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Barian of the Void: Chapter 10

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Barian of the Void: Chapter 10

Post by Decade on Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:44 pm

Chapter 10

Dueling.

A word well known back in the world of Kamishiro Ryoga. It was a word used to describe the art of battle between two or more people through skill and strength, in order to test their resolve and prove themselves. It had existed since even the early ages years of his home, and the dawn of mankind's reign. Though back then it had been fought with dark magic and stone tablets, and not treated as a card game like it was now.

In the society he grew up in, card games had become the most popular form of entertainment and competition around the world for millions of people. The most popular of which was Duel Monsters, a game where people dueled each other using Magic, Traps, and Monster cards of different kinds to compete and become the best.

The title "Duelist" was for those who went beyond the game itself and hoped to change their lives through the cards themselves. Whether it be to go become a professional Duel Monster's champion, to teach the game in private schools, or even help to improve the game itself. The later of which was the most important due to its' influence on how the game had changed.

The popularity of Duel Monsters had been so grand, that many years back a company called Industrial Illusions had taken the next step, and created the technology of "Hard Light", allowing players for the first time to be able to bring to life the very cards using holographic imagery and three-dimensional modeling textures. It had revolutionized the game forever and brought Duel Monsters to a whole new level.

But it didn't stop there. Not more than a few years after the birth of "Hard Light", another company by the name of Kaiba Corporation took the technology one step further, and gave birth to the machine known as "Duel Disk". A mobile device that fit onto a person's arm, it used the same hard light system created by Industrial Illusions, but now allowed people all around the world to have access to the wonders of dueling at any place, anytime, anywhere.

It was also the same device Ryoga wore on his left arm.

While time had passed and the technology had improved the way the game was played, Dueling was something Ryoga had known and mastered in every single one of his lives. Even in his first life where dueling was magic and stone, he had quickly mastered the art and been renowned as a prodigy throughout the land. To him it didn't matter if he was human or Barian, because either way he was a Duelist at heart, and he would never back down from a challenge.

But just because he was a Duelist back in his world, didn't mean it was the treated as the same thing in this one.

His opponent, that two-timing playboy Guiche, was a noble. And while he cared little for that, he did not let it blind him to the fact his opponent had magic under his belt.

Magic. It was a word he was familiar with in both his first life and that of a Barian. While he himself had only ever used it for destructive purposes, he didn't deny the power and dangers it had. And for this world to be full of people able to use such a power, it made the Duelist anxious.

While his Duel Disk and deck had been brought with him to this world, he was also human again. Meaning he didn't have access to his old powers and thus, he didn't have the ability to bring his cards to life. Sure he could use the Duel Disk to still activate the cards, but the fact remained that anything he played would only be a holographic image.

They couldn't hurt anybody.

"And besides," Ryoga thought to himself as he kept his eyes on the blond in front of him, "Before I try anything else, I need to see just how the magic of this world works and how its' used in a duel. Only then can I have an idea of how to fight back."

"I admit your armor is a bit strange commoner. But if you think that will be enough to defeat me, you're wrong," Guiche spoke as he waved his rose and a single petal fell from it.

However as the petal touched the ground a bright light appeared, and from it a large metal golem grew from the ground. It's armor and size made it slightly taller than Guiche, as it held a spear in its' right hand nearly the size of it's body, which was femininely shaped and had a pair of decorative wings attached to the helm.

"My runic name is Guiche the Bronze. Therefore this bronze Valkyrie shall be your opponent!"

Ryoga raised an eyebrow at the summon, "So this is the magic of this world huh?" Seemed a bit like Duel Monsters to him. Maybe this wouldn't be so h-

Ryoga eyes widened suddenly as his body instinctively lunged to the left, just as a large metal fist appeared in the spot he was at.

"Shark-san!!"

"Oh? So you managed to dodge that huh?" Guiche mocked as he waved his rose, "Let's see how well you can dance then."

Ryoga let out a curse as the Valkyrie charged again. This time he kept his eyes on the sentinel as he jumped back and dodges another punch. However the Valkyrie kept up the momentum and charged again. Jumping back again and again Ryoga kept dodging the attacks of the Valkyrie.

However he's eyes narrowed as he noticed he was running out of room. As the Valkyrie charged once more Ryoga took a chance. Letting his body fall he quickly rolled forward underneath the bronze golem's attack as he pushed off the ground and landed a kick on the side of the Valkyrie's body as it stumbled slightly.

"Shit that hurt!" Ryoga thought as he landed back on his feet and pushed back the stinging in his foot. That damn Valkyrie was pretty tough. Sure Guiche had called himself "The Bronze" but he thought that was a joke.

Either way, this definitely wasn't the kind of dueling he was used too, much to his dismay. Meaning he couldn't afford to be careless with his opponent.

All around the crowd of nobles cheered excitedly as they watched. They had never seen a commoner move that way before, let alone be able to dodge attacks from a golem. This was starting to get good.

Ryoga ignored them however as the Valkyrie turned towards him. Ryoga however stayed firm and raised his Duel Disk. He had already seen the speed in which the golem moved, and he had an idea. He just needed-

Just then the golem once again flew towards him, left hand at the ready.

"Bingo," Ryoga briefly thought as he too charged forward.

"Hmm? What is he doing?" Guiche questioned at the reckless move.

As the Valkyrie's left arm lunged forward for another punch, Ryoga's left arm placed the Duel Disk in the path of the attack. The metal first collided with the Duel Disk's card plate and skidded past it as Ryoga grit his teeth from the impact and held his ground.

The second the Valkyrie stopped moving, Ryoga's eyes narrowed.

"Now!!"

Pushing forward with a battle cry, Ryoga shoved the Duel Disk into the Valkyrie's chest as the bronze sentinel fell back slightly from the sudden impact. As this happened Ryoga slammed the Duel Disk plate as hard as he could against the Valkyrie's right hand, as the blow snapped open the metallic fingers and caused the spear to be released from its' grasp.

Ryoga didn't think, he just acted. His right arm lunged forward towards the weapon just as the right fist of the Valkyrie re-closed and lunged forward.

The sound of metal hit flesh was heard as Ryoga gasped in pain and was sent into the air before crashing onto the ground hard.

"Shark-san!!" Siesta screamed while Louise gasped beside her.

Guiche simply chuckled and brushed a strand of hair out of his face, "You see? Even a commoner like yourself can not hope to defeat a noble. Vakyrie, make sure you engrave that into his mind."

The Valkyrie, as if hearing the words of its' master, lunged forward at the boy on the ground to teach the lesson its' master wished.

Only for Ryoga's body to suddenly spin off the ground as a sharp metal tip pierced through the Valkyrie's face and out the back of it's helm.

"W-What!?" Guiche shouted out as the crowd gasped.

Ryoga simply smirked though, as held the spear from the Valkyrie in his hands, "Looks like your toy isn't as tough as you thought."

Yanking the spear out of his opponents head, the metal body collapsed to the ground with a loud thud as the crowd roared with cheers and excitement at the display. Ryoga ignored them though as he took the moment to catch his breathe.

That had been a bit reckless he admitted, but it worked. He was still surprised the Duel Disk held up as it did considering how much damage the thing had taken. He had thought it felt a bit heavier than normal when he went back to get it, but he didn't expect it to be able to take such hits and not have a scratch on it.

Still, it had helped him manage to disarm that damn Valkyrie and had given him a weapon. It had been an on the spot idea, but seeing as how Guiche had just kept sending his Valkyrie to punch his lights out rather than use the spear in hand, he had taken the gamble that the boy wasn't trying to kill him, yet anyways.

Still, goes to show that having past lives definitely had some benefits. Especially when it came to memories involving combat and self-defense.

Feeling a smirk form on his face Ryoga spun the spear in his right hand and held it downwards as he raised his Duel Disk up defensively, "So then, what was that about a commoner not winning?"

All around the nobles cheered and spoke excitedly at the scene. The commoner was actually putting up a fight, and while they were still annoyed by his words earlier, the excitement of combat helped to counteract those memories.

Kirche herself let out a whistle as she gave of a sultry smile, "Not bad for a commoner. A bit reckless, but that just adds to the charm I suppose."

Tabitha merely turned another page in her book, though if one looked carefully they would have seen her eye's flick up towards the purple-haired boy.

"Shark-san," Siesta whispered in awe. She was so scared when the fight had begun that she had nearly closed her eyes to prevent herself from seeing the boy get hurt. But she soon found she couldn't pull her eyes away from the event, and found herself watching as he quickly disarmed and destroyed the Valkyrie. Something she hadn't thought possible!

Louise's own thoughts were similar to Siesta's. She knew that Guiche's Valkyrie's were too much for an average commoner to handle, so she had been caught off guard when her non-familiar had not only managed to keep up with his opponent, but actually defeat it. Had she summoned a warrior of some sort without realizing it? It would explain the strange armor, but still this was something she hadn't expected at all, but it would explain so much about the boy's attitude and view on the nobles!!

In the crowd Katie's violet eyes remained fixed on Ryoga's face. When she had been with Guiche, he had spoken of his Valkyries and how strong they were. He had boasted so much about their strength and speed, and how they were an art he had perfected. And yet, this male commoner, this boy who had helped her and was masterless, had defeated the Valkyrie Guiche spoke so highly of. And without magic!

The only person whose reaction was not positive was Guiche, as his anger spiked tremendously. The commoner had destroyed one of his Valkyries, something nobody had expected, or he even thought was possible. But it quickly faded as he realized the boy was mocking him again.

Worse he was mocking Guiche's noble Valkyrie. He wouldn't take that!

"Not bad commoner. However, while you may have beaten one Valkyrie," Guiche announced as he waved his rose wand again as three more petals fell, and with them three more Valkyries rose, "Let us see how well you handle three!"

The crowd cheered again while Ryoga's eyes narrowed. He had gotten lucky last time, and this time he knew Guiche wasn't going to take it easy either.

As if on cue two of the Valkyries charged forward at Ryoga, spears extended out this time rather than first. Gritting his teeth the Duelist ducked down and the Duel Disk up as he knocked the two spear points up. Pushing off his feet Ryoga aimed with spear in hand towards the Valkyrie closest to him.

However a third spear suddenly moved into view and blocked the attack, as the Valkyrie who hadn't charged suddenly appeared before the boy. Ryoga's eyes widened as he jumped back only for the Valkyrie to chase after and lunge the spear forward. Reacting on instinct Ryoga brought the Duel Disk up as the spear clashed against it and skidded to the side as it grazed his shoulder.

Ignoring the gasp of the crowd and eruption of pain he felt, Ryoga quickly ducked down under the Valkyrie's punching arm and jumped back as a second spear thrust into the ground where he was. His eyes narrowed as he took sight of another Valkyrie charging directly at him, spear at the ready. Bringing his own spear up Ryoga smacked the charging weapon to the side as he backhanded the Valkyrie in the face with his Duel Disk, causing the bronze sentinel to fall to the side. He didn't get time to react however as another Valkyrie charged through the opening and socked him across the jaw.

A copper taste filled Ryoga's mouth as he crashed into the ground. However he quickly ignored the pain and snapped his head up as he quickly pushed off the ground just as a bronze fist cemented into the spot he was in. Using the momentum Ryoga lunged forward as he thrust his spear into the Valkyrie's shoulder as it stumbled back from the impact. Noticing movement from the corner of his eye the boy pulled back and swung to his right as the pole of his weapon crashed into the other Valkyrie's head knocking it to the ground.

The victory was short though as Ryoga gasped in pain as the first Valkyrie slashed his back with the spear tip. Gritting his teeth Ryoga turned and ducked under a reverse punch from the opponent as he jumped up and rammed his spear into the bottom of the Valkyrie's helm. As both fell to the ground Ryoga's ears caught noise behind him. Thinking fast he pulled out his spear and spun around with his Duel Disk up as the tip of another spear slammed into the metal plate.

"This is getting me nowhere!" Ryoga thought as struggled against the Valkyrie's strength, "If that guy is controlling these things, then he's the one I need to take out, not these puppets!"

With that mindset, Ryoga pushed the spear off his arm and thrust his own into the Valkyrie's chest as he impaled it into the ground as hard as he could. Quickly letting go of the weapon the Duelist jumped over a sweeping attack from the remaining Valkyrie and charged towards Guiche.

"Don't think it'll be that easy!" Guiche shouted as he waved his rose and caused three more Valkyries to appear.

Ryoga's eyes widened as he skidded to a stop just as the first Valkyrie slammed the spear tip in his path. The other two lunged forward and threw a powerful jab at Ryoga as he brought the Duel Disk up. The pair of fist collided heavily as the boy felt his arm strain from the blow and his body get knocked back. Quickly landing on his feet Ryoga glared at the new enemies as they aimed their spears at him.

"As if the first three weren't bad en-"

"Mister Ryoga behind you!!!"

Ryoga's eyes widened at the voice as he turned his head and witnessed a bronze fist aimed right at his face. Without a second though Ryoga instinctively jumped back as the fist missed his head but grazed across his chest painful. However before he could react the Valkyrie suddenly jumped out of the way, as the new trio from charged forward and thrust their spears at him.

"Shit!!"

"Too late commoner!!"

The sound of flesh being torn echoed through the courtyard. Silence filled the air as Ryoga's body crashed into the ground hard and a cry of pain escaped his lips.

"Shark-san!!!" Siesta screamed.

Ryoga grit his teeth as felt his body wracked with pain. His left shoulder had been cleanly cut by one of the spears and the other two had just grazed the sides of his left arm and chest. If he hadn't brought the Duel Disk up in time it could have been a lot worse.

Turning himself on his hands and knees Ryoga felt his body shake from both exhaustion and the injuries he had received. Blood poured from his wounds as he shook his head to try and clear his vision.

"Had enough?"

Ryoga's eyes turned towards Guiche as he grit his teeth angrily. The noble simply smiled though and waved his hands.

"Look at you, on your hands and knees like you should have been in the first place. You were warned you know. A commoner can NEVER hope to defeat a noble," Guiche boasted as his four Valkyries lined up before him.

"Mister Ryoga," Katie whispered as she looked down at the boy she had tried to help. He had landed near her when the last blow was struck, and now seeing him so close and damaged, she felt scared for his life.

"I'll give you one last chance," Guiche said as he pointed his rose at the Duelist, "Apologize now and I will show you mercy. You have more than proven your skill and determination in this fight. There is no need for you to have to suffer anymore."

"Shark-san, please" Siesta muttered as she held her hands over her chest. She couldn't take it. Shark-san was strong, but she didn't want to see him get hurt like this. She didn't want to see him die!

The crowd waited with baited breath as Ryoga remained on his knees and hands. Guiche simply smiled at the sight, "What will it be then? If you keep going I can not guarantee your life. So what will you do, commoner?"

Ryoga's first dug into the ground as he closed his eyes, "Who.."

"Hmm?"

"Who...would ever," Ryoga spoke heavily as he pushed his body off the ground and onto his feet as his gaze snapped towards forward with a defiant look, "Apologize to someone like you?!"

The crowd cheered loudly at the boy's commitment and continuation of the fight. Siesta and Katie however felt their hearts drop and fill with fear. At the wall Kirche let out a small chuckle.

"That boy, he really doesn't plan to stop does he?"

"Strong."

Kirche blinked and her gaze turned towards her companion, only for her eyes to widen.

The book was gone. The bluenette bookworm had tucked her book underneath her arm and now had her eyes focused on the duel before her, more specifically the commoner.

"He's strong." Tabitha stated, though it sounded almost like a whisper. Kirche blinked but smiled and turned back to the fight.

"Indeed. For a commoner anyways."

Guiche however grit his teeth. This damn commoner just couldn't take a hint. How much more punishment did he need to deliver? Quickly calmed himself he smirked once more, "Fine then. I commend you for your determination at least. But from here on out, no more games! Valkyries!!"

Like that the five Valkyries leaned forward ready to attack. Ryoga grunted as he brought his duel disk up to defend himself, however as he moved to take a step he felt his right knee buckle slightly as he quickly caught himself from falling. Guiche noticed this however and let out a chuckle.

"You, you can barley stand and yet you still choose to fight? You really are a stubborn one aren't you?" Guiche questioned as he brought his rose to his face, "Well, it would be a bit uncivilized to have you completely slaughtered by all my Valkyries while in such a state. So for this, I'll just use one!!"

With that the middle Valkyrie charged forward at rapid speed as it pulled its' left fist back.

"Mister Ryoga!!"

"Shark-san!!!"

Ryoga grit his teeth as the Valkyrie charged forward and swung its' fist at his face.

SMACK!!!!!

Only for it to collide with a soft cheek, as a tiny figure was sent hurdling towards the ground beside Ryoga as the Duelist eyes followed the body's flight and collision.

Complete silence filled the courtyard as everyone's voices left them and their gazes focused on what just happened. The silence was soon broken though by Siesta, who stood up in shock at the realization of what happened.

"Miss Valliere!!!"

Ryoga looked over the fallen pinkette in complete confusion and disbelief as Siesta rushed over and kneeled down to check on the pinkette.

"Miss Valliere, are you alright?! Miss Valliere?!"

"Z-Zero?" Guiche stuttered out stunned. He hadn't seen Louise move at all. When had she gotten that close?

"Louise?!" Kirche half-shouted in shock. Even Tabitha felt her eyes briefly widen at the sight. Katie meanwhile gasped in horror as she took in the fallen form of the pinkette.

"Miss Valliere please! Say something! Miss Valliere!!" Siesta shouted at the pink-haired girl as she shook the girl desperately. After a moment a moan escaped from the girl's mouth and her eyes opened, "Miss Valliere, oh thank Brimir!!"

Louise blinked as she looked around and forced herself up, "Wha-", only to pause as her eyes widened and her hands snapped to her left cheek, "Ahhh it hurts!! Brimir it hurts!! What was I thinking?!" Louise cried out as she clutched her cheek painfully.

"Ah, hang on Miss Valliere! I'll help with that!!" Siesta reassured as she reached into her apron to grab some healing ointment while Louise sat there holding back tears. However she stopped as she noticed a shadow in front of her.

"You.."

Louise and Siesta both paused and looked up at Ryoga, who was looking at Louise with utter fury.

"Why did you do something so stupid?!" Ryoga shouted at the pinkette, "You idiot, what if that had been a spear?! Did you even consider that you could have gotten killed!! Why did you go and do something so reckless and stupid?!"

Louise felt her own anger rise despite the pain, "Me?! You're the one who still insist on fighting! Look at you, you can barley stand as it is!! Who are you trying to fool huh?!"

"That's my concern not yours! I'm the one out here getting smacked around so it's my life to do with as I wish! Besides I'm not your familiar remember, what I do to myself shouldn't mat-"

"Of course it matters!!!"

Ryoga paused as he looked Louise who glared at him furiously, "You think just because you're not my familiar that it doesn't matter to me!? Idiot! You stupid dog!"

"Oy, what are y-" Ryoga started only for Louise to interrupt as she stood up to face him eye to eye.

"Isn't it enough already? You've already proven to everyone you're not a common familiar. That you won't bow down to anyone. Isn't that enough for you?! Do you really intend to keep going until you die?! Don't you understand what that means?!"

Ryoga's eyes narrowed, "Of course I do. But that's my choice."

"Why?" Louise questioned, her expression shifting from anger to concern.

"Because I'm the one dueling," Ryoga said as he looked over at the Valkyries, "Nobles, commoners, magic, to me those things can always be handled later. But when it comes to a duel, I won't let anyone stop me from winning. Not Guiche, not God, nobody. I'll keep fighting. Even if my body breaks and my soul is shattered, I will never give up a duel!"

The complete seriousness of his voice caught Louise off guard. He sounded as if he had been in several duels before. But that wasn't possible. He was a commoner, right? So how could he?

"Besides, since when did you care so much about me?" Ryoga asked suddenly interrupting Louise's thoughts.

Biting her lip as she looked down the pinkette hesitantly spoke, "D-Do you remember what I said earlier? That I had complete faith in you? That if I didn't bow neither would you? It may have just seem like I was just showing off at the time, but I was telling the truth. You aren't my familiar by contract so of course it would make sense for me to not care, but I just can't do that alright? I'm not like Guiche. I wont just ignore the fact that I am partly responsible for what's happening to you, or that I brought you into this place. Just because I have my own issues and frustrations about the situation doesn't mean I don't care!"

"Miss Valliere.." Siesta muttered quietly.

Ryoga himself was surprised, "You-" before he could say more he winced in pain and grasped his shoulder.

Louise gasped as she moved forward with great concern and fear, "Don't you see! You can't keep fighting like this! You can barely hold yourself up! At this rate it won't be about winning or proving anything anymore! If you keep going like this you won't just walk away from this fight with injuries, because you won't walk away at all! And despite everything that's occurred between us, I don't want to see that happen!"

Ryoga remained silent as he watched Louise lower her head nervously.

"I-I know you hate me alright? I know you hate the nobles and how things work. You're not bound to me as my familiar, and I can't stop you as your master. But," Louise's fist tightened, "That doesn't mean I don't care what happens to you! So please just stop already! I don't want to watch you get hurt anymore! I don't want to watch you fall again and again! I don't," Louise felt herself freeze up, "I don't..," Again she froze. Swallowed hard as she struggled to force her pride aside, the girl shut her eyes and gathered all her courage.

"I DON'T WANT TO WATCH YOU DIE SHARK!!!"

Louise panted heavily. There, she had said it. It had taken all of her pride and strength, but she had said it. Keeping her eyes closed the girl struggled to gather her breath and emotions as she waited for his reaction.

After a few seconds, she heard a heavy sigh.

"Honestly. That's the first time you've called me something other than familiar. You really are a pain."

Louise's head snapped up towards Ryoga only to see him his back towards her as he faced the Valkyries, "H-Hey what are you doing? I told you if you keep going like this you'll b-"

"You said you had faith in me didn't you?"

"Eh?" Louise blinked, "Y-Yes bu-"

"Then have faith," Ryoga turned his head slightly, as she saw his face filled with complete confidence, "That I won't lose this duel."

For some reason Louise found herself speechless and her heart skip a beat. On the ground Siesta also felt the same, while in the crowd Katie found herself amazed.

With that Ryoga turned back towards Guiche as the noble smiled, "You still plan on continuing then?"

"Yeah." Ryoga responded calmly.

Guiche chuckled and shook his head, "You really are the Zero's familiar aren't you? Whether bound by the contract or not, both of you never know when to qu-"

"Don't call her that."

Guiche blinked, "Pardon?"

"Don't call her a Zero."

Guiche actually let out a laugh as did some of the nobles, "And why not? It's the truth after all. All she ever does is fail. She can't use magic, she can't cast one spell correctly, she couldn't even make you a proper familiar! All she can ever hope to do i-"

"SHUT UP!!!"

Guiche as well as the crowd flinched at the sheer volume of Ryoga's voice.

"I've put up with a lot of shit these past twenty-four hours. Nobles, commoners, magic, I've had more bullshit than I can handle right now!" Ryoga shouted out, "Now I could care less what you call me. I could care less about being a commoner. But don't expect me to just stand here and let you insult someone in front of me!"

"Shark," Louise uttered as she listened to the boy.

Guiche simply smirked though, "And what will you do if I don't stop huh? You are barely on your feet, and I still have my Valkyries! You can't possibly hope to win!"

Ryoga smirked, "I wonder about that?"

That caught Guiche off guard, "W-What?"

"You think I'm scared of your puppet show? Don't kid yourself. You have no idea what I've been through. You have no idea what kind of things I've seen. To me, you're nothing more than a small guppy, trying to prove himself in a sea full of sharks."

Guiche felt his jaw tighten, "You!"

"But even so, I won't let you get away with trying to hurt someone. Doesn't matter how many times you try and knock me down. I'll keep coming back. Over, and over, and over again. I'll hunt you. Doesn't matter where you run or hide, because I'll always find you. Because a shark's nose is always keen. And when I finally find you, you who would dare to destroy a person's future! Their dreams! Their hope!"

Ryoga closed his eyes.

"I want to see the future you guys create"

Only for them to snap open

"THEN I'LL SEND YOU TO THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN MYSELF!!!!"

Suddenly an explosion of crimson light emitted from the Barian pendant around Ryoga's neck as every person in the courtyard covered their eyes.

"W-What is this?! What's going on?!" Guiche questioned in shock and confusion.

"Where did this light come from?!" Kirche asked Tabitha, as even the bluenette watched in surprise and confusion.

"Mister Ryoga," Katie muttered in amazement as she watched the boy standing in the middle of the lights.

"S-Shark-san?" Siesta was completely confused as she tried to look through the dancing crimson before her. She had never seen anything like this happen before, even this place filled with nobles and magic. What exactly was going on?

Louise however was the most shocked of all, "Impossible," she spoke. As she witnessed the crimson auras fly around Ryoga, her mind had come to an illogical conclusion. One that shouldn't be possible, in fact was downright laughable. But it was the only explanation her mind could think of for what was happening, "Is that...magic?!"

Ryoga meanwhile looked at the light in shock as he felt it affect him. The wounds were closing, his fatigue was fading, even his clothes were repairing themselves. But most of all, he could feel it. Power. His power! The power he thought he lost.

"Is this?" Ryoga questioned as he looked at his Duel Disk, as his deck seemed to glow brightly within it. He could feel it. He could hear the voices of his deck. Just like before.

A smile formed on Ryoga's face as he brought the Duel Disk up and placed his right hand on the top of his deck.

"Here we go!" Ryoga announced, "My turn! DRAW!!!!"

Ryoga drew the top card into his fingers as the light suddenly faded from sight and into the pendant. As everyone gathered themselves and tried to figure out what happened, Guiche looked at the boy in shock.

"W-What was-"

"Oy Gramont!" Ryoga spoke out catching the boy's attention, "Sorry to say, but this duel is over."

At that everyone looked at the boy in shock at his words. What was he saying?

Guiche took it the worst as his face contorted with anger, "Excuse me?!"

"You heard me. It's been fun, but it's over now."

Guiche shook. That was it! He didn't know what the commoner was pulling, but he had HAD IT! "I don't know what trick you pulled or what game you're trying to play commoner! But you're right, this duel is over! And I am the winner!! VALKYRIES!!!"

At that the bronze Valkyries charged forward at Ryoga at rapid speed, spears aimed at the boy's chest.

"Shark-san!!"

"Mister Ryoga!!"

"Shark!!!"

Ryoga however didn't move from his spot as he just smirked and slapped the card in his hand onto the Duel Disk.

"I summon, BIG JAWS!!!"

Suddenly a large torrent of water erupted from the ground as the Valkyries were blown apart by the impact.

"What?!" Guiche shouted as he jumped back at the sight, "T-That's, water magic!?"

All around everyone gasped in shock. A commoner had just used magic! Magic! That wasn't possible but yet it was happening right in front of their eyes.

But that wasn't the end.

From the torrent a gurgling sound could be heard, as two bright red lights flashed within. Suddenly from the water a large metallic curved blade sliced through and caused the water to explode, revealing that the blade to be the top of a strange creature! It looked like a massive white and blue fish, but it's mouth was nearly the size of its' body, filled with teeth nearly as long as each fin, and metal layered all along the outer lips.

And as the creature let out a vicious gurgle, Guiche felt his confidence shatter into pieces.

"I-Impossible," Guiche stuttered as he stepped back several steps, "A-A familiar? That can't be! How-How can a commoner have a familiar?"

All around the courtyard everyone's mind had shut down as they took in the creature. The boy had summoned a familiar. He had used magic, and now he had summoned a familiar! Even though he himself was summoned to be a familiar for the Zero! Did that mean the boy before them wasn't a commoner at all, but a noble?!

Kirche found herself in awe as Tabitha stared expressionlessly. Katie looked at the creature with fear but at Ryoga in amazement. Siesta found herself completely confused and conflicted. And Louise.

Louise was speechless.

"You wanted a duel? Well now you got one," Ryoga said with a smirk as the Duelist pointed at Guiche, "Big Jaws! Sic em!"

The monster let out another vicious gurgle as it suddenly flew across the air and towards Guiche, causing the noble to panic and rapidly back pedal.

"S-Stay away!" Guiche shouted as he waves his wand as several more Valkyries formed and charged at Ryoga's summon. However the creature simply opened its' massive jaw and chomped down, as its' razor teeth sliced through the bronze sentinels like a hot knife through butter.

Guiche panicked as he waved his rose desperately. Roses and lights danced around as more Valkyries were summoned. But as each one moved to fight, it was cut down and devoured by the blood thirsty beast before him. With each Valkyrie shattered he found his will and courage fading rapidly at the slaughter that was happening. And only after the creature had finished off the last golem, did it turn its' crimson eyes on him and let out a vicious screech.

Screaming Guiche turned to flee from the monster, only for a fist to slam into his nose hard and send the noble hurling into the ground. Coughing from the impact and holding his face with his hand, he looked up to see Ryoga standing over him with eyes like that of a predator having cornered its' prey.

And as the large monster that Ryoga summoned floated into view behind its' master and let out another screech, Guiche finally lost any will to keep going.

"I....," Guiche whimpered out, "I surrender."

Silence echoed over the courtyard. Not one word was spoken even as Ryoga's familiar suddenly faded away. Only for the silence to suddenly be broken by a loud and rowdy amount of cheers and applauses.

"AMAZING! THAT WAS AMAZING!"

"DID YOU SEE THAT?! THAT WAS AWESOME!"

"THAT GUY IS LOUISE'S FAMILIAR? SO COOL!!"

Ryoga simply ignored them though as he lifted his D-Gazer off his face. Looking down at the defeated opponent he closed his eyes in thought, "You know, I was once like you," he suddenly spoke causing Guiche to look up, "I didn't care for anyone, always did what I want, and even bullied others. But I soon learned that such actions can only lead to a life of solitude and pain. And if you want that then be my guest. But don't you ever try to bring down anyone with you, or I'll come back again. And next time," Ryoga turned and put his hands in his pocket, "I really will send you to the bottom of the ocean."

With that Ryoga walked away as Guiche hung his head. As the duelist walked off he heard the founds of rapid feet approaching and looked up to see Louise and Siesta.

"Shark-san!!" "Shark!!" both shouted out as they stopped in front of him worriedly. Louise was the first to speak though, "Are you alright? How do you feel?"

Ryoga raised an eyebrow but shrugged, "I told you I'd win didn't I?"

Louise frowned slightly at that as Siesta moved forward, "Shark-san, are you sure you're not hurt? What about you're injuries from before?"

Ryoga just huffed and looked at her, "Don't worry alright. I'm completely f-"

And suddenly his vision went black.

=========================================================

The warmth of light was the next thing Ryoga felt as he moaned in annoyance and felt his eyes open slowly, "Where?"

Quickly taking note that his clothes once again were missing outside of his two pendants, the Duelist soon realized he was in another bed. But not a bed from the clinic, as this one was much lighter and bigger than the one he first awoke in, plus the blankets were much softer. Sitting himself up Ryoga looked around and noticed he was in what looked to be some sort of bedroom, though he clearly didn't recognize it.

Just as he was about to get up the sound of a door opening caught his ear as he turned towards his right to see Siesta walking in, while carrying a tray of of food and water. Her eyes quickly caught sight of Ryoga though as a smile appeared on her face.

"Shark-san! You're awake!" Siesta spoke happily as she placed the tray on a table and walked over, "How are you feeling?"

"Fine, I think," Ryoga said as he rubbed his head confused, "What happened? Where am I Siesta?"

"Well, after you won the duel against Mister Gramont, you passed out. We were so worried because you wouldn't wake up even though you were completely fine and had no injuries to speak of. That was a nearly two days ago," Siesta recollected as she turned towards her left, "As for where you are, Miss Valliere offered to take you into her room until you awoke."

Ryoga turned his gaze where Siesta was looking and saw that Louise was indeed there, sitting at a chair and resting her head on a desk. He was surprised he didn't see her sooner. What he didn't expect though was how cute the pinkette looked while asleep, as she reminded him of how Rio looked whenever she was sleeping.

"She's been refusing to sleep the whole time, saying that she wouldn't let anyone touch you or disturb you. That she would be the one to watch over you until you awoke," Siesta said smiling, "She was quite stubborn about it."

"I see," Ryoga said as he watched the sleeping pinkette in silence.

"Umm, Shark-san," Siesta spoke up as the boy turned to her, "About...about what you did at the Vestri Court."

Ryoga blinked confused until he suddenly realized what Siesta was referring too, "Siesta look, that wasn't-"

"It was amazing."

That caused the boy to pause as Siesta smiled, "What you did against Mister Gramont, it was amazing. I've never seen anyone so strong or determined before. Even when you kept getting knocked down, you never gave up. You kept pushing forward and fighting against all odds. It scared me, and at times I wanted it to stop, but at the same time I couldn't stop watching you. Because no matter what happened, you kept giving me hope that you would still win."

"Siesta.." Ryoga looked at the maid surprised as she closed her eyes and turned.

"I don't know if what you did was really magic or not, or if you really are a noble like everyone says. But to me, Shark-san is Shark-san," Siesta said as she turned her head and smiled warmly, "And I'm happy I got to meet you."

Ryoga felt his cheeks warm slightly before quickly shaking it off. The heck was that just now?

Siesta then turned and bowed towards him, "I have to go now, but I'll be sure to come by and check on you soon. So take care till then, Shark-san."

"Yeah, same to you Siesta. Take care," Ryoga replied back as Siesta smiled and nodded as she left the room. Sighing to himself the Duelist scratched his head, "What was that all about?"

"Mphfm?"

Ryoga blinked as he looked up and saw Louise stir. The pinkette's eyes opened as she pushed herself up sleepily from the desk and yawned as she rubbed her eyes. Ryoga couldn't help but smirk at that, "Sleep well enough chibi?"

Louise jumped at the voice and snapped her head to the voice as her eyes widened, "Y-You're awake!"

"Yeah, and you're still loud," Ryoga commented back. Seriously he had just woken up, he didn't need shouting.

Louise frowned slightly but pushed it aside and stood from the chair, "How do y-"

"Fine. Siesta was just here and asked me herself. She also explained everything that happened since the duel."

"Oh. I see..."

An awkward silence filled the room between the two. Ryoga simply stared at Louise while her eyes found the ground far more interesting. After a moment though the pink-haired girl broke the silence first, "Is...is it true?"

"Huh?"

"T-That you're a noble," Louise questioned nervously as she clenched her first, "Is it true? Were you just hiding it the whole time? W-Were you just trying to show how much better you are than everyone? Were yo-"

"I'm not."

Louise snapped her head up, "But you used magic! A-And that creature, that was your familiar right? Commoners can't have either of those, but you clearly had both! So you have t-"

"I'm not a noble Louise!!!"

Louise stopped as she looked at Ryoga with wide eyes, "Y-You. You just called me-"

"I did," Ryoga said as he closed his eyes and sighed, "Look, despite what everyone says, I'm not a noble alright? What you saw wasn't magic it was, well, it's a bit hard to explain to someone like you. But it wasn't magic alright? I didn't even know anything about nobles or commoners before I came to this place. So how could I possibly be a noble then?"

Louise looked down unsure, "B-But-"

"You heard what I said that day, I hate the nobles and how things work here. Why would I ever want to be one of them? If I was I would have had no reason to duel that day like I did. I did so because I couldn't stand how things were and wanted to put that two-timer in his place," Ryoga spoke as he looked at her with narrowed eyes, "I'm not lying. Understand, Louise?"

Louise looked up as she observed Ryoga's face for any signs of deceit. But saw nothing. He wasn't lying at all to her. Every word he said was the truth. And for some reason, that made her cheeks warm slightly.

Turning her head to the side to hide the strange feeling, Louise nodded, "A-Alright, I believe you...Shark."

Ryoga smiled and sighed in relief. Finally. Maybe things wouldn't be so bad after a-

"But I still want answers!" Louise suddenly spoke up as Ryoga felt his eye twitch. Dammit. Too good to be true. She didn't notice his reaction though as she placed her hands on the bed and looked him in the eyes, "What was that creature you summoned? How did you summon it in the first place? You say it's not magic but what else could it be? Was it that weird light that appeared? What was that anyways?! Who exactly are you Shark?!"

Ryoga looked at Louise. Louise looked at Ryoga. Both stared in silence as she waited awaited an answer from him. He then broke the gaze as his eyes shut calmly.

"I refuse."

"Huh?!" Louise jumped back in shock.

"I'm too damn tired as it is, and frankly it's too early for this shit," Ryoga said as he laid back down on the bed and turned over.

"O-Oy! Shark?!" Louise exclaimed in shock.

"If I feel in the mood later maybe I'll feel like sharing. For now though-"

"You can't just ignore me like this! Shark!!"

"I think I just did."

"Who do you think took care of you while you were out huh? Whose bed do you think you're laying in?! You owe me answers!!"

"So noisy. I don't owe you anything. It's not like I asked you too in the first place anyways. Besides I'm not your familiar remember, I don't have to do a thing you say."

"B-But, at the duel! What you said to Guiche. W-What you said ab-"

"Doesn't mean I'm gonna be your pet. I hate nobles remember, and last I checked, you're still a noble. Granted you're not as bad as that Gramont guy, but that doesn't mean I'm gonna just do whatever you ask just because you gave a few nice words."

"You..."

"Hmm? What now?"

"Do you know how e-e-embarrassing that was to me? D-D-Do you know how much of my pride I had to throw away? Do you have any idea how w-w-worried I felt or how much suffering I had to go through because of you?!"

"Louise?"

"I was so scared. I was so a-a-afraid. But you still defended me. You h-h-helped me. And yet, even now, after everything that happened. Everything you said. Everything I s-s-s-said, you still act like a rude and disrespectful dog, AND PRETEND IT NEVER HAPPENED!?!"

"O-Oy! Calm down Lou-"

"WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?! YOU IDIOT!!!"

=========================================================

All around the academy people jumped in surprise as a large explosion shook the school.
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