Celestial Signer

Signs of the Monkey- Part 2

Chapter 20

Signs of the Monkey- Part 2

As Luna entered dusty old room in the abandoned house, an ear-shattering screamed reached her ears. She felt it belonged to her brother, and she realized what was happening in the real world. Her mark began to glow brightly.

"Is something wrong?" Torunka asked.

"It's my brother, Leo! He went to duel the Dark Signer in my place and he's been hurt!" she cried.

Torunka quickly covered her mouth. "Be careful to not be too loud or they'll find us."

Luna nodded, and he released her. He looked around. The cedar room was empty, save for a solitary window. They edged to a corner of the room where it would be hard for them to be spotted.

"So, what's the plan?" Torunka asked her.

"Huh?" she wondered.

"How are we going to go about saving our world?" he asked.

"I think…" Luna thought out loud. "I think we should start by searching for Regulus. Ancient Fairy Dragon told me that he's a servant of hers and that he can help me to free her. That's what we need to do."

Torunka's face turned grim. A sinking feeling seemed to grow in Luna now, weighing her spirit down. He checked the window to make sure nobody was peeping in. He swiftly pulled down a pair of curtains as an extra precaution. He made sure nobody saw him. He came back to Luna. "Regulus? Are you sure? Then I think you're in for more than you bargained for," he said.

"What do you mean?" Luna asked.

"Something is terribly wrong with Regulus. I'm afraid he might have fallen victim to the Minus Curse. You see, he used to be a kind protector around our forest, but ever since the Minus Curse, he's been attacking anyone who comes within reach of him, monkey soldier and Duel Spirit alike. He cannot be reasoned with… it only aggravates him. Are you sure there is no alternative?" Torunka asked.

Luna leaned her head against the wall. "Are you sure that he can't be reasoned with? How's he affected by the curse?"

"I don't know. But if you're willing to risk it, we can go search in the woods for him and see if we can figure something out. Are you sure you want to do this? I have an uneasy feeling about it," Torunka said.

Luna nodded. "I'm sure."

"Well… We should get going," her friend said.

Torunka lead her back down the stairs and into the underground tunnels. They returned the way they came and exited through the same way. When they reached the streets, they carefully slipped down the alley.

"Hey you!" a voice called.

To their fear, a monkey soldier caught wind of their footsteps and spotted them. Torunka grabbed Luna and the two of them ran as fast as they could. A light shimmered from Luna's pocket. A white unicorn emerged by her side with a blue flaming mane. Kuribon hopped in front of it and growled at the guards.

"So, you think you're tough enough to take us on, pipsqueak?" A couple of soldiers pulled up a stone slate and placed it in front of them.

"No! We need to get out of here!" Torunka pulled Luna along.

"Wait, what about Sunlight Unicorn? Kuribon?" Luna asked. The unicorn nudged her, urging its owner to leave in haste. Luna reluctantly chased after Torunka, trying to keep up with him as they ran in the direction of the woods. The guards were now kept busy with her two monsters. "They… they're sacrificed themselves to protect me…"

She saw a brief glimpse of one of the three soldiers raising a Minus Staff. In a flash of light, her monsters were sealed away inside the tablet. But Luna had no choice. She had to keep running. She had to find Regulus soon to save her brother and her friends, in the spirit world and her home.

. . .

Meanwhile, in the human world, the other Signers could not feel her prescience. Jack and Akiza could see the light of the shadow duel. As they approached their destinations, their marks didn't glow even the faintest light. They knew she was gone.

Leo struggled to keep himself together. With Magician's Ape still on the field, he knew Demak could just keep taking his monsters. Still, he felt he had no choice. He summoned a new monster, Deformer Magnen-I to the field in defense position, which appeared as a metal, magnetic bar. (Deformer Magnen-I is a level one earth attributed Machine type monster with 100 attack and defense points.)

He set a card facedown, calling the end of his turn. Demak smirked at him, seeing that Leo was trying to do his best and just going along as he could. Leo promised himself that he wouldn't allow himself to lose, no matter what. He had to protect Luna.

Yusei, Era, and Trudge watched as Demak drew his next card. Era's splitting headache was slowly going away but whenever it seemed it was gone, dizziness was back, rattling her mind. Whatever was going on, it had something to do with Luna and this Shadow Duel.

"This isn't looking good for Leo," Trudge muttered. Yusei said nothing and Era put her hands over her head, removing her helmet as her face twisted into a look of anxiety and concern. But also confusion and pain from the headache and dizziness. 'What's going on?' she thought. "I don't know how much he can hold out for," Trudge said.

Era's hands shakily gripped the helmet as she stood up and leaned against the duel runner. Yusei looked over at her and noticed Era's deep, worried breaths. But it wasn't all from the worry he thought it was.

"He's off to a rough start. But I know he's capable of holding his own. I've dueled him before and I know he can do this," Yusei said. He looked at her closely noticing it was something else. "Era, what's wrong?" he asked.

She shook her head not saying a word and turning to the duel. This worried Yusei more. 'Is this because of the prophecy? Am I getting headaches because the first control tower is being battled for? If that's so, then what'll happen in the coming battles?' Era thought.

Yusei looked at her for another minute or two before returning to the duel.

Demak once again activated the effect of his ape, seizing control on Leo's monster. However, that was exactly what Leo was hoping for. "Hope you don't mind, but since my Magnen is in defense mode…and is on your side of the field…None of your monsters can attack."

"No matter. I can release your monster to summon my own. Fighter's Ape!" Demak exclaimed. The Magnen was replaced by a brutish Gorilla-like creature. (Fighter's Ape is a level five dark attributed treated as a beast and warrior type, with 1900 attack points and 1200 defense points.)

"Hmmm…That's not a strong card for something that high in level…" Trudge muttered.

Then, Demak declared for his Ape to attack Leo directly. Trudge yelled, trying to say stop, worrying that Leo may be further damaged. But Leo wasn't afraid. He activated his facedown Trap card. "I'm activating the effect of my Remake Puzzle Trap!" Deformer Magnen-U burst into flames and disappeared from Demak's field. Fighter's Ape halted in his tracks. And in the same instant, Deformer Magnen-I reappeared on Leo's side of the field. "So, how do you like me now? I destroy one Deformer to end the battle phase, and then I get to special summon one as long as it's below the level of the one I destroyed!" Leo declared.

"You think you can save yourself with a cheap trick like that? You're so naïve. Nothing you do can protect that Signer you call your sister," Demak retorted. Leo growled at him. "The mark of the Crimson Dragon brings nothing but trouble," Demak sneered.

"That's not true! My sister and the others are trying to protect the world for the likes of you! Neither here…nor the Spirit World…will ever fall willingly!" Leo exclaimed.

Demak laughed at him. "You think I'm kidding? Were you not at the Fortune Cup? Your friend Akiza did some serious damage to the Kaiba Dome… and when Jack and Yusei summoned the Crimson Dragon in their title match, it nearly blew up the city! But none of these convinced me of my disliking for Signers, no… My hate of the Crimson Dragon goes back seventeen years… to the time of Zero Reverse."

Leo was silent. He knew about all of those things? 'Then again, word got around, even in the Satellite,' he supposed. "… Zero Reverse… that's what happened when the Original Ener-D Reactor… Momentum… that's when it malfunctioned." Leo stammered.

"Correct. And I was one of the first lives it claimed. Do you know why Zero Reverse happened?" he asked rhetorically.

"Uh…" Leo stuttered.

"It happened because it was the will of the Crimson Dragon. The Dragon wishes to subjugate humanity as it did the People of the Stars, using its destructive powers to do so. I was a simple investor who had put my faith in Momentum. But, when the explosion happened, I was obliterated in an instant. I never knew what hit me, until I was in the void of eternity…the space between life and the final resting place of your soul. Some spirits wait there, having been unfulfilled in their lives…wanting to do something before they pass on. Some become ghosts, and others simply wander the darkness, filled with anguish. I wanted to know what caused my death. My Earthbound Immortal came to me while I wandered, and gave me a second chance. It opened my eyes. I know that it was the Signers and the Crimson Dragon who had snuffed out the flame of my existence!" Demak explained.

There was a moment of silence. "My Immortal had once been a great hand of power in the Spirit World. I return for assisting it in conquest, I shall take revenge upon those responsible for my death…the bearers of the Crimson Dragon's Mark!"

"But…Luna and I weren't even born… And… It doesn't make any sense…" Leo said.

"Your sister is the Protector of the Spirit World. She is the thing that stands between us and our goal. As I said, there is nothing you can do to help her!" Demak said.

. . .

The forest was eerily quiet. The sunlight swirled as if the wind carried it along. Luna walked cautiously, with Torunka following close behind her.

Just as in the village, the leaves rose from the forest floor, reattaching themselves to trees. Flowers enclosed into buds and sank back into the darkness. Luna felt perhaps it wasn't just the Spirit World that was going backwards, but perhaps in some ways her world was going backwards too.

There was a subtle rustling in the grass. Torunka stood close by Luna. Suddenly, an ear-shattering roar came from behind them. Luna slowly turned her head and gasped at the massive beast that now confronted them. The white lion had thick steel armor across his fur, and his bright eyes glittered with fury. A horn protruded from his golden mane, resembling one possessed by a unicorn. It growled at them.

"Regulus!" Torunka cried. Luna looked at the bedraggled guardian, noticing its leg caught in the grip of a Minus Staff's U-head.

"Hey, Torunka! Do you think if we got that staff off of him…?" Luna began.

Torunka noticed it too. "I'm getting what you're suggesting…but how do we get him to hold still?"

Regulus approached them fearlessly. "So, Zeman chose to send more of his underlings after me? You're no Monkey Soldier… what manner of creature are you?"

"Please, Regulus, my name is Luna. I need your help in freeing Ancient Fairy Dragon! I was the one sent her by the Crimson Dragon…I'm a Signer!" she called.

"I'll never let you keep Ancient Fairy Dragon locked up!" The lion bellowed. "No spawn of the Earthbound Immortals is welcome here!"

Luna's face twisted into a puzzled expression. "No…That's not what I said at all!"

"I told you he couldn't be reasoned with!" Torunka tried to pull Luna away from Regulus. But she refused to move. Regulus bore his claws.

"So… you think you can reason with the likes of me…" Regulus said.

After a split second, Luna realized a pattern. "It seems like… he thinks we said the opposite of what we meant."

Torunka paused, taking a good look at the Minus Staff. "Now that I think about it… it makes perfect sense. The Minus Staff makes things go backwards, and that segment of one is around his leg. Do you suggest we say the opposite in order to mean what we actually want to say?"

Regulus was growing impatient. Luan noticed a couple of Soldiers running through the bushes. But they didn't stop to try and capture them. But why? "Hey…" She muttered.

Torunka perked up when he saw the soldiers fleeting through the shadows. "They probably think Regulus will tear us limb from limb, so they feel they have no need to worry about us," he spat. The wizard looked up at Luna, admiring the determined willpower reflected in her face.

Luna stood her ground, feeling it would be best not to get closer to Regulus. She felt the imminent fear of him fleeing if she attempted to do so. The wind swirled around her face and whispered like a ghastly apparition.

"Regulus, we are here to harm you. We have to be sure that Ancient Fairy Dragon is sealed away forever and the Spirit World falls to the shadows…" Luna felt strange and queasy saying those words, but then Regulus perked up.

"Lies! You said you were a servant of the shadows, and now you say that you intend to free her? What is your devious plan?" Regulus roared.

"I have a devious plan, all right. What you heard before was EXACTLY what I meant to say. There is nothing on your leg and it doesn't cause you to hear the opposite of what we say. We need you to squirm and run away while we not try to help you!"

"Okay… now you sound just plain strange…" Torunka muttered.

Regulus peered down at his leg. His line of vision caused him to see nothing but a distorted shadow in the shape of a U. But when he shifted his weight, he could feel the metal cut into him. "So what you say is true… Then I will allow you to pry this off. Perhaps then I will truly decide if you are friend or foe," he said.

Luna cautiously approached the white lion. He stood still as she came to grasp the U. Her Signer mark began to glow as she pulled. But she needed help. Torunka grabbed her free arm and the two of them managed to rip it free from Regulus. A trickle of blood caressed it, and Luna could see the skin worn and blood slowly staining the fur on the lion's leg. He licked his wound, trying not to take his eyes off of her as he did.

"Hey, see that?" Torunka pointed at two needles on top of each other, attached to the U. They appeared like clock hands.

"They resemble a Minus Sign, don't they? Why don't you try moving the hands so it looks like a Plus?" he asked. Luna pushed the top needle so it was facing up and down. Suddenly, a burst of energy came forth.

Leaves fell from the nearby trees and the wind seemed to run in the opposite direction from which it had been running. Regulus stopped attending to his wound and saw the mark glowing upon Luna's arm.

"Child… You bear the mark of the Crimson Dragon…" He carefully walked up to her, trying not to put too much pressure on his leg. He looked at Torunka.

"I see it will require more than one Minus Staff to revert everything back to normal. But, hopefully if we free Ancient Fairy Dragon, then all shall return to as it should be. Unfortunately, Zeman built his castle over the rock that seals her. I do not know how we would get in…"

"I have an idea," Torunka thought aloud, "Perhaps. I heard that if you managed to come to your senses, a bounty would be placed on your head, Regulus. What do you say we 'turn you in'? That will surely grant us entrance."

Regulus thought a moment. "It's probably the best chance we have of getting in there and saving Ancient Fairy Dragon and this world…" He looked over at Luna with his piercing gaze. "Tell me, Signer. What is your name?"

"My name…my name is Luna. I need to save this world. I was chosen to protect it. And I need to get back to the real world so I can protect my brother. I think he's in a duel with a Dark Signer and that he's probably hurt," she replied.

"Then let's not waste time. It looks like both our worlds depend on us to turn the tide of this fight. Come, we must go," Regulus stated.

Meanwhile, in the real world, the duel between Leo and Demak continued. Leo had taken his turn, and managed to summon two monsters to the field. One was Deformer Mobaphon, and by its special ability, he had summoned a second monster, Deformer Remocon. The two monsters on his field looked like robotic variations of a cell phone and a digital music player. (Deformer Mobaphon is a level one monster with 100 attack and defense points. Remocon is a level three tuner with 300 attack and 1200 defense points.)

Demak could see the possibility of a Synchro monster, so he tightened his focus, preparing for the worst. But, despite that, he felt he would have no trouble dealing with whatever Leo dished out.

Leo then activated a spell card. The card appeared on the field. A light glowed around his Deformer Magnen-I, raising its level to three.

"The effect of my Level Mirroring spell allows me to match a monster on my field with the level on a monster on your field." Leo explained. "I think you know what comes next. I Synchro summon my three monsters so I can bring forth…the protector of love and justice, and defender of peace. Power Tool Dragon!"

His monsters swirled around and disappeared into a pillar of light. When the light vanished, a golden, mechanical dragon had taken its place. On each of its arms were a massive screwdriver and a chainsaw. Its molten eyes glowed viciously at Demak. (Power tool dragon is a level seven Light attributed Machine type Synchro monster with 2300 attack and 2500 defense points.)

Yusei smiled as he watched the duel from above. "He finally got a Synchro monster out. That's good…" Trudge noted.

"His taking advantage of what Demak has is giving him an edge, but I believe it's not over yet. It will take more than a strong monster to take down that Dark Signer…" Era said.

"Next, I'm equipping Break Draw to my Power Tool Dragon. When destroy a monster you control my battle, I can draw one card. After I use this effect three times, I must discard this card," Leo informed.

Power Tool Dragon whirled its screwdriver. Leo declared his attack. The dragon jabbed at Magician's Ape, sending it flying into the Graveyard. Demak felt the hit from Leo's monster as his life points went down to 2500. He shivered as he gave Leo a baleful glare. Leo smiled.

"You think you've won? You got lucky this time," Demak said. He didn't seem bothered at all.

"I may not be a Signer, but I have Power Tool Dragon, so don't underestimate me, Demak. Make you move," Leo said.

Demak drew his card. "With pleasure. You'll regret saying those words." He looked at the card and immediately summoned a monster to the field. A strange, geometric blue creature resembling a monkey appeared, with pink lips and a golden brow. It growled at Power Tool Dragon. "This is my Dark Tuner, Dark Ape!" (Dark Ape is a level two Dark attributed Dark Tuner monster with no attack or defense points.) "Next, I will play the spell Dark Wave, which will turn my Ape's level to negative two!" A dark energy swirled around his new monster. Leo knew he was going to tune his Dark Ape with Fighter's Ape now. "A Synchro monster is no match for the power of my Dark Synchro monster! The ruler who shall turn the world to darkness! Zeman the Ape King!"

An ape with a flaming mane, and a regal black and gold armor and cloak of midnight blue appeared, with a large staff in hand. The staff twirled in its hands. (Zeman the Ape King is a level (negative) seven Dark Synchro monster with 2500 attack points and 1800 defense points.)

"Just as a warning, when Zeman attacks, you can't activate any spell or trap cards until the damage step. So if you were planning to pull anything on me… you can't."

Then, having summoned Zeman, Demak activated the effect of his Dark Ape, drawing a card from his deck. He immediately played it, revealing it as a field spell known as Closer Forest. A thick grove of trees surrounded them.

"This is bad," Yusei commented on the eerie forest around them.

"Yes… That card… It's a field spell. Now Demak has everything he needs to summon his Earthbound Immortal, save for his sacrifices," Era said worried. Her headache seemed to grow and the dizziness was growing with it rather than staying gone for the time being.

Demak smirked. "It also gives my Zeman a boost. 100 attack points for every Beast type monster in my graveyard, and I have five. So Zeman the Ape King now has 3000 attack points."

Leo's face turned pale. "3000!? Oh, man… I've really got to find a way to beat this guy… but that is just plain wrong! How am I going to take him down?"

"Do bother fretting yourself, little boy. I think I'll attack that pathetic mess of garbage you call a dragon," Demak taunted.

The Demonic Monkey King twirled his staff and threw a bolt of energy at Power Tool Dragon. The violet energy hit the dragon, but it raised its arms to block the attack. "My Power Tool Dragon has a special ability. I can sacrifice an equip spell card attached to it to prevent it from being destroyed. I choose to discard my Break Draw spell to activate this effect."

Demak sneered. "However, you still take damage." Flares from the impact curled past the dragon and burned hot against Leo's skin. He couldn't help but grinding his teeth as he felt it burning him. His life points sunk to 2500, and now he and Demak were even. He screamed from the intensity of the pain, but took a deep breath as it subsided after a minute or two.

Era wanted to rush in and help, but she knew the others would hold her back. But, it would not have mattered. Yusei could see her tensing up and glanced over at her. "It's just... it was bad enough seeing you getting hurt in that duel with Roman, but this is… it makes my stomach sick."

"I don't blame you. I hope this duel ends soon," Yusei replied.

'If I remember correctly, this is only the beginning,' Era thought.

"Where on earth could Luna be? Doesn't she have any sense of what's going on?" Trudge clenched his fists. But Era and Yusei knew better than to correct him. He would probably still be resistant to the idea that Luna wasn't on this earth at all.

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