The evening after the tournament, Michael is being shown around his new home by Will, as the head of the Circiut requested him to, although Will is trying to take this as an opportunity to learn more about Michael and his Sequence monsters.
"Wooooow..." Michael peered up at the rather cramped but clean and painted red apartment complex above him. "I'll be staying here?"
Will looks at the rooms. "It's not much, but it's just a start. The more you duel and the better you do, the better the appartments get. This is just the first level - Mars Apartments. The Venus Complex is higher up, and then there's Neptune Tower and Saturn Housings a few blocks away, and the top-ranked duelists live in the Jupiter Villa."
Michael raised his eyebrow at Michael. "...um...so...how does that work exactly?"
"Ever played RPGs before? It's a bit like an experience system: the more you win, the more points you get. The more you lose, however, the more points they subtract. If you can't keep up with the game, you might end up with your butt on the pavement." Will explained.
"Hmmmmm, but as long as I'm in the league, the rent here is all paid for?" Michael asked as he looked down at his key, then back to the complex to see which floor his number is on.
Will lets out a sigh. "Pretty much. They deal with the basics, but if you want extras, you need to work for them...or should I say, duel for them."
"So, where do you live Will?" Michael asked as the two began to make their way up the steps.
"Neptune, but I'm hoping to reach Saturn soon. As much as I like the view, I prefer some quiet time. I heard there's a nice spot near the beach, something brand new. I'm hoping to be the first one there." Will replied.
Michael unlocked his front door, being on the second floor it's not much of a trip up the steps, however upon entering the room is revealed to be...less than spacious. What would take up the space of a normal living room is the whole apartment; a couch and table right inside the door-way, a very small kitchen behind it, a bathroom which seems to only hold a toilet, and a bedroom which can barely fit it's single bed inside.
Will shrugs. "Well, here's your start line. If you can duel yourself out of that hole, you'll go to bigger spaces."
However Michael was already lying down on the couch with his one small back-pack on the table, looking like he's about to fall asleep. "Maaaan this place is niiiice and cosy...don't know how you could do better than this." Michael stated with pleasure eminating from his voice.
Will looks at Michael with a confused expression. "You call that cosy? Believe me kid, once you get to Venus, you'll think you're living in a mansion compared to this place..."
Michael looked up at the ceiling with his usual half-asleep expression. "Hmmmm...don't know if I'd be for that...I preffer small cosy places..." Michael looked over to Will. "That's why I always stay in Motels...cheap, small, warm...and some are within walking distance of great 24/7 stores."
Will leans against the doorway. "You're an odd case. Speaking of which, what were those cards you used before? Never seen that kind of summoning before."
Michael remained silent for a moment. "...here I thought you were just being neighbourly...but as you might've heard me during the duel, they're Sequence monsters...their summoning conditions can be very specific but as the name implies, the monster levels have to be in a sequence like; 1, 2, 3...6, 7, 8, 9...best ones usually need 5."
"Rule number one of Pro League: always know your opponent. Rule number two: duelists don't always play." Will says before looking down. "Believe me, I know what I'm talking about..."
Michael looked over at Will. "...where did that come from? But by 'duelists don't always play' I'm guessing it's same rules as outside a tourney...like; only if the other person accepts."
Will: "First, it comes from experience. Not all duelists do it for the money or for the glory. Some duelists, they play for keeps. You can end up doing solos, team duels, battle royales...it's always good to know your partners and your opponents, 'cause they can end up going the other way around."
Michael: "...I'll probably stick to just solo...I don't play well with others..."
Will lets out a sigh as he walks out. "Suit yourself...anyways, I got a match in a bit. You can always check from the private area. Heck, if you're lucky, you might meet some of my friends."
Michael got up with a grunt. "Sure I'll come with...but check what from the private area?"
"The match, lazy bones. You can't just snooze around the clock, kid." Will replied as the two left the room.
Michael narrowed his eyes as he locked up the room. "Okay you've only called me that twice but...how old are you?" Michael asked, annoyance slightly rising in his voice.
Michael turned with a heavy sigh. "I'm twenty six..."
Will: "You don't look like it...and you sure don't act the part. Anyways, I gotta head off. Bet Yumi'll be bored."
Michael let off one last comment as Will started to walk off. "...and for the record you don't get to call people 'kid' until you're at least middle-age dude..."
Will checks his watch before running towards the stadium. "Feels like those first-turns were just lucky shots...let's see." He says to himself as he pulls out a note. "Brad Mason's my opponent...great. Thanks for the intel, Yumi."
Michael almost glides past Will on a skateboard. "...what's that about first turns?"
"I don't have time to talk. I got a match to get to, and a gunslinger to deal with." Will replied.
Michael looked ahead at the stadium. "You know, maybe in future to get to places faster get some form of transportation."
Will keeps up the running pace. "Very funny."
"I'm not being funny, I'm trying to give you some advice..." Michael responded as he kicked the ground to keep his level of speed.
Twenty minutes later, the duel stadium is roaring with people as the intro light show begins. "Welcome to all duelists! You want some action? Then it's time to bring it! Today's main event is gonna be one smokin' duel from the west, as Brad 'The Gunslinger' Manson takes on the Infinity duelist himself, William Kearney, for a shot at Saturn! Let's meet our duelists!"
Michael rubbed his eyes. "Man, I know this place is big but do they need that many lights?"
The lights shine down on a barrel-chested man dressed as a modern-day gunslinger - stone-washed jeans, rugged cowboy hat and an overall gritty look, his duel disk shaped like a shotgun.
"First, the challenger! From Austin, Texas, the duelist with the lightning-fast trigger, the Gunslinger himself, Brad Manson!"
"No way you're getting through me!" Manson declared as he raised his duel-disk.
Another spotlight shines down on Will as he enters the dueling field.
"And his opponent, from Dublin, Ireland, the 'Infinity Duelist', William Kearney!"
Michael folded his arms, stood in front of the TV at the private lounge. "...never would've guessed he's from Ireland."
As the duelists stare at one another, Yumi walks into the lounge, carrying a bag of pretzels. "Oh maaaaan....I am sooo late!" she says before hurriedly sitting down next to Michael. "Phew...nearly missed the start."
Michael was startled by Yumi's decision to sit next to him. "Gah! Whoa um...s-sorry if you want this sofa I-I can get up and stand over there..." Michael seemed to be at a lost for words, though it can't be told if it's from shyness or from surprise.
Yumi looks at Michael. "Huh? Oh, nah, I'm good...I'm Yumi Dokeshi, by the way." she says before opening her bag and tilting it towards him. "Pretzels?"
"U-um sure, thank you...I'm Michael Silver..." Michael replied as he took a pretzel.
"You're the new guy, right?" Yumi wondered as she grabbed a pretzel and put the bag down by her feet. "Bet we'll have uber totes of fun!"
"Y-yeah definitely..." Michael commented, still either shaken up or showing signs of shyness.
On the screen, and in the stadium, the duelists drawing their opening hands. "ARE YOU REAAADDYYYYY!!!!"
Mason drew his sixth card. "I'll start this off! I summon 'Flintlock Dragon' in attack mode!" 2100 ATK. "Next, I place two cards face-down and end my turn!"
Will examines the dragon, whose mouth looks like the nuzzle of a flintlock rifle. The overall look of the creature seems semi-mechanical, as if a cross between dragonic and steam-punk. "It's my move! I draw! I'll start by summoning 'Infinity Gunblader' in attack mode!" The monster that appears is a spiky Brown-haired man with a goaty, a long leather overcoat with classy trousers, and a blade that looks like it has been imbedded in the barrel of a shotgun.
Michael sighed. "Too many guns these days..."
"You should see what else he's got." Yumi commented.
Mason laughed. "Like that'll do you any good! He only has 1900 attack points! And I'll make it even harder for you, by activating my face-down card, 'Tracer Bullet'! Thanks to this card, by putting my monster in defense mode, it can shoot down your monster and drop its attack by a thousand!"
The dragon fires a smoking shot that strikes Gunblader in the shoulder, making him drop to his knees, his ATK now 900.
Michael face-palmed. "Why did he use that now instead of waiting for a powerful monster to be summoned...?"
"Umm, maybe because he's trying to save his bacon? You never saw Will duel, have you?" Yumi asked.
Michael rubbed the back of his head. "But with that 500 defense...against the now 900 attack...yep, no doubt the stupidest move I've seen all week."
Will looks at the field. "Next, I activate the Field spell 'Fractured Dimension'!" The entire dueling field seems to darken, as if the TV screen was showing a 1950's static in the picture. On the other side of the field, Flintlock Dragon begins to darken as his eyes turn red, his DEF increasing to 1400.
Manson looks at the field, then at his monster. "The hell? What's going on?"
"You'll find out soon enough! I play the Equip Spell card 'Divergence Catalyst' on Flintlock Dragon!" Will exclaimed as he played the card in question. "I place two cards face-down and end my turn!"
Mason laughed again. "You're dumber than you look! I draw! First off, I switch Flintlock Dragon to attack mode!" 3100 ATK
"This coming from the guy who last turn wasted a good trap card..." Michael commented.
"Next, I activate my face-down card, Snipe Shot! By sending one card from my hand to the grave, I get to destroy your monster, and you take a thousand points of damage!" Mason continued.
Will braces himself as his Gunblader is destroyed, his life points dropping to 3000.
Mason pointed over to Will. "Next up, I'll have Flintlock Dragon attack directly!"
Will clenches his fist. "I activate 'Infinity Neko''s special ability! By sending it from my hand to the graveyard, I can cancel out your attack!"
"Say what?!?" Mason shouts as an oversized cat leaps unto Flintlock Dragon's face and makes it shoot at the ground, missing the target by a mile. "That won't save you! I summon my other Flintlock Dragon!"
Will raised his hand. "Then I'll activate my trap card, 'Divergence Denial'! Since you just summoned a monster with the same name as one that's already on the field, I can banish that one!"
Manson looks at the remaining cards in his hand. "I'll place one card face-down and end my turn."
Michael leaned back to get cosy on the couch, taking a bite of the pretzel. "Very laid back this duel...compared to the tournament this morning I mean..." Michael commented, seeming content.
Yumi looks back at Michael. "Y'know, not all duelists like big one-turn kills. Some people like to lay it out longer."
Michael looked back at Yumi. "I wasn't trying to be negative...I also like to 'lay it out longer'...just the people I duel don't seem to think the same way."
"I summon 'Infinity Summoner' in attack mode!" (Level 4, 900 ATK) The creature that appears is a yellow-haired girl in a gothic dress, holding a scepter as big as herself. "Next, I activate her special ability, allowing me to summon another 'Infinity' monster from my deck, so I summon 'Infinity Battle Medic'! (Level 4, 1500 ATK). The creature that appears is a boyish fighter dressed as a scientist/doctor, his hands covered in gauntlets.
Yumi: "Yeah...it's all big booms and pows! At least Will plays smart!"
Michael looked back at the screen. "Something tells me Will's going for a big boom right now..."
Will: "Now, I overlay Battle Medic and Summoner! With these two creatures, I build the Overlay Network and Exceed Summon, 'Infinity Lancer'!" (Rank 4, 2400 ATK) The form that appears is that of a white-haired Young man, partially armored in black, holding an oversized spear in his hands.
"That's it? Please, I got bigger, and I can go bigger still! I activate my trap 'Exceed Snipe'! Thanks to this card, I can detach all of your Exceed Materials and special summon a monster from my hand whose level are equal to that of your Materials! So, since your monsters are level 4, I'll summon my level 4 'Matchlock Dragon'!" (Level 4, 1800 ATK) The creature that appears looks like a dragon built into an oversized, sixteenth century rifle.
Will smiled. "You know what? I should say thanks."
"Since you rid my monster of its Exceed Materials, I can use it to Exceed Summon even further!"
"Ah, come on!"
"I use Infinity Lancer to rebuild the Overlay Network! Chaos Exceed Evolution! Warrior of the lost dimensions, appear and rain your brutal justice upon the wicked! I Exceed Summon 'Infinity Survivor'!" (Rank 5, 2600 ATK) The monster that appears ressembles the other previously on the field in size, but wears a red-and-black armor that has seen better days, and holds a pair of twin blades shaped like scythes.
"Thanks to Fractured Dimension being on the field, 'Infinity Survivor' gains 600 ATK points!" The air around the damaged warrior begins to turn red as his ATK increases to 3200.
"Pfft...even if you beat Flintlock, I'll barely take a scratch!"
"I activate my quick-spell, 'Rescue from Fractured Dimension'! Since Fractured Dimension is in play and you have a monster not affected by it, I can take control of it!"
"You're crazy!" Matchlock Dragon breaks down to pièces before reappearing on Will's field. "Shit!"
Michael scratched his ear. "Wouldn't call that a 'rescue' would you?"
"W-well...you see, the monster that has the highest attack points of all the monsters on the opponent's field gets the boost from Fractured Dimension, and if that monster is destroyed, the Field spell goes too...along with everything on the other side." Yumi explained.
"Infinity Survivor, attack Flintlock Dragon!" The damaged warrior vanishes from Will's side of the field before appearing in front of the dragon before slicing it apart, Manson's life points dropping to 3900. "Next, Matchlock Dragon, attack directly!"
The oversized fuse of the monster lights up before a burst of power explodes from the nuzzle, knocking Manson back and dropping his life points to 2300.
The image begins to clear as Fractured Dimension is sent to the graveyard, Matchlock Dragon still on Will's side of the field. "I end my turn."
Michael leaned forward as he saw the image clear. "Ahhhh I see...that's interesting."
Mason drew his card. "I banish my two Flintlock Dragons from my graveyard to summon 'Desperado Dragon'! (Level 8, 3000 ATK) The monster that appears is a massive steel-colored dragon with massive cannon-shaped horns, a laser scope attached to its right eye. "Now, I activate its special ability: once per turn, by sending one card to the graveyard, my dragon can attack every monster on your side of the field! So, lock on and wipe his monsters out!"
Manson's dragon fires a massive amount of projectiles, gunning down Matchlock Dragon, dropping Will's life points to 1600, before firing another barrage at Infinity Survivor. "That'll shut you up..."
"Look again..." Will commented.
Manson waits for the smoke to clear, and is shocked to see Infinity Survivor up, Will's life points having dropped to 1200. "How's that busted-up monster still on the field? He should be swiss cheese!"
"Survivor's ability: I sent his only Exceed Material to the graveyard to make sure he survived the fight."
Manson looks back at his hand. "I end my turn."
Will calms down as he begins his turn. "It's time...I draw!"
Yumi leaned forward. "Wait for it..."
"I summon 'Elemental Spirit Sylph!'" (Level 4, 1400 ATK). An emerald tornado appears on the field then quickly fades as a jade-skinned fairy the size of a child, dressed in a pilot cap and goggles, as well as short shorts, a bulky t-shirt and work boots appears on the field. "Thanks to Sylph's special ability, whenever she's summoned to the field, I can lock on to one card you control and send it spiralling back to your hand!"
Manson looks on, slack-jawed, as a massive tornado blows Desperado Dragon off the field. "I-I'm wide open!"
Will smirks and then points as his opponent "Then it's time we end this! Infinity Survivor, take out the rest of his life points!" Infinity Survivor dissapears yet again from the field, before appearing in front of a startled Manson before the duelist was blown off his feet by the Exceed monster's attack, his life points dropping to zero.
The annoncer looks down at the field. "And we have a winner! Let's hear it for Will Kearny, the Infinity Duelist!"
Yumi cheers on - quite loudly - in the duel lounge. "Alright, alright! He did it! Wahoo!"
Michael scratches the side of his face. "Well...it was interesting...but not amazing, that gun-dragon deck was pretty bad."
Yumi turns around and makes a sour face. "Awww...you're no fun!"
Michael sat up straight. "S-sorry...I've just seen a lot of crazy duels is all..." Michael replied, seeming very apologetic to Yumi.
"No need to apologise Mr Silver." A rather gravelly voice came from behind. "Mason had his demotion coming a looong time, at this rate he'll be down to Mars before the end of the week." Yumi and Michael turned around to see it's the middle-aged duelist who was with Tacey that morning.
Yumi grabs her pretzels with one hand and waves at the man with the other. "Heya captain! How's it flying?"
The man simply nods at Yumi before continuing. "Which is why I'm glad somebody like you joined Silver...though I do miss your Hero deck."
Michael stood up and stretched. "Yeah well...things happened...and since you know my name mind if I grab yours?"
The middle aged man held out his hand, introducing himself when Michael shook it. "George Stone, Saturn duelist...maybe one day you and I will duel but, I'd rather you prove your worth here in the league first."
As soon as his hand was free, Michael brought it to the back of his neck. "Maybe...I mean I checked my mail before getting here on the PDA they gave me and...a lot of duelists have already challenged me so, maybe I'll try a clear-out if that's possible."
Yumi checks her own PDA, then looks for Michael's. "Really? I wanna see!"
George nodded. "You do that...well then if you'll excuse me, I have a train to catch, been invited to a tournament in Buckaroo Town..." George started walking off. "Oh and by the way...you'll see other spirits flying about the palce here Mr Silver..."
Michael looked to his deck. "Other spirits huh..."
Yumi looks at the two before spotting a familiar face, partially hidden Under a heavy grey jumper. "Hey! Nice to see you around, Tace!"
The girl walks by without saying a word. "Aww, she's still bummed out." Yumi comments before walking after her. "Tacey, wait up!"
Michael activates his PDA. "Hmmm...wonder who out of this lot might carry a duel spirit...ah well might as-well go random for my first duel here."
Michael presses a few buttons then looks over to say goodbye to Yumi but notices something strange...a faint, floating form over Tacey. Whatever the duel spirit used to be, it's now covered in 3rd degree burns, scars and blisters. The only traits he could make it is that Under the burnt armor and torn clothes, there is a golden-skinned female creature who looks like she has spent a month in the Burning Abyss.
Michael can't help but stare. "...well no cause to pry now...besides, if Yumi knows her, so does Will...and maybe a few others." Michael looks back to his PDA. "And those few others just might be on my list of thirty duelists who want to rumble."