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After the incident inside Michael's mind, Michael himself left the room and hasn't contacted Tacey or anyone since. An hour later and Tacey joins Will and Andrea at the duel arena where one of the Jupiter Six is about to duel.

Will takes a moment to look at Tacey. "Hey...how'd everything...okay, you look like someone with too much on her mind."

Tacey shrugs. "I look like that all the time." she flatly answers.

Will lets out a sigh. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Tacey takes a moment to think it over, then shakes her head. "Maybe later. I saw on my GPA that this duel was going to be with one of the Jupiter Six?"

Will looks down at the field. "Seems like it. Maria Volk, also called the 'Predator Duelist'. They say she likes to fool her opponents into thinking they have the upper hand before knocking them down."

Andrea nods. "Yeah, in my book she's the best duellist out of the Jupiter Six! She's cunning, powerful and loves to play with her opponents!"

Tacey closes her eyes and looks down. "Sounds like what Samuel did to me..."

"Things might be different today kids..." Came George's voice from behind, the others turn to see him leaned back against the wall with a cigar in his mouth.

Will cocks an eyebrow as he notices George. "Hey! I thought this was a no-smoking section!"

Tacey opens her eyes and looks to her side in George's direction. "What do you mean by different?

George takes the cigar out of his mouth, puffing out some smoke. "That woman usually loves to spend many turns torturing her opponents...but when the wolf knows there's bigger prey out there, it won't waste it's time with sheep."

Will folds his arms. "Meaning that she won't waste time finishing her opponent off."

George gave Will a care-free grin. "Stay sharp...we're the bigger prey she's after."

Andrea was almost leaning over the balcony with excitement. "Oh! Look they're about to start!"

The lights dim as spotlights fill the duel arena. "Ladies and gentlemen! Duelists of all ages! It's time for another grand showdown, and this time, we have one of the Jupiter Six, Maria Volk, facing off against up-and-coming Saturn, Shawna LeBron, in an all-woman match-up!"

"Let's get ready for one red-hot showdown! Presenting the challenger, whose attitude is as hot as her deck, Shawna LeBron!" The duellist who appears on the field is a black woman dressed in a red ensemble with flames motif, her black hair tied back in a ponytail. Her duel disk looks like it was custom-made with neon-red to make it look like it was aflame.

"And her opponent, with one of the highest wins-per-duel ratios in the Circuit... the 'Predator duelist' herself and Jupiter Six member, Maria Volk!"

Maria slowly walks out onto the field, wearing a desert-camolfauge army attire, with thigh-high black boots and elbow-long black gloves, and is wearing her usual light make-up and succulent red lipstick. Many cheers and whistles come from the crowd as she struts over to her place, equipped with one of the dark duel disks.

Maria licks her lips as she looks over at her challenger. "So little lamb...how long do you thin you'll last?" She asks in a seductive voice.

Shawna activates her deck. "I ain't no piece of meat, missy...and I'll make you don't see your second turn!"

Maria closes her eyes, shaking her head lightly with a smile. "Ah...such a rude little lamb..."

The announcer's voice resonates as the lights flare to life on the duel field. "Looks like this might be a catfight as much as a duel, folks! Without further ado, let's get this show on the road! It's time to..."

"Duel!"

Shawna starts to pull out her opening hand. "I'm starting this one off with a bang!"

"The wolf pounces!" Maria however drew her fifth card before Shauna.

Will looks at the two duellists. "Sheesh...for a second, I thought Shawna had the jump on her."

Maria looks at her hand but yawns before squatting down. "I'll set four cards...and end my turn..." She states, her last words whispered like she's hiding in the bushes waiting to ambush prey.

Shawna narrows her eyes. "Fine...I draw!"

Shawna looks at her hand. "First off, I'm bringing out 'Solar Flare Dragon' in attack mode!" The flame-covered drake appears, the air around it blurry from its red-hot scales. 1500 Attack

Maria flips one of her traps. "Pounce! I activate: Statue of Anguish Pattern! Summoning it to the field!" 2500 Defense.

Shawna smirks. "That thing ain't worth my time, but it's worth my draw. Thanks to 'Maxx C', I can ditch it right now, and since you just special summoned a monster, I get to draw another card!"

Shawna draws her card, takes a quick look at it, then plays it. "Next up, I play 'Double Summon'. Why have just one 'Solar Flare Dragon' on the field, when I can have two!"

Shawna looks back at her hand. "I'll place two cards face-down, and now that my turn's over, the effect of my two 'Solar Flares' are going to roast 500 of your life points apiece!"

"Before you do..." Maria begins. "Allow me to bring some friends in...first off, pounce; my second Statue of Anguish Pattern!" 2500 Attack. "And due to my other Statue, he destroys one of your dragons."

Shawna shrugs as one of her dragons is destroyed. "Not a biggie. You still take damage for one!"

Maria shakes her head. "Such a silly lamb, pounce! Tiki Curse! Summon yourself!" 1800 Attack. "And, with another trap monster summoned...both my statues get to destroy a card..." Both statues launch strange lasers at Solar Flare Dragon and one of Shawna's facedowns.

Both the monster and the targeted face-down, 'Meteor Flare', are destroyed. "What the-?!?"

"What's the matter little lamb?" Maria asks in a condescending tone. "Scared?"

Shawna grits her teeth. "I can still mess up your face, so let's rumble!"

Maria stands up with a solemn look. "...little lambs shouldn't stare down the wolf." Maria's tone grew slightly aggressive as she drew her next card.

"Pounce, Tiki Soul." 1800 Defense. "Next I play Magic Planter, sending Tiki soul to the grave to draw two cards." She states, not activating the effect of Statue of Anguish.

Maria sighs. "...run and hide little lamb, but you've already made me angry." Maria sets two cards. "Turn end."

Shawna draws her card. "And I'm not done making you angry. I play 'Lightning Vortex'! I'm sending 'The Blazing Mars' to my graveyard to smash and crash your statues!"

Maria closed her eyes before activating the trap card; Imperial Custom. "You can't hide from me in the storm..."

Shawna frowns. "I ain't hidin'. I'm fightin'! I banish my two Solar Flares and Volcanic Counter to call out the avatar of the red-hot planet...The Blazing Mars!" A massive dragon's head shaped in stone appears above the field, an armored humanoid form integrated to the form as red-hot flames burn like a sun from the dragon's mouth. 2600 Attack

Maria kept her eyes closed before activating Metal Reflect Slime. 3000 Defense. "Statue of Anguish..." Maria slowly opened her eyes, showing a malicious smile. "Show her that she can't run or hide anymore."

Shawna grits her teeth as her monster is destroyed. "Lousy little bitch!"

Maria chuckled. "Still staring down the wolf...?" Maria drew her next card as Shawna could do nothing else. "...now...prepare to be slaughtered..."

Shawna looks at the field, still showing determination even though she clearly lost. "I've stared down prissy little girls like you since kindergarten! If you can't stand people not scared of you, then you don't deserve to be a Jupiter!"

Will whistles. "She might have been outclassed, but she definitely has spunk."

Maria licked her lips. "...don't worry, you will be scared soon enough. I send Metla Reflect Slime, Statue of Anguish and Tiki Curse to the grave...come my right hand of destruction and pleasure, the hunt is about to close! Uria, Lord of Searing Flames!" 4000 Attack, the creature took up almost half the entire stadium, it's roar felt so real that it hurt the ears of everyone in the audience, Shawna could feel the incredible heat coming from the monster as it stared down at her with menacing eyes.

Will takes a step back. "Oh, shit...she's got one of the Sacred Beasts, too?"

Shawna looks at the creature, but can't seem to bring her attitude up to face it. "The hell...what's going on here...?"

Maria giggles with delight. "Uria my pet, coil around her..." On command the giant beast started to circle Shawna, it's coils so big and thick that was all she could see, and at the top was the beasts head peering in and slowly descending, the heat was like being trapped in a furnace.

"What in...what is going on?" Tacey worriedly asked.

Will looking eerily quiet as Shawna struggled to breathe, movement near impossible due to Urial's coil. Will grips the arm rest of his seat so tightly that the wood was starting to creak. "This isn't a duel anymore...it's a public execution!"

Maria's voice went through Shawna's mind, even giggling before she spoke. "If you beg like a good little lamb I'll spare you..."

The heat around Shawna, as well as the fact that Uria's as alive as she is make her yell out in pain.

Maria's voice began to crawl deeper into Shawna's mind. "Come on...be a good girl...just beg for your life...after all I could take it away right now."

Shawna had tears now rolling down her cheeks, fear was now covering her entire face. "P-please! Please stop! I'll do anything just stooop!"

Maria chuckled to herself, licking her lips as Shawna's life points hit zero, and the monsters dissipated.

Suddenly the crowd bursted into cheers, especially some of the younger men.

"Alright Maria!"

"You were awesome!"

"She never stood a chance! Yeah!"

Will slowly gets up. "...this is sickening. I don't know what's worse: what just happened or that crowd..."

However another person was cheering; Andrea. "Wooooo! I love you Maria!"

Will glares icily at Andrea. "How can you say that? Did you just see what happened?"

Andrea gave Will a look of confusion. "What? She destroyed her opponents cards with grace and then summoned her ace monster to finish her off."

Will frowns angrily. "Grace? You call that 'grace'? What the heck is-"

Tacey slowly gets up. "Will...that's enough."

Will seems startled by how cold Tacey's words seem. "Uh...Tace?"

Tacey lets out a sigh. "Look, the duel is over. Let's just...think things over before we do something dumb, alright?"

Will looks back at the field. "Yeah...guess you're right. I, um...you guys go tell Michael what happened, ok? I gotta get some fresh air."

Will watches as Maria slowly walks over to Shawna, bending down to her on the floor before daintily lifting her head with her hand under her chin so that she can gaze into her eyes with a seductive smile. "...did you enjoy the duel little lamb?"

Shawna gulps, but smiles back. "Y-yes..."

Maria helps Shawna up before carefully dusting her. "...now, why don't you call me sometime?" Maria leans in close to Shawna's ear and whispers in a seductive tone. "Little lambs should obey the wolf..."

Shawna shivers with a strange sense of delight. "Y-Yes Miss Volka..." Shawna leaves the field with an eccentric look on her face.

Maria then takes the microhpone away from the announcer, though the announcer almost gave it to her willingly. "Fans and onlookers! It is my great pleasure to announce members of Jupiter have chosen their opponents for the 'Duel Bananza'!"

Will narrows his eyes as Tacey turns around, almost at the exit.

Maria begins to strut around the arena, trying to give all of the audience her attention. "Even though I would have LOVED to have claimed him myself, Michael 'Glacier' Silver will be going up against Samuel Haynes!"

The crowd cheered.

"Nice!"

"Just what I was expecting!"

"Awwww now I don't know who to root for!"

Tacey looks relieved. "At least, I won't face him again..."

Maria smacks her lips to quiten the crowd. "...next, the OTK king Lewis Hass, will be allowing Miss Tacey White to challenge him."

Will cringes at the thought, while Tacey looks worried.

The crowd wasn't as excited this time.

"Whoa, the girl with the Goddess card?"

"Pffft Lewis will just take care of her in one turn as usual..."

"She's still in Mars isn't she...?"

Will lets out a heavy sigh. "This couldn't get any worse..."

Maria's interest in reading out the matches lessened during each readout. "Aaaaand, last our lovely Crystal will be taking on one Olivia Heart."

Maria crumpled up the paper she was reading from before tossing it to the ground. "Now...from what you have seen tonight, I am not going to waste my time with any small-time prey...as you saw just now, it's not entertaining or gratifying..." Maria licked her lips. "I may not have much choice left but...of the three prey remaining, I want to make sure they're at least big game."

Will clenched a fist. "She thinks this is all just some hunting sport...I'm sick of hearing this."

Nobody noticed until it was 'too late', but Andrea had gone down the steps to speak to Maria directly, and she looked like she was shy as she walked slowly across the stage.

Will looks over the rail. "Ah, no no no no no...the hell is she doing?"

Tacey rushes back down the stairs, stopping at Will's level.

Andrea smiled up at Maria. "U-um, Miss Volka, I'd like to be your opponent for the duel bananza...thing..." Andrea seemed entranced by Maria.

Maria chuckled, returning the smile. "My aren't you eager prey..."

Will gets up. "What the hell is she thinking?"

Maria stroked her hand down Andrea's cheek. "But...I suppose i nobody else is up to it..." Maria licked her lips. "...I could always have fun with eager prey..."

Will rushes down the stairs to the stage. "Andrea, get the hell out of there!"

Andrea turned to Will. "W-Will!? What's wrong!?"

Will walks over to Andrea. "You probably don't get it, Andrea...but that Uria wasn't for show! It was as real as you and me, and that..." Will points at Maria "...sicko was just toying with Shawna...and with you!"

Tacey looks worried. "Will, don't do this..."

Will glares angrily at Maria. "I don't know how you made that thing appear for real, but I am absolutely SICK of you toying other duellists and messing them up just because you can!"

Andrea looked over at Will with a rather annoyed look. "Will..."

Will clenches his fist. "If duels are just about playing cat-and-mouse for you, then it's time for the so-called 'wolf' to face a huntsman! My name is William Kearney, I'm a Saturn duellist...and I challenge you as my right to face a member of the Jupiter Six!"

Andrea was now irriteated. "Will! I'm a big Maria Volka fan and I wanted her to sign something you jerk!"

Tacey looks down. "Will...what did you just do?"

Andrea got up in Will's face. "Real monsters? Toying with duellists? Maria Volka is a great duellist, not her fault when she defeats someone she earns their respect!"

Maria laughed. "It's fine my dear...after all this 'huntsman' just wanted his lost lamb back it seems."

The crowd laughed.

Suddenly another microphone voice came over the speakers; Michael's. "What's the matter wolf? Afraid to walk into the lion's den?"

Will looks up, while Tacey looks around.

"About time..." Will muttered.

Will felt someone flick his left ear.

Will turns his head to the right.

Michael gave Will his usual half-asleep glare. "Yep, it is about time someone flicked that ear of yours."

Will looks over to Michael. "You missed the whole thing, damnit! That weirdo made 'Uria, the Searing Flames' out of thin air and ripped a Saturn to shreds with it!"

Michael walked past Will. "Wash your mouth with soap when you get back..."

Maria licked her lips. "So what were you saying about lions Glacier...?"

Michael sat on the floor. "This dude may not be a 'huntsman...but he's got pride, courage and is willing to look like an idiot to prove he has both. You wanted game right? Well I've duelled Will Kearney first-hand, and I bet he could eat you up and spit you back out hairless."

The crowd grew restless.

Maria chuckled before looking over at Will. "Is this true kitten?"

Will takes a deep breath. "Why not ask your boyfriend Samuel? I'm sure he watched it."

Maria walked over to Will, gazing into his eyes with a predatory gaze. "He does have tenacity this kitten does...but does it have the pride and skill to call itself a lion?"

Will looks to the side, breaking eye contact. "Shawna was right: you just don't like it when people prove you wrong, or don't look at you. I don't know why you call yourself a wolf; to me, you're just a snake."

Maria made a light giggle before walking back to Michael, giving him the same predatory gaze. "Very well Glacier...but once I beat this kitten, I get to play with you..."
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January 25
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