What Doesn’t Kill You
Chapter 27: Adrift – Part 8/13
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
Their difference in ATK was only 50 points, but that 50 points was plenty for Téa. A successful attack with Joan meant she could restore her Life Points equal to the ATK of the destroyed monster. It would be enough of a boost to take her from last place to first in Life Point ranking.
Joan brought her arms together, a white-hot ball of holy light forming between her palms. A beam shot out from the ball, illuminating Ares’ torso. It spread to his extremities and finally exploded the former “God of War” into thousands of glass-like pieces.
Serena frowned; she was now the last place Duelist, with 1850 Life Points.
“This ends! My turn– I draw Spirit Sword of Sealing!” Serena called. “And I play it… on Cassandra the Seer!”
Téa fingers twitched against the cards in her hand; why in the world would Serena seal her own card? She tried to run through the possibilities in her head. It seemed like her brain was working in slow motion reverse. First the shocked crowd, then the dwindling feeling of triumph from minutes before.
‘People thought I was crazy for playing the Paladin of White Dragon. They didn’t know about the Blue-Eyes… what’s she–” But before Téa could finish her thought, Serena continued her play.
“And now, I play Black Hole!” Serena pressed a button on her Duel Disk. A sudden emptiness filled the field, sucking away her own Priam, King of Troy. Then Téa’s Guardian Angel Joan. Then Alessa’s Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and The Trojan Horse.
“No! You fool!” Alessa snarled at Serena. But when the spatial anomaly disappeared, Alessa’s Achilles remained. He remained untouched due to his immunity to both Magic and Trap Card effects.
Serena didn’t respond to the insult. “And now because of the monsters sent from my field to the Graveyard, Cassandra the Seer returns!”
The Spirit Sword of Sealing disappeared in a slow burn of blue light. The pierced card behind it burst forth. Again, the Trojan princess stood on Alessa’s side of the field, protected by The Walls of Troy.
“And now I summon Trojan Hero Hector to the field! He gains 500 ATK when The Walls of Troy are in play!” The already-muscular warrior grunted and flexed. A blue-tinted battle aura flickered around him, his strength rising to 2100 ATK points.
“Hector! Attack Mai directly!”
Mai’s violet eyes widened as the Trojan Hero lunged toward her, a spear headed straight for her chest. The spear tip got as far as the edge of her vest collar. The Solid Vision System vibrated through the Duel Disk, sending a shudder coursing through Mai’s body.
Mai coughed, the sensation having startled the breath out of her. It had been a long time since felt like this –challenged, stimulated, but not afraid. “350 points left. You might have gotten me down a few points, but I’m far from out.”
“You talk big, Valentine. Why don’t you hurry up and make the most of your last turn?” Alessa snapped.
Mai crossed her arms, her Duel Disk tilting downward. “Look who’s talking now. You weren’t even the one who did the most damage! And didn’t anyone ever teach you ladies history?” Mai uncrossed her arms and flicked her hands open. “Newsflash: the Greeks and the Trojans were on opposite sides of the battlefield. And all you two have done lately is make it that much easier for me and Téa to take you down.”
“Enough of your lecturing! Draw already!” Serena bit out.
Mai only smiled.
“I draw– The Unfriendly Amazon.” She raised an eyebrow at Serena, who frowned. “I pay 500 Life Points to discard your Amazon to the Graveyard with my Cassandra the Seer!”
“Fine, fine,” Mai said, waving a hand. She rolled her eyes and then drew another card in The Unfriendly Amazon’s place. “My goodness Serena, I really ought to be thanking you– these second Draw Phases are doing me good!”
“Harpie’s Feather Duster! Destroy all Serena’s Magic and Trap Cards!” A giant feather appeared on the field. With a single flap, a massive whirlwind appeared, and blew both Cassandra’s Prophetic Insight and The Walls of Troy into clouds of dust.
“Oh… one more thing,” Mai added. “I summon Cyber Harpie Lady in Attack Position and equip her with the Rose Whip!” An armored Harpie appeared on the field, brandishing a thorny vine with tiny rose blossoms on it. The already-strong Level 4 Harpie Lady went from 1800 ATK points to 2100. It was more than enough to destroy Serena’s Cassandra the Seer, once and for all.
“Cyber Harpie Lady, attack Cassandra the Seer! Red Hell Whipper!”
“Not enough to get rid of that pesky Hector… but I’m sure his body’ll get dragged around the field sooner or later… won’t it, Alessa?” Mai smiled sweetly at her opponent and gestured with her chin. “Your turn, darling.”
“I activate my Trap Card– Powerful Rebirth! This card lets me Special Summon one Level 4 or lower Monster from my Graveyard and increase its Level by one and its ATK and DEF by 100 points! I summon The Trojan Horse!”
“Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, Serena,” Téa said in a stage whisper, eliciting several chuckles from the audience.
“And now, thanks to my Trojan Horse’s effect, I can Tribute summon it and bring the Invincible Heracles to the field!”
A large warrior appeared on the field, perhaps even more brawny than Serena’s Hector. A lion’s pelt dangled over his shoulders. Dirt and blood caked his arms and legs. And with the massive club in his hands, he looked even more god-like than Achilles or Hector.
Without any preamble, Alessa yelled “Heracles, attack Téa directly!”
The massive warrior leapt with far more speed and grace than seemed possible for a Monster of his size. Within moments, his club swung down. It would have hit Téa smack in the stomach, but instead the Solid Vision System did its work. It sent a massive vibration and pulsing shock through her as her Life Points fell to 2100.
“Now, Achilles– attack her again!” Alessa’s eyes blazed with delight as her armored warrior hurtled his spear at Téa. This time the attack knocked her Life Points down to a precarious hundred.
The second blow had almost knocked the wind out of her. Almost.
“Heh. Glad to see you decided to woman up and Duel me after all, Alessa,” Téa smiled. “But I’m not done yet. This is the last turn!” Téa was no Seeress; she didn’t know why the words came from her mouth with such confidence. Maybe it was her time with Seto talking. Maybe it was her experience watching Yugi and Joey’s duels, how they always managed to pull out of situations just like these and turn them around.
If they could make miracles, so could she.
She had no monsters on the field, and only Solemn Wishes to give her a mere 500-point boost.
Everything was riding on this next draw.
Téa squeezed her eyes shut and tried to drown out all the thoughts swirling through her head. Thoughts of Seto, of Yugi, of Joey and all the others. She tried to think of what it would be like, for once, for her to be the victor, for her to be the one others cheered for.
Astonishment crept into her head as the silence faded. She heard the crowd chanting her name over and over: at first quiet and then louder, louder.
“Téa! Téa! Téa!”
The other duelists in the audience were cheering. Even the ones she’d faced and forced into surrender or pummeled into submission with her Light Deck and its powerful array of Magic and Trap Cards. One after another, the duelists chanted, growing louder and louder.
Téa blinked, startled where Alessa seemed furious and Serena suspicious. She chanced a look at Mai, whose close-lipped smile seemed almost gentle. The blonde mouthed the word “Go” and urged Téa to finish drawing her card.
With one wide arc of her arm, Téa withdrew the top card from her deck.
There was another tingling in her arm this time. It felt different –like a distant buzzing, or the feeling of a limb woken from a numb sleep. Téa –not Cassandra, whose prophecies everyone believed were false– knew the card she just drew.
‘I shouldn’t know this. But I do, and… and I’m not afraid. Not anymore.’
“I play Monster Reborn!” Without sparing a glance at the card, she pushed it into an empty Magic and Trap Card slot on her Duel Disk. “Return to me, Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon!”
“Serena, you did me a favor when you let me keep this card. I’m sure at the time, you thought it was useless. But just like your so-called partner, you couldn’t be more wrong! I activate De-Fusion!”
A vortex of swirling light appeared and encircled the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon. It split from one massive three-headed beast into three separate Blue-Eyes White Dragons.
“And now, Blue-Eyes White Dragons– attack Alessa’s Legendary Warrior and Serena’s Trojan Hero Hector! White Lightning!” One of the three dragons opened its maw. A sphere of bright electric energy formed, and pulsed once before shooting out at Hector. Though Battle couldn’t destroy Hector, Tea couldn’t say the same for Alessa.
Her Life Points dropped 1000 points thanks to the difference in strength between the Blue-Eyes and Achilles. There was nothing that she could do to stop it from happening again. Another stream of lightning burst forth from another dragon’s maw. This time, Alessa’s points dropped to zero. At the same moment, the third and final dragon finished off Hector, taking the last of Serena’s Life Points with him.
It was over. Finished.