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Yu-Gi-Oh! Skies [IC]

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"Amidst the blue skies, a link from past to future. The sheltering wings of the protector..."

 

"They shield all, from good and ill, shrouding us in ignorance and bliss...."

 

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Opening Theme: Survivor

 

Episode 1: To the Skies! A New Saga Begins

 

It was September 9th, according to the old calendar. The sun was shining, or, rather, ADMIN's approximation of sunlight was beaming down from above Ambrosia's artificial sky. Though the fact that it was a sunny day was determined by an algorithm, Ambrosia's residents still took the weather as a good omen. Throughout the massive floating habitat, people were outdoors, eager to experience one last summer day. At Blue Yonder Academy, the mood varied little, save for the air of dismay coming from some of the students. The first day of classes was always a chore for some, even at a boarding school. Others. however, were making the most of it.

 

---

 

“Hey, I’ll make you a bet.”


Yushiro Midori took another sip from his can of cola. In spite of the hustle and bustle of the first day of school, he and his best friend, Akira Hoshi, had managed to take a few minutes to enjoy the warmth and sun of the September day before their next class. Yushiro absentmindedly tapped his heel against the brick wall he was sitting on as Taketo crawled its way up his backpack, perching itself on his shoulder after some effort.


“Look there.”
 

He gestured toward the fence in front of them, through which both teenagers could see several of their peers running laps; the unfortunate victims of PE teacher Dirk Noir’s latest… training regimen. His Coach Soldier Wolfbark wasn’t far behind them.


“Quick, pick a ‘horse’.” He turned to Akira with a playful smile.


  “A bet, is it? Well, I, the man Akira, will not back down from the challenge,”   The best friend replied, amusement laced in his v oice as he looked up from the spot he was standing, leaning against the wall.  “Although, for my sake, let’s not make the prize something outrageous like last time,”  he added as his eyes scanned over the field. “I pick… that one,” He said, poi  nting to a random guy with metallic blue hair running with the pack. It seemed as good of a choice as any, considering he had no clue about the physical abilities of any of the students. 


 “Alright then…”  Yushiro scanned the  pack a moment. “Her.” he pointed to  a girl near the rear of the group. “So, what do I get when you lose?”
 

Ara, ara, I don’t know,” Akira muttered, running his fingers through his hair. “I’ve already given you an extra Musashi from last time, and free lessons at the Dojo don’t really matter, since you pretty much have them,” He pondered a bit, stroking his chin as he did. “How about if I win, I, the man Akira, shall help you, the man Yushiro… wait, no. That doesn’t work either. I might as well go for the old ‘Duel the first person I see, barring you,’ thing we do,”
 

 “Sure, why not? It’s not like you’ll lose a game of Duel Monste- ah, there she goes!”  Sure enough, Yushiro’s “horse” caught Wolfbark in her peripheral vision and took off, passing everyone in front of her. "Go go go!"


“I swear, I, the man Akira, have a hard time winning any bets,” The tall student muttered. “And here I thought I had it in the bag… at least it’s not a round of Monopoly with you again. I really need to improve in that game,”


 “Dude, lets not go there… Monopoly got violent last time.”  He finished his can and slid off the wall. “Welp, I guess you’ll have to find a game next. Maybe go easy on them this time?” Akira raised an eyebrow at the request. 

 

 “I don’t know if I, the man Akira, am capable of that,”  Akira answered. “That would mean I just resort to stalling, and that’s no fun for anyone,” 


“Guess you’re righ- uh oh.” The girl that Yushiro had bet on tripped, and was soon helped off the track by a suddenly much less rabid Wolfbark. Akira blinked once. Twice.

“Wait, does that mean, I, the man Akira, have actually placed a bet right?” Well, this was a historic day. What was next, money falling from the sky as pigs flew over a bacon moon?


“That’s... not supposed to happen…” Yushiro stood there dumbfounded, staring blankly forward as a comically large bead of sweat ran down his face. Then the bell rang, and students began to pass in front of them.

 

“... Does this mean you’ll have to be the one to ‘go easy’ on them this time?” Akira asked as he continued to process what just happened. 

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Emma Pathos swore this was all absolutely loaded against her.

 

The short redhead was running at the absolute highest speed her legs could carry her, was regulating her breathing to an absolute T, and yet she could barely outpace the damned Wolfbark snapping at her heels. To make matters worse, a crowd of far worse prepared people were still outpacing her, due to their considerably longer legs.

 

Still, what was expected was the Spectrum boy finishing his laps first. A natural athlete with legs like a damned chicken, Emma was used to seeing him among the first few to finish, if not the first to finish, with these running exercises.

 

Emma was good with damned near everything else- rope climbing, gymnastics, flexibility exercises, even weightlifting was preferable to the running. And yet Coach Dirk always returned to chasing people with Wolfbark. With her Duel Disk on her arm, Emma was tempted to just Summon Crushing Despair Dragon, but she doubted getting an ideal opening hand in that regard.

 

That said, though, at least she was on her last lap. She remembered this point from last year: Action Duel training. What with one girl tripping and a random boy having stumbled long enough for Wolfbark to catch him, Emma figured she had four or five minutes to use the water fountain before people paired up to Duel- quite a few of the newbies had caught her eye, and the best way to get info on them was to find out how they Dueled.

 

All that in mind, Emma used the time she had after her lap finished to sprint to the fountain and hope to ADMIN that she'd make it back before everyone interesting was in a Duel.

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~Earlier that morning~

Blue Yonder Academy - Boy's Dormitories

 

BGM

 

"Well...today's the day..."

 

Roy sat on the side of his bed, lacing up his shoes as he stood up, running his hands through his metallic blue hair. It was day one at Blue Yonder Academy and needless to say, Roy was more than excited to even take part in such an experience. He grabbed his effects, only stopping as his hand touched a small deck box on his nightstand. Picking it up, he flipped the top open and pulled out a card: Crystal Beast Sapphire Pegasus.

 

"This is it. The place where we'll truly shine at." he smirked before putting the card back and tossing the deck box on his belt. "Let's show em what we can do!!"

 

He ran out of his room from the boys dormitories as he headed towards the assembly hall. This was day Roy was waiting for...and he was going to enjoy it...

 


 

~Present Time~

P.E.

 

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"I did NOT sign up for this!!" This was Roy's first reaction to what Blue Yonder's P.E. teacher: Dirk Noir, did. He wasn't expecting for the student body to be chased on an Action Duel field...and being chased by a solid vision Coach Soldier Wolfbark. T-This is completely insanse!!

 

Surprisingly enough, actually, Roy kept a nice distance away from him and Wolfbark, which impressed him. Then again, enough pressure and stress put on an individual would end up surprising just about everyone in that situation. Nevertheless, other than the girl who tripped in front of him, not many people were able to catch up. Roy finally crossed the finish line with his laps and just stopped, shaking his head as he made it off to the side.

 

"J-Jeez..." Roy huffed to catch his breath as he ran his hand through his hair some. "Mr. Noir is crazy...but...he's an interesting guy for using his deck like this."

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With a heavy sigh, Shoraku Arakawa watched some of the students of Blue Yonder Academy being chased by a strange werewolf-like creature wearing a plate of golden armor on its chest, blue and gold gauntlets, blue pants with golden shin guards and... goggles, of all things. How such a dorky-looking creature was supposed to be even remotely intimidating, Shoraku didn't know; but his soulless heterochromatic eyes found themselves locked onto each of the students as they ran nonetheless, studying them all much like a hawk would stare coldly at its prey. One girl seemed to have a promising start, bolting ahead of all the other girls right at the start of the race... only to trip and fall right near the end of the race when it mattered, allowing a blue-haired boy to steal the race from her.

 

"Bravo, lady... bravo indeed," Shoraku sarcastically clapped as he said this, and a light smile appeared across his face. However, that light smile vanished immediately as the bell rang, and as he looked down at his timetable to see that he had Physical Education next, he rolled his eyes and shook his head in dismay.

 

"Well this... just... bites," he muttered, before hopping up from where he was seated, supposing he'd have no excuse for turning up late after being this close to the gym itself. It was a good thing Shoraku's art teacher was kind enough to let him off early for that previous period, otherwise the depressed 15-year-old would have no idea what was in store for him for his first PE lesson. But now, Shoraku could only hope that it was never him that had to do so many laps.

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Katz

 

For most students, a spare in the morning block was great; but Katsu found it bothersome more than anything. She didn't have anything to do at the school; but the only reason she was still here during these mornings was that her father would've put her to work if she stayed at home anyways. Not like she would ever get away with sleeping in, anyways. In the meantime, she spent her time watching the current PE class go through Dirk's routine; running laps around the track while she watched from the bleachers. There were a few others hanging out near the fence; Akira was maybe among them. Who cares.

 

As the race went on, one of the students began to sprint forward and take the lead, before being tripped. Katz watched closely and spotted the culprit; another kid with bright red hair with a grin on his face. Katz recognized that grin, though.

 

"HEY TANAKA, I SAW THAT YOU LITTLE sheet!" Katz yelled out, standing to her feet. Tanaka looked surprised for a moment before spotting Katz, and he seemed to get immediately a lot more pale. "YEAH THAT'S RIGHT! IF I CATCH YOU PULLIN' THAT CRAP AGAIN YOU'LL REGRET IT!"

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The first day of school. A return to Blue Yonder Academy, with everything that entailed. What Kimiko hadn't expected was to start her day off with running laps around a track with a solid vision monster chasing her, however. At that point in time, Kimiko had done what she was told, and ran. Anyone with a brain stem would run as fast as their legs would take them in that kind of a situation, so why wouldn't Kimiko? Of course, in Kimiko's case, she wasn't running as fast as she was because of what was behind her. Instead, she was more focused on what - or rather, who - was in front of her. Roy Spectrum. The heir of that other company, instantly making him someone Kimiko was familiar with (and vice versa, assuming he knew how to remember things), and somebody she had an altogether bitter opinion about due to various circumstances. Kimiko ran imagining that if she caught up to and eventually passed Roy, she could just clean him out of her memories and completely forget who he was, then never have to deal with him again.

 

Her laps for the day were done with the ringing of the bell, however, leaving her with some spare time. Kimiko was making her way to the water fountain - a girl needs proper hydration to stay beautiful, after all - when she noticed something out the corner of her eye. Or rather, someone. Two someones, at that! Just a couple boys looking through the fence at the scene on the tracks. No doubt admiring the girls (not the least of which she imagined was herself) from a distance where they wouldn't notice them because of the Coach Soldier Wolfbark chasing them down. What a bunch of creeps. As much as Kimiko loved knowing she had admirers, why couldn't they have the guts to go up and tell her to her face they liked her? Cowardly admirers barely counted as admirers at all. More like stalkers.

 

Kimiko planned to sort these stalkers out as soon as possible. Water could wait a little bit. Kimiko approached the fence and looked straight at the smaller of the two boys (who was still quite a bit bigger than Kimiko) and cleared her throat before speaking up.

 

"If you're going to admire me, at least don't do it from a distance like a couple of pervy old men," the girl said.

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The students who started off their first day of school with PE seemed to have it rough. Getting chased by a Coach Soldier Wolfbark around the track? Well, it was definitely fun to watch. Those who would find Leona in the halls of Blue Yonder would notice that, for a student currently wearing the PE uniform, she was very much not out of breath, nor did she have a look of "What the funk is Coach Dirk doing?" on her face. And the reason for that was very very reasonable. Leona had simply opted to not run. In fact, after changing into the PE uniform, Leona had a change of mind and chose to not show up for PE at all; she'd just been meandering about, in search of someone.

 

Not in the Student Disciplinary Committee's room, where she'd expected. Not in the library, reading about laws. Not at the pool, taking a very uncharacteristic break. Leona found her target instead at the stairs shortly after the ring of the bell, and planned to make a point to grab his attention before he could slip away from her. Osamu Oshiru, head of the Student Disciplinary Committee, and as a result, somebody her style of life caused no end of trouble for. He was somebody Leona really enjoyed finding and talking to, because it was fun to be in the presence of somebody that was her complete opposite. If Osamu were to look up and direct his attention toward the source of the voice calling out to him, he'd find Leona wearing the school's PE uniform under her rather distinct cat hoodie, perched up on the railing as though she herself were a cat.

 

"Hey hey, Mr. Rules-Man, what are you up to? What kinds of rules are you enforcing today?" This day was kicking off quite well, if Leona did say so herself.

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Letting out a sigh, the purple hair teacher braced himself for what was to come. Today was the day. The day when everyone was all settled and ready to go to classes. The day when he had to meet his students. Nijiro was looking forward to this day as much as any of the kiddos probably were, and figured that the best way to get through this was just to power through it as fast as possible. He had already managed to breeze through the first period of the day without incident, save for one stand out bundle of joy in the class, and thus figured the rest of the day would probably go just as well. As the students continued to funnel, the teacher picked himself up out of his chair as the bell rang.

 

"Welcome to art kiddos." Taking a quick cursory glance around he saw a few familiar faces, but proceeded onward. "Now then, some of you may have had me last year, and some of you may have just come to this school. Doesn't really matter, I'm just going to do the same thing each class regardless." Pointing to the words "Nijiro" and "Yonehara" on the board he said, "that's my name and I will be your art teacher for the foreseeable future. Address me however you want, but try not to be a dick about it."

 

"Now then, today I'm hardly expected to teach anything and," looking around he saw few tired or bored faces already, "you all probably haven't left 'vacation' mode yet, so I hardly expect any of you to learn anything today. So instead, I'll just go through a few introductory things." And so, he went read off a list of rules and conduct that was to be expected of the students, though didn't seem the least bit interested in them and about half the words he spoke while reading were "blah." 

 

Putting the list back on the table, he let out a sigh, as if relieved to get through that bore a second time. Looking back to the class he said, "now, I'll probably let you lot out early today, since I don't really see the point in keeping you here if you're not doing anything. That being said, I do have one thing for you all to do today. Some of you may already know each other, and others complete strangers. Regardless, by the end of this year you will have worked with most likely everyone in this room. Since networking is a pretty valuable skill to have, it'd be in all of your best interests if you started learning about each other now. So, you lot are all going to go around and introduce yourselves, maybe give a fun fact about yourselves unless you think you're boring and don't have any. After that, you can fly free out of here for the day." With that, Nijiro sat back down in his chair and left the students to their devices.

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Today's the first day of the school year at Blue Yonder academy. Tsubame's one of the lucky students able to enroll in this prestigious school, full of opportunity, strong duelists, wonder, and... A solid vision-enforced PE class on the first day?! A few hours earlier, Yayoi was sitting in her new class, doing some patchwork maintenance on Ghostie when all of a sudden she, along with the other students, are told to change to their PE uniforms and to report to Mr. Dirk down at the gym. She's not exactly pleased with the revelation that she's doing PE in the first day, but it would be bad etiquette to skip, so she decided to bear with it. After up her luscious silver locks into a ponytail, she changed into Blue Yonder's PE uniform; A traditional white shirt + shorts for the boys, and bloomers for the ladies.

 

Yayoi doesnt actually mind the bloomers too much, since the school rules are lax enough that she can wear thigh-high socks to accompany them, but what did bother her, was the activity awaiting her in class. Running laps around track is usually fine for Yayoi; she can move on her own pace and finish last, which isn't that big a deal. But this time, she's being chased by a solid vision of Coach Dirk's Wolfbark, which meant she has to push herself and match the other student's pace, an extremely strenuous exercise that soon shows everyone how unfit she is. Barely a lap into the exercise, she's already lagging far behind everyone else, maintaining just enough speed to stay out of Wolfbark's range. Not only that though, but her breathing's far more ragged and tired compared to everyone else. Not that you can tell she's struggling though, as aside from the amount of sweat she's working up, her face kept the same expressionless look it usually does.

 

"Huff... Haah.. Haa..." Are among the various panting noises coming out of Yayoi's mouth as she struggled for air, now approaching the second lap of the activity. Many thoughts are running across her head, among them the soft, fluffy feeling of her plush toys. "Yes... Plushies. Soft. Good..."  As her thoughts ascended to the cloud nine of soft plushies, she collided face-first with the very unsoft, unfluffy feeling known only as Mr. Floor. Not that she could really tell though, she's already out cold before collapsing. As she laid perfectly motionless while Coach Dirk's Solid Vision Wolfbark trampled over her unconscious body, her mind's having a lovely dream about a tea party with dolls.

 

"Coach! Yayoi-san's out cold already!"


Some time passed, and the girl was safely taken off the track and was laid on the benches. Didn't take long before she woke up, though. The wet towel placed over her forehead comically slipped off her face as she quickly sat up upon returning to the land of the conscious. She looked around to see that the track running is more or less over by now, and that the other students are already doing their own thing. She could feel a rather sharp pain on her forehead, probably a bruise following her brief fainting, but decided not to pay much attention to it, instead walking over to the fountain so she can wipe her sweaty face clean.

 

As she walked over though, she noticed two boys standing over the fence, along with a girl seemingly talking to them. If she remembered her classmate's names probably, the girl should be the one known as Kimiko, while the two boys are Yushiro and Akira.

 

...Not that she has any particular attachment to any of them though. She quickly averted her eyes from the scene and made a bid for the fountain, but not before establishing a very, very brief moment of eye-to-eye contact with the "Yushiro" boy.

 

"First lesson. PE. Bad. Second lesson... I don't know." She thought to herself as she cleaned her face. "Oh. Makeup, gone. Annoying..." Well, she'd have to reapply some foundation and powder if she wants to look like how she did before PE, though.

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Akira noticed that some tiny, itsy-bitsy, and flat girl was walking up to the two of them, looking angry. Did she hear their bets? ... Did she also lose one? That might be the case. Maybe she was going to confess her love to Yushiro! That would be great! Then Yushiro and her could eventually get married, and then have children, which they would enroll them into the dojo, and then train with the children he would have... somehow... and then they would...

Okay, perhaps he was getting ahead of himself. Especially since the girl seemed to have a different reason for actually being here.
 
"If you're going to admire me, at least don't do it from a distance like a couple of pervy old men," the girl said. Akira looked over at Yushiro.

"The tiny one seems to be under the impression that you, the man Yushiro, was admiring her..," Yeah, what was he thinking? She was no good for Yushiro. Guess he'd had too keep looking. Anyways... "... Does she count as 'the first one you see'?" He just had to make sure, after all. She came up to them, not the other way around.
 

 
Saiku was... a bit nervous, honestly. Sure, it was only art class, but he liked art. He wanted to make a good impression to his teacher and his fellow students... but what if he made a fool of himself? Hell, what if people just didn't like him? Oh man, why was he so scared?

He gripped the deck he was holding before shuffling it. That always helped his stress. Now he just needed to work up some courage. The orange haired student looked around the room before getting up to try to find someone to speak to.

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Coach Hardass

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Well, this was a productive first period, wasn't it? Several trips, one girl passed out, and that Roy Spectrum kid came in first. On a scale of one to ten, these kids were around a 6, 61/2 tops. The curve was dropped a little bit, including have to reprimand a few of the scrubs for foul-language. Having blown his whistle, Dirk dismissed his class (as well as some gawkers on the stands) once the bell had rung, and he was momentarily alone on the bleachers. Truth be told he hadn't been paying all that much attention, due to his attention having been on his tablet. Open to several news reports, many of them mentioned seeing his brother Syndri had appeared after disappearing for so long. Why he was wearing that emo outfit at all was anyone's guess. "AROOOO!"

 

Staring up from his tablet, Dirk found his Wolfbark standing at attention, his clawed hand to his head in salute. "At ease" Dirk ordered.

 

Wolfbark relaxed immediately, taking a seat by his duelist and snooping in on the story. "Aroo?" the monster questioned.

 

"Yeah, it's Syndri alright" Dirk sighed as he lit up a cigarette. Wolfbark growled at the flaming tobacco, but was quelled after being glared at by Dirk. "Relax, it's just the one okay?" Dirk grumbled while closing the news reports.

 

Dumping it on the seat to his left, Dirk reclined on the stony seating, his back against the step behind. Syndri. After for being gone for a few years the rat-bastard suddenly shows up again? What the hell had he been doing all that time? Clearly it wasn't working on a tan, if his complexion was any indication. Inhaling the caustic smoke heavily, Dirk blew a plume of it into the air. Wolfbark faked some coughs, much to Dirk's annoyance. "Oh it's just the one you big baby" he growled as he removed Wolfbark's card from his duel disk, the monster disappearing. "Jeez," he grumbled as he butted his cigarette out, "since when did my monsters become my mother?"

 

"SCREE!"

 

Ah, speaking of monsters, one was flying towards him. It was an anthropomorphic bald eagle covered in black-ops gear. It had a bullet-proof vest on, with dual-arm-guards, as well as shin-guards over its long black pants. It wore a pair of goggles and carried a long-range rifle in its talon-like hands. "You found our no-show?" Dirk inquired.

 

The Blackhawk nodded, showing Dirk a picture of Leona nearing the stairs. Dirk looked at it over barely, the photo itself was enough. "Fan-freaking-tastic" he sighed, grabbing a notepad and pen. Scribbiling out a quick note, he handed it back to his monster. "Give her that note please" he requested.

 

The Blackhawk saluted, note clenched in its talons as it took off. Sighing loudly, Dirk checked the clock: It was time for the second period. Glancing about, students were starting to come in. Seems the first one here was that kid with the heterochromia. Well, this was going to be a fun year indeed.

 

--------------

 

The Blackhawk casually moved amongst the students, no one even batting an eye at the fact that a duel monster was casually strolling amongst them. It approached Leona with immense stealth, and it politely tapped her on the shoulder. Once it had her attention, it handed her a note, which read:

 

Nice to see you had better things to do than come to PE Leona. Now, while I could threaten you with detention or some BS like, I know it won't work with you. So, I'm more or less going to figure some way to get back at you that will actually hurt. As for now, I do recommend you come to PE.

 

Kind regards, Coach Noir.

 

Duty fulfilled, the Blackhawk saluted to Osamu, and then walked off.

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"If you're going to admire me, at least don't do it from a distance like a couple of pervy old men,"

 

Yushiro didn't comprehend a word of what the girl was saying, still much too flabbergasted at the fact that, for the first time in recent memory, he'd lost a bet to Akira. In fact, he barely even registered her presence in front of him until he heard Akira speak. 

 

"The tiny one seems to be under the impression that you, the man Yushiro, was admiring her... Does she count as 'the first one you see'?"

 

"Oh... crap." She was, indeed, the first person he'd seen. And now he recognized who she was, too. Kimiko Hatakeyama, or as some people referred to her "That Rich Girl." She was pretty, popular, and had an undeniable mean streak. Yushiro usually made it a point to avoid her whenever possible, not wanting to be put in what was more or less an identical situation to his current predicament. Literally any response was likely to either set the girl off, or make Yushiro look like an idiot.

 

So, naturally, he wound up doing both.

 

"...Whaa?" A half formed attempt at playing dumb. Definitely not the best course of action. Caught off guard, Yushiro failed to formulate an alternative response, instead standing there for a solid ten or twenty seconds before remembering that, yes, he was supposed to challenge this girl to a duel. He gulped audibly, then put on the best poker face he could muster, which was transparent to anyone, except possibly Akira on a bad day.

 

"A-aaaactually, I was uh... " he paused a moment. "I was gonna challenge you to a duel." The poker face solidified as Yushiro came up with a story. He pointed to Akira and spoke with a little more bravado. "Yeah, people say you're a heck of a Synchro player. What do you say you prove it to me after school today?" He hoped Kimiko would buy it. It was after all a better story than saying he'd roped himself into challenging her.

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As Emma jogged back to the main area with everyone else, one person in particular caught her eye, and only became more interesting to her the closer she got.

 

"Well, hello," she murmured to herself as she approached, "that's an . . . unusual haircut, even for around here. And is that scarf . . . burnt?" She grinned as she walked ever closer, staring daggers at anyone who so much as approached her latest quarry.

 

"Rather pale, that bodes very well for mysteries," she laughed to herself at the trope snagging her, "and . . . heterochromic? Hm," she said, before finally walking up to the boy . . . girl? Emma was tempted to say "boy" because of the male uniform, but she personally knew some girls that wore the boy's uniform and vice-versa.

 

"Hello," she said, activating her Duel Disk, unfurling a straight-edged black board with a violet aura. "My name is Emma Pathos. We will talk. We will Duel. You will tell me everything I wish to know, because this can and will take a very long time if you stonewall me."

 

The azure-eyed redhead checked her Duel Disk, grinning. "Just outline who and what you are, and we can be done quickly."

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He was not looking forward to PE in the slightest, yet Shoraku found himself walking in that direction anyway... if only out of obligation. But some random girl had tried to stop him from attending on time; not the brightest idea she could've possibly come up with, assuming she was remotely bright to begin with.

 

"That's an... unusual haircut, even from around here. And is that scarf... burnt?"

 

"Hm?" Shoraku turned around but couldn't find the girl at first; but only because he'd initially saw right over her, which he realized the moment he looked downwards. Shoraku was not a tall man; tall for his age perhaps, but sure as hell not overall. And yet he must've out-heightened the girl by well over a foot. In any case, now that he found where the tip of her scalp was at, Shoraku remained silent as the girl evidently mused to herself, sizing her up and down to see what exactly who he was dealing with... aside from "a midget" or so the first thought that popped into his head was. True, midget was an offensive word to use, and this would especially be the case given Shoraku's usual tone, but it certainly wasn't something Shoraku himself was above. Not to mention that there was nothing else that he found all that defining about the girl.

 

"My name is Emma Pathos. We will talk. We will duel. You will tell me everything I wish to know, because this can and will take a very long time if you stonewall me," and so the girl activated her Duel Disk and got herself into a dueling stance. But her bubble was going to be burst... one way or another.

 

...

 

"Tsk tsk tsk. A shrimp like you, giving me an ultimatum? Don't make me laugh," Shoraku scoffed, before the light smile that had formed at the time completely vanished, "I honestly have no idea who you think you are, and I don't give a rat's ass. But trying to challenge someone and get them late to class is quite literally the dumbest idea you could have in that miserable pink blob you call a brain. If you want a duel that badly, then we can duel at recess... I suppose. But you'll only be wasting both of our time if you even try to negotiate anything earlier than that. Now if you'll excuse me, I have this thing called a class to get to."

 

With that, he turned his back towards this "Emma Pathos" person and kept going, believing he had shot down her challenge hard enough.

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"...Whaa?"

 

Does this boy think I'm stupid!? Or...could it be he's the stupid one? Either way, the nerve of this boy! His friend seemed to get that they looked like a pair of creeps, so did that mean that the bigger-bodied boy also boasted bigger brains? Kimiko didn't really appreciate being called "the tiny one" however, but Kimiko didn't quite have the time to speak up about that before stupidboy said something else.

 

"A-aaaactually, I was uh... I was gonna challenge you to a duel. Yeah, people say you're a heck of a Synchro player. What do you say you prove it to me after school today?"

 

"Are you doubting me?" Unacceptable! People said she was one heck of a synchro player, did they? Well, they were right! And she wasn't just any heck of a synchro player either! She was the best heck of a synchro player! By the looks of things, she'd be proving that today after school by stomping this boy that didn't believe in her skills. Puffing out her chest and putting her hands on her hips in a triumphant pose, Kimiko looked at stupidboy and said "Very well, I accept your challenge! I certainly hope you don't mind some humiliation later today when we duel!"

 

But proving herself to this commoner boy would have to wait until after school, apparently, despite how much she wanted to just make it a quick duel this very instant. She still had to go change out of her PE uniform and head for art class. She'd have her time, though...

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BGM

 

"Well...that was...eventful to say the least." Roy sighed to himself, as he walked back to change out of his PE uniform, noticing a familiar figure arguing with a few boys. Kimiko Hatakeyama, the heir to the Hatakeyama Corporation, his family's long time business rival. He knew about her...quite frankly she was the first one he recognized at Blue Yonder when he arrived to get settled in his dorm. Only came out to face him and to swear that she would be her "eternal rival"...

 

It wasn't the first time he and she met. No, there were company parties and as both being heirs to their family's companies...go figure that they had to go and mingle, like their parents told them to do. Then again, he was still surprised to see the Synchro user here of all places.

 

Seems that we might have to duel against her again sometime... Roy though, tossing on the academy blazer as he walked out of the locker room. He pulled out a card from his deck box, looking at it. The card he pulled, was Rainbow Dragon. Honestly, I think it'll make for one hell of a show! Her Shiranui versus my Crystal Beasts...except this time...I got a few new players in the game. Roy smiled as he moved Rainbow Dragon to the side, seeing five purple colored cards now in his hand. Yeah...I'll have the element of surprise with them.

 

He sighed slightly before putting the cards back in his deck box and continued to head to his next class: Art. He walked into the classroom and sat down at a chair near the back window, looking out through it for the time being, waiting for class to begin.

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Katz

 

Katsu scoffed as Dirk berated her for her language, but still held her tongue, at least knowing that Dirk was a teacher and that it was probably not best to stand up to him like that. Katsu had his class next, after all. She got up, stretched, and made her way towards the change-rooms.

 

On her way, Katsu noticed Emma. She didn't know Emma very well (not that she really knew any of them very well; besides that punk Akira whose father owned that Steadfast dojo), but from what she knew, she knew that Emma seemed kinda nosy. However, the kid she was talking to Katsu didn't know. Not that it mattered; whatever was going on wasn't her busines--

 

"I honestly have no idea who you think you are, and I don't give a rat's ass. But trying to challenge someone and get them late to class is quite literally the dumbest idea you could have in that miserable pink blob you call a brain. If you want a duel that badly, then we can duel at recess... I suppose. But you'll only be wasting both of our time if you even try to negotiate anything earlier than that. Now if you'll excuse me, I have this thing called a class to get to."

 

As the smaller... boy? turned his back to Emma, he would find himself walking directly into Katsu, who was standing behind him with her arms crossed and a stern look on her face; meeting eye-to-eye.

 

"I'm sorry, is that how you always treat people you've never met?" Katsu asked firmly. "How about you try that again, punk."

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The Champion of Strangeness

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Christ on a crispy cracker had Dirk pushed Salem unfairly. Why did he have to do three more laps? How do you do laps wrong?! UGH! Well, by some miracle he managed to finish it in time for the next class at least. Sitting in his boxers in a more secluded part of the change rooms, Salem Noir had a tablet in his lap, and he was idly checking through social media sites. Hmm, his blog had gotten a few more hits, which was good. Sadly, there were no new sightings of The Super Awesome Champion of Justice, but then, that was the point. He was supposed to be a spectre in the night, the hidden hero who brings justice and then disappears, leaving none-the-wiser.

 

Finishing his idle surf, Salem left for art. The teacher looked like a bit of a chode, according to what he heard Dirk say that one time. "So, you lot are all going to go around and introduce yourselves, maybe give a fun fact about yourselves unless you think you're boring and don't have any. After that, you can fly free out of here for the day."

 

Looking around, no one was really talking, as such, Salem took initiative. Getting up loudly, he stumbled a bit on his stool, but hopefully he didn't make himself look too stupid. He slammed his hands loudly on the bench, just to get everyone's attention. "MY NAME IS SALEM NOIR! MY BROTHER IS DIRK NOIR, THE PE TEACHER, AND MY OTHER BROTHER IS SYNDRI NOIR, THE FAMOUS PRO-DUELIST! I PLAN TO BE JUST AS AMAZING AS THEY ARE, SO YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE!" he declared loudly, his voice fluctuating in tone.

 

Slamming the bench again, he sat down quietly, not even realizing how much of an embarrassing scene that was.

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"Are you doubting me?"

 

No, no he wasn't. But, Yushiro tried his best to make a face like he was anyway. Better to have her think he kept his cool instead of revealing how psyched out he actually was... which was a lot.

 

"Very well, I accept your challenge! I certainly hope you don't mind some humiliation later today when we duel!"

 

"Alright then. Practice duel grounds. After school's out. See you there." At that instant, the second bell rang, cutting their conversation short and forcing both parties to move on toward their next class. Fortunate, since Kimiko wouldn't be able to hear what Yushiro said next. "She's gonna destroy me man..." He gave Akira a despondent look as the two of them made their way toward their next class.

 

---

 

Lunchtime at Blue Yonder was a bit of an oddity. As it was the only meal served during the school day, it was served via one of several on campus eateries, and was rather informal, as opposed to the large meals served in the residential dining halls each morning and evening. Students and teachers could often be found intermingled with one another across campus, and students were for the most part allowed the freedom to do what they pleased on campus during lunch, be it duel or eat or what have you, so long as they reported to their next class on time. As for Yushiro, he was sitting by himself, nervously preparing his deck and fruitlessly trying to come up with a way to get out of this duel. Word seemed to have spread around campus about it, and the thought of having an audience made him cringe.

 

"Thanks, T." Taketo buzzed in response as it handed Yushiro a copy of Cup of Ace from his card box. "That's 40. I just hope its going to run smooth enough..." He sighed. Most of the cards he owned were sub optimal. Intentionally so, as Yushiro preferred to play for fun, but that didn't change the fact that it was working against him now. The 6 cards that made up his extra deck didn't seem to ease his mind, either.

 

 

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"So, you lot are all going to go around and introduce yourselves, maybe give a fun fact about yourselves unless you think you're boring and don't have any. After that, you can fly free out of here for the day."

 

Honestly, Roy didn't feel like going first in the talking about himself in the Art Class. Thankfully, someone else did. A kid by the name of Salem Noir. Ohhhhh this was going to be good now. It was mentioned that this kid and the P.E. teacher were related. And honestly, compared to the teacher, he seemed to be a bit more on the normal side. He also mentioned about how his other brother was a Pro-Duelist.

 

Syndri? Oh right! I've heard about him from a few tournaments! Roy thought, nodding as he watched Salem sit back down. He shrugged as he stood up and cleared his throat. He supposed he was next.

 

"Hi there. My name is Roy Spectrum." Roy spoke, waving as he could immediately heard a few people mumbling. He sighed before putting his hand back into his pocket. "Yes, I'm the heir of the Spectrum Corporation. However, I'd prefer you not to treat me as some sort of higher up rich boy, please." he said, rubbing the back of his neck. "Around here, all I am is a fellow student and Duelist. Hope that I can make some great friends out of you and hope to get the chance to duel each and every one of you!"

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Lunch time. The time where the boundless spirit of youth was not shackled down by the authority of the school. When one could freely devote their burning passion into whatever they wished to do. A time where you could run, shout, eat, play, eat some more and procrastinate. With a tray in hand, one such individual was giving her all at their newest challenge. Skating across the ground, wheels fixed to the heels of her sneakers, and scarf flowing in the wind, Meiko was attempting some challenge of balance. Holding the tray with only the fingers of one hand, she was skating around the campus, attempting to achieve perfect grace. A skill she had no idea what would it would be used for, but one she would perfect regardless. After about five minutes or so of skating, though, her wheel hit something on the ground, causing her to tumble forward and face plant into the ground. With the tray still perfectly in her hand though, she triumphantly raised it into the air...only for her fingers to slip from underneath it and the tray to fall to the ground.
 
First in gym class where she had fallen and now this. It was as if the ground itself were trying to get in the way of her victory. "I will best you yet, floor," she mumbled, with her face still on the ground. Picking herself up, as she rubbed the dirt off her face, her eyes locked onto someone. A boy. One with yellow hair and green eyes. And one who she would definitely recognize. Springing back up, she rolled on her heel wheels to the boy while shouting out and waving to him. "Yuuuuuuuuu-shhhhhhhiiiiiiii-roooooooooooooo-kuuuuuuuunnnn!!!"
 
When the distance had closed between them, she lifted her feet off the ground and cartwheeled towards the boy. Landing on her feet so that she would now be facing away from him, but still sliding towards him, she finally eventually got right next to him and plopped herself on the ground right next to him. Slinging her arm around his neck, in a friendly way, her voice seemed to be all kind of excited. "Man, Yushiro-kun, I heard that you challenged Kimiko-chan to a duel! That's so awesome! I mean, I of course wanted to challenge her because she's like super well known, you know? Apparently pretty good with those cards of hers, and obviously someone anyone trying to become the best they can at this game would want to beat from the get go. But here you are, already challenging her and going out of your way to make this big hubbub for everyone to go watch. But, taking initiative and going for what you want is what being a man is all about, so I obviously can't fault you for that. In fact, great job Yushiro-kun." 
 
After rambling on for a bit, she looked at the boy's face and noticed something was off about it. Leaning in closer, with a serious expression on her face, she analyzed it a bit before coming to a realization. Letting go of the boy and both spinning and standing simultaneously, she faced the boy with a slightly annoyed expression on her face. "Oi, what's with that "oh it doesn't matter how hard I try, there's no way I can possibly beat her," look on your face?"

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He didn't have time for this... he really didn't. So Shoraku had found himself walking right around the ugly girl that tried to confront her on the shrimp's behalf. Dirk was right there too so, rather than spit out yet another insult that would this time be aimed at the girl, it'd be a smarter play to make the girl like the complete aggressor. Perhaps it'd get her into detention so that she'd be out of Shoraku's hair... at least for the moment.

 

...

 

As expected, PE had as near as made no difference murdered Shoraku, as he half-expected it would be. But unlike what Shoraku had half-expected, it wasn't because of Dirk's idea of a round of laps; it was actually Dirk's idea of dodge-ball. That damned hippopotamus had been sitting in the center of the gym like a baller, firing ball upon ball on Shoraku and his classmates much like a minigun would spray its own ammunition. Shoraku laughed at some of the students that had been hit first, but was so busy doing so that he'd been absolutely pummeled by the balls as a result of his lack of attention. It might have been the fun type of murder, at least for that day, but it was murder nonetheless. Thankfully, Shoraku caught a break in the period that followed, which he found to be the culinary arts class. It might not have been a class he enjoyed that much, mostly because of his mentality that cooking was for girls, Shoraku followed along anyway; if only because if he were to refuse then he'd have nothing to eat for lunch that day... and Shoraku turned out to be quite the competent cook. Who would've thought?

 

Now though, after having already eaten what he'd made in his culinary arts class, Shoraku found himself at his open locker, staring at two decks that he had in his hands as well as the one already inside his Duel Disk. That one specifically was designed specifically to hard-counter the Pendulum Summoning mechanic, but he couldn't know for sure whether the girl he was supposed to face was even capable of such a thing. Then he looked through the deck that was in his right hand. That one was too good; Shoraku didn't want to wipe the floor with the girl before he could accurately judge whether or not she was a competent duelist. That just left the deck in his left hand. If he remembered correctly, this was his experimental one with all the Acid Golems and the Acidic Formulae. Deciding that one would serve his purposes for now, Shoraku returned his right-hand deck back on top of the top shelf, before ejecting the one inside his Duel Disk and placing that right next to it. He then shut the locker that was in front of him and turned the dial to a random setting, before inserting the Acid Golem deck in the place of the previous one.

 

'Well that's done, now I gotta see if I actually need a magnifying glass this time,' Shoraku thought to himself as he left to find this Emma Pathos girl.

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Emma, naturally, found Shoraku within moments of break starting. It was a natural result of being focused on worming out every secret, every possible piece of hidden information of possible value, that she made it a habit of looking up the schedules of other students. Most of what she discovered, due to nature of this being a high school, was rumors of everyone having relations with just about everyone else, about a third of which were true- disgusting as it sounded. However, on rare occasions, she found information worth knowing, and those were the nuggets she held out for.

 

"You've no classes to get to," Emma said in her usual blunt-force-trauma method of speech, "and given preliminary examination, you don't have anyone relevant to speak with, myself excluded. Duel." She said, unfurling her violet-aura Disk. "You have my go-ahead to select the Action Field, unless you'd rather leave it up to the randomizer."

 

Of course, Emma thought with a smirk, both options would help her mentally profile her opponent, which was what she was really after. Her Duel Record wasn't impeccable, due to several intentional losses to aid in her information-gathering, and several more legitimate losses, but the ratio was set up to put her in a position where no one who looked up her numbers would either be intimidated or insulted: exactly 210/92/4. 70% winrate was idealized, according to her research, and it hadn't failed her yet.

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"Yuuuuuuuuu-shhhhhhhiiiiiiii-roooooooooooooo-kuuuuuuuunnnn!!!" Akira chuckled to himself as he heard a familiar voice call out for his best friend. He watched quietly as Meiko slung an arm around Yushiro. Hmm... those two were really a cute looking couple. Or... they would be, if they were one. He, the man Akira, would have to see if he could do something about that. After all, it was the duty of the best friend to help said friend get the girl! Or embarrass them in front of the girl. He'd have to somehow do both at once.

 

He drifted into thought, semi-ignoring Meiko as she rambled a bit. Maybe he would have to do something like forge love letters. He'd need help though, since Yushiro knew his handwriting.  "Oi," Meiko figuratively grabbed Akira and body slammed him back into reality. "What's with that "oh it doesn't matter how hard I try, there's no way I can possibly beat her," look on your face?" Oh, she was annoyed. An annoyed girl was a scary girl.

"He, the man Yushiro, didn't challenge her, the tiny annoying one, of his own free will," Akira explained. "He lost a bet. Also. hello, Meiko," Hopefully, that cleared up her confusion.

 


 

Okay, school was a... trip for Sai. He went to art class and apparently shared it with a boy named Roy Spectrum... a son of the people that owned Spectrum Corp! Holy crap, he was not ready. Thank god that despite having bright orange hair, he was not noticeable. He did his best to stay hidden, not wanting to talk. He was afraid he'd make and even bigger fool of himself than that Salem kid....

Soon, lunch rolled by and Sai sat in an empty table in the far corner to eat. Hopefully, he'd get some peace. He shuffled through his deck, checking to make sure every card he wanted was in there. He had to be ready to duel at any time. Any entertainment duelist worth their salt should be able to do that.

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Sure enough, Shoraku found himself... well, found, just as he shut his locker after switching decks. Good to know that this shrimp Emma knew how to keep tabs on people. Although a hallway wasn't the best place to have an action duel; that was something Shoraku knew from common sense, which Emma seemed to lack.

"You've no classes to get to, and given preliminary examination, you don't have anyone relevant to speak with, myself excluded. Duel."

 

"Well that's not very nice," Shoraku remarked in a sarcastic tone, "You could've just said 'Hey, we agreed to have a duel at this time, so let's duel.' Or something or rather along those lines. But don't go reminding me how miserable my life is, lady; that's just not cool at all,"

 

Shoraku shook his head in disapproval, before continuing.

 

"We're better off taking this outside anyway," he motioned for Emma to follow him using his head, before walking down the hallway towards one of the doors that would the two outside the block they were in, "And we never discussed terms either. If your tiny shrimp brain has anything on them, now would be the time to spit them out."

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"Eeeeh? A duel, you say? I gotta see this!"

 

Suddenly Balthazar Gilliad was following after Shoraku and Emma, grinning ear to ear as he adjusted the pair of goggles that sat atop his head. "Don't think I've met you guys yet, have I? Name's Balthazar, though most just stick with Balthy."

 

He then noticed they were just now passing past the cafeteria, and took the opportunity to run to the door, sticking his head in and yelling to the first people he recognized. "Hey, Sai, Yushiro!" he called to the boys who were in the same year he was. "We've got ourselves a duel out here, come and see!" He slammed the door back behind him and ran to catch up with the pair, grin renewed as he kept pace with them, walking slightly turned to the side so as to address both of them genially.

 

"Mind if I take winner, you two? Although, I guess we won't have time for that, unless one of you manages to close it in one move, eh?" he teased, looking conspiratorially at Shoraku. "She looks determined, mate, might just do ya in real quick."

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