Story 5: Story 5: Alexander Ankh
The distant past.
Moments after the planet known as Earth came into being.
There were deities who were concerned about its fate.
“What’s going on here?” The flame deity cocked his head to one side.
“…This isn’t normal. All of the worlds’ distortions are gathered here. Eventually, this planet will become a singularity that links parallel worlds,” the Ice Deity said mournfully, lamenting Earth’s future.
“If that happened, there’s definitely gonna be a huge war. What was the point of us Dragods separating the parallel worlds from each other, then?”
“But I think that this distortion developed as a result of us creating the different worlds.”
“Then I guess we’re gonna have to do something about it.”
“Yeah. Eventually, an intelligent lifeform called “humans” will appear on this world. In order to maintain balance, we should guide them so that they can coexist with the parallel worlds that are linked to their world.”
“But that’s not gonna be enough.”
“You’re right. All the malice of the world will gather here, as well.”
“We’re gonna need a power that can counter that malice, the ‘power to blaze a path to the future’.”
“Let’s search for it. The one who has that power will be born on this planet for certain.”
The twin pillar deities made their decision.
◇ ◇ ◇
“A visitor from the outside world? Seeking an audience with me?”
The crown prince of the Ankh Kingdom, [Alexander Ankh (Alec for short)] creased his brow in a frown. It was unusual for a visitor from the outside world to seek an audience, not with his father the king, but Alec himself, who had not yet come of age.
“Very well. Show him through to the great hall.”
Alec gave his servant the order, and quickly donned his formal attire before heading to the great hall.
As Alec strode through a long corridor and entered the great hall, he found a white-haired man in a long coat waiting for him.
Alec sat down on a luxurious throne and spoke to his visitor.
“We are the Crown Prince of the Ankh Kingdom, Alexander Ankh. Who are you, who dares to demand our attention?”
Even in Alec’s presence, the man continued to smile confidently. His response seemed designed to test Alec.
“Perhaps you recognize the name [Kyoya Gaen]?”
Alec was familiar with the name.
“Kyoya…Gaen, you say? …We know it. It’s the name of the loser who once tried to destroy the world, and was defeated by Gao Mikado, and was never seen again.”
“And you lost to his son, Yuga Mikado. Perhaps we’re more alike than you think, you and I?”
“…Scoundrel, have you come to mock us?”
“Nothing of the sort. I just came to have a little chat with you.”
“Hmph. You have something to say to us, and not our father?”
“Yes. More accurately, I want to talk to you and the Dragods.”
After the two locked gazes for a while, Alec snapped his fingers. Immediately, two dragons appeared on either side of his throne.
“You say you’ve got something to say to us?” began the dragon wreathed in flames.
“What do you mean by that?” continued the dragon shrouded in ice.
“[Flame Deity, Magma Horus] and [Ice Deity, Freeza Horus]. It’s an honor to meet you both. The Dragods who serve as Alexander Ankh’s Buddies, and have also served the Ankh Kingdom for generations. But it’s the other way around, in fact. ‘The Ankh Kingdom was created in order to coexist with the Dragods.’ Isn’t that right?”
At Kyoya’s words, Alec and the two Dragods’ expressions changed.
That one sentence had been enough to make them realize that this man called Kyoya was far more significant than they had imagined.
“The Ankh Kingdom prospered by using the power of the Dragods. When Earth began connecting to the parallel worlds, the Ankh Kingdom’s wisdom and strength allowed them to lead the countries that had fallen into chaos, becoming a respected nation.”
Kyoya paused in his speech to take a breath before launching into the main subject.
“Then why is it, I wonder, that the Dragods choose to serve the Ankh Kingdom?”
“…What are you suggesting?”
“Oh, I just mean that I can’t tell what the Dragods’ goals are. They have overwhelming power, so why are they on Earth, serving a single royal family?”
The two pillar deities responded to his question, as the concerned parties.
“We’ve been walkin’ alongside humanity from way back in the beginning.”
“The Ankh Kingdom is a symbol of this. That is why we serve the royal family.”
Freeza Horus and Magma Horus braced themselves for further questioning, but Kyoya gave them a sidelong glance and changed the subject.
“I see. Then, let us talk of something else.”
Although he had asked some pointed questions, he backed off as soon as they pushed back. Alec and the two Dragods didn’t know what to make of this man named Kyoya.
“The truth is, recently there’s been an increase in incidents where vicious monsters appear, all over the world. I’m investigating these incidents together with my associates. And recently, a major incident occurred.”
“…You’re talking about Lost World.”
Alec had heard the stories. That a gate had opened between Earth and Lost World, a dimension that never should have connected to the other worlds.
That’s right. Vanity Husk Destroyer, who was allegedly sealed away by the Dragods, appeared on Earth. Personally, I think there’s one culprit behind all of these incidents.”
Kyoya looked at Magma Horus, and then Freeza Horus.
“I wonder who on Earth could have released Vanity’s seal?”
The Dragods’ intentions. Vanity’s release. Magma Horus and Freeza Horus understood what Kyoya was implying and glared at him.
“Aha, I get it. You’re suspecting us, aren’t ya?”
“We are deities who protect humanity. There’s no way that we’d do such a thing.”
Kyoya did not respond to the twin pillars’ protestations, and instead asked Alec a question.
“Alexander Ankh. What do you believe? Don’t you think that it’s logical that Vanity, who was sealed away by Dragods, could only be released by Dragods?”
“What a foolish question. Even if that were to be true, that has nothing to do with our Buddies.”
“You don’t have any questions or doubts about why deities might serve the Ankh Kingdom?”
“Of course not. Our Buddies’ hearts are always one with our own.”
Alec said this without a moment’s hesitation.
Perhaps sensing the strength of Alec’s will, Kyoya did not pursue this any further, and switched to a new tactic.
“…I understand your opinions. In that case, might I hear from ‘the other Buddy’?”
“…! Just how much do you know, you scoundrel?”
Alec spoke strongly, as if to dominate Kyoya, but Kyoya maintained his confident expression.
“Let’s just say that I’ve done my homework when it comes to the Ankh Kingdom.”
“Unacceptable. He has his duties as the patron deity of the Ankh Kingdom. We cannot call him out simply to entertain the likes of you–”
“No, I too would have words with him.”
As the voice rang out, a bolt of lightning flashed through the great hall.
When the light died down, a humanoid dragon cloaked in lightning stood next to Alec.
“My name is [Thunder Deity, Voltic Ra]. I have heard what you have said. Kyoya, or whatever your name is, I shall answer your question.”
“Dear Ra, are you certain this is wise? Appearing on Earth without our father’s permission?”
“It is well. I have determined that it is vital to the Ankh Kingdom that we dispel this man’s misunderstanding.”
Ra turned away from a dissatisfied Alec to face Kyoya.
“The reason that we three deities serve the Ankh Kingdom is so that we may nurture a power that will counter the malice that will threaten this world. One who bears this power is certain to be born in the royal family of Ankh. Therefore, we support the Ankh Kingdom.”
“A power that counters…? What do you mean?”
“Perhaps you would understand it if we called it… a ‘force from the future’.”
For the first time, Kyoya showed signs of agitation.
He had a long history with the power that Ra mentioned.
Kyoya thought carefully for a moment, then nodded as if accepting something.
“…Thank you. It seems I was barking up the wrong tree. I’ll pursue other lines of inquiry. I shall take my leave of you now.”
Kyoya bowed before Alec.
He attempted to turn and leave immediately, but Alec called out to him.
“…I apologize for my discourtesy to you and your Buddies. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
“If you wish to apologize for your discourtesy, we demand a Buddyfight.”
“Oh? Why is that?”
“Do we need a reason, beyond the fact that you are the infamous Kyoya Gaen?”
“Heh. Very well, then.”
As Alec gave the sign, the great hall transformed into a Fight Stage. V-Boards appeared before both fighters, and Alec and Kyoya luminized their decks.
“With a sound of thunder that tears apart the heavens and earth, the curtain rises on our legend! Luminize! Legend of Triple Deity!”
“In this world lit by the sun, I will become…the creator of the future. Luminize! Wings of Atonement!”
“Buddy…fight! Raise the flag!”
Alec turned his flag face up.
Next, Kyoya turned his flag face up.
And so their Buddyfight began.
“Our turn. Draw. Charge and draw. We pay 1 gauge and equip [Seat of Absolute, Hieratic Throne]. Its effect allows us to look through the top five cards in my deck and add [Ice Deity, Freeza Horus] to our hand.”
Alec sat down on the golden throne that had just appeared.
Next, he held two cards from his hand between his fingers, and raised them to the sky as if showing them off.
“Double Buddy Call! We pay 2 gauge and Buddy Call [Ice Deity, Freeza Horus]! [Flame Deity, Magma Horus]!”
“I’ve been waitin’ for this!”
“…Here I come.”
The Ice Deity and Flame Deity appeared in the right area and left area.
“Double Buddy Gift! We regain 2 Life and draw two cards!”
Alec’s Life: 10 → 12
“Go, Magma Horus!”
“Here I come!”
At Alec’s command, Magma Horus soared into the air.
He spun around in the air, then rapidly descended and slammed his body into Kyoya.
Kyoya’s Life: 12 → 10
“Our turn is over.”
“Then it’s my turn. Draw. Charge and draw. I cast three spells in a row: [Dragon Emperor Legend], [Divine Dragon Creation], and [Sky Dragon Divinity].”
Kyoya’s Life: 10 → 8
Kyoya used several spell cards in a row to increase the number of cards in his hand.
“Now, I think I’ll counter a throne with a throne. I cast and set [Dragon Throne]. Due to this card, I can call monsters with a total size of up to 4.”
An ominous throne in the shape of a three-headed dragon appeared.
Kyoya seated himself on the throne, and brought out three cards at once.
“I pay 1 gauge and call [Atonement Purgatory Knights Leader, Orcus Sword Dragon] to the right, [Purgatory Knights, Necropalm Dragon] to the center, and [Purgatory Knights Reborn, Holy Grebe Dragon] to the left!”
Three white dragons clad in armor appeared.
“Orcus Sword, attack the fighter.”
“As you wish.”
Orcus Sword swung his massive sword and advanced on Alec.
“We pay 1 life and cast [Retainer Shield].”
Alec’s Life: 12 → 11
Orcus Sword’s attack was blocked by a gigantic shield that appeared mid-air.
“In addition, Retainer Shield can return to our hand if we discard one hand card. We discard [Devoting Mummy Maker, Jutha Laash]. Due to its effect, our gauge increases by 2.”
“I see. A defense spell that can be used endlessly as long as you have hand cards. But I wonder how long you can continue paying Life? Orcus Sword, use your Double Attack and attack the fighter!”
“We cast! Retainer Shield!”
Alec’s Life: 11 → 10
“We discard one hand card.”
Retainer Shield returned to Alec’s hand cards once more.
“Next, Holy Grebe, attack the fighter!”
“Retainer Shield! We discard a hand card.”
Alec’s Life: 10 → 9
“Necropalm, go ahead and attack the fighter!”
“We shall not permit that. We pay 1 gauge and cast! [Buddy Block!] During this turn, we will not take any damage from attacks.”
Necropalm’s attack was blocked by the barrier that appeared before Alec.
“Then…Orcus Sword’s ability, activate! Destroy Holy Grebe and place him in its soul, and Stand itself. In combination with Holy Grebe’s effect, I draw two cards!”
Orcus Sword entered a battle stance once more.
The tip of his sword was aimed for Alec’s right area.
“Orcus Sword, attack Magma Horus!”
“I will cut you down with my blade of atonement.”
Orcus Sword’s huge sword sliced Magma Horus in half.
“Orcus Sword’s ability, activate once more! Destroy Necropalm and place him in its soul, and Stand again. I also draw one card, and using Necropalm’s effect I call [Purgatory Knights Reborn, Needle Claw Dragon] from my drop zone to the left.”
A new white dragon appeared in the left area. Orcus Sword and Needle Claw both gripped their weapons and focused their gazes on Alec’s left area.
“Orcus Sword and Needle Claw, do a link attack on Freeza Horus!”
“Here we go.”
The two humanoid dragons’ attack made a direct hit on Freeza Horus.
Freeza Horus was destroyed, and Alec had no monsters remaining on his field.
“There’s no point in attacking any further, but…Orcus Sword’s ability, activate. Destroy Needle Claw, place him in your soul, and Stand. In addition, the effect lets me draw one card, increase my gauge by 2, and gain 2 life.”
Kyoya’s Life: 8 → 10
“Now my turn is over.”
“Our turn. Draw. Charge and draw. Using Hieratic Throne’s effect, we check the top five cards in our deck and add Magma Horus to our hand cards.”
As he added the card to his hand, Alec couldn’t help but smile.
“You are fortunate, scoundrel.”
“Is that so?”
“Not only have you been blessed by the sight of the Ankh Kingdom’s guardian deity Ra, you will soon have his divine majesty seared into your vision. We cast [De Ju Mau]. Its effect allows us to Buddycall once more, and add Freeza Horus and [Thunder Deity, Voltic Ra] from our deck to our hand cards!”
Finally, all three deities were together in Alec’s hand cards.
“Now, behold! This is the power of the next king, Alexander Ankh! The royal influence that masters even deities!”
As Alec raised the three cards, the Fight Field froze over entirely. In the next moment, flames spread everywhere, and the melted ice became steam that filled the great hall with dark clouds. From the dark clouds, thunder rumbled and roared, and with a bright flash, lightning crashed to the ground.
“What is this…?!”
Normally, attacks and effects during a Buddyfight did not affect the real world. The damage was a virtual effect only, so people and objects were not affected.
But the ice that covered the Fight Stage was damaging the walls of the great hall, and the flames had burned the floor, and the lightning bolts were shattering the pillars.
“M-My lord Alec! Please, no more!”
“Silence! This man is worthy of our full power!”
Even as the cowering servants attempted to stop Alec, they were thrown back by a shout that seemed to pierce the heavens.
Kyoya looked at this scene, and for some reason he smiled happily.
“There’s no mistaking this power…it’s the Future Force…!”
Alec’s hair, which had been short just moments ago, had grown tremendously and was now whipping in the wind that blew through the Fight Field.
“Triple Buddy Call! We pay 2 gauge and Buddy Call [Thunder Deity, Voltic Ra]! [Ice Deity, Freeza Horus]! [Flame Deity, Magma Horus]!”
The three deities descended on the Fight Field. At the same time, three Eyes of Horus appeared floating in the air, staring down at Kyoya and Orcus Sword. All three deities had a divine aura that made them seem like completely different monsters.
“Triple Buddy Gift! We regain 3 life. In addition, we destroy Orcus Sword, and draw two cards!”
Alec’s Life: 9 → 12
Beams shot out from the Eyes of Horus and reduced Orcus Sword to ashes.
Orcus Sword reformed and remained on the field thanks to his Soulguard ability.
“Due to Ra’s Divine Majesty, the three deities gain 10000 power, 1 critical, and the Penetrate ability. In addition, Magma Horus’s Divine Majesty grants them Triple Attack, and Freeza Horus’s Divine Majesty makes them all immune to destruction from card effects. This is the true power of our Buddies!”
“I acknowledge. You are truly a human chosen by the deities.”
“You shall feel our power, and that of our Buddies! Voltic Ra, Freeza Horus, Magma Horus, attack the fighter!”
As Alec’s voice rang out, the three deities released a torrent of flames, ice, and lightning, which came together in a spiral as they attacked Kyoya.
“I cast! [Pride to the Sword, the Blade Never Dies]. The attack is nullified, and by destroying Orcus Sword I gain 2 life and deal 2 damage to my opponent.”
Kyoya’s Life: 10 → 12
Alec’s Life: 12 → 10
Kyoya’s spell deflected the spiraling attack, and part of the attack was reflected towards Alec and grazed his cheek.
“A futile struggle.”
“I learned not to give up until the very end, from someone who shone as bright as the sun.”
“Hmph. Double Attack!”
Once again, the three deities attacked.
This time, the attack was not deflected, and made a direct hit on Kyoya.
Kyoya’s Life: 12 → 3
“Finish him! Voltic Ra!”
“Feel the wrath of divine lightning!”
As Voltic Ra lifted his staff to the heavens, it was showered with lightning bolts. The staff absorbed the lightning, transforming it into a massive swell of energy. Voltic Ra swung the staff, and released the energy in a burst aimed squarely at Kyoya.
“I’m glad I was able to have this Buddyfight with you–”
Kyoya’s Life: 3 → 0
A brilliant bolt of lightning, almost blinding in its intensity, covered the entire Fight Stage.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Thank you. You gave me quite the show.”
Kyoya brushed the dust off of his coat before thanking Alec.
“Hmph. We are impressed that you’re still standing after that attack.”
“Fortunately, I have my own power, different than yours.”
“A man of limitless mystery to the end.”
“I think I could say the same of you.”
After a brief silence, Kyoya turned away.
“Well, I’ll take my leave of you now.”
As he put his hand on the door to exit, he paused.
“Oh. If you’ll allow me to correct you on one matter before I leave.”
“Hm? What is it?”
“I didn’t ‘try to destroy the world’. I tried to ‘change the world’.”
“…Is that so. We shall remember that.”
The doors opened, and this time Kyoya left the great hall for good.
Alec was left in the ravaged great hall, and stayed seated on the throne for a while, thinking about the man who had suddenly appeared and left just as abruptly.
“…Even without a Buddy, he was able to get me to fight at full strength. …Or rather, he forced me to fight at full strength.”
As Alec calmed down, he felt strongly that Kyoya had forced him to release that power. He had first used that power several years ago. Since then, he had been unable to use it even when he wanted to.
But just now, that power had appeared once more.
“Kyoya Gaen, hmm…”
Alec stared at the palm of his hand.
How much of what happened had been according to Kyoya’s plans?
If he ever met that man again, he wished to bargain with him as an equal. Alec felt his fighting spirit burning deep within his heart.
This encounter took place shortly before the World Buddy Academia was established.
Text by Shun Menjo