DAY 11 : 6:18 AM : LUXOR
Our remaining heroes felt great pain over the loss of their friend. Yukio, Sophia, and the Saints, knowing Maya was captures, spend three days looking for her, scouring over the barren deserts of Egypt. They found no sign of her.
Our heroes had no choice but to accept that she died. Mathias suggested they mark a cross over the bank of the Nile overseeing the rising sun. Yukio objected, saying Maya was like JC, an edgy atheist who wanted a violent, glorious death. They met a compromise; Yukio secured a large line leaf over a mound of rocks. The pine leaf symbolized immortality to both the Old and the New faiths, the New indebted to the Old.
Yukio, Sophia, and the Saints made a silent prayer for their fallen friend – which broke as disturbed tourists fled Luxor as if they ran from the plague. “What in Ra’s name?” Yukio asked an American woman fleeing with her little boy what happened. The mother screeched of a dirty, crazy, naked woman running shamelessly across the desert. “I did not pay my health insurance to have my child scarred for the rest of his life!” The soccer mom declared. “I will sue Trafalgar Tours for damages as soon as I return home!”
“Sweet Irish Jesus bless my immortal soul! Miracles do happen!” Mathias pointed at a naked woman caked with dirt laboring her way across the desert, too weak to walk but plodding on as hard as she could. She sometimes stopped to dance with joy in the warm sun.
She rushed towards Yukio and Sophia, they ran after her, embracing each other in gratitude. Their friend was alive! Maya devoured Yukio in kisses and kissed Sophia on her cheeks and forehead. She plucked the pine leaf from the stone mound and tore it to pieces. “I’m not dead yet you idiots!” She collapsed on the ground, almost ready to lose her consciousness.
The Saints dispatched for a medical team while Yukio and Sophia offered her food, which she devoured like a wild animal. They took Maya to have a thorough bath and gave her light, bright clothes so she may be clean again. Nurses and a doctor arrived to put her in bed, test her blood sugar levels, put many bandages on her scratches and burns, and put an IV in her arm. Maya didn’t really care as she easily fell to sleep, resting as a mummy in its tomb.
DAY 11 : 7:34 PM : LUXOR
Maya slept for a total of thirteen hours. During that time Yukio and Sophia planned what would happen in the finals. They decided to meet during the sunset of the twelfth day, which would be tomorrow. They called Jolene and JC, telling them the good news, and rejoiced when they returned good news to them. Jolene recovered in a hospital and returned to JC’s apartment in Chicago. The Ghouls were nowhere to be seen, but neither was Xiaoyi to their puzzlement.
Hassan meanwhile, with the assistance of Heishin’s former general, gathered his troops in Luxor. They planned to invade the capitol building late at night. Hassan humbly requested if the Saints would help them to which Mathias nodded. Heishin had more than an army. He had occult powers too.
Yukio and Sophia, who sat by Maya as she slept, were surprised when she woke from her huge slumber. Maya beaconed for her friends to come closer. “I met God.”
Yukio and Sophia crept to her bedside. “And?”
Yukio laughed, nearly shoving her off the bed as he pushed her in jest. “Really?”
“Well, no. He’s really a neck beard who plays World of Warcraft and posts on Reddit. His name is Orochi the Basement Dweller. I swear.” And she spoke of the Yugioh dimensions and how everyone was a character in a five novel series. She turned to the audience, saying, “Hey, you reading this! You know I’m right!”
“Did your head crack when you fell?” Yukio said to her. “Who are you talking to?”
Yukio threw his hands up in the air. “Whatever. I think you just got stoned and forgot about it.” He and Sophia gave Maya more food to each, which she ate enthusiastically, and briefed her on their plans. While she was asleep they entered their Millennium Item Cards into the Duelist Network database, which told them the location of the finals. At ten o’clock at night sharp, a special jet would arrive at the Cairo Airport. The people at the gate would not accept tickets and would only allow eight duelists with Millennium Item Cards. Only one person per team could come.
Our heroes became gloomy. It meant they would be separated; one of them would go alone to fight the final battle with Matthew, who would be there as surely as the sun rises to the sky. They overheard Hassan speaking with Matthew. They would invade Heishin’s army tonight. Maya started to get up but Yukio pushed her back in bed, saying to her, “Don’t you even think about it. You can’t even control your Ka let alone fight him.”
“But I can, at least when in huge danger.” But Maya’s objections were quickly silenced. Yukio would not let his love risk getting killed again.
Mathias gestured Yukio and Sophia to follow him. He briefed them on the protocol. If they would not fight they would stay in the village, far away from any large cities. Was that understood? The two nodded. Mathias patted them on the back. “Take care.” The Saints, Hassan, and his troops jumped on jeeps and armored vans and began their drive to the capitol.
Yukio and Sophia returned to the small bedroom to check on their friend only to see the bed was empty. Maya sneaked out at the first opportunity. Her IV chord lay on the floor as she had torn it off to escape.
Yukio felt a deep sinking feeling in his stomach. “Oh no.” Why didn’t she ever listen to him? How could one person be so stubborn and perverse? And he thought he was a crazy rock star!
Sophia hugged him. “She did the right thing. She’ll make it. I know she will.”
DAY 11 : 10:45 PM : CAIRO
Heishin sat in the President’s chair in his office, tense as a man in the Hall of Judgment. Matthew and Alexis stood opposite to him across the desk while Xiaoyi oversaw his conduct from behind. Xiaoyi crafted the perfect plan for Heishin to crush his rivals and take his son back to his camp where he belonged. Everything was set. Xiaoyi set a spell on his soldiers so they would strike at the right time.
Meanwhile, Hassan, the Saints, Maya, and his troops descended on the capital. The streets were blocked with cars as usual but no troops or tanks were to be seen. It was too quiet. Hassan saw how Heishin’s reign of terror scarred the city. Entire streets were destroyed, buildings shut down, people lined up for rations even this late at night. He pointed his observations to the Saints and Maya.
The capitol building was unguarded and, as Hassan and company cautiously poked their way inside, deserted too. Things were not good. Hassan steeled his nerves, knowing the conflict that was to come. He ordered the Saints to secure the main chamber while he led the way to the President’s office with Maya by his side. As they stepped into the office, Hassan saw how eerily it represented the oval office, the office of the American President Barrack Obama.
Heishin stood from his chair to greet his son. “It’s been some time since we last met, boy. I salute you for making it this far. But it all ends here. I haven’t come this far to be beaten by a child.” He waved his cursed black hand, a call to battle, and the door behind his rivals slammed shut.
Every door in the capitol building slammed shut. The Saints perked their ears, knowing the battle would begin soon. They were right. Hundreds of Heishin’s troops appeared from nowhere as if they made themselves invisible somehow. The Saints knew they probably did. Now their charm wore off they were ready to strike their quarry down.
Heishin’s soldiers fired their machine guns and the Saints combined their powers to shield Hassan’s soldiers with a dome of mirrors. The enemy’s bullets rebounded, shooting themselves. But the Saints’ advantage quickly ended. Mathias and Alexis appeared, calling forth their dragons of fire and ice once more to break the barrier down by force. The Saints strained their bodies and spirits to hold the barrier but it cracked and later collapsed.
Heishin’s troops resumed the battle, gunning Hassan’s soldiers down. The Saints summoned their own ka. Mathias and Ivy fired at their enemy’s ka together. But Matthew was smarter than he thought. Rather than meeting them head on, Matthew and Alexis grabbed their dragons, then made them dodge the attack, carrying their owners to safety. The Saints’ attack whizzed past their target to break the entrance door to pieces.
Matthew and Alexis struck back, their dragons striking Maximus directly. Maximus summoned his ka, Swordswoman Crusader to block the attack, but the combined strength of two incredible people was too much even for him. Both man and ka were thrown back to a pillar. Maximus crashed to a pillar, his Ka vanishing.
The brutal pair shot their fiery energies at Maximus again. Ivy instinctively blocked their assault on her husband with the magic from her bare hands, but it was too costly. She too collapsed, by her husband’s side.
Matthew sneered at their defeat, “Love conquers all, huh.”
Mathias glared at Matthew, clearly intending to kill him. If Matthew did not believe in love, then he would pay for it. He had a plan. “Horus! Attack!” His dragon ignited its attack of black flames. Matthew and Alexis braced for the attack together. But Mathias didn’t aim at them. He aimed at the ceiling! The vault crumbled, heavy stones and concert hurling down at his foes. Matthew and Alexis jumped away in desperation, barely avoiding their deaths.
Now they were separated. Mathias cruised towards Alexis, taking out enemy troops with ease. He hurled one attack after another at Alexis, who fought back with all her might but could not resist a veteran of battle such as Mathias. His dragon slammed her beast against a hall wall, sending Alexis crashing against the wall too. “Matthew! Help me! Please!” She called out.
Matthew saw what Mathias was up to! He wanted to kill Alexis! He saw a fork in the road. Maximus and Ivy shrunken at his right and Alexis in peril at his left. If he defended Alexis he would take such a heavy blow he might die. Two of his three enemies were sitting ducks. He called for his dragon to attack.
Mathias could not believe it! Matthew was ready to sacrifice his love in the blink of an eye. Actually, he could believe it. He knew selfish prep school kids such as Matthew like the back of his hand. He couldn’t even count the number of them he humiliated in Yugioh. Now his comrades were in danger! He left Alexis to defend them.
Matthew shuddered in immense pain before he could command an attack. A senior general, Hassan’s second-in-command, shot him in the ankle. Matthew roared, his dragon stomped on the general with its clawed foot, breaking his bones and tearing out his organs. Then he saw a comet of black flame blazing his way, a shot fired by Mathias! He dodged the attack.
Mathias bought himself enough time to regroup with his allies and Matthew did the same with Alexis. Ivy used the time she had to heal Maximus and herself a bit. She told Mathias and Maximus her plan. “Now we attack together.”
Mathias and Ivy held each other’s arms and together their dragons of ice and fire threw their attack at the enemy. Matthew and Alexis regrouped and redoubled with their own attack. All four attacks crashed in the middle, battering every soldier around the building, scorching all desks and paintings to ash. Both factions pushed each other with all of their will. Mathias and Ivy fell on their back foot, and tried to push back as much as they could, but this time they could not. Matthew and Alexis did not suffer from fatigue this time. They were too strong at their full power.
Maximus made a bold move. He dashed at the center of all the chaos. “Brother, no!” Mathias called as Maximus disappeared in the flames. Maximus called his ka forth, Swordsman Crusader, and threw her at his opponents, weathering the smelting crucible he was in.
Matthew and Alexis saw a mighty armored woman appear out of nowhere and slice open the hearts of both their dragons. Both sorcerers redoubled in pain, letting go of their concentration. Mathias and Ivy seized their chance, pushing back with all their might. Their attacks collided with Matthew’s and Alexis’ ripping them to pieces and burning the pieces to ashes, throwing Matthew and Alexis against a wall.
The two young adults twitched, coughing blood. The Saints’ spirits soared in victory but not for a long. A wave of pure darkness swept over, picking up the defeated Matthew and Alexis at its center. Mathias saw only the glimpse of a small pale woman with long black hair before she vanished, carrying Matthew, Alexis, and the black waves she summoned with her.
Ivy took the injured Maximus by her side to tend to his wounds. Mathias continued with the battle, sicking his dragon on any enemy soldier he could find. None were a match for him, letting him clear the opposing army with ease. The battlefield was secure.
But the battle was not yet one. Meanwhile, in the President’s office, Heishin summoned his behemoth ka, Gate Guardian, while Maya summoned hers, Deadstar Dragon. The two clashed violently, their attacks striking at the center of the office. Maya and Heishin destroyed the entire office with their fiery wills. Heishin gained ground, inching closer and closer to Maya as he did before. Maya fell back bit by bit. Bent on her back foot she decided it was enough. She doubled her efforts, pushing past the very limits of her will.
Their attacks crashed at the center of the office again but slowly the center moved to Heishin, inch by inch. Heishin struggled back, but no matter what he did Maya steadily advanced towards him, inch by inch. Heishin grunted under the pressure, incredulous. “How! Can! This! Brat! Be! So! Strong!” He looked over his shoulder in terror. “Xiaoyi! Help me!” He begged. But Xiaoyi bailed out of the fight a long time ago and never had any intention of helping him. Maya’s attack hit him, destroying Gate Guardian an entire side of the President’s building.
Heishin crashed on the President’s desk, which splintered and crumbled under the pressure of the duel. He nearly fell off the building and to his death; Maya’s attack was so fierce she blew up a wing of the building to the outside world.
Heishin felt his back break under the pressure. He slumped to the floor, vomiting blood from his mouth. But he was not defeated yet. He reached for a small hidden gun. He aimed at Maya for the kill. – But Hassan shot his hand! He dropped his gun, grabbing his bloodied hand. Maya picked up his gun, pressing the muzzle on his forehead. Could this girl kill him? It couldn’t be!
Maya glared at him below, her eyes broiling with volcanic flames, her frightening face bent into an expression of pure hatred. Hassan lowered his gun, lifting his other hand. He gently murmured to her to calm her down. “It’s okay, Maya. He lost. See how he resigned himself in defeat. He surrendered. I know he hurt you and your friends. He hurt all of us but we’re better than he is.”
Heishin sighed more deeply than he ever did in his life. “It’s pointless, my son.” Tears welled in his eyes. “I failed as a ruler, soldier, father, and a man. I failed Allah but I failed you most of all. I never bothered to understand you, my son. For that I am truly sorry.”
Maya’s hatred was so great Heishin’s words did not move her in any way, and the fallen man knew this. He said to his, “Don’t bother convincing the girl. I knew the moment I looked into her eyes that she was a killer. May I die with honor, whether I arrive to Paradise or Hell.” He looked into Maya’s eyes and saw only the promise of Hell. He looked at Hassan one more time. “I love you, son.”
Maya fired the gun, blowing Heishin’s brains out.