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First Duel

With the first round of duels beginning to finish, a number of duelists have already been eliminated from the competition. As Joey searches for somebody to duel, Yugi warns him that it would be better to try and find a weaker duelist to begin with, but Joey is too eager to listen to him, determined to win so that he can help his sister.

With arenas all over the place, Joey is unsure which is the best one to duel on to give himself a field power bonus. Looking through his deck, he realises that most of his monsters are strongest in a meadow environment, so he decides to look for a meadow arena. As the group searches for a suitable arena, they find Mai, who has just defeated her latest opponent. However her opponent warns the group that Mai has psychic powers that allow her to see her cards even when they are face down.

As Mai sees Yugi and the others arrive, she is eager to show off the fact that she already has four star chips, one more than Yugi does. Remembering that Joey only has one chip, Mai challenges him to duel her, explaining that she is determined to eliminate the weak players as soon as possible and that Joey is obviously the weakest player of all as he didn’t even qualify for the tournament.

As his friends try to warn him against dueling a tough opponent like Mai, Joey tells them that he has to do it to prove to himself that he is good enough to be dueling to save his sister. As the two prepare to duel, with each duelist risking one star chip, Mai explains that the dueling field is 40% forest, 40% mountains and only 20% meadow, meaning that Joey’s field power bonus won’t be very high.

With the two duelists ready to duel, Joey asks Mai why she duels, and she tells him that she likes dueling because of all the fancy hotels and cars and the money that she gets from it. Joey explains that he thought as much, and warns Mai that he is a stronger duelist, because he duels from the heart for the ones he loves.

As the duel begins, Joey plays Masaki the Legendary Swordsman and is pleased to see his monster gain a field power bonus. But as Mai plays the Harpy Lady from a face down hand, Joey fears that maybe Mai is a psychic after all. As Mai’s Harpy also gains an FPB, it also gains an advantage as it is able to fly. Attacking Joey’s Swordsman, the Harpy destroys it, reducing Joey’s life points to 1410.

As Mai plays a card face down, Joey plays the Tiger Axe, but Mai’s Harpy destroys it, reducing his life points to 1020. As Mai plays yet another card onto the field without having looked at it, Joey begins to worry that Mai may also be able to see his cards as well as her own. Playing a monster face down in defence mode, he can only watch as Mai reveals the Cyber Shield card that she played on the previous turn, increasing her Harpy’s DEF.

As Joey prepares to draw his next card, Mai claims to know what it is going to be, freaking Joey out and leaving him unfocused. As Yugi and the others try to calm Joey down, Mai explains that friends can’t help out when it comes to dueling, because eventually those friends will end up having to duel each other. However as Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle activates, causing him to transform into his other self, he warns Joey that Mai is trying to divide and conquer, separating him from his friends so that he will be easier to defeat.

As Joey begins to calm down and starts to focus once more, he begins to notice a number of different aromas in the air. Realising that Mai has marked each of her cards with a different scent, Joey is able to focus more clearly as he no longer has to worry about her psychic tricks. He congratulates Mai on the trick, but warns her that it won’t work on him any longer and, playing the Baby Dragon in defence mode, finishes his turn.

However as Mai’s turn begins, she uses Elegant Egotist to transform her one Harpy into a trio of Harpy Lady Sisters. As Joey panics as to how he can defeat three Harpies when he couldn’t get rid of just one, Yugi calls out to him that Mai has only ever used one monster, and kept on powering it up. Realising that Mai probably doesn’t have any other monsters in her deck, Joey’s hope begins to build again.

Yugi tells Joey that he can win the duel, but he will need the card that Yugi gave him on the boat. Remembering the Time Wizard that Yugi gave him, Joey checks through his hand only to learn that it isn’t there. However he puts his faith in the cards and, as he draws his next card, his faith rewards him with the Time Wizard. Playing the monster onto the field, Joey activates its Time Magic to cause time on the field to advance by one thousand years.

As time comes to a halt once more, Joey’s Baby Dragon has evolved into the powerful Thousand Dragon, while Mai’s three Harpies have become weakened old crones. Attacking the Harpies, Joey destroys all three of them in a single attack, reducing Mai’s life points to zero. As Mai wonders how she could have lost, Joey warns her that nobody can really be strong if they isolate themselves from everybody else. And as she heads off to find another duelist to fight against, Joey is congratulated by his friends who are all proud of him, promising that they will stick together no matter what happens to them on their journey.