Mathias: 7900 || Sophia: 5700
MATHIAS’ TURN: “Your disadvantage only worsens, Sophia. Now you’ll see my real power! I Summon The Phantom Knight of Ragged Gloves and Special Summon The Phantom Knight of Silent Boots, and overlay them to Xyz Summon The Phantom Knights of Break Sword!” Two phantoms burning in blue flames, transparent in all but the attire of their namesake, haunt the field, but quickly fuse into each other to form a black horseman and steed. “I use its effect to destroy itself and one of your spells.” The black horseman slashes its blade in the air. A pillar of blue flame slices and burns Sophia’s card, then rebounds on its own caster like a boomerang.
Mathias sees Sophia’s destroyed card is Rise to Full Height. Perplexed, he wonders why she put such a card in her Deck. What purpose could it really serve her? He puts this information in the back of his mind and returns to the duel. “Thanks to Break Sword’s other effect, I welcome Ragged Gloves and Silent boots back to the field.” And the two former phantoms reappear, now 1 Level higher.
Sophia gets what he’s up to. He’s trying to summon another Nordic God! “But Break Sword only allows to you to Summon DARK monsters from now on.”
“True, but I can easily go around this rule. Watch and learn. I activate my trap, Nordic Spirit Message! I pay 1000 to Summon Valkyrie of the Nordic Ascendant from my Deck.” A winged lady with the most ethereal white dress descends from above. “The effects of all monsters in my field and Graveyard are negated this turn, but it’s a great trade-off.” (Mathias LP 6900) He boldly declares, “ODIN, LORD OF THE AESIR, I SUMMON THEE!” The valkyrie and two phantom knights fly up to the auroras above. A column of rainbow light strikes the ground so violently it shakes, toppling everyone but Mathias over. None other than the elder god of Asgard descends, a white robed king, his one ice blue eye atop a long, snow-white beard.
“By Lucifer’s beard, did he really need to be so dramatic?” Maya complains under her breath.
“Absolutely.” Yukio says, “A big, hammy monster needs a big, hammy summon, no?”
Mathias declares, “Odin, attack Chanbara with Divine Judgment!” The king of gods fires a beam of fiery light from its massive oak staff.
“I activate Harvest Time!” Sophia fights back. “It cancels your attack and skips two rounds of the Duel!” The Nordic God’s attack vanishes instantly.
“Not bad, but you still have to deal with Thor! Thor, strike down Chanbara!” The warrior thunder god smashes the speedroid with its hammer. The shock of the blast knocks Sophia off her feet and a bolt of lightning from Mathias’ field spell strikes her down for good measure. (Sophia LP 3400)
SOPHIA’S TURN: The young duelist clutches the sandy ground, then her knees. She slowly staggers to her feet but gets up nonetheless. She draws her next card, looks at it with disappointment bordering heartbreak. She holds five cards in her hand yet none of them hold a candle to the Nordic Gods. “I set two cards facedown. That’s all I can do.”
MATHIAS’ TURN: “My onslaught continues! I activate Harpies’ Feather Duster!” A blustering tornado of feathers sweeps away Sophia’s facedown cards. “Then I activate Nordic Spirit Message. I pay 1000, and add Mara of the Nordic Alfar to my hand.” (Mathias LP 5900) “I banish Ragged Gloves and Silent Boots from my Graveyard to add a Fog Blade to my hand and an Ancient Cloak to my Graveyard. Then I banish Ancient Cloak to add Phantom Knight’s Wing to my hand. Odin, Thor! Shatter Samsara Dragon and Daegusto Emeral!” The two gods easily trample over their weak opponents. Two lightning bolts leap from the foggy sky and strike Sophia. (Sophia LP 1400)
“I activate Samsara’s effect and Summon your dead Phantom Knights of Break Sword.” Sophia says, and the black phantasmal horseman reappears but on Sophia’s field.
SOPHIA’S TURN: “I activate Fortune’s Future. I return Lady Aeter to my Graveyard and draw 2.” She draws, looks at her cards, and sighs in relief. “I activate Swords of Revealing Light!” Seven swords made purely from white light strike the field around the Nordic gods. The gods try to break past the barriers set up by the swords but struggle in vain.
MATHIAS’ TURN: “Not bad. You stop me from attack for three turns. You put up a pretty good fight.” Mathias acknowledges Sophia’s skill. “But it’s too little, too late. I activate Odin’s effect to make it impervious to spells.”
“No you don’t!” Sophia shouts angrily. “I discard Effect Veiler to negate Odin’s effect!” A boyish youth in white pants and wings sweeps around the elder god, coating it in blue dust, suppressing the god’s powers. Sophia, meanwhile, jumps back, surprised at the vehemence in her own voice.
“Don’t think this lets you off the hook.” Mathias reminds her. “You will now see my final Nordic god. I Summon Mara of the Nordic Alfar.” Clouds appear, then condense together, forming a strange humanoid creature. “I tune it with Vanadis of the Nordic Ascendant and Garmr of the Nordic Beasts Synchro Summon Loki, Lord of the Aesir!” Two monsters leap from Mathias’ hand and they climb up to heaven with Mara. Auroras clear the dark sky once more, and the trickster god descends below under a blizzard of snow.
Loki is the strangest and most clownish of the Nordic gods, a thin and thinly bearded god dressed in wonky, mismatched clothes and a hat to match. Indeed, it takes one look at Sophia and bawls in laughter. “Really? You summoned me to beat this n00b!” It guffaws to Mathias, “Who uses Fortune Ladies? I mean, who plays Swords of Revealing Light in this metagame?”
“Just shut up and duel!” Mathias shouts to his monster.
“Hah! Dueling’s your job! STFUGTFO, pleb!”
Maximus and Ivy cover their faces in embarrassment. Loki was one of the… stranger god cards out there. Even Sophia forgot about her terror and laughed a bit.
SOPHIA’S TURN: But the hard reality of her position in the duel comes back to her soon enough. Mathias has all his Nordic Gods out. They’re too powerful. She falls to her knees, knowing she is completely outclassed. She clutches the sand under her and watches it slip through her fingers. “I can’t do this. It’s too much.”
Maya runs to Sophia’s aid but Yukio grabs her, holding her back. Maya violently fights back, hitting Yukio a few times in her wrath, but Yukio holds her in place. “She has to do this on her own!” He shouts to her over and over again, until Maya slackens. “She wanted to handle a challenge on her own. She has to fight Mathias without any help.” Maya sadly agrees, knowing that helping Sophia won’t help her. Sophia has to stand on her own.
Sophia finds only one option left, to play Sophia, the Goddess of Rebirth. “But it’s impossible! I can’t gather all the pieces!” She shouts to herself in despair. Then she remembers a story Pegasus told her when she was small, when she just picked up Yugioh. It was about Yugi’s most famous duel with Kaiba. Yugi faced three Blue-Eyes White Dragons with nothing on his field, almost falling in despair. He heard his Grandfather’s voice, telling him of the legendary Exodia, a monster that gives you instant victory if you gather its give pieces. Yugi doubted himself, but his Grandfather told him not to give up. And Yugi persisted to the end, achieving a miracle.
Sophia rises to feet. It is only when you have no choice but to be strong do you realize how strong you can be. She has no other choice but to summon Sophia this duel. “I activate Pre-Preparation of rights to add a Ritual Monster and its Ritual Spell to my hand. Next, I play Hymn of Light, Tributing Fortune Lady Earth to Ritual Summon Saffira, Queen of Dragons.” Colorful light strikes the ground as if from a strained glass window. A large fortune lady in earthy robes springs from Sophia’s hand and dissolves into the light above. Then a human dragon materializes from the light, a graceful creature with blue scales and wings. “And I activate her effect.”
“Nope. I activate Phantom Knight’s Fog Blade on Saffira.” Mathias denies her. A blade of poisonous smoke pieces the queen of dragons in the hard. It doesn’t die, but languishes in pain.
Undaunted, Sophia continues, “I activate Brilliant Fusion. I send Gem-Knight Garnet and a LIGHT monster from my Deck to my Graveyard to Fusion Summon Gem-Knight Seraphinite.” A cluster of precious stones smash into each other into a rough sculpture, and the surfaces break, freeing a knight in sapphire armor. “I Summon Junk Synchron and use its effect to revive Fortune Lady Light from my Graveyard.” The tiny android mechanic and small fortune lady reappear. “I tune Junk Synchron and Seraphinite to Synchro Summon PSY-Framelord Omega!” Mechanic and knight once more assemble themselves as rings and stars and open the portal for the arrival of a tall and lanky cyborg. “I end my turn.”
MATHIAS’ TURN: Mathias puzzles over Sophia’s moves. She looks like she’s trying to set up a combo but has no idea what it is. “Hmm. I have no idea what you’re scheming but it won’t work. I activate Nordic Spirit Message. I activate Pot of Avarice. I return Mara, Vanadis, Garmr, Ancient Cloak, and Tanngrisnir to my Deck and draw 2.”
Maximus almost leaps up to Mathias in comical irritation. “You played that card to just to annoy me, didn’t you? You know I’ll trade my arm and Deck for it!”
Ivy restrains her hot-tempered friend. She gestures apologetically to everyone around her, mouthing silently, “It’s a running gag.” Hoping everyone would understand. They don’t.
Then I pay 1000 to add another Vanadis to my hand.” (Mathias LP 5900 → 4900) “I activate Mystical Space Typhoon to destroy your Swords!” His own cyclone circles his field, blowing away the glowing white swords. His gods now free, they ready themselves to exact their vengeance.
Sophia says, “You won’t attack me this turn. I banish Rise to Full Height in my Graveyard to target Omega, which means you can only attack Omega this turn. Then banish Omega and 1 card in your hand.” The cyborg glows, then vanishes through a worm hole. Mathias removes the card in his hand with a grimace. Since Omega is gone, he can’t attack it, meaning he can’t attack at all.
Mathias confesses, “You’re stalling on me? Really? Now that’s annoying. I expected more from you. I end my turn.”
SOPHIA’S TURN: Her Omega returns through the wormhole, and Mathias regains his card. “I set one card facedown. Your move.”
MATHIAS’ TURN: As soon as he draws, Sophia activates her Omega’s other effect, returning Rise to Full Height to the Graveyard. “Now I banish Rise to Full Height to target Omega and banish Omega again.”
“Not this time.” Mathias counters. “I activate Thor to negate all your monsters’ effects.”
“No, you don’t. I equip Thor with Trickster Sprite from my Graveyard.” A green fairy with gauzy wings, looking more like an insect than a fairy, flies around Thor, spinning its green web around the giant. The god tries to swat away the annoying creature and break from its bonds but in vain. The sprite’s web is stronger than steel. “As long as my Sprite is on Thor it can’t attack or activate its effect.”
Sophia carries out her plan, her psychic cyborg disappearing through a wormhold again. Mathias is in a jam but knows the truth. Sophia can’t actually beat him. All she can do is stall her inevitable defeat. The duel is truly his. He sighs in disappointment. Sophia played a good duel and even her stall tactic was nice, but its not going anywhere for her. He needs to put the dog down. “I set a card facedown. You’re move.”
SOPHIA’S TURN: Her Omega returns through the wormhole, and Mathias regains his card. “I activate Secret Village of the Spellcasters.” Sophia’s side of the field dissolves away, molding into new terrain: a pixie village in the middle of a bright green forest. “Now you can’t play any Spell Cards. I end my turn.”
MATHIAS’ TURN: He draws, and once more Sophia activates Omega. This is the chance Mathias waited for. “I activate Breakthrough Skill! Your Omega is negated.” Surely enough, the psychic cyborg atrophies, falling to its knee.
But Sophia isn’t done with her bag of tricks. “I activate Mystical Space Typhoon!”
“You can’t negate a Normal Trap by destroying it.” Mathias begins to chastise her, but Sophia says, “Screw your trap. I’m killing off my own Trickster Sprite.”
Her cyclone erases her own card. The green web entangling Thor disappears, but a a green screen shimmers between Mathias’ and Sophia’s monsters, frustrating the Nordic Gods once more. “I can return my destroyed Sprite to my Deck to remove your Battle Phase this turn.” Sophia explains.
“So I can’t attack.” Mathias grudgingly acknowledges. “Honestly, that’s fine by me. I activate Lock Out Space. This Continuous Spell stops you from moving any banished cards. I’ve got you cornered. No more stalling for you. Either attack me or die next turn.”
SOPHIA’S TURN: “He’s right. I can’t stall anymore. I can’t run away anymore.” Sophia says to herself. She feels herself fall into the pit of despair again but stops herself instantly. “I can’t lose! It’s not just about my self-worth and potential! My entire team is riding on this draw!” She sees the setting sun shine behind Mathias, casting him into a silhouette like he was some kind of angel, but inevitably dying. As the day darkens into knight Mathias too fades away. Unless the evening bonfires are lit she won’t be able to see Mathias at all.
“I’ll defeat any enemy that stands in my way!” Sophia shouts, drawing her last card. “This is it! I activate Instant Fusion! I pay 1000 to Summon Elder Entity Norden from my Extra Deck!” A sealed can appears and pops open, the mist forming into a water god driving a pair of seahorses on its conk shell chariot. “I banish Norden, Saffira, Omega, and Break Sword to Summon Sophia, Goddess of Rebirth!” Sophia’s monsters shatter. Their remains, sparkling like tainted glass, swirl in a vortex around her. The ground violently shakes, yawning wide open. Then light erupts from the ground as if from a volcano and a holy beast climbs out from the very depths of the earth.
Mathias and the entire audience gape at the divine creature in awe. It looks like a primitive pagan deity from a time long ago very different from ours. The chimerical beast’s color is brilliant white, shaped like some form of cow, adorned with gold and other precious stones. Its gold and white wings, dotted with wide open, piercing eyes, shine so brightly they turn the evening dusk into noon. On its noble head, just under its great horns, rests a golden headdress shaped like a vulture’s wings.
Maya and Yukio pump their fists in their air. That’s their Sophia! That’s their Deck! Their Deck they all built together! Nothing gives Maya more pride than seeing her Sophia grow up.
Sophia feels overwhelming power flow from her body to the earth and her monsters and back her. She channels her power into her attack and roars so loud it deafens everyone in shock. “Sophia, banish the field!” And under her command her goddess roars as a lion, spreads her wings, and her many eyes burn a sea of holy flames on the entire dueling grounds, incinerating every card in Sophia and Mathias’ hand, field, and Graveyard. Mathias screams and covers under the flames while his Nordic Gods scream in terror before burning to death under the flames.
Only Sophia remains in play, but not for long. “Fortune Lady Light left the field, which lets me Summon a fortune lady from my Deck. I choose Fortune Lady Umbra!” And the tall, dark sorceress appears beside Sophia’s god. “Lady Umbra, attack Mathias directly!” The sorceress strikes Mathias with hellish flames from her staff. Mathias desperately rolls on the sand as if the flames are not holograms but really burning him. (Mathias LP 2800) “Sophia, finish him off!” The goddess bats her wings, flaming the divine flames under then, and sweeps away Mathias with them. Mathias falls to the ground, burned in agony.
Mathias: 0 || Sophia: 400
The crowd gasped in horror while Maximus and Ivy rushed to aid their fallen friend. Maximus clasped his friend’s hand tight while trying to stabilize him while Ivy put bandages on Mathias’ wounds. “Somebody help him!” She shouted in fear.
Sophia rushed to Mathias in tears, holding his other hand, while Maya rushed to Ivy’s aid, handing her a first aid kit from her bag. Maximus, noticing Mathias wasn’t breathing, became desperate, pushing his abdomen with his palms and breathing into his mouth.
Ivy, realizing normal first aid wouldn’t work, had to make a desperate measure. Ivy commanded, “Maya, Yukio, Sophia, cover us up as best as you can. Nobody should see this but there’s no other option.” She laid her hands on Mathias’ wounded body, chanting in deep, gurgling voice, her face contorted in concentration, her body glowing bright. “I call upon my Ka, Fairie Queen! Channel your power through me! Heal Mathias!”
Did Ivy grow white wings? No, it must have been a trick of the eye for they vanished instantly. Mathias’ burns faded away. A miracle! Only a few marks remained as if he just brushed by a fire. Mathias gasped for air, pawing on the ground, coughing while Maximus patted him in the back to help him get any junk out of his throat. Maya, Yukio, and Sophia were all dumbstruck in shock and surprise. None of them believed in the supernatural, yet here it was right in front of them.
Recovering, Mathias laughed his heartiest laugh yet. “That was one of the most fun, craziest duels I ever had!” He shook Sophia’s hand with all her strength, nearly breaking the poor girls arm, and handed her the two last Item Cards her team needed. Everyone around him sighed in profound relief, except Sophia, was still in shock. “WAS THAT A GREAT DUEL OR WHAT!” Mathias called out and the whole audience trumpeted yes in a bright fanfare.
The audience cheered at Sophia in a thunderous applause. The sudden shifts in mood were too much for our protagonists. Maya and Yukio wondered if cheering was the best thing to do since Mathias nearly died playing a card game, but Mathias himself and his friends didn’t seem to mind. They even patted them on the back for being such great teammates. Sophia had the same thoughts but also a few more. She couldn’t believe she won the duel and became that much stronger, but also feared her power, the power that nearly killed Mathias.
Maya and Yukio hugged Sophia, summoning all their love from the depth of their heats, and Sophia did the same. Maya and Yukio lifted Sophia into the air. Exalted, Sophia could see the entire crowd cheering for her from her height. She never believed anyone could love her or so many people would welcome her into her heart. For the first time in ages, Sophia lead her guards down and embraced the falling night and the revelers around her.
Created cards can be found on this link: HERE