What Doesn’t Kill You
Chapter 27: Adrift – Part 7/13
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
Alessa glanced at Serena. The look on the former’s face was unlike anything she’d worn on her face the entire time Téa had seen her during the cruise: gratitude. She didn’t say anything; she just bobbed her head.
Téa frowned. Despite their similarly-themed decks, up until now, Alessa and Serena seemed to be each doing their own thing. Alessa focused on beating down any of Téa or Mai’s monsters. Serena created a near-impenetrable wall of defense. Paired with her deck-revealing Seer that could scrap named cards with a cost of 500 Life Points, Serena alone was formidable. If they started working in tandem…
‘That would be a problem.’
“I’ll Tribute my Kaiser Sea Horse to count for the two Tributes needed to summon Guardian Angel Joan to the field,” Téa gritted her teeth. It felt like the next words she spoke were not of her own volition, but forced out. “And I end my turn.”
All she had was Joan, now. The Blue-Eyes were in her Graveyard, along with the Paladin of White Dragon. Solemn Wishes was still in play. But if Serena was willing to use a Chasm of Spikes to save Alessa, who knew what other dangerous traps she could be hiding behind her massive Walls of Troy?
“It’s my turn!” Serena announced. She was down to just 1900 Life Points, but Téa had seen duels turn around with fewer points than that. It was too dangerous counting her out.
“I’ll play Magical Stone Excavation and discard two cards from my hand to add a Magic Card in my Graveyard back to my hand!”
Serena’s Magic Cards ejected from her Graveyard. She ran her fingers over the choices, seeming to deliberate with purposeful slowness.
“Oh, get on with it already! We all know what card you’re going to pick, so hurry it up already!” Mai snapped from across the arena.
Where Alessa would have made some sort of snappy comeback, Serena just tilted her head to the side and smiled. For a Duelist known for being stoic, the look was downright chilling.
“I’ll choose Prophetic Insight and play it from my hand with Cassandra the Seer!”
“And now, I’ll activate a Trap! Spellbinding Circle– seal Harpie’s Pet Dragon!”
A circle bordered with arcane symbols rose from the arena floor and swirled until it encircled Harpie’s Pet Dragon’s neck. The Circle reduced the Dragon’s ATK by 700 points and preventing it from attacking or changing its Battle Position.
Téa didn’t like seeing her friend and partner’s strongest Monster on the field bound. But something about all this made her own throat tighten.
‘No way am I going to go down like this. No way…’
“And now… Ares, God of War, attack Harpie’s Pet Dragon!” The only Attack Position Monster on Serena’s side of the field charged forward. Ares gripped a bloodstained sword in one hand and a battered shield in the other. Their weight meaningless, he jumped into the air and vanished. Ares then reappeared with his sword pressed against the Dragon’s neck. Ares beheaded it in one swift stroke before the rest of the Dragon exploded into fading shards.
Mai’s Life Points dropped from 3300 to 2750, but her grimace was momentary.
“So fine, you got rid of my Pet Dragon. I’ve still got my Harpie Lady Sisters on the field!”
“You mean your Harpies that aren’t even twice as strong as another one of your bird brains? Please! They couldn’t even scratch Serena’s Wall, much less my immortal hero Achilles!” Alessa laughed.
“Just you wait, Alessa,” Mai said, her tone mysterious. “Just you wait.”
A moment later, she flipped her hair over her shoulder and glanced at Serena. “Are you quite finished?” Neither of Serena’s Defense Position monsters had enough Attack Points to take Mai’s Harpie Lady Sisters on. It didn’t seem like the Italian duelist had any other tricks up her sleeve.
“I end my turn.”
“Finally!” Mai said with a grin. “Let’s get this over with, shall we? I draw!”
“I activate Cassandra the Seer’s Prophetic Insight– reveal your top card!”
Mai frowned, remembering the pesky card that Serena had just brought back from her Graveyard. Now everyone had to play with the top card of their deck revealed.
“Shadow of Eyes. Now what are you going to do?”
“I’ll pay 500 Life Points and have you send that annoying Trap Card right to the Graveyard!” Serena shot back.
“Fine. It’s not like I need that card, anyway,” Mai said, drawing once more. Because Serena could only use Prophetic Insight once per turn, tournament rules dictated Mai got another Draw Phase. This time, Serena couldn’t deny it and send it to the Graveyard.
Mai glanced at her new card and her eyes widened with something akin to glee.
“Oh Serena, dear, you shouldn’t have. Really, you shouldn’t have.”
Mai shoved the new card into one of her Magic and Trap Card slots on her Duel Disk and activated it immediately. “Monster Reborn! I Special Summon my Harpie’s Pet Dragon back to the field!”
For once, Alessa and Serena seemed to have identical expressions on their face: frustration. No doubt it was from seeing the hard work of their last turns negated by a chance draw of a powerful card.
“I’ll set one card, switch my Harpie Lady Sisters to Defense Position, and… oh…” Mai tapped a manicured finger to her lips. “I think I’ll attack your precious Achilles, Alessa! Go, Harpie’s Pet Dragon– Saint Fire Giga!”
The dragon roared, sending forth a volley of flame at the Legendary Warrior Achilles. Once again he survived the burst, though Alessa’s Life Points still dropped 900 points.
“Ugh, finally! My turn– I draw!”
“Don’t forget, Cassandra’s Prophetic Insight applies to you, too!” Téa reminded Alessa.
“Unlike some people here, I’m not some third-rate Duelist! I know how the card works!” Alessa flipped over the card in her hand and revealed it in a semi-circle, first to Serena, then to Mai, and finally to Téa. She flicked the card into her hand after a split second of revealing the card to Téa.
Serena, of course, didn’t bother paying 500 Life Points to deny Serena’s card–whatever it was; Téa hadn’t caught the name. It was some sort of Magic Card, but beyond that, she couldn’t tell. She chanced a look at Mai to see if she had seen the card, but Mai wasn’t facing her. Instead, she looked uncomfortable and tense. Her gaze was hard and pointed straight at Alessa’s Legendary Hero Achilles. She didn’t seem all that worried about Athena, who stood beside and slightly above Achilles, still holding her spear aloft.
The Duelist with the most Life Points changed with each passing turn: first Téa, then Mai, then Alessa.
‘We’ve got to get Achilles off the field before he gets strong enough to handle Mai’s dragon for good. But how?’
“I’ll set a card… and play this!”
With a flourish, Alessa played the card she’d just drawn. The arena’s big screen revealed it as Nectar and Ambrosia, a one-turn, immortality-granting Magic card. With it, Achilles powered up to 2300 ATK points. Since the card immediately went to the Graveyard, Athena powered up another 100 ATK points as well. Thanks to the Nectar and Ambrosia, no card effects would be able to destroy either card for one turn.
“Even third-rate duelists can do math, Marino! Or did you forget that my Pet Dragon has 2900 ATK points?” Mai snickered.
“Who said I was going to target your stupid pet, anyway?” Alessa shot back.
“I’ll Summon The Trojan Horse to the field in Defense Position. Then, I’ll attack– Athena, destroy her Harpie Lady Sisters!”
Mai’s Harpie Lady Sisters were still in Defense Mode, so the attack didn’t do any harm to Mai’s Life Points. Unfortunately, it did a whammy on Harpie’s Pet Dragon. Its masters removed from the field, the leashed dragon’s ATK plummeted 900 points, now weak enough for Achilles to destroy.
“I’m sure you know what’s coming next, Valentine,” Alessa sneered. “Legendary Hero Achilles, destroy that infernal Pet Dragon!”
But Alessa dealt her damage– though it wasn’t much. Mai’s Life Points dropped to 2450– still ahead of Alessa, but just barely.
“And now…” Alessa revealed her teeth in a nauseating display of false sweetness, “I end my turn.”
“My turn– I draw!” Téa now had the lowest Life Points among them all– a dangerous place to be. But with one draw and Solemn Wishes in effect, she shot up to 1750. It wasn’t enough to put her ahead of Serena, but close enough to make a difference.
“De-Fusion,” Téa announced. Per the effect of Cassandra the Seer’s Prophetic Insight, she had to reveal the card to her fellow Duelists. “Worth tossing another 500 Life Points away, Serena?” Téa imitated Alessa’s false smile. Serena, in turn, glared at Téa before shaking her head in the negative.
“Didn’t think so.”
“Guardian Angel Joan!” Téa called, thrusting a finger at the battle angel draped in white and gold, “Attack Ares, God of War!”