Deep within the underground facility, an elevator could be seen descending to the ground level. Those within the facility looked over.
Gongenzaka asked, “Do you think that’s one of the Lancers.”
Sawatari explained, “It has to be... Damon was defeated by that Sergey Volkov guy, so it’s pretty much down to either Dennis or Kurosaki.”
Choujirou said, “All the more reason for you to work on getting back to the surface.”
The elevator reached the ground, with Tsukikage stealthfully slipping back into the shadows. The door opened, revealing a lone member of Security standing within.
Gallager shouted, “HEY! What are you doing here? I never called Roger about any of these guys.”
Ryuichi asked, “Are you questioning me?”
Gallager said, “This can’t be right.”
Ryuichi said, “Noboru Gongenzaka. I have a special assignment that requires your help.”
Sawatari shouted, “Why are you after HIM and not the great Sawatari!”
Gongenzaka then said, “What about Sawatari and Choujiro-san?”
Ryuichi said, “I’m sorry. They’re not involved in this assignment.”
Choujirou said, “Hang on. I think I’ve heard of him. He was the one who eventually arrested Sergey Volkov.”
Ryuichi said, “It was thanks to that feat that I was given permission to use my personal deck for Security activities.”
Gongenzaka then nodded, “Once I’m done with this, I’ll come back for both of you, and Tsukikage.”
Sawatari shouted, “You better get back here!”
Ryuichi said, “Don’t worry; I’ll personally free any Lancers down here once THEY arrive.”
Gallager asked, “Who is he talking about?”
Sawatari shouted, “HEY! By then it will be too late!”
Roger sat back and smiled. King’s Gambit was now in full effect. As he checked on various screens, he then came across one in particular, where he noticed someone from Security escorting someone away from the underground facility.
Roger said, “Hold on. That shouldn’t be right. All members of Security should be acting under King’s Gambit protocols.”
He then paced through a few more screens before he noticed something peculiar. “ERROR: Chaser 264 NOT FOUND”
Roger slammed his fist against his desk. A moment passed before he began laughing. “I think I see what’s happening. When he crossed dimensions, he must have fried his King’s Gambit chip. Oh well. Nothing I can’t strategize against. I’ll just send a few chasers to wait for him at his apartment.”
Ryuichi and Gongenzaka were both riding D-wheels out of the city. It was perfectly clear that something was going on, and Gongenzaka suddenly stopped. Noticing what was happening, Ryuichi went back to him.
Gongenzaka said, “I saw a few other members of Security acting strangely. Why weren’t you affected?”
Ryuichi said, “I got my King’s Gambit chip replaced with a fake about a year ago. Once I discovered King’s Gambit, I wanted to be the wild card that could mess with Roger’s head. Honestly, I’m surprised he didn’t figure out sooner. Since King’s Gambit is in effect, we have to go somewhere Roger can’t send his pawns.”
Gongenzaka asked, “And where’s that?”
Ryuichi grinned, “You’ll see soon enough.”
After a half-hour ride away from the City, Ryuichi and Gongenzaka arrived to a run-down place. Wooden planks could be seen covering houses, while a few holdouts ran inside. Many businesses were built to resemble buildings of the Old West.
Gongenzaka watched as he saw what appeared to be a tumbleweed cross the road.
Ryuichi said, “This is my hometown. The place used to be a bustling tourist attraction before the rise of Riding Duels. We had duel shows on a daily basis, and high-class accommodations for our customers. Our guests loved the place. Then came the advent of Riding Duels, and tourists no longer had any reason to come here, since they could catch all the excitement of our Duel Shows without leaving the City. When business dried up, we had no choice but to move to the City ourselves. The few people who came back here are often trying to escape from Commons and rebuild a new society out here.”
Gongenzaka frowned, “If Fusion Dimension attacks suddenly, we would need a half hour to get back to the City and save everyone.”
Ryuichi said, “You remember your duel with Crow Hogan? When you took part in that duel, he used a different variation of Synchro Summon. One that used only monsters that were already Synchro Monsters. Reiji Akaba gave me access to Pendulum Summon, but in exchange, I had to share the secret of Accel Synchro with one member of the Lancers, and I think you might just be able to learn it.”
Gongenzaka said, “I should have known Reiji put you up to this.”
Ryuichi nodded, “True, but without his involvement, I wouldn’t be teaching you how to perform Accel Synchro.”
Several members of Security searched through Ryuichi’s apartment, but it didn’t take long before they realized the place was already empty, as if someone expected that to be the first place they look. Suddenly, one of the officers found a note.
Roger is the real traitor. When we return, Roger and his allies from Academia will be brought to justice. And we promise to turn Security into the kind of organization it once was.
Meanwhile, Roger sat back in his chair. He knew Ryuichi had the facts and could indeed expose his ties to Academia, but didn’t realize Roger’s plans to break away and conquer on his own.
Ryuichi said, “At this point, you need to focus exclusively on the duel at hand, pushing aside all negativity. Trust me; the hardest part is to shove aside the negativity. It took a chance encounter during Academia’s attempted first wave for me to catch on. I never learned that stranger’s name, but his dueling demonstrated that it was my anger that held me back.”
Gongenzaka said, “Let go of your darkness and stand tall.”
Ryuichi said, “Good! Start by bringing out your first Synchro monster!”
Gongenzaka shouted, “SYNCHRO SUMMON!”
Ryuichi said, “You need a Synchro monster who is also a tuner!”
Gongenzaka took a deep breath and tried to get some idea in his head of a Synchro Monster that is also a tuner. At this moment, it all appeared to make sense to him. This was the evolution of Synchro Summon. He then paused and began to wonder how he would bring out all the necessary monsters at once. His first mistake.
Ryuichi shouted, “You lost your focus!”
After Gongenzaka slipped over, he explained, “I would need to bring out at least four monsters. How can I pull that off without Pendulum Summon.”
Ryuichi said, “Pendulum Summon will certainly help, but it’s not the only way to assemble the materials for your initial synchro summons.”
At that moment, someone else suddenly ran out, shouting, “THEY FOLLOWED ME HERE!!!”
Ryuichi then ran after the hysterical man, getting help from Gongenzaka cutting him off.
Ryuichi asked, “Who followed you here?”
The man said, “You guys did. First you raid our base, then you leave your jurisdiction to track me all the way to West Town.”
Ryuichi then noticed a box in his hand, before looking at his face.
Ryuichi said, “Verne? Is that you?”
Verne answered, “You know me?”
Ryuichi took off his helmet and said, “We left for the City together when we realized nobody was attending our dueling shows anymore. I wound up joining Security to help keep the peace, but it looks like you got mixed up with the Tarantulas.”
Verne said, “It all started when Sal got a call. Hotaru-san didn’t take the deck with her in case your buddies decided to take the deck and confiscate it. As far as the Tarantulas were concerned, the worst thing that could happen to cards we took was for it to wind up in some Security locker.”
Ryuichi said, “Roger didn’t have any issue with you before because he saw your illegal activities as beneficial to Tops. Any rare cards that find their way into Commons could be stolen by you and sold illegally to duelists from Tops. It was when you became a threat to his allies that he decided to go after you.”
Verne asked, “But Roger is your boss?”
Ryuichi said, “I’m still working out the details on a coup against Roger. Now, as for you, hand over the deck so I can return it to its rightful owner.”
Verne said, “You’ll have to duel me for it.”
Ryuichi said, “Gongenzaka, pay attention. I’ll try to demonstrate Accel Synchro for you at least once.”
Both of them then stood in the streets, with duel disks at their sides. The auto-shuffle function was triggered, but neither of them took any initiative to draw their opening hands.
Verne said, “Spectator! Make yourself useful and toss a coin or a pebble into the air. When it hits the ground, the first person to draw gets to go first.”
Gongenzaka said, “What?”
Ryuichi said, “Just like our old duel show days.”
Gongenzaka picked up a pebble and tossed it into the air. Moments later, the pebble hit the ground, both Ryuichi and Verne reached for their duel disks and drew their opening hands, with Verne being slightly faster.
Verne shouted, “I’ll start by activating the field spell, Westwood Saloon! Using its effect, I can draw a card once per turn, but then I have to put a card from my hand back on top. Next, I summon Westwood Sharpshooter - Annie. Annie’s effect activates! I draw a card and reveal it. If it’s a Westwood monster, I can Special Summon it. However, if it’s anything else, I have to discard it and take 500 damage.”
Gongenzaka shouted, “That’s a risky move. Or it would be, if not for this field spell.”
Verne then drew a card and held it up proudly, “Westwood Prospector - Jane! Jane’s effect activates. When she’s summoned by the effect of a Westwood monster, I can draw a card. Next, I tune my level six Jane with my level two Annie! SYNCHRO SUMMON! LEVEL EIGHT! Westwood Sheriff - Wild Bill! I also leave a face-down card and end my turn.”
Ryuichi declared, “My turn! DRAW! First, I play Onset of the Chosen Heroes to bring Rogue of the Dragonstone to my hand. Next, I place my Scale 1 Archer of the Dragonstone and my Scale 4 Healer of the Dragonstone in the scales! Using my Archer’s Pendulum Effect, I can reduce the attack power of one opposing monster to 0, but my opponent gets to draw. Healer’s Pendulum effect activates. If my opponent draws by the effect of my Dragonstone card, I can draw 2. And now, PENDULUM SUMMON! Rogue of the Dragonstone and Sorcerer of the Dragonstone. Sorcerer’s effect! I destroy your face-down card.”
Verne interrupted, “Not so fast! I activate Fiendish Chain!”
Ryuichi said, “You wasted your face-down card to keep me from using Healer’s pendulum effect again. I tune my level three Sorcerer of the Dragonstone with my level three Rogue of the Dragonstone! SYNCHRO SUMMON! LEVEL SIX! TEMPLAR OF THE DRAGONSTONE! Templar attacks Wild Bill! At this point, even if you still had a face-down card, it wouldn’t help.”
Templar of the Dragonstone lunged forward towards the sheriff. In a swift strike, Verne’s life points fell to 5200.
Ryuichi said, “When Templar inflicts battle damage, you get to draw. Healer’s Pendulum effect activates again.”
Verne asked, “Aren’t the other two planning to attack?”
Ryuichi answered, “While in the pendulum zones, Pendulum Monsters are treated as spell cards and not monsters. I set two face-down cards and end my turn.”
Verne shouted, “My turn! DRAW! I start with Galaxy Cyclone, to destroy one of your face-down cards.”
Ryuichi looked at his Scrap-Iron scarecrow as it was destroyed immediately. This meant if Verne had some counter move in mind, he wouldn’t be able to block the attack.
Verne continued, “Now, I use my Saloon’s effect to draw a card and place one from my hand on top of my deck. I summon Westwood Bandit - Bart! Bart’s effect activates. I can draw a card, and if it’s a Westwood monster, I can summon one tuner from either player’s graveyard.” He then picked up and proudly showed Westwood Steer. “Return from the graveyard! Rogue of the Dragonstone.”
Rogue of the Dragonstone suddenly reappeared on the field, only to be caught by a lasso and tied up. She glared at Bart, who held the other end of the rope.
Verne said, “Now, I discard Westwood Steer from my hand to activate its effect, changing Bart’s level to 5. When Westwood Steer is sent from my hand to the graveyard, it is summoned in attack mode. I tune my level five Bart and my level one Steer with Rogue of the Dragonstone. SYNCHRO SUMMON! LEVEL NINE! Westwood Outlaw - Billy! I activate Billy’s effect! By discarding Westwood Steed, I can take one control of one spell or trap card on the field! I choose Archer of the Dragonstone. Westwood Steed’s effect! When it’s sent to the graveyard from my field or hand, I can draw a card. Archer’s Pendulum effect activates! Templar’s attack power drops to zero, and you can draw. Billy attacks your Templar!”
Billy took a shot at Templar of the Dragonstone, instantly dropping Ryuichi’s life points to 5100.
Verne said, “Now I set two face-down cards and end my turn!”
Ryuichi grinned, “My turn! DRAW! I place the Scale 2 Barbarian of the Dragonstone in my scales.”
Verne shouted, “Before you even try anything, I activate my trap! Draw, Partner! If I control a Westwood monster, I can draw a card and reveal it. Depending on whether the revealed card is a monster, spell, or trap, different effects will be applied!”
Verne then showed the card he just drew, Westwood Bandit - Belle.
Verne said, “Monster card! Until the end phase of this turn, my Westwood monsters can’t be targeted by your card effects.”
Ryuichi responded, “Barbarian’s Pendulum effect activates! Because you just drew a card outside your draw phase, I can destroy a card you control. I choose Archer of the Dragonstone. When a Pendulum card on the field is destroyed, it returns to its opponent’s extra deck face-up.”
Gongenzaka said, “Wait. He destroyed Archer of the Dragonstone first... that means!”
Ryuichi continued, “Using the Scale 2 Barbarian of the Dragonstone and the Scale 4 Healer of the Dragonstone, I can special summon as many level 3 monsters as I need! PENDULUM SUMMON! From my hand, Pyrewhisp of the Dragonstone, along with Archer of the Dragonstone from my Extra Deck!”
Verne shouted, “But that Archer was destroyed! How did you just summon it back?”
Ryuichi said, “That’s how Pendulum works. Even when stopped, it can be made to sway once more. Also, because I special summoned a spellcaster, Rogue of the Dragonstone can revive herself from the graveyard. You get to draw!”
Verne hesitantly drew a card, knowing exactly what was about to happen.
Ryuichi shouted, “Barbarian’s effect destroys that last face-down card while Healer’s effect lets me draw two. Because you have four cards in your hand, I can increase my Archer’s level by two! I tune my level five Archer of the Dragonstone with my level three Rogue of the Dragonstone. SYNCHRO SUMMON! LEVEL EIGHT! Berserker of the Dragonstone!”
Gongenzaka wondered... throughout this entire duel, he had only seen run-of-the-mill Synchro summoning. Except with some Pendulum summoning mixed in on Ryuichi’s side.
Ryuichi continued, “I might not be able to target Billy with any card effects this turn, but I can do this! BERSERKER! ATTACK!”
Berserker of the Dragonstone lunged forward, striking fiercely at Billy. Suddenly, Verne’s life points fell to 5100.
Ryuichi said, “I leave a face-down monster and end my turn.”
Verne said, “My turn! DRAW! I banish Galaxy Cyclone from my graveyard to destroy Healer of the Dragonstone! I can’t have you boosting your own card advantage so easily. Next, I summon Westwood Bandit - Belle!”
Ryuichi thought to himself. He has to take a risk here. His Westwood monsters usually have some kind of backfire if he doesn’t draw the card he needs. He said, “Go on!”
Verne continued, “Next, I discard one card to use Belle’s effect and take control of your Berserker However, Berserker will return to your extra deck at the end of the turn! Berserker’s effect! I target the card you clearly thought about using against Belle, and seal it. You can draw now. Next, I summon Westwood Bandit - Blue Duck. By applying Blue Duck’s effect to Berserker of the Dragonstone, it can’t be returned to the hand this turn. I tune my level four Belle with my level three Blue Duck! SYNCHRO SUMMON! LEVEL SEVEN! Westwood Outlaw - Jesse! When Jesse is successfully Synchro Summoned, I select one monster I control and inflict damage to my opponent equal to that monster’s attack power. Then, I gain the same amount of life points for myself. Obviously, I’ll go with the monster with highest attack power. BERSERKER OF THE DRAGONSTONE!”
A powerful energy resonated from the outlaw monster on the field, one that dropped Ryuichi’s life points to 2100. Meanwhile, Verne’s life points jumped to 8100
Verne shouted, “Jesse and the Berserker here will clear out those monsters!”
Berserker of the Dragonstone then attacked Pyrewhisp while Bard of the Dragonstone was destroyed in battle by Jesse. Had even one of those monsters been in attack mode, Ryuichi’s life points could have been dropped to 0.
Verne smugly pointed out, “Next turn, if I can summon another copy of Jesse, I’ll be able to take out the rest of your life points without even attacking. Over to you!”
Gongenzaka thought to himself, “Does he even have the potential to deal 8100 damage in one turn?”
Ryuichi shouted, “My turn, DRAW!”
A strange lightness of mood suddenly struck the area. As if there was something in the works here.
Ryuichi shouted, “I place Dancer of the Dragonstone in the scales. Both of us draw a card. And Barbarian’s pendulum effect activates. I destroy that useless Fiendish Chain.”
Verne said, “Just like old times. I never could count you out.”
Ryuichi shouted, “Anyone who knows how to use Accel Synchro will tell you... never underestimate level 1 tuners. I summon Squire of the Dragonstone! Using Squire’s effect, I special summon Sorcerer of the Dragonstone from my grave. Rogue’s effect! Because I special summoned a spellcaster, I can revive her and give you an extra draw. Now, Pendulum Summon! Two copies of Archer of the Dragonstone!”
Gongenzaka thought to himself... if Ryuichi raises their levels, he probably wouldn’t be able to use the combination of tuners to turn this in his favor.
Ryuichi said, “Next, I’ll adjust the levels of my archers... reducing both of their levels to one! I tune my level one Archer of the Dragonstone with my level one Squire of the Dragonstone. SYNCHRO SUMMON! LEVEL TWO! Sage of the Dragonstone!”
Both Verne and Gongenzaka stared at the frail old wizard monster Ryuichi just summoned. Not only was it only level two, but it wasn’t even a tuner.”
Ryuichi continued, “Next, I tune my level one Archer of the Dragonstone with my level three Princess of the Dragonstone! SYNCHRO SUMMON! LEVEL FOUR! PRINCESS OF THE DRAGONSTONE! When Princess of the Dragonstone is Synchro Summoned, I can special summon a Dragonstone synchro monster from my graveyard with its attack and defense reduced to zero and its effects negated! I choose Templar of the Dragonstone! You get to draw again!”
Verne knew Ryuichi was definitely up to something. By this point, he could have taken down both monsters with Barbarian’s pendulum effect. However, even he was curious to see just what was about to go down.
Ryuichi took a deep breath and said, “I see it now! Sage of the Dragonstone was the missing piece of the puzzle! TOP CLEAR MIND! I tune my level two Sage of the Dragonstone and my level six Templar of the Dragonstone with my level four Princess of the Dragonstone! DELTA ACCEL SYNCHRO SUMMON!!! LEVEL TWELVE! PROTECTOR OF THE LIGHT - GOLDEN DRAGON HERO!!”
Gongenzaka mumbled, “Delta... Accel!”
Verne laughed, “You didn’t tell me you could pull that off!”
Ryuichi said, “Once per turn, Golden Dragon Hero can banish any number of cards on the field, up to the number of synchro materials used in its summon. And then, it gains half their combined attack power And to top it off, you can draw a card.”
Golden Dragon Hero roared majestically, causing Berserker of the Dragonstone and Westwood Outlaw - Jesse to vanish from the field. Then, Golden Dragon Hero’s attack power jumped to 6950.
Ryuichi shouted, “I use Pyrewhisp’s effect in the graveyard. You draw two cards, then take 300 damage for each card in your hand. That’s 2400!”
Verne’s life points suddenly dropped to 6700 from the effect damage, and his life points were wide open.
Ryuichi shouted, “Golden Dragon Hero! ATTACK DIRECTLY!”
Verne looked at the cards in his hand and laughed as his life points hit 0. He had Mystical Space Typhoon and Westwood Bandit - Bart in his hand. Next turn, given the chance, he would have been easily able to summon another copy of Jesse.
Ryuichi said, “Wow, what were we supposed to be dueling over again?”
Verne answered, “This!” He then tossed a box over to Ryuichi, “Like I said before. You wound up joining Security when it was still a well-respected group by Tops and Commons alike. Me? I got mixed up in the wrong crowd, chased out by members of Security in a raid, and found my way back here with that box.”
Ryuichi spoke into the communication system on his helmet later that night. “We need to minimize the number of Roger’s pawns in the tournament. Send Tetsu over here and I’ll fill him in on the details. We don’t need Roger learning our plans. If this works out right, we might set up a favorable matchup against Sergey.”