)

"Cyberse Gadget's effect! When it leaves the field and goes to the graveyard I can special summon a Gadget Token! Furthermore Transcode Talker is now co-linked with a monster, so by its effect that monster and itself gain 500 ATK!" Playmaker said, a small cybernetic entity arising on his field while Transcode Talker and Honeybot powered up.

Gadget Token

Light/ Level 2/ ATK 0/ DEF 0/ Cyberse

Honeybot: ATK 2700 → 3200

Transcode Talker: ATK 3100 → 3600

"As I have one remaining zone that isn't occupied yet and that zone happens to be one my Decode Talker points to, I can special summon Link Infra-Flier from my hand to that zone! This also powers up Decode Talker! Power Integration!" he shouted as a hang-glider-like monster joined his current formation of five Cyberse Monsters.

Decode Talker: ATK 3600 → 4100

"Now appear for the eighth and final time, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two monsters! I set the Gadget Token and Link Infra-Flier into the Link Markers! Circuit combine! Link Summon! Appear, Link 2, Proxy Dragon!" Playmaker concluded, summoning a whitish dragon with an incomplete blue disk on its forehead, its wingspans being partially dark blue. It flew a brief loop before joining the formation next to Honeybot in the fifth Main Monster Zone from the left, Decode Talker therefore regaining its ATK boost immediately.

Proxy Dragon

Light/ Link 2/ ATK 1400 → 2200/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←→)

"I activate the field spell Cynet Storm, giving all linked monsters 500 ATK and DEF! This boosts the ATK of all my Link-Monsters aside from Flame Administrator!" Playmaker told as four of his monsters powered up.

Decode Talker: ATK 4100 → 4600

Honeybot: ATK 3200 → 3700

Proxy Dragon: ATK 2200 → 2700

Transcode Talker: ATK 3600 → 4100

"I set one card face-down and end my turn!" Playmaker finished, leaving one card in his hand and passing his turn over to Heavenmail.

"Well done, Playmaker-sama! I want to see them getting past this wall of monsters!" the eyeball shouted from Playmaker's disk.

"Be quiet. We are in public," Playmaker chastised the AI.

"And that's it, everyone! Playmaker ends his turn with a field consisting of five Link-Monsters! How is Heavenmail going to respond?" the MC addressed the crowd in the real world.

"Playmaker has constructed a solid defense. I honestly didn't expect him to be this good," Ryoken said to his sister.

Atsuko nodded. "Looks like he made use of our knights to acquire even greater power with Storm Access. We should keep him in our minds as a major threat," she advised.

"Hey Yusaku, aren't you a bit too harsh to him?" Kusanagi addressed his friend through an earpiece Playmaker wore.

"No, I'm not," Playmaker retorted coldly.

The man in the real world sweat dropped. "Yusaku, I don't quite understand why you even need to duel him. He wants to help us and shows no sign of ill will. We should accept his help, especially since he has an Anti Ignis," he advised.

"I won't just accept him," Playmaker remained firm in his opinion. "This fight against the Hanoi is something personal, and it's also a matter of life and death. I don't want to drag an outsider into it. I'll only allow it if he proves to be good enough so I can be sure that he can defend himself," he insisted.

Kusanagi sighed. "You are selfish, Yusaku. Sometimes you should just accept help, no matter how little it might be. You accepted my offer to work together as well after all," he reminded him.

Playmaker shook his head lightly. "That was something different. He will undergo this test and his performance alone will sway me or not," the Cyberse Duelist stayed adamant, to his friend's slight exasperation.

"He has built a formidable formation. And he probably counted the number of his Link Summons to intimidate you with his power," Hector remarked.

Heavenmail grinned. "That's only more motivating! Because the more solid the defense, the more fun it is to crush it again! My turn! I draw!" the armored duelist yelled in anticipation, beginning his move.

"For starters I will discard Tiames, Cleaver of the Goddess! That allows me to add a new "Goddess"-Card to my hand! From my deck I search out Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess! Then I special summon him as I control no monsters!" Heavenmail shouted, the man in the yellow fur appearing with his fists ready to brawl.

Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess

Light/ Level 4/ ATK 1800/ DEF 1000/ Fairy/ Effect

"When Heraklux is normal or special summoned I can search out an "Arms of the Goddess"-Card! I add Arms of the Goddess – Durandal to my hand! Then I equip it to Heraklux! This gives him 400 ATK as usually with my equip spells!" Heavenmail told, his monster grasping a green sword emitting an aura of wind.

Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess: ATK 1800 → 2200

"Furthermore its effect upon activation! I target a monster and destroy it!" he carried on.

"Then pick your target! But because of Honeybot you can pick none of the monsters it points to, plus Transcode Talker does the same to itself and those it points to! Meaning Transcode Talker, Honeybot and Proxy Dragon are out of your choice range!" Playmaker responded.

"Fine! I target Decode Talker and destroy it!" Heavenmail shot back, his monster swinging the blade to unleash a razor-sharp gale intended to cut down the opposing monster.

Playmaker raised his hand. "It won't work! Decode Talker's effect! When an opponent's card or card effect targets one of my cards I can tribute a monster Decode Talker points to in order to negate and destroy that opponent's card! I tribute Proxy Dragon and destroy Durandal!" he retorted, foiling the enemy move with his effect.

Decode Talker: ATK 4600 → 4100

Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess: ATK 2200 → 1800

Heavenmail clicked his tongue as Durandal was destroyed, his monster powering down as a result. "Fine! Then I will discard Siegfin, Halberd of the Goddess via the effect of Durandal! This allows me to add it back to my hand!" he declared, recovering his equip spell.

"I will use my trap in response to that effect! I activate Cynet Samsara, targeting a Cyberse Link-Monster in my graveyard that was sent there on this turn and reviving it! Come, Proxy Dragon!" Playmaker told, the white dragon reappearing in its former zone.

Proxy Dragon

Light/ Link 2/ ATK 1400 → 2700/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←→)

Decode Talker: ATK 4100 → 4600

"Alright then! I activate Durandal again! Up to twice per turn its effect upon activation can destroy a monster! I target Decode Talker anew!" Heavenmail said.

Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess: ATK 1800 → 2200

"And I activate the effect of Decode Talker again! I tribute Proxy Dragon to negate and destroy your card!" Playmaker responded.

Decode Talker: ATK 4600 → 4100

Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess: ATK 2200 → 1800

"That might have worked, but my Siegfin is more useful in the graveyard right now! You on the other hand consumed resources, so I call that a win overall!" Heavenmail proclaimed victoriously.

"I wouldn't exactly call it a win! Cynet Samsara's additional effect!" Playmaker countered.

"What? Additional effect?" Heavenmail repeated in surprise.

"Exactly! The targeted monster is reborn whenever it goes to the graveyard during this turn, except by becoming link material! And it revives with 300 more ATK than it left the field with! Therefore Proxy Dragon returns with a vengeance and 3000 ATK! And all ATK bonuses can be reapplied, so that's 800 from Flame Administrator and 500 from Cynet Storm!" Playmaker explained, the white dragon coming back to the field.

Proxy Dragon

Light/ Link 2/ ATK 1400 → 4300/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←→)

Decode Talker: ATK 4100 → 4600

"Kuh! What an annoying effect! Then I will activate my field spell Arms of the Goddess – Hidden Arsenal! I reckon you remember its effect, Playmaker? Upon activation it searches a "Goddess"-Card from my deck! I add my trusted Excalibur to my hand! Then I equip it to Heraklux!" he declared, his monster grasping the icy sword.

Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess: ATK 1800 → 2200

"And much like Hidden Arsenal it adds another "Goddess"-Card from my deck to my hand! I pick Arms of the Goddess – Joyeuse! Then I activate it by equipping it to Heraklux! I hope you like Charlemagne, because his sword is about to arrive!" Heavenmail announced, his monster grabbing a black-brownish blade surrounded by chunks of earth.

Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess: ATK 2200 → 2600

"Its activation effect! I draw one card for each monster in the Extra Monster Zones! You have Decode Talker, so I draw one!" Heavenmail told, his hand going up to four cards. "Then I use the effect of Hidden Arsenal to lower the ATK of Heraklux by 2000 so I can use one "Goddess"-Equip Spell or Trap as link material this turn for every 400 ATK my monster lost! With 2000 that's five of such cards, so I can now use that number of cards as link material as if they were Effect-Monsters!"

Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess: ATK 2600 → 600

"Watch out, Playmaker. He's preparing his attack," the eyeball warned the opposing duelist.

"I know," Playmaker simply retorted.

"I continue by equipping Heraklux with Arms of the Goddess – Heavenly Mail and Trishula! The latter boosts his ATK by 400 and inflicts 500 damage to you when activated!" the orange haired duelist went on, his monster receiving the jeweled armor and throwing the radiant trident at the other duelist before retrieving it via teleportation of the weapon.

PLAYMAKER: LP 9200 → 8700

Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess: ATK 600 → 1000

"Then I normal summon Achillor, Lance of the Goddess! When I do so I can recycle a "Goddess"-Card from my graveyard! I pick Durandal and then equip it to Heraklux! Its destruction effect is capped at twice per turn and cannot resolve anymore!" Heavenmail said, his black armored warrior arising, bringing along the wind sword that reequipped to its former owner.

Achillor, Lance of the Goddess

Dark/ Level 3/ ATK 1300/ DEF 700/ Fairy/ Effect

Heraklux, Fist of the Goddess: ATK 1000 → 1400

"I use the effect of Achillor and burn you for 200 times the number of "Goddess"-Equip Spells I have! Take these 1000 damage, sponsored by Blue Angel! Watch her duels if you want to see more burn damage like this!" the male in the ancient armor yelled, stretching out his arm as his monster threw a multitude of spears at Playmaker who briefly flinched at the impact of them. Meanwhile in the real world Aoi looked fairly surprised by the advertisement Heavenmail made for her.

PLAYMAKER: LP 8700 → 7700

"Then appear, our ancient circuit that guides to my destiny! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two or more monsters with different names, except Tokens! I use Achillor, Excalibur treating it as an Effect-Monster via Hidden Arsenal's effect, and Siegfin by banishing it from my graveyard and set them into the Link Markers! Circuit combine!" he shouted, the three beams heading skywards to fill up the red markers on the blue and gray circuit.

"And there it is! Heavenmail's Link Summon! What monster will our newcomer show us this time?" the MC announced on the other side.

"Earth-shaking force manifests to sweep you from your feet! Her ground blade will shatter your defenses with seismic impact! Link Summon! Arise, Link 3, Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess!" Heavenmail yelled, a female with the usual outfit appearing. She had brown hair and the same armor as Apollousa, Arestis, Athenadur and Dianahri, except of course that her unique extra color on it was brown. Wielding a golden sword with a wing-like cross guard and a brown gem embedded in it, the female was mounting a brown lion which let loose a roar as it landed on the floor of the square with the soft impact cats usually had when they fell.

Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess

Earth/ Link 3/ ATK ?/ Fairy/ Link/ Effect (↙↓↘)

"I think we all know how she gains her ATK! Three materials times 800 makes 2400 ATK!" Heavenmail said while the monster in the right Extra Monster Zone from his viewpoint assumed her ATK value.

Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess: ATK ? → 2400

"Furthermore Excalibur! Once per turn when it heads to the graveyard I can draw one card for each "Arms of the Goddess"-Card I control! I have Heavenly Mail, Trishula, Joyeuse, Durandal and my field spell Hidden Arsenal! Five cards make for a draw five!" he proclaimed, his hand sextupling at once.

"Nice, Heavenmail! We restocked our hand to six!" Hector shouted confidently.

Heavenmail smirked. "That's one of my favorite plays, Hector! Spam equip spells and then get rid of Excalibur for one hell of a draw! Now we have enough resources for even more plays! And I will start using them by special summoning Susanova, Naginata of the Goddess! I can do that since I have "Arms of the Goddess"-Cards in my backrow!" he stated as the winged samurai clad in green armor appeared.

Susanova, Naginata of the Goddess

Wind/ Level 3/ ATK 1000/ DEF 1400/ Fairy/ Effect

"And then appear again, our ancient circuit that guides to my destiny! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two "Goddess"-Monsters! Using them as Effect-Monster I set Joyeuse and Trishula into the Link Markers! Circuit combine! The speed of sound is nothing compared to this! In a flash the herald of the divine arrives on the battlefield! Link Summon! Arise, Link 2, Mercurias, Emissary of the Goddess!" Heavenmail cried out as a female clad in the standard Goddess Link-Monster outfit appeared, much like its predecessors having fox-like ears. Taking a quick lap around the square with her golden winged sandals she came to a halt in Heavenmail's third Main Monster Zone.

Mercurias, Emissary of the Goddess

Light/ Link 2/ ATK 2000/ Fairy/ Link/ Effect (←→)

"Now the effect of Cynet Storm gives both her and Tyreno 500 ATK as they are both linked!" Heavenmail went on, his monsters powering up.

Mercurias, Emissary of the Goddess: ATK 2000 → 2500

Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess: ATK 2400 → 2900

"Then the effect of Mercurias! When Link Summoned I can add back up to two "Arms of the Goddess"-Cards from my graveyard to my hand! I return Trishula and Joyeuse to my hand! I follow that up by banishing Tiames from my graveyard to trigger her effect! When I have two or more "Arms of the Goddess"-Cards on the field I can banish her to special summon a Goddess from my hand or graveyard! I summon Tellur, Crossbow of the Goddess from my hand!"

Tellur, Crossbow of the Goddess

Wind/ Level 4/ ATK 1600/ DEF 800/ Fairy/ Effect

"Now appear, our ancient circuit that guides to my destiny! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two or more monsters with different names, except Tokens! I set Heraklux, Tellur as well as my two equip spells Durandal and Heavenly Mail into the Link Markers! Circuit combine!" Heavenmail declared.

"Playmaker, it's coming. One of his strongest monsters," the eyeball reminded the yellow haired duelist.

"I know," Playmaker responded, observing attentively.

"With the bow of storms, great power shall be unleashed! A glorious arrow of wind heading right toward our destiny! Link Summon! Appear, Link 4, Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess!" Heavenmail shouted, the bear-riding fox archer making her appearance with her wind bow at the ready.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess

Wind/ Link 4/ ATK ?/ Fairy/ Link/ Effect (↑↙↓↘)

"Now I have used five equip spells as link material, so my limit for this turn has been reached!" Heavenmail told, his field spell becoming pale as its special ability ceased. "Onto her ATK, they become 3200 as I used four materials! Then she also gains 500 ATK from Cynet Storm because she is linked and lastly the effect of Mercurias gives all Goddesses she points to 600 ATK! Apollousa is in the fourth Main Monster Zone which is next to Mercurias, therefore the former receives said bonus from the latter!" the owner of the freshly summoned monster proclaimed.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK ? → 3200 → 3700 → 4300

"Next the effect of Izanaga, Katana of the Goddess! By banishing two "Arms of the Goddess"-Cards from my graveyard and paying 800 LP I can special summon him! I banish Heavenly Mail and Excalibur to have him join the party!" Heavenmail said, a dark haired man clad in a brown kimono wielding his namesake weapon appearing, much like all Main Deck "Goddess"-Monsters having a pair of angelic wings.

HEAVENMAIL: LP 8000 → 7200

Izanaga, Katana of the Goddess

Earth/ Level 4/ ATK 1500/ DEF 1600/ Fairy/ Effect

"I'm not done! By reducing the ATK of Susanova by 1000 I can special summon Amateret via her own effect!" Heavenmail went on, a female in a red kimono accompanying the other eastern culture inspired monster.

Susanova, Naginata of the Goddess: ATK 1000 → 0

Amateret, Tachi of the Goddess

Fire/ Level 3/ ATK 800/ DEF 1600/ Fairy/ Effect

"Since you summoned that monster to your second Main Monster Zone, Decode Talker gains 500 ATK! Power Integration!" Playmaker spoke up.

Decode Talker: ATK 4600 → 5100

"However, my monster also gains 500 ATK and DEF because of Cynet Storm plus 600 ATK from Mercurias who points to her!" Heavenmail retorted.

Amateret, Tachi of the Goddess: ATK 800 → 1300 → 1900; DEF 1600 → 2100

"That won't matter for too long though! Because I will continue with this! Appear, our ancient circuit that guides to my destiny! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two or more monsters with different names, except Tokens! I set my Shinto trio – Izanaga and his two children when it comes to mythology – into the Link Markers! Circuit combine!" Heavenmail proclaimed, Izanaga, Amateret and Susanova flocking upwards into the circuit.

"A fourth Link-Monster? Man, that guy is on fire as well!" Playmaker's AI remarked.

"The shine of moon veils a deadly arrow in dim luminescence! From the ether it will descend and give you a watery grave! Link Summon! Arise, Link 3, Dianahri, Bow of the Goddess!" Heavenmail announced, another fox-eared female arriving on the battlefield, this one riding her trusted bluish eagle as she was summoned to Heavenmail's second Main Monster Zone.

Dianahri, Bow of the Goddess

Water/ Link 3/ ATK ?/ Fairy/ Link/ Effect (←→↓)

"Her ATK become 2400 according to the usual formula! Then she gains 500 ATK from your field spell and 600 from Mercurias! Your Decode Talker gets to keep his prior boost of 500 as there is still a monster in my second Main Monster Zone!" the orange haired duelist elaborated, his monster powering up.

Dianahri, Bow of the Goddess: ATK ? → 2400 → 2900 → 3500

"Now her main effect! Once per turn I can lower her ATK by 800 and then freeze the ATK of one of your monsters at the value that is equal to half of Dianahri's effect after her ATK loss! Dianahri has 2700 ATK after she pays the price of 800, so your Decode Talker's ATK will become 1350 until the end of this turn! Furthermore you take 800 damage!" Heavenmail announced, his monster growing her pink fairy wings and transforming the color of her bow to white in order to launch a twofold bow shot, weakening the opposing monster at the expense of herself by firing one arrow at Decode Talker and one at its owner.

Decode Talker: ATK 5100 → 1350

Dianahri, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 3500 → 2700

PLAYMAKER: LP 7700 → 6900

"In addition to that the effect of Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess! Once per turn I can pay the usual price of 800 ATK to make my face-up monsters gain 1000 ATK until the end of this turn! Furthermore I gain 1000 LP!" he went on, using the effect of his Earth Link-Monster as well which had its weapon changed for a moment as well while also manifesting pink fairy wings.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 4300 → 5300

Dianahri, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 2700 → 3700

Mercurias, Emissary of the Goddess: ATK 2500 → 3500

Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess: ATK 2900 → 3100

HEAVENMAIL: LP 7200 → 8200

"I equip Trishula and Joyeuse to Apollousa! The former inflicts 500 damage to you when activated while both boost her ATK by 400 each!" Heavenmail told, halving his hand to two cards.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 5300 → 5700 → 6100

PLAYMAKER: LP 6900 → 6400

"Lastly I equip Apollousa with Arms of the Goddess – Kusanagi!" Heavenmail stated, his archer adding an eastern blade to its collection of weapons. Playmaker deadpanned a little as he heard a brief chuckle through his earpiece coming from the real world, his friend seeming amused about Heavenmail using the card version of his namesake sword.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 6100 → 6500

"When this card is activated I can target one card on the field and negate its effects until the end of this turn! I target Flame Administrator to weaken your monsters!" Heavenmail said, stretching out his arm.

"Decode Talker's effect! I tribute Proxy Dragon and...!" Playmaker retorted.

"Not like that! You can sacrifice your monster to heart's content as this is a cost, but you cannot execute that effect of yours! Apollousa's effect! Once per turn I can reduce her ATK by 800 to negate the activation of a monster effect, as well as suppressing that same effect for the rest of this turn! Decode Talker loses this one!" Heavenmail countered, his green haired monster besting the dark blue humanoid by disabling its effect with her own appearance-changing one. Kusanagi's effect went through, the missing effect of Flame Administrator dragging Playmaker's monster down. Decode Talker remained at 1350 ATK as its value was frozen due to Dianahri.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 6500 → 5700

Flame Administrator: ATK 2000 → 1200

Honeybot: ATK 3700 → 2900

Transcode Talker: ATK 4100 → 3300

"Due to Cynet Samsara Proxy Dragon revives with 300 more ATK than it had when it left the field! The 500 ATK boost from Cynet Storm is reapplied as well!" Playmaker responded, his monster reappearing.

Proxy Dragon

Light/ Link 2/ ATK 1400 → 5100/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←→)

"That's nice for you!" Heavenmail said sarcastically before pointing forward. "Battle! Apollousa attacks Transcode Talker!" he declared.

"The effect of Honeybot prevents monsters it points to from being destroyed by battle!" Playmaker shot back.

"Nice effect! However, I have one of my own! The effect of Apollousa's equip spell Kusanagi disables the effects of the monster it battles, as well as all those monster effects of yours that affect that monster! Since the protection effect of Honeybot affects Transcode Talker it is deactivated until the end of the damage step and your monster can now be destroyed and targeted by card effects! Furthermore the own effect of Transcode Talker that boosts its and Honeybot's ATK by 500 and makes them untargetable is negated! Go, Stormforce Arrow!" Heavenmail bellowed, his monster firing a wind-enveloped projectile that struck and destroyed the orange gundam.

Honeybot: ATK 2900 → 2400

Transcode Talker: ATK 3300 → 2800

"Sorry, Yusaku. I guess my namesake just foiled your plans," Kusanagi apologized to his friend.

Playmaker gritted his teeth. "Fine! I banish Cynet Shifting from my graveyard to activate its effect! By targeting a Link-Monster I control I reduce all battle damage I take during this turn by that monster's Link Rating times 800! With Decode Talker as my target the incoming damage will be reduced by 2400 points!" he yelled in response.

"Alright! 5700 ATK of Apollousa clashing against 2800 ATK of Transcode Talker make for 2900 damage! Minus 2400 reduction that makes 500 damage!" Heavenmail calculated, Transcode Talker exploding and Playmaker taking a little hit.

PLAYMAKER: LP 6400 → 5900

"Now my field spell kicks in, giving me 400 LP for each Link Rating of your monster, meaning 1200! Apollousa gains another attack as well! Furthermore the effect of Trishula boosts her ATK by 800 as she destroyed one of your monsters in battle!" Heavenmail declared, he and his monster powering up.

HEAVENMAIL: LP 8200 → 9400

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 5700 → 6500

"Now Tyreno attacks Honeybot! Your monster is destroyed! Groundforce Blade!" he shouted, his female bringing down her blade onto the bee-like robot.

Playmaker clicked his tongue in exasperation. "Maybe, but I don't take the damage because it was lower than 2400!" he replied.

"Then you won't mind if I continue destroying your monsters, right?" the orange haired duelist mocked, extending his arm ashe spoke up anew. "Mercurias attacks Flame Administrator! The damage will be 2300, so it is negated entirely! However, that's still one monster less I have to worry about! Godforce Jet Blow!" Heavenmail continued as the female monster sped forward, a solid punch in the gut of the red robot ending its existence with a loud bang.

"And now the real fun! Apollousa attacks Decode Talker using the extra attack she gained from Hidden Arsenal! Even with 2400 damage less you will still take a respectable amount of 2750 damage! Stormforce Arrow!" Heavenmail commanded, his monster sending out another arrow that in turn sent one of Playmaker's monsters to its grave.

PLAYMAKER: LP 5900 → 3150

"Through Trishula's effect Apollousa gains 800 ATK, and your Proxy Dragon powers down because of a lack of being linked!" he reminded Playmaker as the latter's monster was weakened, red energy streams flowing downwards on its body to visually indicate said ATK loss.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 6500 → 7300

Proxy Dragon: ATK 5100 → 4600

"This damage! That was the moment I was waiting for! Cynet Storm's effect!" Playmaker yelled at once.

"What?" Heavenmail repeated in surprise.

"Once per chain, when I take 2000 or more damage, I can shuffle all face-down cards in my Extra Deck and excavate its top card! If that monster is a Cyberse Link-Monster I can special summon it!" Playmaker announced.

"A card based on luck?" Hector contemplated.

Heavenmail shook his head. "Luck? Hah, as if someone rational like him would rely on that! He has nothing but Cyberse Link-Monsters in his Extra Deck, so this effect will succeed no matter what! The only question is whether he'll get one of the stronger monsters or one of the weaker ones!" he addressed his partner who nodded in understanding.

"I excavated Link-3 Cyberse Accelerator! I therefore summon it to my fourth Main Monster Zone Proxy Dragon points to! As such the previously lost ATK boost of Proxy Dragon returns as it is one more linked, Accelerator receiving the same 500 ATK from Cynet Storm!" Playmaker said, a white, green and dark blue robot warrior with an orange eye visor appearing on his field.

Cyberse Accelerator

Light/ Link 3/ ATK 2000 → 2500/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←→↓)

Proxy Dragon: ATK 4600 → 5100

"Fine! Then I will just make use of this new, compared to Proxy Dragon much weaker monster by attacking it with Apollousa! She can attack twice per turn as she is equipped with Joyeuse, so with the additional attack from Hidden Arsenal that gave her a total of three attacks during this turn! Go, Stormforce Arrow!" Heavenmail shouted in response.

"I banish Cynet Bargain from my graveyard to redirect the attack to Proxy Dragon! For the rest of this turn your Apollousa can only battle monsters of that name!" Playmaker countered.

"Well, then I'll take on that monster!" Heavenmail responded, shifting his arm towards the white metal dragon.

"I activate the effect of Cyberse Accelerator! Once per turn I can have a monster it points to gain 2000 ATK until the end of this turn! I select Proxy Dragon!" Playmaker told.

"Tellur's effect! When an effect is activated that one of my Goddesses could negate had it not already used its turnly negation effect, during the turn Tellur was used as link material, I can once per turn...!" Heavenmail began.

"Forget about it! I won't let you use that effect to negate my effect and strengthen your monsters! The additional effect of Cynet Bargain allows me to negate one monster effect during the turn I banished it to redirect an attack! I negate the effect of Tellur, Crossbow of the Goddess in your graveyard that lets you apply the effect of your Apollousa once more!" Playmaker interjected.

The armored duelist gritted his teeth, throwing back his green cape with an exasperated jerk of his arm. "Damn it! But even if my monsters won't power up now, I will still foil your effect! The effect of Apollousa's equip spell Kusanagi negates your monster effects that affect your battling monster! Since Cyberse Accelerator affects Proxy Dragon your monster will remain at 5100 ATK!" he shouted angrily.

"But Apollousa has only 7300 ATK, so I'll take no damage as the ATK deficit of Proxy Dragon is less than 2400! Furthermore Proxy Dragon revives due to Samsara, returning with 300 extra ATK plus 500 more as the boost from Cynet Storm reiterates!" Playmaker yelled back, much to Heavenmail's annoyance.

Proxy Dragon

Light/ Link 2/ ATK 1400 → 5900/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←→)

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 7300 → 8100

"Curse you and your eternally reviving dragon thingy! Then I'll have Dianahri crush your cybernetic soldier! Tidalforce Arrow onto Cyberse Accelerator!" Heavenmail commanded, his second archer letting loose a water arrow that destroyed the other monster as Apollousa could not battle anything but Proxy Dragons this turn due to Cynet Bargain.

"Again I take no damage!" Playmaker responded.

"You do indeed! But your Proxy Dragon loses 500 ATK as it is no longer linked!" Heavenmail snapped back, Playmaker's monster powering down a bit.

Proxy Dragon: ATK 5900 → 5400

"You could tribute one of your monsters via the effect of Trishula to have Apollousa attack again," Hector suggested.

Heavenmail nodded. "But his Proxy Dragon will just revive anyway. Plus the damage of 2700 would be reduced to 300, so that isn't worth it at all," he replied.

Hector hummed in approval. "Thought so myself. Just wanted to have it mentioned," he stated.

"Fine then! I end my turn! The effect of Tyreno expires, resulting in the loss of 1000 ATK among my monsters!" Heavenmail said, his monsters dropping in offensive value.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 8100 → 7100

Dianahri, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 3700 → 2700

Mercurias, Emissary of the Goddess: ATK 3500 → 2500

Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess: ATK 3100 → 2100

"The effect of Cynet Samsara returns the ATK of Proxy Dragon to normal," Playmaker chimed in.

Proxy Dragon: ATK 5900 → 1400

"However, the additional effects of Cynet Samsara! During the End Phase I can special summon a Link-Monster from my graveyard to my Extra Monster Zone with a Link Rating that is equal or lower than the number of times the target of Samsara revived this turn! Proxy Dragon came back four times, so I can special summon a Link-4 or lower monster! I bring back Link-3 Decode Talker! And finally I can draw one card if Proxy Dragon was special summoned at least thrice this turn, which it was!" Playmaker continued, his hand growing to two cards while Decode Talker revived.

Decode Talker

Dark/ Link 3/ ATK 2300/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑↙↘)

"It gains 1000 ATK from its own effect and Proxy Dragon and Decode Talker gain 500 more ATK from my field spell!" Playmaker finished, his monsters receiving a slight boost.

Decode Talker: ATK 2300 → 3300 → 3800

Proxy Dragon: ATK 1400 → 1900

"And that's it, people! Heavenmail managed to construct a solid field and overran Playmaker's formation, but Playmaker not only survived, but already started his recovery during the End Phase! Will he be able to continue his retaliation?!" the MC commented in the real world.

"He is even better than yesterday, starting out with four Link-Monsters instead of two on his first turn! Man, this duel is gonna be awesome!" Naoki swarmed, watching the duel on the monitors of the Den City plaza.

'He is a good duelist. But so is Playmaker. I wonder how he is going to respond to Heavenmail's offensive,' Aoi debated with herself.

"Nice going so far, Yusaku. Even though I'd wish you'd not make it so hard for him. He just wants to help," Shoichi addressed his friend via their vocal link.

Playmaker allowed for a brief smile. "Oh, I haven't even started to be hard on him yet. Watch, this is what me being hard on him looks like!" he murmured with a hint of hubris in his voice before speaking up.

"My turn! Due to the game rule of Dominus Duels I draw two cards instead of one from my second turn onward, should my lifepoints be lower than yours at the moment! Dominus Draw!" Playmaker yelled, taking two new cards into his hand. He briefly inspected them before continuing. "First I return Reverse Rebooter from my graveyard to my deck and pay 800 lifepoints! Now I can draw a card, but I cannot chain the other effect of Reverse Rebooter to this!" he declared.

PLAYMAKER: LP 3150 → 2350

"I could use the effect of Apollousa, but I better wait for something more important," Heavenmail contemplated silently, the other duelist stocking up his hand to five.

"Then the spell card Monster Reborn! I bring back Transcode Talker to my second Main Monster Zone!" Playmaker went on, the orange humanoid reviving at his command.

Transcode Talker

Earth/ Link 3/ ATK 2300/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑→↓)

"Its effect! Once per turn I can revive a Link-3 or lower Cyberse Monster to a zone it points to!" Playmaker announced.

"Not if I have any say about it! Apollousa's effect! I negate the effect of Transcode Talker at the price of 800 of her attack points!" Heavenmail countered his move.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 7100 → 6300

Playmaker smirked. "That's what I was waiting for!"

Heavenmail flinched. "Damn, it was a bait!" he cursed quickly, Playmaker now raising his arm.

"Appear, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two or more Cyberse Monsters! I set Link-3 Transcode Talker and Link-2 Proxy Dragon into the Link Markers! Circuit combine!" Playmaker shouted, the former monster spiraling upwards as one beam of energy while latter turned into a pair of them.

"This must be...!" Heavenmail murmured.

"Link Summon! Appear, Link 3, Procode Talker!" Playmaker yelled, a ruby colored humanoid with yellow highlights who wielded a shestophyor-type mace in its right hand appearing on the middle of his field. It had a broad back with an exoskeleton that magnified its spine, forming a row of spiky metal plates on its back. Its head was a flat oval with almost complete armor, only leaving a small eye visor that revealed its light blue eyes.

Procode Talker

Fire/ Link 3/ ATK 2300/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↗←→)

"I knew it! The monster he acquired during school today!" Heavenmail whispered in annoyance.

"The effect of Decode Talker! Since it points to a monster again its ATK go back to 3800! Furthermore Procode Talker receives 500 ATK from Cynet Storm!" Playmaker told, his freshly summoned monster gaining the declared value.

Procode Talker: ATK 2300 → 2800

"Then the effect of Procode Talker! Once per turn I can select a monster and move it to any monster zone of that player! Then you take 400 damage for each Link-Monster in neighboring zones! I move Tyreno to your first Main Monster Zone from your left! Since Dianahri is next to it, as well as my Decode Talker which is diagonal from Tyreno, you take 800 damage!" Playmaker said, his monster swinging its mace and hurling the female monster to another zone with its impact.

HEAVENMAIL: LP 9400 → 8600

"Next up I activate Cynet Mining! This spell lets me send one card from my hand to the graveyard in order to add a Level 4 or lower Cyberse Monster from my deck to the hand! I discard Latency and add Flame Bufferlo to my hand!" Playmaker said, conducting his plan. "I then summon ROM Cloudia!" he went on, a brownish sheep with a few futuristic devices attached to its body appearing with a bleat.

ROM Cloudia

Dark/ Level 4/ ATK 1800 → 2300/ DEF 0 → 500/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Upon normal summon I can add a Cyberse Monster from my graveyard back to my hand! I select Latency! However, now its effect! When Latency is added from my graveyard to my hand, I can special summon it! Come, Latency!" Playmaker said, a small red metal angel with golden wings and halo holding an hourglass appearing.

Latency

Light/ Level 1/ ATK 0/ DEF 0/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Appear, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two Cyberse Monsters! I set ROM Cloudia and Latency into the Link Markers! Circuit combine! Link Summon! Appear, Link 2, Inverted Code Talker!" Playmaker proclaimed, a silver humanoid wielding a spear appearing right from Procode Talker.

Inverted Code Talker

Light/ Link 2/ ATK 1300/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←→)

"This triggers the effects of Latency and Cynet Codec! The former allows me to draw a card while the latter adds a Light Cyberse Monster from my deck to the hand! I pick Balancer Lord! Then the effect of Inverted Code Talker allows for a special summon of a Cyberse in my hand! I summon Flame Bufferlo to my fifth Main Monster Zone, in turn powering up Bufferlo, Inverted Code and Decode Talker alike!" Playmaker explained his culmination of effects.

Flame Bufferlo

Fire/ Level 3/ ATK 1400 → 1900/ DEF 200 → 700/ Cyberse/ Effect

Decode Talker: ATK 3800 → 4300

Inverted Code Talker: ATK 1300 → 1800

"Now I activate the effect of Cynet Optimization, allowing me another normal summon of a Cyberse Monster! I summon Balancer Lord!" Playmaker continued his move, a white and green cybernetic warrior carrying a blade akin to Decode Talker's and a shield in its other hand showing up.

Balancer Lord

Light/ Level 4/ ATK 1700/ DEF 1200/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Then its effect! I pay 1000 lifepoints for another normal summon! Come, Lady Debug!" he stated, a robotic humanoid version of a ladybug joining his monsters, gaining 500 ATK and DEF as it was summoned next to Procode Talker.

PLAYMAKER: LP 2350 → 1350

Lady Debug

Light/ Level 4/ ATK 1700 → 2200/ DEF 1400 → 1900/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Via its effect I add a Level 3 or lower Cyberse from my deck to my hand! I pick Backup Operator! Then appear, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two or more monsters, except Tokens! I set Lady Debug, Balancer Lord and Flame Bufferlo into the Link Markers! Link Summon! Appear, Link 3, Tri-Gate Wizard!" Playmaker shouted, a cylinder-wearing black humanoid wielding a blue staff arising left from Procode Talker.

Tri-Gate Wizard

Earth/ Link 3/ ATK 2200 → 2700/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑←→)

Decode Talker: ATK 4300 → 3800

"At this moment the effect of Flame Bufferlo can be activated! When it leaves the field I can discard one Cyberse Monster to draw two cards! I discard Dotscaper! Then the effect of Dotscaper brings back itself when it enters the graveyard!" Playmaker declared, a pixilated being of white and green color appearing before him.

Dotscaper

Earth/ Level 1/ ATK 0/ DEF 2100/ Cyberse/ Effect

Playmaker narrowed his eyes. "And now it's time! Come, Data Storm!" he commanded, a twister of Data Material appearing next to him.

"Damn it! His lifepoints are below the threshold!" Heavenmail cursed.

"Once per duel, when my lifepoints are 2000 or less, I can add a random Cyberse Monster from the Data Storm to my Extra Deck! SKILL ACTIVATE – STORM ACCESS!" he shouted, the gale descending onto him. With a swift motion of his arm he went through the Data Storm with his hand, grabbing a card. He briefly showed it to Heavenmail before continuing.

"Appear, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two or more Effect-Monsters! I set Link-2 Inverted Code Talker and Dotscaper into the Link Markers! Circuit combine!" Playmaker yelled, the two monsters heading upwards, filling up three markers of a blue circuit within the sky.

Heavenmail took a brief look at the field. His eyes widened in terror. "No way! Is he seriously...?!" he whispered, shell-shocked by his discovery.

"That Playmaker! I never thought that he could accomplish something like this, and so early on as well!" Ryoken spoke up begrudgingly with a tone of disbelief, watching the duel from the real world.

"It is indeed terrifying to learn that he was capable of that all along," Atsuko agreed, equally aghast by his move.

"His field! That is...!" Hector stammered.

"Exactly!" Playmaker responded before raising his arm, still holding the newly created card in it. "Under normal conditions, each player may only use one Extra Monster Zone at a time! However, by constructing a bridge of sequentially co-linked monsters that ranges from one Extra Monster Zone to another, a player may harness the other Extra Monster Zone by completing the bridge with a final monster!" Playmaker explained, the arrows of his monsters blinking in red color as Decode Talker diagonally co-linked to Procode Talker, who in turn co-linked leftwards to Tri-Gate Wizard. The latter finally pointed upwards, the left Extra Monster Zone Playmaker had previously removed Tyreno from shining brightly as a column of light broke loose from the ground.

"Did he really just...?!" Heavenmail stuttered, still in disbelief.

"Heavenmail! This is what I define as high-level dueling! Appear, Link 3, Bicode Talker! Extra Link!" Playmaker shouted resolutely, an indigo humanoid wielding a mechanical crossbow as its weapon appearing in the other Extra Monster Zone. It had very slender limbs, causing it to look almost fragile. A series of thorns on its arms, legs and torso made up for that weakness though. A pair of shining eyes flashed to life behind the eye visor of its heaume-shaped head as it directed its crossbow skywards and fired a watery bolt that exploded into a splash of energized fluids.

Bicode Talker

Water/ Link 3/ ATK 2300 → 2800/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑→↓)

"It's there, it's there, it's there!" the MC announced enthusiastically, the audience in the real world breaking into wild cheers. "Playmaker has constructed an Extra Link, something only a handful of duelists have ever accomplished so far! What is Heavenmail planning in order to take it down?!" he asked, more rhetorically than as an honest question.

"Playmaker! I knew you were the best duelist within the network! Take out that Heavenmail!" Naoki screamed in utter amazement, his favor swinging back to his already established idol.

Aoi looked over to him. Normally she would have paid at least a second to be annoyed by him and especially by his statement that put her below Playmaker in her value as a duelist, but considering the current situation that didn't matter to her. The Cyberse User had just constructed an Extra Link, an achievement very few duelists could brag about. Seeing one of them live, in the second turn of said player at that, was an astonishing experience for her as well. Back in the corners of her mind she reminded herself to step up her game as Blue Angel on the next days so Playmaker wouldn't be the sole subject of all conversations regarding the VRAINS.

"He really managed to build an Extra Link. It looks like we severely underestimated his power. We must be wary of Playmaker from now on, who knows what else he can do," Ryoken murmured.

Noctis hummed from within his mind. "Yes, he is indeed quite the threat. Disposing of him shortly would be a wise way to advance," he advised.

"That sly fox really managed to Extra Link us! But his arrows unlock two of our zones, so that shouldn't restrict us too much!" Hector spoke up.

"You misunderstand my intention! I will settle this duel on this turn!" Playmaker chimed in, causing Hector and his partner to grit their teeth – or in the former's case grimacing in a way that looked like it. "Since a Water Code Talker was summoned from my Extra Deck, I add Sea Archiver to my hand! Then I discard it with the effect of Defcon Bird to special summon the latter! At this moment the effect of Sea Archiver triggers, allowing me to special summon it from my graveyard when I normal or special summon a Cyberse Monster to a zone one of my Link-Monsters points to! Come, Defcon Bird, Sea Archiver!" Playmaker commanded as a flying Cyberse and a metallic sea horse appeared.

Defcon Bird

Wind/ Level/ ATK 100/ DEF 1700/ Cyberse/ Effect

.&.

Sea Archiver

Water/ Level 3/ ATK 300/ DEF 2100/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Since Defcon Bird was summoned to my fifth Main Monster Zone, Decode Talker gains 500 ATK! Power Integration!" Playmaker went on, his monster reaching the maximum of its effect once more.

Decode Talker: ATK 3800 → 4300

"Appear, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two Cyberse Monsters! I set Defcon Bird and Sea Archiver into the Link Markers! Circuit combine! Link Summon! Appear, Link 2, Link Bumper!" he shouted, a new high tech machine warrior being summoned right from Procode Talker, due to his co-link with Procode Talker attaching itself to the co-link chain, making it an extra linked monster as well.

Link Bumper

Earth/ Link 2/ ATK 1400 → 1900/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑←)

Decode Talker: ATK 4300 → 3800

"Now the effect of Backup Operator! I can special summon it from my hand while returning one face-up monster one of my Link-Monsters points to back to the hand! I target your Dianahri and return her to your hand!" Playmaker declared, pointing at the eagle-riding female.

"Not like that! I discard Arthuribos, Broadsword of the Goddess from my hand! By doing so I can negate all card effect removal onto my monsters for the rest of this turn!" Heavenmail yelled in response, discarding the sole card in his hand.

"Fine! My monster is still summoned though!" Playmaker shot back, a female with a similar appearance as Backup Secretary appearing.

Backup Operator

Light/ Level 3/ ATK 1200/ DEF 800/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Finally I activate the effect of Fiendish Paster from my hand! I target two Link-Monsters I control, one of which hasn't activated its effects during this turn! I negate the effects of the first monster and have the second monster gain them! I copy the effect of Tri-Gate Wizard onto Procode Talker! This effect transfer lasts until the end of this turn!" he explained.

"You're copying the effects of one monster onto another? What for?" Heavenmail asked, raising an eyebrow.

"You will see why in time! But first Fiendish Paster is also special summoned by its effect!" he said, a small robotic creature looking akin to a little devil appearing, having a plus sign on its right palm and a minus sign on its left. It grabbed the shoulder of Tri-Gate Wizard with the minus sign hand while it took hold of Procode Talker with its other hand. Jolts rocked through its body as a flow of energy went from the former monster to the latter, the Code Talker receiving a set of new effects. Playmaker's hand became empty as he summoned this new monster.

Fiendish Paster

Fire/ Level 3/ ATK 1200/ DEF 400/ Cyberse/ Effect

"Then appear for a final time, the circuit that leads to the future! Arrowheads confirmed! The summoning conditions are two Effect-Monsters! I set Backup Operator and Fiendish Paster into the Link Markers! Circuit combine!" he shouted, the two monsters gathering to form another.

"Seems like he is going for a six Link-Monster board," Hector remarked.

"Looks like it," Heavenmail agreed, bracing himself.

"Link Summon! Appear, Link 2, Trackblack!" Playmaker declared, a robotic bird with yellow lines running across its metallic feathers appearing in his rightmost Main Monster Zone.

Trackblack

Light/ Link 2/ ATK 1200 → 1700/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↖↘)

"Now the effect of Tri-Gate Wizard that Procode Talker inherited! If it is co-linked with two or more monsters, I can once per turn banish a card you control! Procode Talker is co-linked with three monsters, so I can now banish your field spell!" Playmaker announced, his monster opening up a black hole that sucked up Hidden Arsenal.

"He got our field spell. This is gonna limit our summoning possibilities during the following turns a lot," Hector stated.

"You won't have a next turn! For that I activate the effect of Trackblack, targeting one of my monsters it points to! I target Decode Talker!" Playmaker spoke up again.

"I have no idea what you're planning, but I won't just stand by and watch it! I activate the effect Dianahri, reducing her ATK and then changing the ATK of one of your monsters! And I have just the right one in mind!" Heavenmail yelled in response, his Goddess starting to unfold her wings at that.

"I won't let you! The third bonus effect of Tri-Gate Wizard! Once per turn I can negate the activation of one of your cards or card effects and banish that card! It must have three co-linked monsters for that, which Tri-Gate doesn't fulfill! The Procode Talker who now wields this effect does have three of such co-links, though!" Playmaker countered, the opposing monster being prevented from unleashing her celestial might.

"Kuh! So that was why you shifted those effects elsewhere! But my monster isn't removed by your effect due to Arthuribos and doesn't lose ATK either as that is an effect, not a cost!" Heavenmail admitted grudgingly, at least getting some form of triumph from this unfortunate countermeasure of Playmaker.

"Let's go! Battle!" Playmaker said, extending his arm towards Heavenmail and his monsters.

"Hold up! I banish Izanaga from my graveyard! This halves all battle damage I take during this turn! Furthermore I chain Tyreno's effect to it, reducing her ATK by 800 to boost the ATK of all my monsters by 1000 until the end of this turn! I also gain 1000 LP!" the orange haired duelist declared in response to Playmaker entering his Battle Phase.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 6300 → 7300

Dianahri, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 2700 → 3700

Mercurias, Emissary of the Goddess: ATK 2500 → 3500

Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess: ATK 2100 → 2300

HEAVENMAIL: LP 8600 → 9600

"Fine! I activate the effect of Bicode Talker! I target one of my Link-Monsters and have it gain 500 ATK for each of my monsters Bicode points to! I target Decode Talker, granting it 500 ATK! Then, if I controlled at least three Link-Monsters when this effect was activated, I can destroy one card you control! As your monsters are protected against removal by card effects during this turn I destroy Arms of the Goddess – Kusanagi!" Playmaker delivered his answer to Heavenmail's move.

Decode Talker: ATK 4300 → 4800

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 7300 → 6900

"Hey! Not cool,Yusaku!" Shoichi complained from the other end of the line as Playmaker destroyed the namesake of his friend.

"I attack Apollousa with Decode Talker!" Playmaker declared.

"Are you nuts?! Your monster is a wimp compared to her!" Heavenmail shouted in disbelief of the opposing move.

"Not for long! At this moment the effect of Procode Talker! When a monster it points to battles, Procode negates the effects of all cards in your Spell & Trap Zone until the end of the damage step and also increases the ATK of my monster by 500 during that battle! Meaning your equip spells are disabled, resulting in a loss of Apollousa's ATK!" Playmaker shot back, his Code Talker powering up while the Goddess was weakened.

Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 6900 → 3700

Decode Talker: ATK 4800 → 5300

"He reversed the situation!" Hector shouted in agitation.

"And there is nothing you can do about it right now! By Cynet Optimization's effect you cannot activate cards or effects when a Code Talker battles, so until the end of the damage step you will have to resort to watching! Go, Decode Talker! Decode End!" he yelled, the monster bringing down its blade onto the bear-riding archer who was promptly destroyed.

"The effect of Izanaga halves the damage!" Heavenmail reminded him.

"However, this is neutralized as Procode Talker who has the effect of Tri-Gate Wizard points to Decode Talker in a Co-Link! By the effect of Tri-Gate Wizard monsters it is co-linked with have all of the battle damage they inflict to you doubled!" Playmaker countered, Heavenmail gritting his teeth as the shockwave created from Decode Talker's impact sent him skidding back, his monster alongside her two remaining equip spells being destroyed.

HEAVENMAIL: LP 9600 → 8000

Decode Talker: ATK 5300 → 4800

"Now the effect of Trackblack lets me draw one card as the monster I targeted with its other effect destroyed one of your monsters by battle! Furthermore the effect of Bicode Talker gives me 800 LP whenever one of my Link-Monsters destroys an opponent's monster! Bicode Blessing!" Playmaker spoke up, his monster infusing him with a water arrow launched from its crossbow that quickly healed some of his minor scratches.

PLAYMAKER: LP 1350 → 2150

Playmaker inspected the newly drawn card and smiled. "With this it's decided! Now I will unleash my ultimate combo that will close out this duel!" he proclaimed.

"What are you talking about?!" Heavenmail snapped, furious about the hint of condescension in the other male's tone.

"I'll show you! I activate the effect of Trojan Overloader in my hand! Your friend Hector should enjoy this card a lot, given its name! By discarding it I can summon up to two Cyberse Link-Monsters from my Extra Deck to any of your zones, treating it as a Link Summon! I summon Cyberse Enchanter and Link Devotee to your fourth and fifth Main Monster Zone respectively! Their original ATK becomes 2000 and their effects are negated! Furthermore only one of them can have its ATK further changed for the rest of this turn, so only Link Devotee will receive the 500 ATK bonus from Cynet Storm!" Playmaker declared, two of his monsters arising on the opposing field.

Cyberse Enchanter (Heavenmail's field)

Light/ Link 3/ ATK 2400 → 2000/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←→↓)

.&.

Link Devotee (Heavenmail's field)

Earth/ Link 1/ ATK 500 → 2500/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (↑)

"You're giving me monsters?! Why?!" Heavenmail asked, completely dumbfounded by this move.

"To execute my ultimate combo of course! When my Decode Talker finished attacking I activated Link Bumper's effect! Decode Talker gains an additional attack for each Link-Monster I control besides Link Bumper, but my other monsters cannot attack! This effect has one weakness though, namely that I cannot attack anything but Link-Monsters with that monster!" Playmaker elaborated.

Heavenmail's eyes widened in shock. "So for you to attack for the maximum of five extra strikes you just had to give me two Link-Monsters!" he realized, his face paling.

Playmaker nodded. "And it gets worse! Unlike Decode Talker not all of my other monsters are strong enough, trigger an effect that suppresses your cards and backrow, deal doubled damage to compensate for your Izanaga, or heal and let me draw cards when they destroy your monsters in battle! However, if I give all of their attacks to my Decode Talker, I can reap all of the benefits! Due to Cynet Optimization you cannot activate cards or effects when Decode Talker battles! Tri-Gate Wizard grants it doubled battle damage via Procode Talker who now owns that effect! Trackblack allows me to draw a card on each successful battle destruction of your monsters by Decode Talker! Procode offers 500 ATK to Decode Talker and negates all cards in your Spell & Trap line, had you any left there! And finally Bicode Talker heals me whenever Decode wins against and destroys one of your monsters! And this all happens on each of the five attacks my Decode Talker will now declare! Brace yourself, this is my ultimate combo!" Playmaker announced, his monster preparing its blade.

Heavenmail's jaw dropped. "That... is probably the most meticulous and unfair combo I have ever seen...!" he stammered, his eyes wide open in terror.

"Amazing, Playmaker-sama! We have this duel in the bag!" the eyeball AI enthused.

"This is bad! If he gets all of these attacks through, we are done for! If we could just activate cards during battle...!" Hector hissed in exasperation.

"Amazing! Playmaker truly is the greatest genius among all duelists in history! Go, Playmaker!" Naoki yelled in the real world while the MC made commentary about the progress of the duel, equally excited as the teenage student.

"This combo! And here I thought Heavenmail was the more terrifying duelist! If Playmaker had brought this combo upon me, I would have lost instantly!" Atsuko muttered, distraught by the realization of her inferior dueling skills which she had viewed as superior to Playmaker's only minutes ago.

Emerald hummed from within her mind. "It truly is a terrifying combination of cards. We better take precautions against it if we intend to fight Playmaker in the near future."

Ryoken nodded. "Definitely. Going up against this combo unprepared is a death sentence," he stated.

"Agreed. This could even take out the likes of us if we aren't careful. We better play it safe and think of ways to counter this formation with or disrupt him so much that he cannot even build it. Topologic Bomber would be a good start," Noctis advised.

Ryoken smirked. "That's for sure! Without uninterrupted swarming Playmaker cannot build this formation and execute his combo! Thanks for the tip, Noctis!" he thanked his partner.

"You're welcome," Noctis retorted, the two of them alongside their female counterparts resuming to look back at the monitors that displayed the ongoing duel within the network.

"Now Decode Talker attacks Cyberse Enchanter! Once more my monster gains 500 ATK during this battle! Decode End!" Playmaker yelled, his monster making short work of another card in the possession of Heavenmail, alongside a good chunk of the latter's lifepoints.

Decode Talker: ATK 4800 → 5300

HEAVENMAIL: LP 8000 → 4700

Decode Talker: ATK 5300 → 4800

"The effect of Trackblack lets me draw a card! Furthermore Bicode talker heals me by 800 LP! Bicode Blessing!" Playmaker said, reaping the benefits of his combo.

PLAYMAKER: LP 2150 → 2950

"Decode Talker attacks for the third time! Link Devotee is destroyed, you take 2800 damage, I gain 800 lifepoints and draw a card! Decode End!" Playmaker went on, his monster bisecting the second monster he had handed over to Heavenmail.

Decode Talker: ATK 4800 → 5300

HEAVENMAIL: LP 4700 → 1900

Decode Talker: ATK 5300 → 4800

PLAYMAKER: LP 2950 → 3750

"Not good! One more strike and we're done for!" Hector said worriedly.

"Not yet! I banish Arms of the Goddess – Kusanagi from my graveyard! I can do this after the Damage Step, gaining 1000 LP for each Link-Monster you control with a different name! With six of them I gain 6000 LP! Practical that its effect utilizes the short time window between your consecutive uptimes of Cynet Optimization's effect, right?!" Heavenmail spoke up, his lifepoints skyrocketing again.

HEAVENMAIL: LP 1900 → 7900

"Just from the fact alone that this card just bought him a bit more time and has your name on it, I think that you are totally on his side, with how your namesake even influences the duel in his favor," Playmaker murmured in slight annoyance, his friend chuckling through the earpiece the Cyberse Duelist wore. Even though he was a rational person Yusaku got the impression that Kusanagi's wish for the other male to join their team might have manifested as a card that had just delayed his victory by a few attacks, much to Yusaku's exasperation.

"You should have attacked Mercurias first to get rid of her ATK boost effect! Now you lose out on 600 damage because you underestimated his survivability!" the Ignis eyeball chastised its owner.

"Be quiet! It will still be more than enough to finish him off!" Playmaker scolded back, stretching out his arm anew. "Fourth attack! Decode Talker attacks Mercurias! Decode End!" he yelled, his monster's blade striking down on the fast-running Goddess. The usual effects of Playmaker did their work again, his hand growing to three while he reduced the lifepoints of his opponent and gained some himself. Dianahri also lost 600 ATK as the bonus coming from Mercurias was no longer around.

Decode Talker: ATK 4800 → 5300

HEAVENMAIL: LP 7900 → 6100

Decode Talker: ATK 5300 → 4800

PLAYMAKER: LP 3750 → 4550

Dianahri, Bow of the Goddess: ATK 3700 → 3100

"Fifth attack! Decode Talker attacks Dianahri! Decode End!" Playmaker cried out, another attack ending the second last monster that Heavenmail controlled, Tyreno losing ATK due to a lack of being linked.

Decode Talker: ATK 4800 → 5300

HEAVENMAIL: LP 6100 → 3900

Decode Talker: ATK 5300 → 4800 → 4300

PLAYMAKER: LP 4550 → 5350

Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess: ATK 2300 → 1800

"The end! Sixth and final attack of Decode Talker on Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess!" Playmaker shouted, extending his arm once more, a fierce expression forming on his face.

"That attack will only do 3000 damage as Decode Talker lost 500 ATK since Dianahri left the field! It won't be enough!" Hector pointed out.

"I discard one of the four cards I have in my hand thanks to Trackblack, Invasion Blockbreaker! By doing so I can activate its effect! My attacking monster gains 300 ATK for each Link-Monster on the field! With six on my side and one on yours, Decode Taker will gain 2100 ATK!" Playmaker shouted, the blade of his monster being surrounded by a piercing wind, in tandem with Procode Taker powering up Decode Talker.

Decode Talker: ATK 4300 → 4800 → 6900

"What?! But with that many ATK...!" the Anti Ignis stammered in disbelief.

"That's right! With than many ATK on Decode Talker I win! GO, DECODE TALKER! DECODE END!" Playmaker screamed, the dark blue humanoid bringing down its blade onto the brown haired female, her existence ceasing with a loud bang, the resulting smoke veiling her controller in an impenetrable cloud of dust.

"Heavenmail...," Emerald began.

"...lost," Noctis finished.

Atsuko's head sunk. "Now it's official. There are two non-Hanois better than me. My reputation is ruined," she whispered in defeat.

"Playmaker won! I knew he was the better duelist!" Naoki cheered, clearly satisfied with the duel he had been shown.

'A pity. I really was getting into his dueling style,' Aoi thought before lightly shrugging her shoulders and turning sideways. 'Oh well, I'll just go home then,' she mused, lifting her foot to make the first step towards home.

"Playmaker-sama, we did it! We defeated them!" the AI cheered, visibly delighted by the outcome of the duel.

"More like I defeated them. You just dropped occasional comments," Playmaker retorted coldly.

The eyeball flinched before its mood turned more fiery. "Hey, I did help! Don't act like my help didn't assist you on your way to victory!" it shouted indignantly.

"On your way to victory, huh? I guess you didn't get the memo yesterday! I am not defeated that easily! Or as I like to express it, ex pulveri orior – from the dust I arise!" Heavenmail spoke up, the air around him clearing to reveal that he was still standing.

"What?! How did you manage to survive my attack?! Your cards and effects were disabled!" Playmaker cried out in confusion.

Heavenmail rubbed his chin. "That's a good question indeed! Well, you were so caught up with what happened after your attack that you didn't pay attention to what happened before you declared it! In a similar way than Kusanagi I can banish Arthuribos, Broadsword of the Goddess from my graveyard after the Damage Step! I then gain 500 ATK for each monster that has been destroyed by battle this turn! As you destroyed Cyberse Enchanter, Link Devotee, Apollousa, Bow of the Goddess, Dianahri, Bow of the Goddess and finally Mercurias, Emissary of the Goddess, I gained 2500 LP! And that was enough to survive your attack!" Heavenmail explained, the indicator showing his lifepoints at that.

HEAVENMAIL: LP 3900 → 6400 → 1300

Aoi halted her movements, shifting back to her prior position. Meanwhile Naoki cheered again, this time pledging his eternal faith to Heavenmail, saying that he never doubted that he wouldn't lose, prompting the brown haired girl to roll her hazel eyes at his hypocrisy.

Atsuko sighed in relief. "Looks like my reputation isn't in shambles after all," she said.

"Yet," Ryoken replied, allowing for a brief grin.

"It almost sounds as if you are making fun of me, onii-san," Atsuko grumbled, clearly upset.

Ryoken chuckled, patting her on the head reassuringly. "Oh, I am. People learn the most from losses and other negative experiences akin to that. Next time you will have learned your lesson and annihilate him, okay?" he asked her with a warm smile.

Atsuko nodded eagerly. "Definitely! I won't lose to Heavenmail or any other opponent ever again!" she pledged resolutely.

Ryoken kept up his smile. "I know," he simply responded.

"Would you look at that, everybody! Heavenmail managed to pull off another surprising escape move, despite practically all of his effects being disabled by Playmaker! Will he be able to make a comeback from here on?!" the MC commented the twist enthusiastically.

Playmaker gritted his teeth. "You really survived my combo attack, huh? In that case my Decode Talker loses its additional ATK from Procode and Invasion Blockbreaker again! However, I still gain 800 lifepoints from Bicode Talker and draw a card via Trackblack!" Playmaker said, not fully able to contain his anger as he spoke.

Decode Talker: ATK 6900 → 4800 → 4300

PLAYMAKER: LP 5350 → 6150

He took a deep breath, trying to get rid of the frustration. After a moment he regained his stoic attitude once more and continued. "That was a nice defense! However, you are still far from achieving victory! You have few lifepoints, no cards on the field and none in your hand! And to make sure that you realize just how big your disadvantage is I place two of my four hand cards face-down and then banish Trojan Overloader from my graveyard to activate its effect! I can revive up to two Link-Monsters from my graveyard that were destroyed by battle since my opponent's last Standby Phase! I revive Cyberse Enchanter to my first Main Monster Zone! Then I end my turn, meaning Trackblack's effect expires and Tri-Gate Wizard's effects return to it, Procode Talker losing them! Now show me how you are going to overcome this formation with no resources at all!" Playmaker challenged him, the adult version of Cyberse Wizard appearing in his leftmost Main Monster Zone.

Cyberse Enchanter

Light/ Link 3/ ATK 2400 → 2900/ Cyberse/ Link/ Effect (←→↓)

The audience let out a collective gasp of disbelief as they realized what Playmaker had just done. The MC even dropped his microphone in sheer shock, everybody facing the monitors with aghast expressions.

Ryoken's eyes widened in shock. "He really did it! But that's impossible! This is something not even I have managed to create so far! Extra Link – Full Mode!" he stated in disbelief, gazing at the formation of seven Cyberse Monsters on the field of Playmaker, ranging from the three Code Talkers he controlled to other monsters like Link Bumper, Tri-Gate Wizard, Trackblack and Cyberse Enchanter.

"And it's the most perfected form of it as well! All of his monsters are either part of the Extra Link chain or attach themselves to its flanks via Co-Links, making them extra linked as well! Seven Link-Monsters with all of them extra linked! That's the pinnacle of Link Summoning!" Atsuko chimed in, looking at the monster formation in awe.

"He is powerful, that much is certain," Emerald admitted.

"He is dangerous. Too dangerous! We must dispose of him or he will be our undoing!" Noctis said, clearly not comfortable with Playmaker running around as their enemy.

"He has a great board of seven Link-Monsters as well as five spells and traps plus two remaining hand cards and plenty of lifepoints. That makes him about as invincible as Troy was told to be. How the hell are we going to overcome this with no resources to work with?" Hector asked, worried about the state of his partner's duel.

"Our situation is grim indeed," Heavenmail said with equal worry. His face then lit up as he smirked. "But you forget that Troy – even with its alleged invincibility and the favour of several olympian gods protecting it – was defeated in the end and met its destruction in a storm of flames! All we have to do so Playmaker's board meets the same fate is getting the damn horse into the city! I'm going to bet everything on this draw! My turn! Due to my lifepoint deficit the rules allow me to draw two cards instead of one! Dominus Draw!" he shouted resolutely, beginning his turn against the overwhelming odds of nothing versus a perfected Extra Link – Full Mode.

Duel will continue...


Card Corner:

Heavenmail's Cards:


Izanaga, Katana of the Goddess

Attribute: Earth

Level: 4

Type: Fairy/Effect

ATK/DEF: 1500/1600

Effect:

You can banish 2 "Arms of the Goddess" cards from your GY and pay 800 LP; Special Summon this card from your hand or GY. At the start of the Battle Phase (Quick Effect): You can banish this card from your GY; halve all battle damage you take for the rest of this turn. You can only use each effect of "Izanaga, Katana of the Goddess" once per turn.


Arthuribos, Broadsword of the Goddess

Attribute: Light

Level: 4

Type: Fairy/Effect

ATK/DEF: 1800/1300

Effect:

If a "Goddess" monster(s) would leave the field by a card effect, you can discard this card instead, also for the rest of this turn, "Goddess" monsters cannot leave the field by your opponent's card effects. After the Damage Step (Quick Effect): You can banish this card from your GY; gain LP equal to the number of monsters destroyed by battle during this turn x 500.


Arms of the Goddess – Durandal

Card Type: Spell/Equip

Effect:

Equip only to a "Goddess" monster. If this card is activated: You can target 1 monster your opponent controls; destroy it. A monster equipped with this card gains 400 ATK. You can discard 1 card; add this card from your GY to your hand. You can only use each effect of "Arms of the Goddess – Durandal" up to twice per turn.


Arms of the Goddess – Joyeuse

Card Type: Spell/Equip

Effect:

Equip only to a "Goddess" monster. If this card is activated: You can draw 1 card for each monster in the Extra Monster Zones. You can only use this effect of "Arms of the Goddess – Joyeuse" once per turn. A monster equipped with this card gains 400 ATK and can make a second attack during each Battle Phase.


Arms of the Goddess – Kusanagi

Card Type: Spell/Equip

Effect:

Equip only to a "Goddess" monster. If this card is activated: You can target 1 face-up card on the field; negate its effects until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of "Arms of the Goddess – Kusanagi" once per turn. A monster equipped with this card gains 400 ATK. When the equipped monster battles an opponent's monster: Negate the effects of your opponent's monster as well as those of their monsters that affect it, until the end of the Damage Step. After the Damage Step (Quick Effect): You can banish this card from your GY; gain 1000 LP for each Link Monster with a different name your opponent controls.


Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess

Attribute: Earth

Link Rating: 3 (↙↓↘)

Type: Fairy/Link/Effect

ATK: ?

Effect:

2+ monsters with different names, except Tokens

This card's original ATK becomes the number of materials used for its Link Summon x 800. Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can make this card lose 800 ATK, and if it lost ATK, your face-up monsters gain 1000 ATK until the end of this turn, also gain 1000 LP. You can only control 1 "Tyreno, Sword of the Goddess".


Mercurias, Emissary of the Goddess

Attribute: Light

Link Rating: 2 (←→)

Type: Fairy/Link/Effect

ATK: 2000

Effect:

2 "Goddess" monsters

"Goddess" monsters this card points to gain 600 ATK. If this card is Link Summoned: You can add up to 2 "Arms of the Goddess" cards from your GY to your hand. You can only use this effect of "Mercurias, Emissary of the Goddess" once per turn.


Playmaker's Cards:


Reverse Rebooter

Attribute: Water

Level: 4

Type: Cyberse/Effect

ATK/DEF: 1500/800

Effect:

If this card would be banished, added to your hand, or returned to your Deck (from your field, hand or GY): You can Special Summon this card instead, and if you do, you can Special Summon 1 Link-2 or lower Cyberse Link Monster from your GY, but it has its effects negated. You can shuffle this card from your GY into your Deck and pay 800 LP (you cannot activate this card's other effect in response to this effect); draw 1 card. You can only use each effect of "Reverse Rebooter" once per turn.


Fiendish Paster

Attribute: Fire

Level: 3

Type: Cyberse/Effect

ATK/DEF: 1200/400

Effect:

You can target 2 Cyberse Link Monsters you control, 1 of which has not activated its effects this turn; Special Summon this card from your hand, then negate the effects of the first monster that has not activated its effect this turn and have the second monster gain its effects. These changes last until the end of this turn. You can only use this effect of "Fiendish Paster" once per turn.


Trojan Overloader

Attribute: Dark

Level: 2

Type: Cyberse/Effect

ATK/DEF: 1300/1700

(Quick Effect): You can discard this card; Special Summon up to 2 Cyberse Link Monsters from your Extra Deck to any Monster Zones on your opponent's field. (This is treated as a Link Summon.) Their effects are negated and their original ATK becomes 2000, also only 1 of them can have its ATK changed by other effects for the rest of this turn. (If an effect that changes their ATK is applied on both, choose 1 of them to have only that monster be affected by that change.) During your Main Phase: You can banish this card from your GY; Special Summon up to 2 Link Monsters from your GY that were destroyed by battle since your opponent's last Standby Phase. You can only use each effect of "Trojan Overloader" once per turn.


Invasion Blockbreaker

Attribute: Wind

Level: 3

Type: Cyberse/Effect

ATK: 1100/600

Effect:

If this card is used as material for the Fusion, Synchro, Xyz or Link Summon of a Cyberse monster, that Fusion/Synchro/Xyz/Link Monster gains 1000 ATK and cannot be destroyed by card effects. During the Damage Step, if your Cyberse monster battles (Quick Effect): You can discard this card, then target 1 Cyberse monster you control; that monster gains ATK equal to the number of Link Monsters on the field x 300, until the end of the Damage Step. You can only use this effect of "Invasion Blockbreaker" once per turn.


Cynet Bargain

Card Type: Spell/Normal

Effect:

Tribute 1 Cyberse Link Monster you control; draw cards from your Deck equal to its Link Rating, but halve all damage your opponent takes for the rest of this turn. If your opponent declares an attack (Quick Effect): You can banish this card from your GY; change the attack target to another Cyberse monster you control, and that attacking monster can only attack monsters with the same Card Name as the monster you changed the attack target to for the rest of this turn, also you can negate the activation of 1 monster effect during this Battle Phase. You can only use each effect of "Cynet Bargain" once per turn.


Cynet Shifting

Card Type: Spell/Quick-Play

Effect:

Target up to 2 Cyberse Link Monsters you control; move both of them to diagonally, horizontally or vertically adjacent Monster Zones, and if you do, gain 600 LP for each monster you targeted with this effect. You cannot have 2 monsters in the Extra Monster Zones after this effect resolves. You can banish this card from your GY, then target 1 Link Monster you control; reduce all battle damage you take for the rest of this turn by that monster's Link Rating x 800.


Cynet Samsara

Card Type: Trap/Normal

Effect:

Target 1 Cyberse Link Monster in your GY that was sent there this turn; Special Summon it. This turn, whenever it is sent to the GY, except by using it as Link Material, Special Summon it with the ATK it had when it left the field + 300. During the End Phase: The ATK of your targeted monster becomes equal to its original ATK, also you can Special Summon 1 Cyberse Link Monster from your GY to your Extra Monster Zone with a Link Rating that is equal or lower than the number of times that the target of this card was Special Summoned from your GY this turn, also, if that targeted monster was Special Summoned at least thrice this turn, draw 1 card.


Procode Talker

Attribute: Fire

Link: 3 (↗←→)

Type: Cyberse/Link/Effect

ATK: 2300

Effect:

2+ Cyberse monsters

If your monster this card points to battles, negate the effects of cards in your opponent's Spell & Trap Zone from Attack Declaration until the end of the Damage Step, also your monster gains 500 ATK during that Damage Step only. You can target 1 monster on the field; move it to another Monster Zone on its controller's field, then inflict 400 damage for each Link Monster in diagonally, horizontally and vertically adjacent Monster Zones. You can only use this effect of "Procode Talker" once per turn.


Bicode Talker

Attribute: Water

Link: 3 (↑→↓)

Type: Cyberse/Link/Effect

ATK: 2300

Effect:

2+ Effect Monsters

If a Link Monster you control destroys an opponent's monster by battle: Gain 800 LP. (Quick Effect): You can target 1 Link Monster you control; it gains 500 ATK for each of your monsters this card points to, and if you controlled 3 or more Link Monsters when this effect was activated, destroy 1 card your opponent controls. You can only use this effect of "Bicode Talker" once per turn.


A/N:

That concludes our second chapter. Yukemi approaches Yusaku and tries to team up with him, but Yusaku has other plans and insists on a battle. I cut the duel because I don't want my chapters to be overly massive in this story as well, so you'll have to settle with the cliffhanger for now. Just a little note about Playmaker, I pushed his dueling a bit because he has clearly one of the best swarming decks with Link-Monsters, but never Extra Linked so far. Also he wasn't quite the powerful duelist before he got Storm Access, which makes little sense. With how many Knights of Hanoi he already defeated up until that point he should be WAY stronger. So yeah, I hope you enjoyed the duel and him going to his limits so far.

There has been a new form of duel I introduced this chapter, the Dominus Duel. It makes for something in the middle of Master and Speed Duels. Furthermore it gives vibes of the pre-Pendulum era as it has the first turn player starting with a draw as well, like back in Master Rule 2. It also has a draw ruling that allows for recovery, making back and forth duels possible should neither player be able to finish off their opponent emphatically. I hope you like the idea, just felt like it could be a nice addition to the story.

About Playmaker's monsters, I altered the sequence of his acquisition of Code Talkers, for one to make things a bit less reminiscent of the actual show, and for two so he could have Transcode in this duel, which is arguably the best Code Talker. I also introduced new Code Talkers in here as with a new series of Ignis, might as well give him a new series of those monsters. Those who read Dawn of Twilight already saw that coming probably, given the Cybullet deck over there that strongly hinted at them.

Next chapter will wrap things up regarding their battle. Please read, review, favorite, follow!

Until next time,

Haoh Ryu Z-ARC out!