Rise of the Kitsune Duelist

Disclaimer: I don't own Yugioh GX or Naruto.

Speaking Normally

Thinking

Demonic Voice

Chapter 1 - Beginnign Throw Downs

"Now that was interesting." All presently watching the impromptu duel turned their heads to see a stranger watching the match alongside them. Syrus nearly jumped out of his shoes in fright, having not noticed anyone else was with them overseeing the battle. He was dressed as a Slyfer Red, but neither Alexis nor Syrus recognized him. Standing in a relaxed posture, hands in his pockets, he looked down at the ended match with vague interest. Standing at barely below six foot tall, he had a wiry build. Shaggy, blonde spikes fell over a lean face, blue eyes cutting through the shadows cast by his spiky hair.

"Hey! Who're you?" Syrus retorted. The teen just smiled back at them.

"Nobody important," he said lazily, but while wearing a broad grin. "The one you should really be worried for is your friend."

Completely confused, "Jaden?" he asks.

"What do you mean?" Alexis asked. The blonde nodded in the direction of the two former opponents. "Your friend, Jaden, was it? His opponent's more skilled than he's letting on."

"Wait, so what are you saying?" The blonde turned to the shorter boy.

"His opponent didn't even show any signs of stress."

"Maybe he likes dueling," Alexis proposed. Jaden was a prime example. The second year Slyfer never seemed stressed when he dueled.

"Okay, I'll give you that one, but you should know that I saw him assemble that deck about an hour ago from leftover card packs in the school card store." Syrus and Alexis both nearly had heart attacks at that news.

"Y-You mean that he nearly beat Jaden with a deck he just threw together?" Syrus protested fearfully.

"Absolutely. So that begs the question, if he could come so close with a deck of thrown together cards, what can he do with his real deck?" Their eyes widened in realization.

"But if that isn't his deck-" Syrus began.

"Then he must be really good!" Alexis finished.

"Looks like things are going to be interesting," the blonde offered with a hearty chuckle before walking off. "Nice to meet ya, but I think a shady spot is calling my name."

"Hey, wait! We've got some more questions!" Syrus called, only getting a lazy wave in response.

Puffing a bit from the climb back up the cliffside path, Jaden came to stop next to his friends. "…Hey, guys…What're…you doin' here?"

"Syrus and I were watching your match, Jaden," Alexis explained.

"You were?" Jaden grinned. "A pretty sweet one, wasn't it?"

Alexis and Syrus shared a nervous glance, thinking to one another, 'Do you want to tell him?'

A minute later, a loud "WHAT?" filled the area surrounding the Slyfer dorm.

"That guy almost beat me, and you're saying…that was a deck of leftovers?" They both nodded. "…Sweet," the perpetual Slyfer finally answered. They looked at him like he'd lost his mind.

"Uh, Jay, you all right?" Syrus asked nervously.

He just grinned back at them. "I'm more than alright, Sy. I can't wait to duel his real deck!" Honestly, they should have seen that one coming.

He was settling in nicely. The dorms weren't that bad either. He couldn't figure out why so many people were complaining, but, then again, when you've lived in a shithole most of your life it would be hard not to see it as an improvement.

And the classes… Sure, they were a little boring, but he could deal. He could send a shadow clone. In fact, the idea was extremely tempting, but there was still the odd chance of blowing his cover through some accident. And with his luck… He normally had the devil's luck, but when it went bad… 'Duck' didn't quite cover it.

Discretely glancing over the class, he could immediately pick out the more interesting students.

Interestingly enough, you could, with a high degree of accuracy, tell what dorm people were in by their attitude.

Most Obelisks were a bunch of snobs and pricks.

The Ra students were a little less prissy, but still had a bit of a superiority complex.

And, lastly, the Slyfers. He kinda liked them. They were composed for the most part of slackers.

Among the houses were a few interesting cases.

Jaden Yuki was by far the oddest, in a good way. He wasn't the smartest, but he seemed to be wicked clever in a duel. And he had quite the bond with his cards, and, specifically, with the spirits within his cards.

Syrus Truesdale was a bit of a fanboy, following Jaden around. Though, he supposed it was more of a hero worship thing. Regardless, he could tell that they were close friends. Incidentally, he was also an incredibly small kid.

Bastian Misawa, a second year Ra, seemed to be Jaden's exact opposite in mannerisms, and dueling if he had to guess. Whereas Jaden was instinct, Bastian was intellect. Hm, he'd need to watch himself around that one.

Alexis Rhodes… Not that he was basing his appraisal on physique alone, but she was…stunning. But there was more to it. She was quite intelligent, without the usual Obelisk attitude. In fact, unlike most of the others in her dorm, she had no problem with mingling with the Slyfers or Ras. And she was skilled, oh yes.

Lastly, a prick named Chazz…something… He seemed like a real prick. In fact, he guessed that he was an Obelisk at one point.

There were others, but those five stood out the most in his opinion as the ones to watch.

He got a better view of the prick, Chazz, the second day in.

The headmaster, a creep who looked and sounded like he could be a woman, announced a match between him and a freshman Obelisk.

It wasn't all that impressive.

The black clad teen faced a runty looking Obelisk whose name he couldn't really recall. Either way, the match wasn't really worth commiting to memory. The new kid just kept beefing up his monsters.

He remembered shaking his head during the match. He played too direct. His moves were solid, but he lacked the cleverness needed for the more skilled plays that required one to think outside of the box. It was like two people playing a board game. He was thinking and moving two dimensionally, while his opponent, Chazz, was doing so in three dimensions. You had to be able to not just move back and forth, but up and down, side to side, as well.

You had to see all the angles. Which the freshman didn't. Though, he supposed arrogance played a part.

Not that it seemed to hold Chazz back.

'Chazz' hardly made a showing at all. It was apparent that this level of opponent was beneath his level of skill.

He did get some interesting information during the match.

There were other duel spirits on the island.

Days passed slowly.

Seeing as he was in the Slyfer dorm, he saw a lot of Jaden and Syrus.

Man, but they seemed to get into trouble. A lot.

By the end of the first wee he'd heard about a duelist beating others and taking their duel disks.

His interest piqued, he'd planned to challenge this person.

Jaden beat him to it.

Crap. Come and gone, that was the only way to describe it. That night, he concluded that he'd been sleeping long enough. It was time to be a little more proactive. It was time to test his other deck.

Okay, maybe boredom was a factor as well.

Hey, he never said he was good at being patient.

A lone Ra yellow walked the path from the academy to his dorm.

"Excuse me." The yellow clad student turned. "Would you care to duel?"

From there it started.

Stories flittered around the school. Gossip, all of it, about a strange, shadowy duelist challenging students. He didn't play for stakes or take cards. He would just show up and duel. Then, vanish.

This might have been brushed under the rug if word of his strange cards hadn't spurred the stories onward.

It was kind of amusing, some of the stories he'd heard.

He would go out, a few times a week and duel, taking care to conceal his identity and taking care to stay out of sight of the security force.

"Today, class, I'd like you all to pair up and duel your fellow classmates," the effeminate headmaster, and teacher, ordered. It could have been a practical lesson, but by the cocky glare he was sending a few of them, he supposed it was his way of saying "welcome" to the new students, letting them face the older students.

Walking around, he looked for an opponent.

"Mr. Uzumaki." Rolling his eyes, he turned to the teacher.

"Yes, Professor Crowler?"

"Why haven't you picked a partner?"

"I-" The asshole didn't give him a chance.

"Well, if you're having such a difficult time, I'll choose your opponent for you." Again, he rolled his eyes. Pompous fool. "Ah, there we go."

"Hm?"

"Jaden," he called. "Would you come here?" The Slyfer red jogged over.

"Yeah, Prof.?"

"That's 'professor', slacker," he snapped back before composing himself. "It seems your fellow student has been unable to find a partner."

"Huh?"

Naruto internally snickered.

Crowler's brow twitched. "Meaning I want you to be his opponent."

Jaden's eyes lit up, understanding. "Oh, sweet!"

Dueldisks coming to life, 4000 flickered into each of their life point counters.

Drawing his first five cards, Jaden grinned. Not just because of a good hand, but because he was dueling a new opponent. "If it's okay with you, I'll start things off! I draw!" Taking a second to register the card, he placed it in his hand. "First off, I summon the Elemental Hero Bubbleman!"

Elemental Hero Bubbleman – Lv4/800/1200

Naruto was momentarily overcome by a feeling of amusement. Oh, the irony of this pairing.

But Jaden wasn't finished. "Then, I activate his special ability. Since he's alone on the field, I can draw two cards!" Doing so, he grinned widely. "And they're a couple of sweet ones! I equip my Bubbleman with Bubble Blaster, raising his attack points by 800!"

On the field, Bubbleman knelt down while taking hold of a rocket launcher like device formed on his shoulder.

E. H. Bubbleman – Lv4/800/1200 → Lv4/1600/1200

"I'll lay a card face down, and end my turn," Jaden announced, lowering his dueldisk. "Your move!"

Once again, he was reminded of Jaden's enthusiasm for the game.

Meeting his grin with one of his own, "Let's go." Sliding a card from his deck, he recognized it immediately.

Elemental Hero Heat – Lv4/1600/1200

Placing it with the others, he appraised his hand with this new addition.

E. H. Heat – Lv4/1600/1200

The A. Forces

Hero Barrier

The Warrior Returning Alive

E. H. Poison Rose – Lv/1900/2000

E. H. Stratos – Lv4/1800/300

Poison Rose could come in handy with its special ability. It gained 200 attack points, losing 200 from defense, every time it inflicted battle damage. Unfortunately, he didn't have the necessary magic card needed. As a prerequisite for its summoning, the magic card Rose Bud needed to be activated. Which he didn't have in his hand.

Still, that left Heat and Stratos, and each had a useful ability that he could use.

"Well then, if you're gonna start off strong, so am I," he declared, selecting a card. "I summon from my hand Elemental Hero Stratos!"

All around, those that were paying the slightest attention to this duel went rigid.

Jaden was the only person in the academy who used Elemental Heroes. And here this new guy summoned one that they hadn't seen before.

There were many a murmured "What?"

A little over an hour later:

Syrus ran across the massive room to where he knew Jaden had to be. There was a loose crowd of onlookers who had finished their duels already, but he still had to do some squeezing to get through the crowd.

But soon enough he made it to the front.

Behind his oversized glasses, his eyes widened. "No way."

"What took you?" Looking to his left, he saw Bastian and Alexis, the former being the one to speak, contemplation marring his face.

"Then it's true?"

"So far," Alexis answered. "It's been pretty close."

"His monsters are also an interesting subject," Bastian added. Looking closer, Syrus frowned. He didn't recognize them.

"What monsters are those?"

Not even looking from the duel, "Elemental Heroes, Syrus."

Syrus huffed. "Not Jay's, I mean what are those monsters Naruto's using."

That earned Bastian's attention, and a little ire as well, but Alexis beat him to the punch. "Syrus, Naruto is using Elemental Heroes as well."

Syrus' eyes widened. "But-"

Stopping him before he could get started, Bastian knew what he wanted to say so answered ahead of the question. "You don't recognize them because Jayden's Elemental Heroes were the more popular versions. Naruto's cards are part of a different series that never really got as much attention." He wondered though, if the blonde had all the cards from that series. As there was one monster in it that was quite powerful.

Alexis shook her head. "It's amazing though. Not only are they both Elemental Hero users, but they're playing such an even game." Bastian said nothing, but nodded.

Back to the duel:

Each player was down to one monster apiece. Ironically, each was a fusion monster. Naruto had his E. H. Inferno, while Jaden had just brought out E. H. ThunderGiant. Not that the former would be keeping his monster.

In a blinding flash, E. H. Inferno was disintegrated.

"What's more, even though ThunderGiant destroyed a monster, he still has his direct attack. Go, ThunderGiant!" Jaden called, giving the order that would end the duel. The behemoth rocketed at the fellow E. Hero user and his empty field.

Clenching his fist at having been pushed this far, Naruto stood ready. He wouldn't win this duel, but…he wouldn't lose, either.

"I activate my trap!" The audience tensed at the declaration. "Ring of Destruction!" The facedown rose, revealing the trap card. It flashed and a second later, the explosive collar appeared on the inbound Elemental Hero ThunderGiant. "Sorry, Jaden, but I'm not going down alone!" Then a massive explosion erupted from the collar, consuming the field. Holographic smoke filled the arena floor. As it cleared, both players stared hard at one another as their respective life points fell to zero.

Jaden:

450LP → 0LP

Naruto:

1200LP → 0LP

"Did you see that?" asked an awed Syrus.

"We're standing right here, Syrus," Alexis answered. "It would be hard to miss." Rarely had they ever seen such an even match when Jaden was involved. But Naruto… He had matched him. And while he hadn't exactly won, he had made sure that Jaden hadn't either. With that last trap, he had forced them into a tie.

Bastion was lost in reflective silence. By the math, there was no reason for someone like Naruto to have been able to force a tie, let alone do as well as he had. His transfer test and dueling scores were strictly average, the same for the few quizzes they had been given so far in this first month back.

In fact, they were always average.

His steely gaze narrowed at an errant theory. Was the blonde really a darkhorse in disguise, hiding his real skill and intelligence? This would take greater study.

"Sorry, Jaden, but I didn't make any plans for losing, today," spoke Naruto, disengaging his duel disk. Out of the ordinary for most people, and yet normal for him, Jaden bore a wide grin, his eyes glinting.

"Don't sweat it, that was a tight duel! We've gotta get together for a rematch sometime." Naruto grinned back.

"Count on it."

AN/ What do you think?