Kensuke knocked on a door to a large mansion. He stood back and looked around, knowing that Natsuko's father must be as successful of a lawyer as Yuuji said. The door opened, revealing Yuuji on the other side.
Yuuji said, "Kensuke, how did you know I was here?"
Kensuke answered, "Your mother told me. I'm here to talk about the team."
Yuuji said, "We're in the middle of something right now."
Kensuke said, "I see."
Natsuko suddenly walked up and said, "Oh! Kensuke. Yuuji, did you ask him yet."
Yuuji said, "Oh, right! Do you think you have time to be best man?"
Kensuke asked, "Wait, you're still going through with that?"
Yuuji said, "Well, Natsuko's parents somehow thought she was-"
Before Yuuji could say another word, Natsuko covered his mouth and added, "He doesn't need to know about that."
Kensuke said, "I accept your offer."
Yuuji said, "Thanks, Tetsuya should understand why I didn't want him to be best man this time around."
Kensuke then took a deep breath and said, "I met a cardfighter who shows potential to be really strong."
Natsuko asked, "Ooh, a new girl. Wouldn't Kohaku-chan get jealous?"
Kensuke explained, "Actually, the cardfighter is a guy. But he looks up to this other cardfighter who thinks he's the greatest cardfighter ever. After watching him face Murata, It's pretty clear that his actual skill level is pretty low."
Yuuji nodded, "So, you think it would be wrong to just let this rookie cardfighter fail to live up to his potential because of some player who is all ego and no talent."
Kensuke said, "Yeah!"
Natsuko asked, "Did he face Shirou Murata or Akane Murata?"
Kensuke explained, "Shirou Murata, who was just simply toying with the guy through the entire fight. University of Kyoto doesn't have a very strong cardfight club, from what I can tell, but could end up with two new strong members."
Yuuji said, "It's difficult to imagine you teaming up with Shirou. The guy holds a grudge for Team Dragonheart blocking him out of nationals two years in a row."
Kensuke said, "Don't get your hopes up. That was just the open house and he vaguely hinted at some place Hiroki Kurogane told him about."
Yuuji pointed out, "Speaking of higher education, you should probably also tell Tetsuya about this. We're too busy to keep up team activities for the moment, so I wouldn't mind regrouping for another tournament once we have our personal commitments sorted out."
Kensuke said, "Sounds like a plan."
Kensuke stood outside an apartment, ringing a doorbell. He stood back and waited. So much was going through his mind right now. If Daichi was given the chance to join University of Kyoto’s cardfight club without him, he would. And Kouta would probably bring him back down to where he was before the training. But on the other hand, he would no longer be able to keep the team together if he did join.
The door opened, and out stepped Kei Kobayakawa.
Kei said, “Kensuke-san? What are you doing here?”
Kensuke asked, “Is Tetsuya there?”
Kei answered, “Yeah, but he’s really busy studying for his upcoming entrance exams.”
Kensuke said, “Alright. Just tell him I’m willing to put the team on hold until we have time for it again.”
Kei said, “Wait, what? You’re just going to let your team fall apart! What’s wrong with you?”
Kensuke answered, “There’s a promising upstart, but he really looks up to this all-ego, no-talent player who is on University of Kyoto’s cardfight club. If I don’t also join, the rookie could end up going back to his old ways thanks to that other player. Tetsuya is clearly too busy studying to take time for the team, while Yuuji and Natsuko-san are trying to arrange a wedding after all for some reason they refuse to explain. We’ll get the team back together for the following tournament.”
Kensuke then turned and walked along the walkway, with Kei clearly worried by this.
Kei mumbled, “So we’re not the only team struggling to stay together.”
Kei took out her phone and began calling a number. “Miu-chan, I never got to hear your side of the story. Why don’t you stop by and we can talk.” She paused, giving Miu time to respond. “I wouldn’t do something like that. At least not with Nii-san studying in his room.” She paused again, “I’ll be waiting!”
Kei put her phone away and ran back inside, knocking on a door in the hallway.
Tetsuya opened the door, “What is it this time?”
Kei said, “You let your team fall apart. Yamakawa was just here. Apparently even he has reasons to put the team aside now. He used to be the one person trying to keep your team together, and now he gave up. At least he wants to regroup once everything settles out.”
Tetsuya sighed and scratched his forehead. He was truly speechless about this scolding from his little sister, as if she knows what was going through Kensuke’s head. He asked, “What was Kensuke’s reason?”
Kei said, “Something about a beginner and University of Kyoto’s cardfight club.”
Tetsuya looked at his deck, setting on a shelf. He said, “Kensuke once again found a new power, and once again, I don’t have it yet. Even if I could find time, I’m not sure I can contribute just yet.”
The doorbell rang again, this time with Miu Nakagawa standing outside. Kei was happy to answer the door.
Miu said, “It’s nice that you’re taking my side instead of Nee-chan’s side.”
Kei said, “I haven’t even heard your side of the story yet.”
Miu stepped inside and said, “Maybe it would be best to show you why she tried to kick me off the team.”
Kei said, “Hoshiko-san told me you quit the team.”
Miu stepped over to the coffee table, just big enough for a cardfight, but low enough, that Kei and Miu had to sit on their knees to be at the right height. She took out her deck, setting a single card near the middle of the table face-down. She then shuffled her deck and set her cards down.
Kei, sitting down across the table, took out her own deck and set up as well. The air suddenly became tense. Why did Miu leave the team after all? Was it something to do with her deck?
Kei and Miu shouted, “STAND UP! VANGUARD!”
In the nearby room, Tetsuya clearly heard these familiar words well. He looked back down to the book he had just finished and realized that watching his sister could provide a much-needed break from all the studying.
Kei and Miu flipped their starting vanguards face-up revealing Regalia of Prayer, Pray Angel and Witch of Banquets, Lir.
Kei asked, “Shadow Paladin?”
Miu said, “I wanted to step out of Nee-chan’s shadow, so I changed clans. Nee-chan’s response was to kick me off the team just because I’m not using Genesis anymore.”
Kei said, “Nii-san doesn’t really like Shadow Paladin either, but that’s just on the basis of their sacrifices.”
Miu said, “My build doesn’t really sacrifice too much. It plays games with the opponent, though. I’ll start. I ride Witch of Nostrum, Arianhrod. Lir moves. Next, Arianhrod’s skill to discard and draw. That’s all.”
Kei said, “I ride Witch of Frogs, Melissa. Pray Angel moves. Next, I call Witch of Cats, Cumin. SOUL CHARGE! Cumin attacks Arianhrod!”
Miu said, “Aife will guard!”
Kei continued, “Next, with support from Pray Angel, Melissa attacks!”
Miu said, “No guard!”
Kei shouted, “Drive check!” revealing White Snake Witch, Mint.
Melissa leapt towards Arianhrod, with a large frog in her hands. Tucking the frog under her left arm, she slapped Arianhrod in the face.
Witch of Pursuit, Sekuana fell to Miu’s damage zone.
Kei said, “Turn end!”
Tetsuya stepped out into the open and began to watch the match taking place before him.
Miu said, “Stand and draw! I ride Inspection Witch, Deidre and call Reality Witch, Famm. Famm attacks Melissa!”
Kei said, “Limonccino! Guard!”
Miu continued, “Next, Lir boosts and Deidre attacks!”
Kei said, “No guard!”
Miu grinned, “Drive check!” She then showed Skull Witch, Nemain and added the card to her hand.
As Deidre’s attack struck Melissa, Witch of Oranges, Valencia fell to Kei’s damage zone.
Miu said, “Turn end!”
Kei said, “Stand and draw. I ride Witch of Ravens, Chamomile! I move Cumin to the back row, then call White Snake Witch, Chicory and Witch of Golden Eagles, Jasmine. Jasmine’s counter-blast! SOUL CHARGE! Chicory attacks Famm.”
Miu said, “No guard!”
Chicory rushed at Reality Witch, Famm, striking her with a fierce burst of magic. Famm’s card soon fell to Miu’s drop zone.
Kei continued, “With support from Pray Angel, Chamomile attacks!”
Miu said, “No guard!”
Kei then showed Battle Maiden, Kukurihime, “Critical trigger! Power to Jasmine and the critical goes to Chamomile!”
As two white birds pecked at Deidre, Witch of Enchantment, Fiana and Barrier Witch, Grainne fell to Miu’s damage zone.
Kei continued, “Now, with support from Cumin, Jasmine attacks!”
Miu said, “No guard!”
A golden eagle flew forward on Jasmine’s command, striking at Deidre fiercely. Black Cat Witch, Deidre fell to Kei’s damage zone.
Miu said, “Heal trigger!”
Kei said, “Turn end!”
Tetsuya could only think to himself, “Be careful, this is where Shadow Paladin players usually put the cards that can make sacrifices into play.”
Miu took a deep breath, “Mastery of dark magic, embody the spread of despair. RIDE! Cultus Witch, Rias!”
Rias emerged upon the battlefield from a black haze. As she paged through a large, black spellbook, she could only grin playfully at the Genesis witches before her.”
Miu said, “I call Skull Witch, Nemain. Counter-blast! I discard a card and draw two! Next, I call Witch of Precious Stones, Dana! Soul Blast! You have to replace Chicory with a Grade zero unit from your drop zone! Limonccino will work just fine.”
Kei sat helplessly as Chicory moved from the field to her drop zone. Then, from the drop zone, Limonccino floated out to take her place.
Miu said, “Lir boosts and Rias attacks Chamomile!”
Kei said, “No guard!”
Miu said, “Twin drive!” She first revealed Witch of Nostrum, Arianhrod. Then she showed Black Crow Witch, Eine. “Critical trigger! Power to Nemain and critical to Rias!”
Rias paged through her grimoire, finding a spell she liked. Then, a black energy struck Chamomile. Witch of Big Pots, Laurier and Witch of Sea Eagles, Fennel fell to Kei’s damage zone.
Kei said, “The heal trigger was too quick for a heal, but I’ll still give Chamomile the power.”
Miu responded, “In that case, with Dana’s boost, Nemain attacks Jasmine!”
Kei responded, “Kukurihime! GUARD!”
Miu said, “Turn end!”
Kei said, “Stand and draw! I ride White Snake Witch, Mint! Now, SEEK... Not enough yet.”
She realized it all too well. The only cards in Kei’s drop zone were Kukurihime and Chicory. She didn’t have enough to perform Legion just yet.
Kei said, “Even if I have to wait another turn, don’t count me out! I move Limonccino back and call Witch of Golden Eagles, Jasmine. Counter-blast for another soul charge! With support from Pray Angel, Mint attacks!”
Miu shouted, “No guard!”
Kei responded, “Twin Drive!” She revealed the top card from her deck, Witch of Strawberries, Frambiose. She then took a deep breath and showed the next card, which was Bandit Danny. “Draw trigger! Power to my left Jasmine and I draw!”
Mint leapt forward, casting a spell to strike Rias. As the attack hit, Witch of Nostrum, Arianhrod fell to Miu’s damage zone.
Kei continued, “With support from Limonccino, my left Jasmine attacks!”
Miu said, “No guard!”
Jasmine let her eagle fly, striking at Rias. A copy of Skull Witch, Nemain fell to Miu’s damage zone, making five.
Kei then shouted, “Now! With support from Cumin, my right Jasmine attacks!”
Miu shouted, “I guard with Eine!”
Kei sighed, “Turn end!”
Tetsuya said, “So close.”
Miu then said, “Stand and draw! Rias uses her counter-blast! I choose your Jasmine on the right, and replace her with a Grade zero from the top five cards of your deck.”
Jasmine’s card suddenly moved to the drop zone, only for a copy of Bandit Danny to land in her place.
Miu continued, “Now, I call Inspection Witch, Deidre! Soul Blast! Cumin gets replaced by a Grade Zero unit in your drop zone.”
Suddenly, directly behind Bandit Danny, Cumin was replaced by Kukurihime.
Miu said, “Call, Witch of Nostrum, Arianhrod. Then... SEEK MATE!”
Four cards moved from Miu’s drop zone to the top of her deck, then, the top card from among those four flew into her hand.
Miu continued, “Those who achieve mastery of black magic, harbingers of despair, make your presence known! LEGION! Inspection Witch, Deidre! Legion skill! Sacrificing Nemain, your vanguard loses five thousand power for each of your grade zero rear-guards.”
Rias and Deidre looked at Nemain intently. Suddenly, Nemain’s life force was drained into a black spellbook in Rias’s hand. Then, a curse seemed to fall over Mint, causing her power to drop all the way to -9000.
Kei said, “That’s just like increasing the power of your entire front row.”
Tetsuya was suddenly hit with a flashback of himself laughing menacingly while wearing a nice suit. He held up Stealth Rogue of the Night, Krog. He remembered the thought of sending Hyakki Vogue Reverse with 36000 power to attack Ignition Dragon while Kensuke was at five damage.
Tetsuya mumbled, “Wasn’t he the one who beat me in that fight?”
Miu added, “I call Witch of Enchantment, Fianna. Now, with support from Dana, Fianna attacks!”
Kei shouted, “No guard!”
Fianna struck at Mint, sending Witch of Cats, Cumin to Kei’s damage zone.
Miu continued, “With support from Lir, LEGION ATTACK!”
Kei shouted, “FRAMBIOSE! PERFECT GUARD!”
Miu shouted, “Twin drive!” She first showed Barrier Witch, Grainne. She then proudly showed Witch of Goats, Medb for the second check. “Stand trigger! All effects to Fianna!”
Deidre and Rias conjured up a powerful curse, only for it to crash into Frambiose’s barrier, failing to hit the weakened Mint.
Miu shouted, “Arianhrod boosts, and my rear-guard Deidre attacks!”
Kei said, “No guard!”
Immediately, Bandit Danny fell to Kei’s damage zone.
Kei said, “Draw trigger! I draw a card and give the power to my vanguard!”
Miu asked, “Too little, too late. Fianna attacks again!”
Kei said, “No, it was just what I needed! GUARD! Laurier! Limonccino! Bandit Danny!”
This moment sparked another flashback to that same turn of his fight with Kensuke. This time, it was to the sight of Seiobo appearing to bail him out after Hyakki Vogue’s attack.
Miu was astonished. Kei had just enough shields thanks to the draw trigger. Not only that, but three copies of the same unit appeared so closely together. It wasn’t impossible, just not very likely. But she could tell by Kei’s exasperated sigh of relief, that it was indeed coincidence. She smiled, “Turn end!”
Kei said, “I guess it all comes down to this, then. FINAL TURN!”
Miu laughed, “With four rear-guards at Grade zero in your formation? You can’t be serious.”
Kei said, “Stand and draw. I send Kukurihime to my soul to give a power boost to Mint. Then, I move Bandit Danny back and call Witch of Sea Eagles, Fennel! Now, SEEK MATE!”
Four cards flew from Kei’s drop zone to her deck, including the three trigger units she had used to help guard through Miu’s final attack. From her deck, a card flew into her hand.
Kei said, “Snakes of healing power, prepare your strength to fight as one. LEGION! Black Snake Witch, Chicory! With support from Limonccino, Jasmine attacks!”
Miu said, “Nemain will guard!”
Kei continued, “With support from Pray Angel, Legion attack!!! Legion skill activated! SOUL BLAST! Mint gets a skill that gives 5000 power to all Witches in my front row, and thanks to the soul blast cost, I can do this! SUPERIOR CALL! Melissa and Chamomile to replace Limonccino and Jasmine!”
Miu shouted, “Grainne! Quintet Wall!”
As Miu turned one face-up card in her damage zone face-down, five cards flew from the top of her deck. Medb, Sekuanna, Famm, Milkre, and Rias all appeared in her guardian circle, for a total of 30,000 shield, just enough to stop this attack providing Kei didn’t get a trigger.
Kei said, “Twin drive check!” She first revealed Witch of Strawberries, Frambiose, followed by Witch of Ravens, Chamomile.
Mint and Chicory sent their snakes forward to break through the guardian units, but in the end, their combined power fell to 8000 against Rias with 11000
Kei said, “With support from Bandit Danny, Fennel attacks!”
Miu looked at Medb and Sekuanna in her hand. She knew she could only guard one of the remaining two attacks, and be forced to bet on a heal trigger for the other. She said, “No guard!”
Fennel released a beautiful eagle to attack Rias. As the eagle’s talons closed in on the Shadow Paladin witch, a copy of Cultus Witch, Rias fell to the sixth spot of Miu’s damage zone.
Miu said, “I guess you still beat me, even after I changed clans. I guess I need to work on getting better with this deck.”
Kei responded, “You almost won. If I hadn’t checked that draw trigger right around the end, I would have been really short on needed shields. But, if Hoshiko-chan told me you quit the team, and you said she kicked you off the team, we really should talk this over with her. You’re way too good to kick off the team over some clan change dispute.”