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Kieth’s Machination (2)

With Joey on 1150 life points and Bandit Keith on 1100, the second playoff duel is proving to be much even than the previous. At such close levels, the next few turns could make all the difference for either player. Pegasus, surprised by the success of an amateur like Joey, decides to do some investigating in order to discover what motivates each player.

Using his Millennium Eye, he realises that both have very different motives for duelling. Keith is driven by bitterness and a desire to defeat Pegasus after the humiliation he faced when they last duelled, while Joey is duelling in order to earn the money to save his sister’s eyesight. It’s practically a battle of good against evil.

Keith tells Joey that he is little more than a speed bump on his way to duelling Pegasus and that he will beat both Joey and Yugi easily. But Joey denies that Keith will even beat him and warns the inter-continental champion that even if he did defeat Joey, Yugi would cream him. At this point Keith tires of arguing and begins to duel again.

Playing one card face-down, Keith then lays the Barrel Dragon in attack mode. Unfortunately for Joey, this triple-cannon machine is able to take three attacks and, using two of them, Keith destroys both of Joey’s monsters, reducing his life points to 850. Shocked but not defeated, Joey counters with the combo that helped him win in the past. Playing both the Time Wizard and Baby Dragon, he spins the Time Roulette. As the spin slows, it lands on a Time Machine symbol and the arena spins forward in time, corroding Keith’s Barrel Dragon and evolving Joey’s Baby Dragon.

Attacking with his Thousand Dragon, Joey thinks he has destroyed Keith’s machine until he notices the trap card Keith played. Activating the Time Machine card, Keith is able to retrieve one monster as it was on the previous turn. Reviving his healthy Barrel Dragon he attacks and destroys Joey’s Thousand Dragon, reducing his life points to 650. Keith warns Joey that he knows every card in his deck from the duel with Bones and that he had predicted the Time Wizard combo.

Disheartened at the shocking counter, Joey plays a monster in defence and ends his turn. Keith plays a second machine, the Slot Machine, and then attacks with his Barrel Dragon, destroying Joey’s monster. As Joey examines his hand, he realises that not even his Red Eyes Black Dragon is strong enough to defeat both machines, but plays it anyway, alongside one other face-down card. As Keith attacks the Red Eyes, Joey reveals his Copycat card.

Copying Keith’s Magic Metal Force, Joey transforms his normal Red Eyes into the Red Eyes Black Metal Dragon. The monster not only withstands the attack but also deflects it, reducing Keith’s life points to 900. Keith argues that it was an amateur move, but Joey asks how an amateur was able to outwit the inter-continental champion.

Playing one card face-down, Keith switches his Slot machine to defence mode and ends his turn. Joey also plays a card face-down and then attacks with his Red Eyes. But as the attack is called, Keith reveals his Seven-Completed card, a card designed to power up the Slot Machine. As the middle reel changes from a question mark to a seven, Keith explains that the Seven-Completed cards can power up either the attack points or the defence points of his machine.

As Joey’s attack is deflected and his life points fall to 450, Keith warns that he has two more of the cards in his deck. Joey isn’t too concerned by this, hoping that Keith will be unable to draw all three before he can find a way to win. But as Keith draws a card from his deck, he also withdraws a second Seven-Completed from under his wristband. While Joey doesn’t notice this, Pegasus senses the trick but does nothing.

Playing the second Seven card on the Slot Machine’s attack points, Keith also lays down the Blast Sphere, attaching it to Joey’s Dragon. As his turn ends, Keith’s Blast Sphere self-destructs, but Joey counters with the magic card Dragon Nails, which raises his Red Eyes’ attack points high enough as to withstand the attack. Keith’s life points are reduced by the blast, taking him down to 400 points.

Withdrawing the final Seven card from his wristband, Keith plays it on his Slot Machine’s attack points creating a stalemate situation, with both monsters at the same attack strength. As Joey contemplates his move, he considers the Sword and Shield card, but it would only help Keith’s machines and not his Red Eyes. Instead he plays one card face-down and ends his turn.

For Keith’s next move, he plays the Pillager to take one of Joey’s cards. Choosing the Sword and Shield card, he switches that attack and defence points of each monster on the field, meaning his Machine is stronger than Joey’s Dragon. But as he attacks, Joey activates his Grave Robber card, reviving the Time Machine to bring back his Red Eyes as it was on the previous turn. With his Red Eyes back at full strength, Joey attacks Keith’s Slot Machine, destroying it and cleaning up the last of his life points.

As Keith wallows in bitterness, Pegasus is startled but pleased by the result. However Keith is not willing to give up yet and begins to argue that the match shouldn’t count as Joey was duelling with Mai’s card. Joey admits this, but asks how Keith could have known that and at this point, Pegasus reveals that Keith stole Joey’s card. While the others argue that he should be disqualified, Pegasus informs them of Keith’s cheating during the match, having the Seven-Completed cards hidden in his wristband.

As Pegasus’s guards drag Keith away, Pegasus congratulates Joey on an admirable duel. But Keith breaks free from the guards and lunges at Pegasus, demanding the prize money. Unfazed, Pegasus calmly mocks Keith before pressing a hidden button that opens a trap door, dropping Keith outside of the island in the sea.

A ten-minute recess is called before the next duel will begin, and Joey and Yugi both contemplate their next duel against each other. In order to save their loved ones they must duel against each other, but will either be able to duel at their best against a friend who they previously duelled with together?