What Doesn’t Kill You
Chapter 27: Adrift – Part 5/13
A Yu-Gi-Oh Fanfiction
By: Azurite – azurite AT seventh-star DOT net
Site: seventh-star DOT net
Conceptualized/First Written: 6/28/05
Completed/Final Edit: 8/6/16
‘I changed my mind, I hate the Greek myths,’ Téa thought, watching as Mai swiftly drew a card from her deck. Fifteen minutes left. For every punishing blow Alessa’s Greek warriors delivered, Mai’s Harpies or Amazons countered. But Serena kept forcing them to discard with her Trojan princess Cassandra the Seer and her Prophetic Insight. Their options were getting few and far between.
Her fingers still tingled as she ran them over the edge of the one card she’d had in her hand since the first draw: one of the three Blue-Eyes White Dragons. She just knew it had been near the top of her deck, before the duel even started. She’d shuffled though. She’d validated her Light-based deck after adding Kaiba’s Side Deck, and yet….
But she didn’t want to rely on the Blue-Eyes. On him. But Téa knew it would have to come down to that. She had known that the moment she heard the final match would be a Tag Team duel. Besides, Alessa furiously targeted any monster Téa summoned. It didn’t matter if it was in Defense Position (goodbye, Shining Friendship) or Attack Position (so long, Hysteric Fairy). She was never able to have enough possible Tributes to bring out anything even close in power to the Blue-Eyes. Until now. Now she had a Kaiser Sea-Horse on the field, which she could use for two Tributes to get a Light Monster on the field… a Light Monster like the Blue-Eyes.
Serena’s Trojan-themed Denial deck seemed almost too perfect a fit with Alessa’s powerful Greek heroes. She controlled the field by revealing the top cards of Mai’s and Téa’s deck with her Cassandra the Seer. Then she paid 500 Life Points to send them immediately to the Graveyard if she deemed them too powerful.
‘Did they know about the Tag Team duel as the championship match? No, they couldn’t have…’
But if the element of surprise factored into this duel, it wasn’t working against Téa. In her third turn, as in the moments before the Duel had started, she knew that she would draw a Blue-Eyes White Dragon. And so she had.
She already held Polymerization, Mystical Elf, and Guardian Angel Joan in her hand. Lately, Alessa and Serena seemed to be ignoring her, targeting Mai’s Harpies instead of anything Téa got out. As a result, she’d managed to get a Dunames Dark Witch along with the Kaiser Sea Horse on the field. She also had the Life Point-restoring Trap Solemn Wishes. Then there was Waboku for negating Battle Damage and protecting a single monster. Finally, the set White Dragon Ritual card. It was time for a choice. She could sacrifice her Kaiser Sea Horse on her next turn –if it survived until then– and bring out a single Blue-Eyes to try and do some damage of her own. Or, she could wait it out and see if she could get the Paladin of White Dragon and Special Summon the last Blue-Eyes in her deck. And if she did that, she could use Polymerization to fuse it with the two in her hand, and…
“You know the amazing thing about birds?” Mai asked, smirking as she fingered the card she’d just drawn. Serena had paid 500 Life Points so Mai had to discard her last draw. But Serena could only use the Cassandra combo once per turn.
“Oh, spare me the trivia,” Alessa said with an eye roll.
‘She’s one to judge,’ Téa thought, holding back a growl. Mai was still at 3300 Life Points, and she wasn’t far behind a 3000. For all the time they’d been wasting so far, Alessa and Serena had only done a small bit of damage to either Mai or Téa.
“They always return home!” And with that, Mai slapped the card onto one of the empty Monster slots of her Duel Disk II. “I summon Harpie Lady to the field! And you know what that means, I’m sure? Just for fun, let me remind you: it means my Harpie’s Pet Dragon’s attack goes up by 300 points!”
The collared Dragon roared mightily as its attack increased. Judging by the twitching smile on Mai’s face, Téa knew her partner was far from done. “And I’ll be activating this handy card here,” Mai pressed a button on one of her Magic and Trap card slots, revealing her set card as Elegant Egotist.
“Thanks to this card, I can Special Summon Harpie Lady Sisters!” A golden light surrounded the Harpie Lady on the field. It spread to both sides, taking shape as two other Harpie Ladies with different hairstyles.
“I’ve been saving this little gem for a time like this,” Mai added. “I activate Pot of Greed!” Serena had already used Cassandra’s Insight this turn, so she couldn’t see the cards Mai drew from her deck.
“I activate Mystical Space Typhoon! Say goodbye to your Prophetic Insight, Cassandra!” Mai jutted her chin in Serena’s direction. Serena rewarded her with a momentary flicker of annoyance crossing her otherwise stoic face.
“And now… I think I’ll attack your precious Legendary Warrior Achilles, Alessa darling! Go, Harpie’s Pet Dragon! Saint Fire Giga!” The red and black dragon roared, its chainlink leash clanking as a massive ball of flame formed in its outstretched maw. Just as suddenly, the dragon released the ball, sending it rushing toward the armor-clad warrior on Alessa’s side of the field.
There was a great explosion of light and sound, but when the Solid Vision special effects died down, the proud grin slipped off Mai’s face. Achilles still stood on the field, even though Alessa’s Life Points had dropped to 2600.
“Oh, did I forget to mention?” Alessa asked, a faux innocent grin distorting her face. “My Legendary Warrior Achilles is immortal! You can’t destroy him in battle!”
Mai let out the growl Téa had suppressed. “I end my turn.”
“Finally! I don’t know about you, Serena, but that felt like one long slog!” Despite Alessa’s wide-grinned confidence, she didn’t so much as glance at her so-called partner in this Tag Team duel. Though she’d benefitted from Serena’s Trojan defenses, she hadn’t said much to her. Was their teamwork just that good?
Téa cast a worried glance at Mai, but her partner stared across the duel ring as Alessa drew a card.
“I’ll discard Poseidon, God of the Sea from my hand to destroy your Dunames Dark Witch!” Alessa pointed at one of the two monsters Téa had remaining on the field. Moments later, the Witch exploded as if made of glass.
‘So what? I can still tribute the Kaiser Sea-Horse to get out one of the Blue-Eyes. Or if I get the Paladin of White Dragon, I can use my Mystical Elf as Ritual Tribute to Special Summon the last Blue-Eyes…’
“And by discarding two Magic cards from my hand, I can Special Summon Athena, Goddess of Wisdom!” An armor-clad woman with an spear at least one and a half times her height appeared on the field with 2300 ATK. Even if Athena couldn’t scratch Harpie’s Pet Dragon, she could bring its ATK down by destroying one of the Harpie Lady Sisters!
“Your Harpie Ladies are real pests, Valentine! It’s time I sent them flapping! Athena, attack one of those Harpie Ladies! Goddess Spear!”
Athena whirled her spear in the air before she leapt up and disappeared. Then she reappeared in mid-air, the spear lodged in one of the Harpie Lady’s chests. The Harpie Lady’s claw grasped the spear and seemed like she might shatter any moment…
“I activate my Trap! Waboku!” Téa called, pressing a button on her Duel Disk.
Three robe-clad emissaries of reconciliation appeared on the field, clutching tiny olive branches. Athena glanced down at them and nodded before retracting her spear and once again vanishing to Alessa’s side of the field.
“I negate all the damage your precious Athena would have dealt, and my monsters are safe!
Alessa turned a furious glare on Téa, but instead of it intimidating her, she grinned, feeling strangely giddy.
‘Don’t you dare forget about me! I’m going to be the one to take you down, Alessa!’ Téa didn’t dare vocalize those thoughts, though; she’d learned from watching Seto, Joey, and even Yugi in their countless duels: boasting was the fastest way to tell your opponent what you had planned for them, and Téa wanted to see Alessa’s face go ash-white with shock. She’d splutter, blush, complain, maybe even swear up a storm, but she wouldn’t be able to do a damn thing about it.
Téa had never been so excited.
“My turn!” With a sweep of her wrist, Téa drew the top card from her deck. There was no way Serena would risk another 500 of her Life Points without Cassandra the Seer’s Prophetic Insight. She’d have to guess which card Téa had just drawn.
But she jutted her chin at Serena anyway and raised an eyebrow in questioning. Serena’s cool gaze wavered almost imperceptibly. Her eyebrows furrowed downward for a split second before she directed her gaze to some distant point.
Téa couldn’t suppress the grin that crossed her face. Once again, somehow, someway, she knew.