The Darkness Within

The Confession, Part II - Act III

"Cognitive Dissonance is the act of holding two conflicting beliefs. It is usually affiliated with a painful churning feeling in your stomach."

Her words went right through me like a bullet, and I immediately felt horrible the moment she said it. Even though I knew that she was wrong, hearing it from her hurt more than anything else I could possibly imagine.

"I'm nothing like Akron, Akiza! I only wanted to save you!" I pleaded, trying my best to talk her out of this. This wasn't right, and I wasn't willing to fight the only thing I had left! Akiza just blinked slowly and shook her head.

"How many people have died here, Jay?" Akiza spat accusingly and sent a glare that could melt metal at me, before shaking her head in vain. "It doesn't matter anymore. I'm going to beat you and end all this!" Akiza declared, and folded out her Dark Signer Duel Disk, herself glowing with purple energy, and where she originally had a mark, she now had a Dark Signer mark in the shape of a rose that glowed purple softly in the room.

Jay, you have to focus! The Crimson Dragon called out, trying to shake me out of my daze. You have to beat her!

But… I can't… I can't fight her! I replied mentally, as I felt my stomach churn uncomfortably, doubt contaminating my thoughts and disabling me from thinking clearly. I felt my power slowly wane as my ferocity and desire for redemption slide into the background of my mind.

She's being controlled, Jay! She doesn't know what she's saying!

So she's… being used? This isn't her talking?

No! It's the Immortal talking, not Akiza! You can free her, but you'll have to Duel her!

Reluctantly, I activated my Duel Disk as well, and took stance, prepared to face whatever Akiza would have to throw at me. Akiza said a low 'tsk', and prepared herself as well.


Activating Duel Protocol. Loading format…

Format "Anime-4000LP" loaded.


Player 1: Jay Alkain

Player 2: Akiza Izinski

Jay Alkain: 4000 LP

Akiza Izinski: 4000 LP


"I take the first move! Draw!" Akiza declared, pulling a card out of her Duel Disk and quickly adding it to her hand. In one fluid move, she placed the card in her hand and pulled another from her hand and placed it on her Duel Disk. "I Normal Summon Evil Thorn in Attack Position!" Akiza declared, and slammed the card onto her Duel Disk, and forth came a strange plant, holding one big black seed on which was quite a lot of sharp spikes.

Evil Thorn Lv: 1 ATK: 100 DEF: 300 Plant/Effect (ATK)

"And to start us off, I activate the special effect of Evil Thorn! By Releasing it, you take 300 points of damage!" Akiza declared as the big seed Evil Thorn carried began to bulge and expand, until it finally popped, sending spikes flying everywhere. I quickly brought up my arms to shield myself, but my arms were shocked out of stance when a spike nailed me right in the right shoulder! I grunted in pain as the hail of spikes ended, and I pulled it out on my own, and two more Evil Thorns had taken place on her field.

"What's this?!" I exclaimed, confused. Akiza smirked. "When I release Evil Thorn for its own effect, I can Special Summon two more from my Deck in Attack Position. I am not allowed to activate their effects, but it's a small price to pay."

Evil Thorn Lv: 1 ATK: 100 DEF: 300 Plant/Effect (ATK) x2

"Then I activate the Spell Card, Closed Plant Gate!" Akiza declared, holding up the Spell Card for me to see. "Since I control two or more face-up Plant-Type monsters, you are not permitted to attack next turn!" Akiza declared, her eyes sparking with a red-green glow for a second, as the Spell Card caused long, thick green vines grow from the ground and surround Akiza's two plants. "Turn end."

"It's my…" I began, momentarily fading out for a moment, as the pressure was beginning to get to me. The injury from the spike had already healed, but it still felt sore. "-turn! Draw!" I declared, swiftly drawing my first card.

"I Summon Nova Paladin in Defense Position!" I declared, and the shield-and-sword wielding warrior clad in enchanted armor jumped out in front of me, and set his shield up to signal Defense Mode.

Nova Paladin Lv: 4 ATK: 200 DEF: 2200 Warrior/Effect (DEF)

"Then I'll Set two cards and end my turn!" I declared, though even with all this I began to feel weary. I felt tired of all this, but I had to convince her that this was all wrong. "Akiza!" I exclaimed, getting her attention. "This isn't right! You're serving someone who is just going to discard you once you're no longer of use!"

Akiza simply scoffed at my words. "That's irrelevant. I'm your opponent Jay, why do you think I accepted his offer?" Akiza questioned, shocking me momentarily. I couldn't find any words at all. Akiza shook her head in disapproval. "Of course you wouldn't know. It's my turn! Draw!" Akiza said, drawing her card with a strange ferocity.

"I activate the Spell Card Fragrance Storm!" Akiza declared, revealing her Spell Card. "By destroying a Plant-Type monster I control, I can draw a card! I destroy my one Evil Thorn!" Akiza declared as a whirlwind emerged underneath the one plant and tore it to shreds, and per the card, Akiza drew another. She smirked. "Since the card I drew was a Plant-type, like this Botanical Girl, I can draw another card!" Akiza declared, and drew yet another card.

"I now Summon my Twilight Rose Knight in Attack Position!" Akiza declared, placing a new monster on her Duel Disk, and forth came a young warrior wearing dark armor and a small sword.

Twilight Rose Knight Lv: 3 ATK: 1000 DEF: 1000 Warrior/Tuner/Effect (ATK)

"And now comes his ability! When he's Normal Summoned, I can Special Summon one level 4 or lower Plant-Type monster from my hand! Welcome to the field, Botanical Girl!" And forth came a young girl, who was basically merged with a strange plant, which meant that she had a kind of plant-pitcher on the back of her head.

Botanical Girl Lv: 3 ATK: 1300 DEF: 1100 Plant/Effect (ATK)

"And now, I Tune my Level 1 Evil Thorn and my Level 3 Botanical Girl with my Level 3 Twilight Rose Knight!" Akiza declared as the small knight spread out his arms and legs as he turned into energy, which quickly condensed itself into three shining white stars.

The stars began to rotate as I looked upon with fear, because I knew what was coming. She was summoning her ace. Their rotation resulted in them turning into three green rings, and the two plants flew into the air inside the rings. "Chilling flames engulf the entire world. Pitch-black flower, set into bloom!" Akiza chanted as the signature green beam of light emerged through the rings, though with Akiza's lethal psychic power, along with it came an incredibly powerful storm of wind, blowing the roof off, and toppling the walls, sending machinery flying everywhere. When the light faded, forth came two wide wings covered with red rose petals, thorny roots and a pair of eyes that gleamed with rage as the rest of the flower-like dragon dispelled the light with a mighty roar. "Black Rose Dragon!"

Black Rose Dragon Lv: 7 ATK: 2400 DEF: 1200 Dragon/Synchro/Effect (ATK)

"When Botanical Girl is sent from the Field to the Graveyard, I can add one Plant-Type monster whose Defense Points are 1000 or lower from my Deck to my hand," Akiza said off-handedly as a card slid out of her Deck, and she swiftly added it to her hand.

"And then, I equip it with the Spell Card, Thorn of Malice!" Akiza declared as she held up the Spell Card, before sliding it into her Duel Disk, and on Black Rose Dragon's neck, grew out fierce tentacles adorned with sharp, vicious thorns. "Thorn of Malice gives Black Rose Dragon an additional 600 extra Attack Points, bringing her up to 3000!"

Black Rose Dragon (ATK): 2400 -) 3000

"Black Rose Dragon attacks Nova Paladin! Hate Thorn Whip!" Akiza declared as Black Rose Dragon roared, and its tentacles rushed forwards to Nova Paladin, prepared to whip him into submission. However, "Nova Paladin's effect activates! Once per turn, he can negate an attack!" I declared, as Paladin held up his shield in defense, and it became covered with crimson energy, which caused the whips to bounce harmlessly off.

"You're just as stubborn as I expected," Akiza said frustratingly, before quickly regaining her cool. "I Set a card face-down and end my turn," She declared, her eyes gleaming for a second before she shook her head, as if she had remembered something.

"Akiza, you have to regain your senses! The Immortal is controlling you!" I pleaded, as I readied myself to draw yet again. She just scoffed. "I'm not being controlled, Jay. I chose to fight you by myself." She said off-handedly, as if it was supposed to be obvious, while I was just getting more and more confused. Why would she willingly choose to fight me, to try and drag me down into the darkness?

"You don't understand Akiza, you're being used!" I said, as I drew my card and quickly looked over my hand, and I saw a way to perhaps get to Akiza, but it would require Supernova Dragon. Since Thorn of Malice means that Black Rose Dragon can't destroy anything by battle, that means that if Supernova Dragon battled it, only her monster would be destroyed, and she would take 3000 damage. Supernova Dragon would however be forced down to 2400 Attack Points and 1500 Defense Points as a consequence, but it would have to do.

"I Normal Summon Nova Striker in Attack Position!" I declared, as I summoned the knight wielding his sword and shield, and jumped beside Paladin with a short warcry.

Nova Striker Lv: 3 ATK: 1400 DEF: 600 Warrior/Tuner/Effect (ATK)

"When Nova Striker is Normal Summoned, he allows me to Special Summon a Level 4 or lower Nova monster from my hand! Come forth, Kurinova!" I declared, and Striker stuck his sword into the ground, and sliced open a crack. Fire spewed out, and then out jumped a small, round sphere of red energy with two, big gleaming eyes.

Kurinova Lv: 1 ATK: 300 DEF: 200 Fairy/Effect (ATK)

"And now, I Tune my Level 1 Kurinova and my Level 4 Nova Paladin with my Level 3 Nova Striker!" I exclaimed, as Striker lifted his sword into the air, and he began turning into red energy, and rapidly condensed himself into three solitary stars. The stars rotated, and became crimson rings of energy.

"When a star dies, a new star is forged in the fires of a supernova," I began to chant as my two other monsters jumped inside the three rings, and the light revealed the stars inside them corresponding to their levels. "Let every star burst to form one great dragon!" I exclaimed, as a red beam of light shone through the rings, and quickly grew to tremendous size, covering the rings entirely. "Synchro Summon!" I chanted as the light began to fade. First was revealed a pair of scaled, muscular arms, then a pair of armored, muscular legs, then six red, scaled wings and a bladed tail, and finally the horned head and the eyes that gleamed with fire like the abyss. "Supernova Dragon!"

Supernova Dragon Lv: 8 ATK: 3000 DEF: 2100 Dragon/Synchro/Effect (ATK)

My dragon floated down beside me, its fingertips already sparking with a thin fire, as it waited for the command to attack, to destroy, to devastate. Our two dragons glared at eachother with a sense of rage buried beneath the eyes in them both, a rage that was just waiting to be unleashed.

"Your dragon is so much like you, Jay," Akiza said out loud, her hand scratching her chin as a thin smile passed on her lips. "What do you mean?" I replied, confused. "It can only destroy. It destroys everything it sees as an enemy, and burns everything around it to the ground, not caring who gets caught in the crossfire."

That really hurt. Those words pierced me completely. Was she right? Did I only just destroy? No, she was… she was lying! The Immortal is trying to buy time to find a way to beat me, but that won't work! I'll beat it out of her and bring her back to her senses!

"I'm gonna beat that Immortal out of you, Akiza! I activate Supernova Dragon's effect, paying 1000 Life Points to prevent you from activating any Spell or Trap cards this turn's Battle Phase!" I said, feeling my lifeforce drain as fire lit up on Supernova Dragon's back and slid along its wings, creating the look like its wings were on fire.

Jay: 3700 -) 2700

"Supernova Dragon attacks! Supernova Flare Blitz!" I howled, as Supernova Dragon charged forwards, cloaked in fire, and rammed right into Black Rose Dragon. It beat back with its whips, and gave Supernova Dragon some nasty scars, forcing it to retreat, but not before scorching Black Rose Dragon.

"And now, since Supernova Dragon has destroyed a monster, it inflicts its highest stat, its Attack Points of 3000 as damage! Supernova Outburst!" I exclaimed as Supernova Dragon charged up a large sphere of energy and tossed it right at Akiza, who remained calm as the energy sphere flew at her and created a large explosion the moment it hit, sending smoke everywhere.

Supernova Dragon (ATK): 3000 -) 2400

I felt a pang of delight for a second, knowing that I had dealt a decisive blow, and my victory would be close now, and I was that much closer to getting through to Akiza and rid the Immortal's control over her. But then the smoke faded, and she stood there, surrounded by flowers, and her Life Points hadn't even reduced.

"W-what?!" I exclaimed in horror. "How did it not work?!" Akiza smiled. "I discarded the Monster Card Black Rose the moment Supernova Dragon's effect would have dealt damage to me. It negates the effect damage, and then lets me Special Summon a monster from my Graveyard whose Attack Points is equal to or lower than the amount I would have taken. Have a guess which!" Akiza exclaimed, as a purple portal opened in front of her, and forth emerged Black Rose Dragon again!

"Black Rose's effect also forces all your monsters into Defense Mode!" Akiza declared, as Supernova Dragon recoiled, and kneeled down to signal Defense Mode. That card she discarded… a monster, bypassing Supernova Dragon's prevention effect… all I had to rely on now was my two face-down cards… "I end my turn," I said softly.

Akiza smiled grimly as she drew her next card. "By banishing a Plant-Type monster from my Graveyard, one Defense Position monster you control is forced into Attack Position, and it's Attack Points become 0! Rose Restriction!" Akiza declared as its thorny tentacles rushed forward and restrained Supernova Dragon's limbs, forcing it into a vulnerable position right in front of me.

Supernova Dragon (ATK): 2400 -) 0

"Black Rose Dragon attacks Supernova Dragon! Black Rose Flare!" Akiza declared as her dragon let loose a massive blast of fire at Supernova Dragon, destroying my signature monster easily, before the attack headed straight for me. I raised my arms up in an attempt to defend myself from the flames, but the moment they reached me, I felt nothing. A white flash, and I was gone.

I was somewhere else. I stood in the middle of New Domino. Everything was burning. Dead people hung from the lampposts, people hung from buildings, they were everywhere. And then people were running around, screaming as their very flesh burned.

"Welcome to Hell, Jay Alkain. We've been waiting for you." That voice again… the moment it was done talking, the people on fire stopped, turned around, and then ran for me. I tried to swipe them away as they closed in on me, but I felt them approach, and then I felt myself burn.

And I screamed in agony.


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