RANMA, MASTER OF THE CARDS
Disclaimer: Ranma, Yugi-oh, Slayers and any other characters that are mentioned in this fic belong to other people, so please don't sue.
< >: Thoughts
Ranma-Yami: Ranma merged with Yami
LP: Life Points
AP/DP: Attack and Defense Points
Fire and Lightning, a Shadow Game
"I've just got to get those cards!" Lina said as she walked with Amelia. Behind her Zelgadis and Gourry had large sweat drops as they continued to listen to the red-haired sorceress.
"She just goes on and on about getting those cards from that Game King." The Chimera remarked.
"What can I say?" Gourry shrugged. "You know how Lina is when she sees something that can make her more powerful. It's just like the time she kept on bugging me about the Sword of Light."
"Yes, but the Sword of Light is gone now. And so are all those other Darkstar weapons."
The blonde swordsman sighed and nodded sadly. "Yeah. I know. Even though it was my family's treasure, I had to give it up. The sword I got now is okay, but I really need something that could match my family's treasure." He then called to Lina. "Hey, Lina! Where are we going anyway?"
"To Filia's shop." Lina replied without looking back.
"Huh? Why are we going there?"
"Well, we couldn't find anything at the Sailoon Archives about the spells and monsters that Game King summoned with those cards, so I'm hoping that Filia might know."
"I don't get it." The blonde swordsman said while scratching his head.
"Gourry! Have you forgotten that she used to be a priestess at the Temple of the Golden Dragons? If anyone might know about forgotten or unknown spells, then she would!"
Lina nodded as she continued to explain. "I never heard of magic like Mirror Force or Spell-Binding Circle, but they sure were powerful! It's unlike anything I've ever seen! Imagine of what I could do with that kind of magic!"
"But... Miss Lina..." Amelia interjected. "You're already a powerful sorceress. I mean... you've fought Shabranigdo, Rezzo the Red Priest, Zanifir, Hellmaster Phibrizzo, the Devil-Dragon King, and... Darkstar! You can do the Dragon Slave, the Ragna Blade and the Giga Slave!"
"So... what's your point?"
The group did a simultaneous facefault.
"Oh, it's so nice to see you all again!" The former dragon priestess said as she and Lina's group sat at a table in the antique shop that she ran. She poured out tea for her guests and served some crumpets, which Gourry devoured by the handfuls. Sleeping nearby was the infant form of Valgaav. "So what brings you all here?"
"Well, I wanted to ask you about something." Lina began. "Now as a former priestess of the Golden Dragons, you probably know about forgotten magic spells and things like that, right?"
"Why yes. One of my duties at the temple had been tending to the mystic archives. Why do you ask?"
"Well, it's like this..."
Lina then began telling her friend about their encounter with the Game King several weeks ago.
Meanwhile, just outside the limits of a small town...
After using the Millennium Ring to point to where the next Millennium Item was located, Ranma exited the Shadow Realm and found himself standing in the middle of a meadow.
<Let's see... the Ring pointed in that direction, so that must be where the next Millennium Item is. >
The martial artist began walking down a path, which lead to a small wooded area just outside of the town. Just as he came close to the town's border, he suddenly tensed up as his famed danger sense went off. In an instant, a horde of bandits leapt out in front of him and blocked his path, brandishing a variety of blunt and sharp weapons.
<Well... I've been wanting to try out some of the attack spells that I learned the last time I was here.> Ranma cocked his head in thought. <Now how did that one go again?>
The head bandit smirked as he held out a wicked-looking club. "Your money or your life!"
A huge explosion erupted from the spot where Ranma was attacked and a dozen, smoking bandits were sent flying into the stratosphere.
<Whoops! Guess I overdid it. Shamanistic magic gets a lot stronger when I add my own ki to it.>
Ranma shrugged as he blew the smoke from his fingertips and continued on, leaving behind a smoking crater and the remaining members of the bandit gang, all of which were either unconscious or too much in pain from their burns to get up.
Back at Filia's shop...
"Filia, what's wrong?"
Lina and her friends were puzzled to see Filia in a very agitated state. She was trembling and the cup in her hand shook and began spilling the tea. She was shaking so hard that her dragon tail sprang out from behind her and stood straight up.
The former dragon priestess took a deep breath to calm down as she set her teacup on the table. She quickly hid her tail and then gazed at Lina with a very serious expression. She then spoke to the red-haired sorceress in a slow, measured tone. "Lina... what you just described to me sounded... like a Shadow Game."
"Shadow Game?" Lina repeated.
"That's exactly what it was." A new voice said.
Everyone turned around to see Xellos casually leaning against a wall and sipping a cup of tea. "Very nice blend. My compliments, Filia."
"Mr. Xellos!" Amelia exclaimed.
The transformed Golden Dragon snarled when she saw her race's sworn enemy. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!" She got up and slammed both hands on the table.
The trickster priest shrugged. "Oh, I just thought I'd drop in and say hello to my dear old friends." He gave her a wink before finishing his tea and making the cup disappear. "As I was saying, yes that was indeed a Shadow Game that Lina and the others saw, and a very well played one at that. That Game King certainly knew what he was doing."
"Impossible!" Filia exclaimed. "The Shadow Games were sealed away, five thousand years ago!"
"Indeed." Xellos agreed. "The power of the Shadow Games had grown so great, that even Lord Shabrinigdo himself became concerned."
"Will SOMEBODY please explain to us just what are these Shadow Games?" Lina said in an exasperated voice.
Xellos smirked as he simply gestured to Filia. "I'll let you fill them in on all the details. I'm afraid that I have to get going now."
"Where are you going?" Gourry asked stupidly.
Xellos raised a finger and wagged it. "That... is a secret."
With that infuriating remark, the trickster priest disappeared.
At a certain inn...
Ranma couldn't help but smile as he sat at his table. The inn was bustling with activity as waitresses moved about while taking and delivering orders. One waitress in particular had caught his attention and he had been discretely observing her, ever since he sat down. He wasn't the only one who was interested. Nearly all the male customers were fixating their attentions on her as well. In fact, the main reason most men ever come to this establishment was to get a glimpse of the beautiful and powerful... Luna Inverse.
Luna was beyond gorgeous. She was extremely well-endowed with curves and lines that any fashion model would kill for. She had light violet hair that reached past her shoulders, which framed her angelic face. She moved with an incredible grace and her smile made any man feel warm and fuzzy inside. And unlike her younger sister, she was certainly not lacking in the breast department.
<She's more sexy than Akane, Shampoo and Ukyo put together. Whoa! Where did that come from?!> Ranma shook his head. He had never thought about a girl in that manner before, not even with Akane. Okay, the Tendo girl could be cute at times, but she didn't hold a candle to Lina Inverse's sister. Just what was it about her that made her stand out from all the other females he had encountered? When he asked himself that question, he knew the answer. There was just something... really special about Luna. He could sense an immense power within her, but also something more...
<There's something about him...> Luna thought as she looked out of the corner of her eye at Ranma. She had noticed him when he had sat down, but was busy with several other tables at the time. However, her mystic senses were already probing and assessing the stranger's abilities.
He was strong. She could tell by his lean, but well-developed frame. He also possessed high inner-energy potential. He was quite attractive in a kind of boyish way. She had determined that he had considerable magical talent, especially in Shamanistic magic.
However, it was the pendant that he wore around his neck that held the most interest. She could just barely sense the magic emanating from it. She knew that some kind of cloaking spell was in effect to hide its true power. And the energy that she did detect from it was unlike any she had ever encountered before. It wasn't related to the three main sources of her world's magic, (white, black or elemental), which she was familiar with. Nor did it seem to be connected with any other source of magic that she knew of. It felt... she just couldn't quite describe it. She knew it was magical, but she couldn't identify it.
If she knew that the Millennium Puzzle contained the energies of the Shadow Games, then she would have understood. The Shadow Games dealt with magic on a level that made even Luna Inverse's seem trifling. It was a power that gods and demons feared alike and if not checked, would destroy all reality.
It was Ranma-Yami's job to make certain that they would never again be unleashed on the physical plane.
<This bears... looking into.> Luna thought as she went about filling orders.
"Thousands of years ago, the Elder Gods and Monster Lords played very ancient and extremely powerful games in a place known as the Shadow Realm." The transformed dragon began. "These were the Shadow Games."
"Shadow Realm? Is that like the Astral Plane?" Zelgadis inquired.
Filia shook her head. "No. It is a realm that transcends all levels of existence and is connected with an infinite number of other worlds. There the Elder Gods and Monster Race competed with other deities and supreme beings, using magic and powerful creatures that would far surpass any spell or monster in which we are familiar with today. The Shadow Games were the ultimate competitions in which many disputes were settled. Entire worlds were either saved or destroyed at the outcomes of these games, or duels as they were called. Those who took part in these game, be they monster, god or mortal, were called Duelists."
The mere mention of greater magic perked Lina's interest. "When you say magic that would surpass anything today, exactly how great was it?"
"Let me put it to you this way... what you would consider as impossible, even by magical means, would be MORE than possible in the Shadow Games. Unlike the white, black and shamanistic spells of today that depend on some primary source of energy to feed them, the magic of the Shadow Games encompasses all levels and aspects and is considered... unlimited. And compared to some of the monsters in these games, the ones you have faced were pushovers. Furthermore, there was one creature of the Shadow Games that was unstoppable. He was extremely difficult to summon. So far, he had only been summoned once. That was one of the main reasons why the Shadow Games were sealed. The monster's name... was Exodia, the Forbidden One."
"Oh come on now! Nothing's unstoppable." Lina said with a snort. After all, Shabranigdo and Hellmaster Phibrizzo had been considered unstoppable until Lina used the Giga Slave on them.
Filia shook her head. "Miss Inverse, when I say unstoppable, I MEAN unstoppable! Your Giga Slave at a thousand times its strength wouldn't have made Exodia blink! He was... utter destruction... chaos in its purest form! Compared to him, (and I shudder to say it), even the Lord of Nightmares was nothing but an insect! If we had Exodia to use during that Darkstar incident, the Golden Dragons wouldn't have even BOTHERED to contact your sister Luna."
Lina let off a low whistle as Zelgadis and Amelia gasped. Gourry continued to stuff his face with crumpets. Then the red-haired sorceress asked a new question.
"Okay, so now exactly what does everything you've told us so far has to do with those magic cards of the Game King?"
Filia took another sip of tea before replying. "Like all games, the Shadow Games had its own rules in which the players had to abide by. Each Duelist played using cards which allowed them to access the magic and monsters of the Shadow Realm. You can think of the cards as a kind of medium in which to summon the monsters and invoke spells. Spell and monster cards are also rated in accordance to their attack and defense potentials. The higher the rating, the more potent the magic and strength of the deck."
"Okay." Lina nodded in comprehension. "So tell me more about this Exodia. How does one summon him?"
"Well... from what I recall, a Duelist must have the extremely rare, almost impossible to obtain, five Sealed Cards and draw them all from the deck in order to summon him. Each card represents a part of Exodia, like the pieces of a puzzle. Once all the cards are assembled, Exodia will appear to obey one command... obliterate. The Golden Dragon Archives had said that the one time he had been summoned, more than a hundred thousand worlds were destroyed with a simple gesture. It was a fortunate thing that after he had been summoned, the only known Exodia Cards were forever lost in the Shadow Realm after games had been sealed. I shudder to think what kind of destruction would occur if someone had those five cards. It would make all the horrible death and devastation of Shabranigdo, Phibrizzo and Darkstar pale in comparison."
Ranma absently flipped through the deck that Yami had given to him and began thinking about how he would use the new Monster and Magic Cards he had aquired. Near the end of the deck, he came across five cards in which Yami had told him to use only if there was no other way to win. Four of the cards depicted a chained limb, while the fifth was an image of some giant in orange armor. The name of the monster was Exodia.
He put the cards away and decided to get down to business, which was to find the next Millennium Item.
"You said that the power of the Shadow Games was sealed away." Lina said.
Filia nodded. "Yes. A brave young ruler from another world had used his own spirit to seal the magic of the Shadow Games within seven mystical talismans known as the Millennium Items. However, should anyone come to possess those seven items, then he or she would have access to the infinite power of the Shadow Games and the cards."
Lina's mind raced with the possibilities. If what Filia told her was true, then she could exceed even her sister's abilities and become the Sorceress Supreme! She just GOT to get those cards!
As all this was going on, certain events were occurring in which neither Yami nor Ranma could have foreseen. Ever since the Millennium Items had entered the Slayers World, the dimensional barrier between the Shadow Realm and all other worlds had become weaker. As a result, other things had begun trickling through the holes and into Lina's world. Soon the Game King would not only have to find the other Millennium Items, but also confront these new challenges as well.
For weeks, the minute holes in the Shadow Realm had been momentarily opening and resealing themselves. For the most part, nothing was able to pass through those temporary gateways. However, every now and then, something was able to escape. Gradually, they had become scattered all over the land and were steadily gaining power. In time, their evil would be unleashed on that world's innocents.
At the same time, several prominent wizards and sorceresses and other magic users were mysteriously disappearing. No one could explain why they were suddenly vanishing, but the rumors had begun to spread that a dark new magic was behind their disappearances.
The Shadow Games had returned!
"Hey, beautiful! What are yuu doin' after work?" A drunken customer slurred as he leaned toward Luna. He was a hulking, unsavory lout that was more than eight tankards past his limit.
Lina's sister frowned in distaste as she stepped back. She was used to compliments and such, but this was the kind of attention that she could do without. The man's breath reeked of alcohol and it smelled like he hadn't bathed in at least a month. She was sorely tempted to let loose with a fireball, but the establishment was too crowded with innocent bystanders. Before she could decide on a course of action against this unwanted admirer, the situation was taken out of her hands when a certain someone tapped the drunkard on the shoulder.
"Didn't your mother tell you? That's no way to address a lady."
"Mind yer own business!" The man quickly turned about and launched a sloppy haymaker at Ranma's head.
Ranma simply smiled as the fist came hurtling toward him.
Luna was impressed. The man was a head taller and outmassed Ranma by nearly double. However, the pigtailed martial artist and Duelist hardly exerted any effort in redirecting the force of the punch and flipping the man. The drunk came crashing down on top of a table, shattering it. He was dazed for a long moment before passing out in a pile of wood.
Ranma sighed as he dusted off his hands and addressed Luna. "I'm... sorry about that. I'll pay for the table."
Luna gave Ranma a warm smile and shook her head. "Oh no. I'll simply have HIM pay for it." She pointed down at her assailant. "After all, he broke it with his body." She laughed lightly and then asked. "And may I know the name of the 'knight in shining armor,' who came to defend my honor?"
Ranma couldn't help but smile at her teasing and decided to respond in kind. "I'm Ranma Saotome. And may I know the name of the damsel in distress?"
Luna laughed again. "I am Luna Inverse."
Some time later...
"Ah. That's was great!" Ranma said as he finished the meal that Luna had served to him, on the house of course.
Luna was a bit surprised at his appetite. The only person that she knew who could put away as much food as Ranma had consumed, was her sister Lina. "It was the least I could do. That was quite a throwing trick you did back there."
"It was nothing." The Duelist waved it off. "Though I have a feeling that you could have taken care of it yourself. Am I right?"
Luna nodded slightly. "Still, I appreciated the gesture all the same. So where are you heading?"
"North from here." Ranma answered as he pushed his empty plate aside. "I decided to stop in this town for the night."
Luna decided to sit down opposite to him and gestured to the Millennium Puzzle. "That's a very interesting pendant you have there. May I?"
Ranma shrugged as he leaned forward a bit and let Lina's sister hold the puzzle. He noticed that her hands were slim and the fingers moved with a certain elegance as they handled the Millennium Item.
The pigtailed martial artist had heard stories about the beautiful and famed sorceress Luna Inverse when he had arrived in town. He couldn't believe that such a person would be working as a waitress. All of those stories didn't do her justice though. Luna was indeed special.
Back in his own world, Ranma always had difficulty in dealing with the opposite sex, but with Luna, it was... different. He could talk to her without being nervous and all of those chauvinistic ideals that he had been taught by his father were forgotten. Just what was it about her?
"This is a very intriguing piece of work. Wherever did you get this?" Luna asked.
The question snapped Ranma out of his dreamlike state. "Oh... I bought it at a neighborhood bazaar. At the time, it had been in pieces, so I had to put it together. It's sort of a good luck charm for me."
"Yes, I can sense the power within it, but... I cannot determine..." Luna looked up and gazed at Ranma's gray-blue eyes, locking them with her own violet-colored eyes. For one, brief moment that
seemed to last an eternity, each had a glimpse of the other's soul. Then...
The scream and sound of something crashing outside caught the attention of all those present. The Millennium Puzzle dropped out of Luna's hands. More screams were heard as Ranma's body reacted before he had time to think. Bolting up from the table, he rushed toward the front door. A moment later, Luna decided to also investigate as she too got up and ran for the door.
The sight which greeted Ranma and Luna as they came out of the inn, looked like something out of a horror movie.
Rampaging in the streets was a huge monster that looked like a cross between a beetle and a praying mantis. People were scrambling all over the place, trying to get away as the beast as it tore apart buildings with a pair of pincers.
Ranma tensed up as the beast started making its way in his direction. However, that was when he heard a shout behind him.
A large globe of fiery death shot over his head and struck the giant insect hard in the head. The creature screeched as its head exploded in an eruption of flame. A moment later, the monster disintegrated into a pile of dust.
Ranma looked behind him and saw Luna blowing smoke from her fingers. It was obvious who had cast that spell. However, that was when Ranma's Millennium Puzzle began to glitter as a new presence was felt.
"Well done! I expected no less from the great Luna Inverse. Then again, that monster had very little attack power."
Both Luna and Ranma looked up in the direction of the voice to see a dark figure standing on a nearby rooftop. The stranger's face was partially hidden in the shadows of an adjacent building, but he appeared to be wearing a kind of hooded cloak. The stranger held up a hand that was holding something and Ranma's eyes widened when he saw it.
It was a deck of cards and not just any deck of cards. It was a deck of Duel Monster Cards! His puzzle flared briefly to confirm what he was seeing. Then, the stranger spoke.
"I have come... to DUEL!"
Ranma's Millennium Puzzle began to glow with more intensity, which caught the attention of Luna. She looked over to where Ranma was standing, who had just become Ranma-Yami. The Game King stepped forward while reaching for the case that was strapped on his belt. He stopped in front of the building that the newcomer was perched on and called out to him.
"I accept your challenge!"
The stranger looked down at Ranma-Yami. "And who are you? I had hoped to challenge the famed Luna Inverse."
"And that is why you endangered innocent people? Just to get her attention?"
"Who are you to address me in such a manner?" The stranger asked with disdain.
"I am Ranma... the Game King."
"Game King?" The villain let off a short chuckle as he leapt down and landed in a crouching position ten feet in front of Ranma-Yami. "Oh really? How interesting. As a matter of fact, I was about to challenge Miss Inverse to a game. However, the stakes are much higher than a cretin such as you could ever imagine. Now go away. I cannot be bothered by minor pests."
"If you wish to play a Shadow Game, then you shall do so with me." Ranma-Yami said firmly as he held out his own deck.
<Shadow Game?> Luna's eyes widened as she began recalling something she had read in her personal archives. Her blood ran cold as she realized what was going on. <Then... that pendant is one of the Millennium Items!>
The stranger smiled as he stood up. "So. You know of the Shadow Games, eh?" He paused for a long while. Then his eyes widened a bit when he saw what was hanging around Ranma-Yami's neck. "Very well. I shall accept your challenge. It should be a good warm-up before the main event."
Ranma-Yami nodded as he turned to address Luna. "Get all the people back as far as you can! Hopefully, I'll be able to keep the Duel within the field." He turned back to his opponent and motioned for him to follow. The two were soon hopping rooftops and heading toward the outskirts of town.
Luna couldn't help but follow after Ranma-Yami after casting a protective barrier spell to keep the townsfolk safe.
The sorceress flew up into the air and went after them.
Ranma-Yami and his opponent faced each other off in a forest clearing just outside of town. They stood at a distance of one hundred feet between each other.
It was at that moment that the stranger removed the hood of his cloak and his face was revealed by the light of the full moon.
His face was thin and sallow-looking, but his eyes was bulbous, like an insect's. He smirked at the Game King, showing a wicked set of canines that resembled the mandibles of a beetle. He held up his deck of cards and addressed his foe.
"I haven't properly introduced myself, have I? I am Weevilous, and I won many Duels before the Shadow Games had been sealed. I had escaped from the Shadow Realm and I intend to take the magical essences of the greatest sorcerers of this world to add to my lifeforce! I have already destroyed five since coming here. You will be my sixth victim and Luna Inverse shall be my seventh!"
"What are you talking about?" Ranma-Yami growled as he began shuffling his cards.
Weevilous also shuffled his deck. "Know this, Game King. The power of the Shadow Games is great, but it does has its price for using it. I, like other Duelists who had lost a Shadow Game, were banished to the Shadow Realm by the victor. However, when the Shadow Games were sealed, five thousand years ago, we had no way of ever returning back to the physical plane. With the Millennium Items, (like the one you wear around your neck), now scattered across this land, the dimensional barrier was weakened enough for a few of us to escape the Shadow Realm. But the thousands of years in which we had spent in that place, had taken its toll and our lifeforces have become extremely weak. We would have perished soon after returning to this plane of existence, but we had learned that taking the lifeforces of magic users would bolster our own. With enough magical life energy, our condition would become stable."
"You... took the life energies of innocents, like some kind of vampire?!" Ranma-Yami was both shocked and outraged.
"Hmpf! My previous opponents were nothing! Their magic was great, but they stood no chance against the power of my deck! Apparently, everyone seems to have forgotten on how to play a Shadow Game and the consequences of losing. That gives an expert Duelist such as myself, a distinct advantage. The five challengers before me had been easy pickings, though I do hope that you will provide me with more sport. But enough of this! Let's get this over with! Your life essence will make a fine appetizer before I feed on Luna Inverse's. And your Millennium Item shall add to my own power, once I take it from you!"
"You'll have to defeat me first, before I let you get your filthy hands on my puzzle or Luna Inverse's lifeforce!" Deep within Ranma-Yami, Ranma found it a bit odd that he was acting the same way as he did when he defended Akane, Shampoo or Ukyo. He had only just met Luna today!
"You have no chance against me here, in this forest!" Weevilous sneered.
"Talk is cheap!" Ranma-Yami replied as he held out his own deck. "IT'S TIME TO DUEL!"
Once again, a line of light surrounded the two in a huge circle, indicating the boundaries of the playing field and cutting off the rest of the world. Luna Inverse arrived in time to see the two antagonists about to make their opening moves.
Ranma-Yami knew that he had to be careful this time. Unlike his previous Duel with Remele, the full rules of this Shadow Game would be in effect. One wrong move and he and Ranma would pay dearly with their very souls. Finding the Millennium Items, sealing the Shadow Games and ending his curse, were now only part of the mission. It seems that Ranma-Yami would have to save this world from the renegade Duelists who were now among its inhabitants.
"So how exactly do these Shadow Games work?" Lina asked Filia.
"Well, when two Duelists face each other off, a playing field is created for them to battle. A portion of their very essences is used to create a kind of tether to the Shadow Realm. These are called Life Points. Each player is given 2000 Life Points and can use a variety of Monster Cards, in combination with Magic and Trap Cards to attack the other. The first Duelist to reduce his opponent’s Life Points to zero wins."
The playing field...
Ranma-Yami and Weevilous both glowed with red auras as each were given a total of 2000 Life Points.
Ranma-Yami: 2000 LP
Weevilous: 2000 LP
Filia took another sip of tea. "However, this connection to the Shadow Realm works two ways. Not only will the Duelists be able to command the powers of their monsters and the spells, but they will also feel their pain. Each monster they summon will have a specific amount of Attack and Defense ratings. Every time a Duelist‘s monster is destroyed, some Life Points will be deducted. The experience is extremely painful. Sometimes, a Duelist can perish from losing all of his Life Points."
The playing field...
The two Duelists drew their first hands, which instantly came to life in front of them. The cards floated before them in a row and became enlarged, hiding their faces from the opposing Duelist.
"Let us see if you can stand up to my Killer Needle!" Weevilous pointed to one card, which flipped to show its face to Ranma-Yami. The card instantly morphed into a gigantic wasp with a very large stinger. (1200/1000)
"I shall counter with the Mammoth Graveyard!" Ranma-Yami gestured to one of his own cards, which became the bony skeleton of a huge elephant with wicked-looking tusks. (1200/800)
"ATTACK!" Both Duelists cried out.
Both monsters charged at each other and collided heavily. However, to Ranma-Yami’s shock, Mammoth Graveyard let off a death scream and exploded into fragments when the Killer Needle’s stinger plowed through it. Then the Game King suddenly felt a spasm of pain rip through his chest as his red aura flared. He trembled as he clutched at his chest.
"Arrgh! Impossible! Both... monsters were evenly matched! It should have been a stalemate!" He gasped. He looked up to see Weevilous cackling at him.
"Ha! Did I not tell you that you stood no chance against me here?" The renegade Duelist taunted. "I had discovered that the rules of the Shadow Games had been altered when I came to this world. Apparently, every monster has a field in which it does best on. If you were to just look around, then you would notice that our playing field is one part forest and one part wasteland! And since my deck contains mostly insects, then that means I get a field power bonus! As long as I play my cards here, your Monsters will be annihilated along with you! That one attack alone was enough to destroy over three hundred of your Life Points! Painful, wasn‘t it?"
Ranma-Yami gritted his teeth, then noted that his aura had not dimmed in the least from that last attack. He smiled, then began chuckling, which grew into full-blown laughter.
"HA HA HA HA HA HA!"
"What are you laughing about?" Weevilous demanded.
"That last attack had hurt." Ranma-Yami admitted. "But I did not lose any Life Points!"
"What are you talking about?"
"Take a good look at your precious monster now." The Game King stood at full height and pointed at the giant wasp. The monster was suddenly enveloped in a white nimbus of light and blew up. Weevilous let off a cry of pain as he felt his monster die.
"What is this?! What did you do to my monster?!"
"It looks like my Mammoth Graveyard received a field power bonus from the wasteland, equaling that of your Killer Needle‘s! As a result, both monsters are now out of this Duel!"
Ranma-Yami: 2000 LP
Weevilous: 2000 LP
"You may have not lost any Life Points, but it was worth losing my Mammoth Graveyard to see that look on your ugly face!" Ranma-Yami taunted, using one of the key techniques of the Saotome Anything Goes, insults.
"Grrrr! You will pay for your insolence!" Weevilous gritted.
Both Duelists drew a new card from their decks, which then became part of their Deuling Hands.
Luna watched in awe. Because the barrier was preventing her from interfering, she could only observe the duel. It was everything that she had heard about the Shadow Games. Both players were in command of awesome creatures and magic, but the price to be paid was a portion of their very beings during the duel, and who knows what consequences for the loser. She could only hope that Ranma-Yami would emerge victorious.
"I shall summon the mighty Centigen!" Weevilous tossed down another card which became an armored Centipede with sickle-shaped mandibles and spikes growing out of its segments. (1500/1200) He also threw down a card face down, which became a larger version of itself and hovered like a flying carpet. He smiled, as he knew that his monster would also receive a field power bonus of 300 points. (1800/1200)
"Go Flame Swordsman!" Ranma-Yami cried out. The card he gestured to became a giant man, wielding a wide-bladed sword and wore outlandish robes. (1800/1600). He then took out another card. "And this Magic Card shall raise his attack strength! Salamandra!"
The Flame swordsman’s weapon became a fiery red as flames surrounded the blade. (2500/1600)
"Attack with Salamadra Flame Strike!"
The Flame Swordsman swung and threw a fiery blast that resembled a dragon’s head. However, its intended target was not harmed as a web of red lines suddenly appeared before it and absorbed the attack.
"Ha!" Weevilous smiled maliciously. "How do you like my Fire Weaver? Fire Weaver negates all fire-based attacks!"
The card that was face down, suddenly became vertical and a grotesque humanoid figure with six-arms and multiple eyes appeared. Since it wasn’t really an insect, it did not receive the field power boost. (1200/900)
"Not only does the Fire Weaver protect my Centigen, but it also entraps all fire-based monsters in its web, reducing their attack strength by one thousand!"
The Fire Weaver threw its arms forward and let loose with lines of red, which wrapped themselves around the Flame Swordsman, encasing it in a cocoon. Ranma-Yami felt its pain as its attack points were reduced to 1500.
"Now crush the Flame Swordsman, Centigen!"
The huge centipede lunged forward and swept up its entrapped foe in its mandibles. The cocoon was snapped in two.
Ranma-Yami: 1700 LP
Weevilous: 2000 LP
The Game King screamed, as his aura became dimmer. The pain he felt now was excruciating. It felt as if his stomach was torn up by razor blades.
"Ha! I know that my monsters have a weakness toward fire, but my Fire Weaver is able to defend them against any such attack! And the field power boost gives my monsters all the advantage!" Weevilous said in triumph. "Your Life Force and Millennium Item will be mine!"
"Don’t... bet... it!" Ranma-Yami said haltingly as he drew a new card. "Come forth... Curse of Dragon!"
The new card instantly became the bony, winged creature that took to the air. (2000/1500)
"And this magic card will boost its strength! Attack with Dragon Flame!" Ranma-Yami produced another card and combined it with the Curse of Dragon. The creature let off a huge gout of fire at its enemies.
"Fire Weaver! Defend with Fire Web Shield!" Weevilous commanded.
The monster began making some intricate motions with its arms, forming web pattern of red, which deflected the fiery assault.
"Hah! Did I not tell you that your fire attacks will not work?" The Duelist jeered.
Ranma-Yami smiled. "And who said I was aiming for your Fire Weaver or Centigen?"
The Game King stood up and pointed. "I used the Blazing Land Magic Card to destroy the forest area around them! Say goodbye to your field power bonus!"
Sure enough, the ground was now scorched, leaving no trace of vegetation. He then laid another card face down.
"No!" Weevilous looked up at his Centigen and realized that its attack strength had returned to 1500. He then laughed. "Hah! So what if my Centigen is weaker now! You still cannot harm it because of my Fire Weaver! And speaking of which..." He then commanded to his Fire Weaver. "Ensnare the Curse of Dragon!"
The monster threw forward its arms and shot out more lines of red. However...
"I don’t think so!" Ranma-Yami declared as the card he had placed face down flipped itself. "Fire Weaver! Capture thyself!"
"What?!" Weevilous cried out.
The red strands suddenly turned about and wrapped themselves about the Fire Weaver, leaving it powerless.
Ranma-Yami smiled as he explained. "That was a Trap Card called Vice-Versa. It causes any opponent that attacks to capture itself. And now that the Fire Weaver is bound, it cannot defend itself against fire attacks! Curse of Dragon, attack with Dragon Flame!"
The Curse of Dragon let loose with another blast of flames which engulfed the Fire Weaver and reduced it to ash. Weevilous let off a cry of pain as his body felt as if it was burning.
Ranma-Yami: 1700 LP
Weevilous: 1200 LP
Luna nodded. <Excellent move!> She was familiar with the rules and effects of a Shadow Game. She could tell that Ranma-Yami was talented at this game.
"What’s the matter, Weevilous? Things getting too hot for you to handle?" The Game King teased.
"You will pay for those quips with your Life Points and your Lifeforce!" The Duelist shot back as he threw out another card. "Now I shall attack you with this!"
The card exploded into a creature that looked like a slug, but had a round mouth with rasping teeth. Its body was coated with greenish ooze.
"What is that thing?" Ranma-Yami didn’t like the way it looked.
"It is the Parasitic Slime Slug!" (1900/1200). Weevilous declared. "It is able to drain half of the attack energy from any opposing monster and add it to one of my own!"
"My Curse of Dragon still has the greater attack power!" The Game King said. "Attack!"
Ranma-Yami’s monster let off a huge blast of fire, but the attack was absorbed into the Slime Slug’s skin.
"Hah! The mucous that coats my slug makes it invulnerable to fire attacks! And my Slug LOVES to eat up fire energy! The energy from your attack is added to my Slime Slug’s attack power, making it stronger than your monster’s!"
The gigantic worm suddenly became bigger as its attack power was raised. (2400/1200)
"Now drain the Curse of Dragon!" Weevilous commanded.
The overgrown parasite suddenly elongated and latched its sucker mouth onto the neck of the Curse of Dragon. Ranma-Yami’s monster let off a shriek as its power was drained. It was reduced to a withering husk and crumbled away.
Ranma-Yami felt lightheaded, as if he had lost a massive amount of blood. He shook his head to dispel the dizziness, but his aura grew even dimmer.
Ranma-Yami: 1300 LP
Weevilous: 1200 LP
"Feeling a bit DRAINED?" Weevilous mocked, then turned to Luna who was still watching. "It’s a shame that you can do nothing but watch him die. Don‘t worry. After I am done with him, you will be next!"
"No!" Luna cried out as she saw Ranm-Yami become pale. She couldn’t just stand by and do nothing.
The bolt of fire shot forward but was easily reflected off the barrier. Then Ranma-Yami let off another scream.
Ranma-Yami: 650 LP
Weevilous: 1200 LP
"I wouldn’t do that again if I were you." Weevilous warned with a smirk. "This Shadow Game is between myself and Ranma, and the rules are quite specific. Any DIRECT interference made on either player’s behalf will result in severe punishment. That one attack had cost the Game King HALF of his remaining Life Points. Thank you for making things easier for me!"
Luna stayed her hand as she saw Ranma-Yami’s aura become a faint outline.
Ranma-Yami was far from done. With trembling fingers, he drew a couple of cards.
The card sprang forth to reveal his magic user. (2500/2100) Ranma-Yami also laid another card face down.
Weevilous nodded. "Ah. A very powerful card indeed. However, my Slug will now power up my Centigen!"
The Slime Slug glowed and let off mystical energy, which was transferred to the Centigen. The attack energy that it had taken from the Curse of Dragon was added to the Centigen‘s attack power. (2500/1200)
"That only makes your monster equal in strength to my Dark Magician." Ranma-Yami said defiantly.
"True." His enemy agreed then drew another card. "However, with this card, even the power of your Dark Magician will be as nothing." He then threw down the card. "I shall use Mystic Moth!"
The card became a thin-bodied giant moth with strange rune patterns on its wings. (1500/900)
"The Mystic Moth is able to power up any monster by releasing magical spores from its wings! And I shall also add this Protective Barrier Spell, which will shield it from any attack for three turns!" As he put down the Protective Barrier Card, the monster began flapping its wings, releasing a cloud of particles, which coated the Centigen. The centipede glowed with light as its attack power was increased even further. (2800/1200)
Weevilous smiled wickedly. "Now who has the greater attack power? Centigen! Attack the Dark Magician!"
The monster lunged forward to destroy the Dark Magician. However, that was when Ranma-Yami smiled.
"I’m afraid not. Spell-Binding Circle!"
At that moment, the card he had laid faced down flipped over. The Centigen was stopped dead in its tracks as the magical circle surrounded it.
"What?! A Trap Card?!"
"That’s right Weevilous! The Spell-Binding Circle not only stops your monster’s attack, but it also drains its power by 700 points! Now, Dark Magician! Dark Magic Attack!"
The Dark Magician threw forth a hand and let loose with ebony energy at the weakened Centigen. (2100/1200) The armored worm was blasted apart.
Weevilous felt a cold, numbing sensation as his Life Points were whittled down.
Ranma-Yami: 650 LP
Weevilous: 800 LP
Ranma-Yami smiled. "How do you like that magic trick?"
"Hmpf! A minor setback. I shall simply use the Mystic Moth to power up my Slime Slug!"
The moth began flapping its wings again and coated the Slime Slug with more spores, raising its attack power by 300 points. (2700/1200) "Now destroy the Dark Magician!"
The slug lunged forward and latched onto Ranma’s magic user, draining it of its attack energy. Ranma-Yami once again felt his Life Points being sucked away, along with his health. His Dark Magician was reduced to a withered shell, which disintegrated.
Ranma-Yami: 450 LP
Weevilous: 800 LP
Ranma-Yami’s aura was now just a faint, flickering halo. His body became unsteady as he fell to one knee.
Weevilous chuckled as he drew another card. "I must admit that you put up quite a fight, but this Duel shall end with the next turn!"
"Not... just... yet." The pigtailed Duelist knew that he had to fight back and win before his Life Points dropped to zero. However, he was bound by the rules of the Shadow Games and had to draw for it. He hoped to draw the Blue Eyes White Dragon from his deck. When he took a new card, he saw...
<Huh? Magical Mist? Wait a second...> He looked back up at the monsters that Weevilous had on the field and smiled. He placed the card face down, then drew another. His smile became even greater when he saw the card.
"Any last words before I finish you off, Game King?" Weevilous taunted.
"Yes, I do have something to say. With this monster, you are finished!" He then laid it down. "Come forth, Summoned Skull!"
The ground trembled as a circle of smoke appeared. Within that circle a winged, bony behemoth rose up and stood before Ranma-Yami. (2500/1500) Ranma-Yami then added another card from his hand. "And I shall use this magic card, Voodoo Charm, to increase its attack power by five hundred!" (3000/1500)
Weevilous simply shrugged. "You are simply delaying the inevitable. With my Mystic Moth, I can easily increase my Slime Slug’s attack power again." He gestured to the monster, which began flapping its wings and released more spores, increasing the Slime Slug’s attack power. (3000/1200) "Right now, it is equal to your powered-up Summoned Skull, but in the next turn, it will be strengthened again to destroy your monster!"
"Not if I play this card! Magical Mist!"
The card flipped itself over and an eerie shroud of moisture appeared.
Weevilous laughed out loud. "Hah! Do you think that little drizzle will stop me? Mystic Moth, power up my Slime Slug again! What the...?!"
The Duelist became shocked as he saw that the spores were being washed off his Slime Slug and preventing the Mystic Moth from adding more.
"Hmpf! It seems that your Slime Slug is being washed clean of the spores and with this dampened field, your Mystic Moth cannot release any more spores! The Slime‘s Slug‘s attack power has been lowered back to the level it had before the moth‘s appearance!" (2400/1200) Ranma-Yami declared, and then chuckled. "Oh yes. My Magical Mist has dampened both of your monsters. The magical barrier that you placed around your Mystic Moth is gone now. Your monsters are soaked aren’t they?"
Weevilous gulped as he looked up and saw that his creatures were indeed dripping wet.
Ranma-Yami then raised his hand to his Summoned Skull. "With your monsters soaking wet and all this water boosting my Summoned Skull’s electrical attack power by one thousand points, I’d say that this Duel is over! Summoned Skull... LIGHTNING STRIKE!" (4000/1500)
The skeleton demon let off an inhuman roar before releasing a huge surge of lightning at Weevilous’ creatures. Since both monsters were wet, they both received the attack and were blasted to ash. Weevilous let off a shriek of pain and horror, as lightning also enveloped his body.
Ranma-Yami: 450 LP
Weevilous: 0 LP
Ranma-Yami let off a sigh of relief as the barrier around the playing field dissipated. Luna came running toward him as his cards magically returned to his deck. He felt his strength returning as well as he walked toward the beaten and burned form of Weevilous.
"Impossible... I can’t have... lost!" The villain gasped as he tried to get up and use another card.
However, Ranma-Yami swatted the deck out of his hands. "You lost this Duel and in accordance to the rules of the Shadow Games, you can no longer use the power of your deck and I shall decide your fate!" He directed one hand with the palm and fingers open wide at Weevilous’ face. "You may have escaped the Shadow Realm once, but it shall not happen again! I hereby consign you to... OBLIVION!"
Weevilous let off one final scream as his body turned gray, then exploded into fragments, which disintegrated into nothingness. His deck also disappeared in a cloud of smoke, save for one card. Ranma-Yami became Ranma again as he picked it up. The card was the Mystic Moth. With a deft movement of the hand, Ranma added it to his deck before returning it to the case on his belt.
"Ranma! Are you all right?" Luna asked.
"I’m fine... thank you." Ranma replied.
"That was... incredible! I had heard of the Shadow Games, but I never thought I would ever see one!"
"You... know about the Shadow Games?"
"Yes. It was said in the ancient texts that the Elder Gods themselves played them and that their power overshadowed all others. However, they also came with high prices for such power. What I just saw today confirmed it."
"Well... you better get used to it. There are probably going to be more. Some of them are going to be even more intense then what I just went through."
"Yes... I suppose there will be." Luna nodded. "I can see why they were sealed away. That one battle alone would have destroyed the town if you hadn’t moved it to here. Such magical power might be too much of a temptation for anyone. Is that why you’re here then?"
Ranma nodded. "Yeah. I’m supposed to prevent the Shadow Games from destroying this world and all others. If they’re not stopped, then they will eventually destroy everything. But... it looks like I can’t do it all on my own. That one Duel alone took a lot out of me. I... could use some help."
For Ranma, this rare for him to ask for help. However, his Duel with Weevilous had shown him some humility, and that things were starting to get too big. He needed help and who better than the greatest sorceress of this world?
Luna considered Ranma’s unspoken request.
Later, at Luna’s home...
"And that’s about the size of it." Ranma said after he had finished explaining things to Lina Inverse’s sister. "I don’t know much about this world and I could use a guide and some help. And I don‘t know how many of those Duelists have come and I may not be able to handle them all."
"I see." Luna said as she began looking through some drawers in her den. "So you are asking me to leave my job at the inn and help you track down these Millennium Items, as well as aid you in defeating all the renegade Duelists who are now invading this world."
"Well I don’t want to..."
"Do you know that I happen to like my current lifestyle at present? My sister Lina might be interested though."
"Well, maybe but... she may not know about the Shadow Games and the consequences of wielding such power."
Luna chuckled a bit. "Yes. I’d say that Lina would be more interested in getting at those cards of yours. She’s always hungry for more powerful magic and such. In any case, I’m not at all certain that I’d want to go on this quest of yours." Luna then opened another drawer and reached into it.
"Well, I really do need some help and people say that you’re the greatest sorceress in the world. And... really beautiful to boot." Ranma said that last part with redness in his cheeks.
"Flatterer. However, it’s going to take more than compliments to convince me to join you on this adventure."
Well... the only thing that I can say is... please?" At that point, Ranma became Ranma-Yami again.
Luna chuckled as she looked at the gray-blue depths of the Duelist’s eyes. The was a long moment of silence, before she finally said...
"Good enough for me."
"Yes." Luna then took out something from the drawer. Ranma-Yami gasped as he saw it.
"A Dueling Deck!"
Luna nodded as she began shuffling. "This particular deck belonged to one of the Elder Gods, in which I am his Knight. I’m certain that he wouldn’t mind if I used it for this cause. However, I need some coaching since I’ve never actually played a Shadow Game."
Ranma-Yami smiled as he took out his own deck and began shuffling. "Then... it’s time to duel."
"And that’s about all I know about these Shadow Games." The dragon finished.
Lina whistled as she thought about visiting her sister for more information. The consequences of playing the Shadow Games were high, but so were the rewards. There had to be some way to access such power without having to suffer the consequences. If they were power above all others, then she definitely wanted it.
To be continued...
Well, that it for part one and that was a long one. Now I know that the Duel sounded like something out of Pokemon, but I wanted to play it the way they did on the Yugi-oh anime. As for the mechanics, here’s how it works. The powers of cards can be used like spells in the Slayers world (sort of like Cardcaptors). However, when two Duelists face each other off, then the rules of the Shadow Games come into play. There will be consequences and such and the loser usually pays dearly. The victor will receive one card from the loser's deck. Ranma nearly died in this Shadow Game and will need help from Luna Inverse, who will be also taking part.
As for the rest of the Slayers gang, they’ll be making a bigger appearance in the next part, and I have something very special planned for Gourry and Amelia.
Below, you’ll also find the stats for the cards that I made up for Weevilous, (my version of Weevil Underwood of the anime), and other Trap and Magic Cards
An armored centipede monster that is also a burrower. Its mandibles can crush steel.
SLIME SLUG (1900/1200)
A parasitic monster that can drain half the attack power of a monster and transfer it to another. It can also absorb fire attacks and increase its attack strength by 600 each time.
FIRE WEAVER (1200/900)
A six-armed, eight-eyed humanoid that can spin energy webs to either deflect fire attacks or bind fire-based monsters. Any captured monster has their attacks points reduced by 1000.
MYSTIC MOTH (1500/900)
With each flap of its wings, it can release magical spores to boost any creature’s attack points by 300 per turn.
VICE-VERSA TRAP CARD
Causes any capture-type monster to trap itself with its own attack.
PROTECTIVE MAGICAL BARRIER
Shields against any attack for three turns.
Magically increases any skeleton monster’s attack points by 500.