Duel 6 – A New God Awakens
Matthew: 2900 | Hannibal: 900
Mathias, watching the epic duel from the sidelines, is so shocked and puzzled by Hannibal’s hesitation he clasps his jaw with his hand, glancing around the arena to make sure he is not hallucinating the event, seeing everyone is as shocked as he is. “Why did not Hannibal pummel him! He is one turn away from killing Matthew in his own Shadow Game!” He rages to himself, the voice in his head so loud he believes for a brief moment everyone can hear him. Then he realizes Hannibal is only human and no normal person can easily take a life.
Mathias clasps the Philosopher’s Stone on his chest; a glowing crystal in small gold cage, made from the very leftover gold used to create the Millennium Items. His stone gave him and Maximus a life far longer than human, the Headmaster of their great monastery in Ireland prolonged their lives to prepare all Christendom for the End Times. Mathias chastises himself for his lack of mercy and remorse, and with that he doubts his goodness again. Was he the Red Dragon the Headmaster prophesized?
Hannibal withdraws his fist, refraining from striking Matthew with a crippling blow, and reaches out to him one last time. “Matthew, ask yourself; would your grandfather kill for revenge? He would be so ashamed and sad, to see his great grandson, so intelligent, talented, and tasteful, throw away all his potential. And all your terror and murder for what; to get back at people not worth the trouble for losing a card game? You know you’re better than this.
“I do not speak to you as a teacher but as another flawed man. I remember the day I realized the error of my ways and changed. I was married to Indira, a beautiful noble woman, an Indian princess, no an Indian goddess of all virtues you used to have, but one day One day I failed to worship her, this Eternal Feminine.” Every female finalist groans at the hearing of such praise, but Hannibal fails to hear them. “I met a girl online, more comely than my dear Indira but nowhere near as beautiful or intelligent, but I pursued her, and Indira divorced me when she found out. Ever since then I embraced a different life, a life of stoicism and reflection, but never has a day gone by without me doing good deeds in penance. Matthew, it is never too late to repent and return to a nobleman’s life of virtue.”
“Elitism and classism much.” Stella remarks from the sidelines with a snark.
Maya is about to respond but Kaiba chortles in her place. “He’s a stoic. Of course he acts like Caesar while pretending to be humble, as if anyone cares about the moral drama in his life.” Maya might as well have said it.
Matthew listened to everything his former mentor said – truly he did, he paid attention sincerely – shaking his head and laughing sadly, unable to take anything Hannibal said seriously anymore. He has to tell the truth. “Old man, you never knew my grandfather. He had connections to the Ghouls for over a decade, and he profited from their rackets, not only their usual extortions but also from the antiques black market. He was not a good person. No ‘nobleman’ is. I told you, as an insider, the owners of the world use morals as a one-way street. Sorry.” And he means it.
Hannibal drops the card in his hand, devastated.
“God is a cruel satirist; He truly works in mysterious ways.” Maya comments, noticing Mathias listening to her as if he just realized something. “Listen, Hannibal. Stop pretending to be selfless. Your philosophical garbage is all about you; you’re self-blame and life of penance is the sick pleasure you get from self-pity and your preening self-aggrandizement. You cheated on your wife, big deal. Every other man and woman was once a cuckold, me too.
“If you want Matthew or me for that matter to live in penance and self-denial, you can forget it; an utterly useless and stupid way to live. You won’t revive the dead, nor mend you’re wife’s broken heart, nor stop you from hitting on naïve college girls in the future. Your massive guilt, especially the kind of guilt you have, will just corrode you and bore everyone else. Your God will not tell me how to live my life. I have no sympathy or pity for you. You can lose this Shadow Game and die for all care. I never thought I would cheer for Matthew in my entire life but I do now. I would laugh at this sad joke but it is too pathetic.”
HANNIBAL’S TURN: The old man thrusts his fist at Matthew again. “No! Your grandfather was not an evil man! You will pay for his crimes and yours! Exodia, smash Decode Talker!” The Forbidden One grinds Matthew’s monster with its massive fist. (Matthew LP 2900 à 200) The strike sends shocks into Matthew’s body, nearly making him fall over. “My turn ends, so I return an Exodia piece to my hand.” Hannibal concludes.
“This duel is done.” Kaiba snorts, turning around to leave, his white trench coat billowing behind him as always. Matthew’s Ultimaya Tzolkin tactic was well established long before the finals began, and even that didn’t same him. He added nothing new to the game.
Pegasus playfully wags his finger at his old friend. “You shouldn’t leave the duel until the last card is played, Kaiba-boy. Who knows what may happen next!” His advice received the usual ungrateful barb.
MATTHEW’S TURN: Sometimes a duelist knows when he draws a powerful card, and this is such a moment; Matthew knows he will end the duel in total victory! He just knows! “I draw, and I activate Dragon’s Mirror! I banish 5 Dragons in my Graveyard to Summon Five God Dragon!” A huge mirror appears behind him, and as five ghosts go inside it a dragon of godlike powers; of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Dark, smashes through the other side of the looking glass. “Now, Return From the Different Dimension!” Matthew pays half his Life and every dragon he banished comes back. (Matthew LP 200 à 100)
“Now, old man, you will see God! I banish 4 of my Dragons; Five God Dragon, Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon, Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon, Proxy Dragon, to summon from my Extra Deck GOLDEN GOD DRAGON!!!” Matthew’s dragons fly to the heavens, vanishing into the gathering thunderstorm. Lightning strikes the field, the god thunders down from a higher plain to manifest in earth below; a huge dragon of six wings, covered in a near infinite amount of golden scales.
Kaiba turns around in surprise, with everyone else gasping stupidly at the splendorous beast in play. Weevil and Rex huddle together as lambs, trembling in terror. Maya saw something in each of the dragon’s scales and, squinting hard enough, found that each scale was inscribed with three words: Thou shalt not! A godly monster indeed.
Hannibal drops his duel disk on the ground. “Seize you’re win, Matthew. You earned it. I was wrong about your grandfather but I’m not wrong about you. I know that deep down you are a good person.”
Matthew is unmoved. “Golden God Dragon, destroy the old man! Make this duel my game!” His dragon rises a hundreds of meters into the air and crashes down on Hannibal in a vortex of fire. The mighty Exodia resists but is soon consumed by the flames. Hannibal feels nothing but the most terrible pain in his entire life, with every nerve burning as if in Hell, but he makes not one sound. Matthew’s dragon rises to the sky, returning to the higher dimension where it came, and Hannibal, burned and broken, drops.
Matthew: 100 | Hannibal: 0
All the darkness from Matthew’s evil magic floated away, leaving the bright afternoon sun to shine clearly, as if nothing happened.
Mathias, Stella, and Mokuba rushed to help the fallen duelist. Rex and Weevil still tremble in fright. Maya, Maria, and everyone else remained still, as if not knowing what to do. Mathias desperately pleaded to Hannibal to wake up, shook him, slapped him, pushed his chest and breathed into his mouth, but all in vain. Hannibal was gone. Stella hugged Mathias as he wept.
Kaiba left, this time for good, but grumbled, “First we had the Sacred Beasts to match the God Cards, then the Wicked Gods, then the Dragon Gods, then Golden God Dragon.” His one-time God Card, Obelisk the Tormentor, was no longer special. “Come with me, Mokuba.” He ordered, and Mokuba obeyed.
Pegasus shrugged. “An excellent duel, certainly legendary, it satisfies my connoisseur taste, but I must be going, for half an hour at least. Until next time. And Isono,” he addressed Kaiba’s referee. “Remove the corpse.” The finalists were fighting dogs or race horses for all he cared. The plebs weren’t people.
Only Mathias, Stella, and Maya remained; Mathias weeping, Stella consoling him, Maya remaining unmoved, but Stella rebuked her, “Maya, you’re so cruel.”
Maya seemed dazed for she replied as if talking to herself, “Hannibal was right about Matthew. He is a good person deep down but went the wrong way. He seemed so friendly when we just dueled, before I saw he condescended me, but I think I briefly saw the true man, even if just a second. But I’m not a good person. I could have grown up in a whole family, with my mom alive, my dad kind, and our money intact. But no good upbringing will change who I am. The tournament revealed to me my birthright.”