Story 9: Subaru Hoshiyomi
This is no good.
He must be stopped.
This world no longer belongs solely to us Dragods.
What that villain is trying to do is a desecration of all forms of life.
But I don’t have enough time.
I, who have had most of my power devoured by that villain, will soon cease to exist.
Before that happens, I must pass on our power to another.
I must find the most deserving warrior.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Cross Pair Slash… I could use this to destroy Time Ruler Dragon… No, I’d still need to destroy him one more time… Then maybe I could use it with Destruction Tactics and…”
[Subaru Hoshiyomi] was deep in thought as he laid his cards out on his desk.
Ever since he had suffered a major loss at the hands of [Kei Jinguji], the student president of World Buddy Academia, Subaru had spent every spare moment going over his own deck.
“Subaru, perhaps you should rest a little…”
Subaru’s Buddy, [Cross] called out to him in concern.
“Thank you, Cross. But I’m fine.”
“You say that, but it’s been five hours since you came home from school.”
“…You saw it too, didn’t you, Cross? Student President Jinguji’s true face. Eventually, the time will come when I have to fight him again. To prepare for that battle, we have to become much stronger than we are right now.”
Subaru turned his attention to the cards on his desk again.
Cross didn’t try to stop him. Although he was worried about Subaru, he could also understand Subaru’s logic. The Buddyfight against Kei Jinguji had been that overwhelming. The difference in strength between them had been enough to convince him that there was no way that Subaru and Cross could win as they currently were.
Subaru and Cross both shared a desire to become stronger.
At that moment…
Suddenly, a voice echoed in both of their minds.
[Do you seek new strength?]
“…?! …Cross, did you hear that?”
“Yes, I definitely heard it.”
[If you seek strength, then open the gate.]
“Where is this voice coming from?”
“I sense a powerful energy coming from outside the house!”
“…Let’s go, Cross.”
“Yes, I’m with you all the way!”
Subaru gathered his spread-out cards and returned them to his deck case before bursting out of his room. He quickly put on his shoes and opened the front door.
“…?! Where am I…?”
Beyond the door was a scene unlike anything he’d ever seen before.
Darkness spread out as far as the eye could see, as if they were in the depths of space.
When Subaru turned around, the door behind him had also vanished.
“Who called me here?!”
Subaru’s voice echoed in the darkness.
After a brief silence, an answer came from beyond the shadows.
“I’m the one…is what I wish I could say, but unfortunately, I was also called here.”
Out of the darkness came a figure covered by a white robe. Their face was hidden in a hood, so their expression could not be seen.
“Who are you?”
“Let’s see… You can call me [Ades].”
“Is that so. My name is–”
“Subaru Hoshiyomi, right?”
“…How do you know my name?”
“Even I know that much about the person I’m about to battle.”
“Battle? You and me?”
“Yes. After all, you came here seeking ‘new strength’, didn’t you?”
“…It seems you know about this situation in some detail.”
“Just a little. In this dimension, there exists a certain Dragod’s power. It’s said that whoever is victorious here will receive this power.”
Subaru thought quickly.
A mysterious dimension.
A mysterious person.
A mysterious Dragod’s power.
Everything was unknown, and the information provided seemed hardly worth trusting.
“I understand. Then, let’s Buddyfight.”
Subaru made up his mind immediately.
Cross had been observing quietly, but he couldn’t help but exclaim in surprise at this.
“Subaru?! Are you sure about this? You’re just going to do what this suspicious person says?”
“Yes. Either way, we don’t even know how to get out of this dimension. In that case, all we can do is obey this person, Ades, who seems to know the most about our situation. Besides…”
“…If we can gain new strength, I’m willing to overcome any challenge.”
“Subaru… I understand. Then I will battle at your side!”
“I’m counting on you, Cross.”
Ades had been watching Subaru and Cross, but he now brought out his deck case from within his robes.
“It looks like you’ve decided.”
As Ades said this, the dimension cloaked in darkness suddenly changed into a Fight Stage. V-Boards appeared before the two Buddyfighters, and they both placed their decks there.
“I’m guided by the celestial sphere. And the guidance of dragon. Luminize! Triangulum Galaxy!”
“Stars that turn around the heavens, test the searcher before you. Luminize, Diamond Galaxy!”
“Buddy…fight! Raise the flag!”
Subaru turned his flag face up.
“Star Dragon World!”
Next, Ades turned his flag face up.
“Star Dragon World!”
The two fighters’ battle in the mysterious dimension had begun.
Subaru Hoshiyomi had the first move.
“My turn. Draw. Charge and draw. Here we go, Cross.”
“I pay 2 gauge and Buddy call [Skyseer Ardent Dragon, Cross Irisnese Astrologia] to the center!”
Subaru’s Life: 10 → 11
“The light of the Celesphere will shine upon Subaru’s victory!!”
Cross flapped his wings and descended to the center area.
“I cast [Proclaim: Steer the Stars]. I pay 1 life and add two cards from the top four cards in my deck to my hand, and send the rest to my gauge. Also, I pay 1 gauge and 1 life to equip [Everseer Bow, Caelum Rex]!”
Subaru’s Life: 11 → 9
A shining golden bow appeared in Subaru’s hands.
“I pay 2 gauge and call [Guardseer Dragon, Gyron Magna] to the right! Shine brightly, weapon of the sky. Galaxy Formation Right, activate!”
Lines appeared in the air, linking Cross in the center, and Gyron Magna in the right, and the Caelum Rex in Subaru’s hands into a triangle on the field.
“Now Cross in the center has his power increased by 10000, and his critical increased by 2. I commence my attack phase! Cross, attack the fighter!”
“Hahhhh! For Subaru’s victory!!”
The Celesphere above Cross’s head overflowed with light, and the light became bullets that attacked Ades.
Ades’s Life: 10 → 6
“My turn is over.”
Ades had the second move.
“Very well then, it’s my turn. Draw. Charge and draw… Subaru Hoshiyomi, may I ask you something?”
As Ades finished drawing his cards, he paused.
“Why do you seek strength?”
“…I want the kind of strength that will let me stay true to my sense of right.”
“And what does ‘right’ mean to you?”
“To choose something of my own free will, without bending to pressure from others. That’s my definition of right.”
“And if what you think is ‘right’ is wrong, what would you do then?”
“If I was wrong… Then I’d reassess it. My own will, that is.”
“Then, if someone else died because of your sense of right… Would you still stay true to yourself?”
“I can’t say…”
“It’s not enough. You don’t have enough commitment. You’re not prepared for what it means to have power. Power comes with responsibility. If you have power, you might be able to stay true to your sense of right. But that righteousness could twist someone else’s sense of right, warping it, perhaps even robbing them of it! You don’t understand the despair that one feels when the path one has chosen is the wrong one! That’s what it means to use great power!”
Ades’s tone grew harsher, as he raised one of his hand cards to the sky.
“I pay 3 gauge and Buddy call [King’s Brilliance, Cross Farnese Astrologia] to the center!”
Ades’s Life: 6 → 7
“The light of the stars will guide my king to victory!”
There was no mistaking it. The monster that appeared in the center was the same as Subaru’s Buddy, [Cross].
Subaru and Cross were worried by this surprising turn of events.
In contrast, Ades and the second Cross were extremely calm.
“My name is… Well, you can call me [King Cross].”
“Heh. Did you think you were the only one who used Astrodragons? I pay 1 life and cast [Proclaim: Steer the Stars]! I pay 1 life and add two cards from the top four cards in my deck to my hand. The rest go to my gauge. And I pay 1 gauge and 1 life to equip [Everseer Bow, Caelum Rex].”
Ades’s Life: 7 → 5
Ades used the same cards that Subaru had used in his first turn in the exact same order. Subaru had already been feeling uneasy, and this made him feel even more disturbed.
“Here I go. I cast [Proclaim: Decisive Point]. I draw one card, and increase my Astrodragons’ power by 3000! Next, I pay 1 gauge and call [Govern Star Dragon, Bilette] to the right, and [Seerfight Dragon, Inchevron] to the left! The King links a diamond shining in the sky! Galaxy Formation King, activate!”
Lines appeared to connect King Cross in Ades’s center, Inchevron in the right, Bilette in the left, and the item Caelum Rex, creating a diamond shape on the field.
“Now all cards on my field have their power increased by 10000 and their critical by 1. They also gain Penetrate. Attack phase!”
Ades’s monsters entered their combat stances.
In response, Subaru gave orders for defense.
“Gyron Magna, move to the left! Twinkle brightly, shield of the sky! Galaxy Formation Left, Activate! Now Cross and Gyron Magna have their defense increased by 10000!”
“Even so, our power is greater. Bilette, attack Gyron Magna!”
Bilette’s head-butt struck Gyron Magna, but one soul card was sent to the drop zone and Gyron Magna stayed on the field.
“Next, Inchevron, attack Gyron Magna!”
“Once again, Soulguard!”
Inchevron’s spear stabbed into Gyron Magna. But again, one soul card was sent to the drop zone, and Gyron Magna remained on the field.
“Inchevron, Double Attack!”
“I cast! [Astroformation, Astellasion]! I nullify the attack, and increase my gauge by 2!”
Inchevron swung his spear for a second time, but a blue sphere appeared in front of Gyron Magna, blocking the attack.
“In that case, King Cross! Attack Gyron Magna!”
“For my king’s victory!”
King Cross fired countless rays of light, which showered down on Gyron Magna and finally eliminated him.
“Now your Galaxy Formation is broken.”
“No, not yet! I cast [Celesociation]! I pay 1 life and call Gyron Magna from my hand cards to the left once more!”
Subaru’s Life: 9 → 8
Once again, Gyron Magna appeared in the left area.
“Then I just have to destroy him again. King Cross, Double Attack!”
Gyron Magna was hit with King Cross’s rays, but remained on the field due to the soulguard.
“Next, I’ll use this!”
Ades aimed the Caelum Rex that he had equipped, and fired an arrow of light at Gyron Magna.
Gyron Magna was pierced by the arrow, but remained on the field using soulguard one more time.
A second arrow pierced Gyron Magna, destroying him.
“This time for sure, Galaxy Formation Left is finished.”
“But you’re all out of cards that can attack.”
“I don’t know about that. King Cross’s ability, activate!”
“Dropping one hand card allows me to Stand all of the cards on my field, making them able to attack again!”
“By order of the king. Stand up once more!”
At King Cross’s command, all of the cards on the field were placed in the Stand position.
“First, I’ll hit you with this!”
Ades aimed Caelum Rex’s arrow at Cross, in Subaru’s center. …However, even as he took aim, Ades hesitated for a moment.
“Ades, I am with you.”
“…You’re right, King Cross. I won’t hesitate anymore.”
Ades let loose an arrow of light at Cross. The arrow struck Cross, and the Penetrate ability dealt damage to Subaru as well.
Subaru’s Life: 8 → 4
Although he took damage, Cross remained on the field due to soulguard.
“King Cross…attack Cross!”
“Leave it to me, my king!”
King Cross flew high into the air, and swooped down towards Cross on the ground.
His body became a stream of light, like a shooting star.
Just as his attack was about to hit Cross…
“I’m not giving up yet! I cast [Tesla Adversity]! I drop one a card and one soul, and Cross cannot be destroyed during this turn!”
Cross was enveloped in light.
At that moment, the shooting star that was King Cross collided with Cross. The center area exploded with a roaring sound, but Cross stood unharmed.
“Well done on surviving that. But it looks like that used up the last of your hand cards.”
“Even if that’s the case, I’m going to make it to my next turn, together with Cross!”
“Then show me your determination in that turn. My turn is over.”
Subaru’s turn began, but his fists were still clenched and trembling.
Cross turned back to give Subaru a worried look.
“If my sense of right turns out to be wrong, would I still be able to move forward? I thought that if I made a mistake, I could just try again. But if my mistake causes something terrible that I can’t undo, will I be able to overcome it to stand again…?”
Subaru found himself unable to figure out his answer to Ades’s question.
To stay true to his sense of right, using his own strength.
That meant denying someone else’s sense of right.
And it meant taking responsibility for whatever might result from his actions.
Even if the path he chose turned out to be wrong, he couldn’t turn back time. There was no way for him to do it over again. He would have to bear the burden of the mistakes he had made. Could Subaru withstand that kind of despair? Even as he asked himself that question, he couldn’t find the answer.
Subaru cast his eyes down and stared at his own hands.
His hands were still trembling.
Subaru closed his eyes, as if to escape the reality before him.
But as soon as he did this…
“I’m with you, Subaru!”
Subaru heard Cross’s voice and opened his eyes.
As he raised his head and looked in front of him, he saw Cross gazing right back at him.
“Even if you find yourself in the depths of despair, Subaru, I will be your light! Like a shining star in the night sky, I will guide you, even when you’ve lost your way! I will be your hope!”
“You and I are Buddies. No matter what happens, we’ll overcome difficulties together. Isn’t that so?”
“…Yes, you’re right.”
Hearing Cross’s supportive words, Subaru felt his turbulent heart regain its calm. He noticed that the trembling of his hands had also stopped.
“I’m not alone. Even if I make a mistake, I have a Buddy who will support me. I have friends who will walk together with me. So I will not give in to despair. I will hold on to hope!”
Subaru placed his hand on his deck, and shouted “Draw! Charge and draw!” as he drew his cards with all his strength.
“I call Govern Star Dragon, Fret to the left! His effect increases my gauge by 2, and I draw a card!”
Subaru looked at the card he had drawn, and made his choice.
“Show me. Show me your future!”
Ades seemed to be responding to Subaru’s newfound fighting spirit.
“Cross, attack King Cross!”
“Leave it to me! Victory to Subaru!”
Bullets of light fired out of Cross’s Celesphere, and struck King Cross. However, King Cross stayed on the field using soulguard.
“I shall not fall yet!”
“Then it’s time for a Double Attack!”
“Here I come!”
King Cross took Cross’s attack for a second time, but again stayed on the field using soulguard.
“This will end you!”
Subaru aimed Caelum Rex.
There was no hesitation as he set his sights.
The arrow of light fired from Caelum Rex pierced King Cross. With no soul cards remaining, King Cross was unable to stay on the field.
“S… Ades! I pray for your victory…!”
King Cross was destroyed.
Subaru aimed his second arrow at Ades.
Ades’s Life: 5 → 2
“Fret, attack the fighter!”
Ades’s Life: 2 → 1
Subaru took a deep breath and shouted.
“I cast! Tri-Star Decision!”
Cross spread out his wings, shaping his body into a bow.
Above his head, energy projectiles formed, and they were drawn back like an arrow in a bowstring.
The energy projectiles became a giant arrow and were fired upon Ades.
Ades showed no sign of panic, or even regret. He simply gazed at the light as if dazzled by it.
Ades’s Life: 1 → 0
“I’ve proven my point.”
◇ ◇ ◇
When the fight was over, Subaru and Cross found themselves in front of Subaru’s house.
“Does this mean…we’re back where we started…?”
As Subaru turned to look at Cross, he saw that his Buddy’s body was glowing.
And Cross’s card, which had somehow appeared in his hand, was changing its form, as if in response to Cross’s transformation.
“[Deity of Knowledge and Hope, Godcross Astrologia]… So this is the power of the Dragod.”
“Yes! I can feel limitless power, like I’ve never felt before!”
“…It’s a power that we’ve gained by fighting together. I’m sure it will be able to counter Student President Jinguji.”
“But I wonder… What was that dimension, and who were Ades and King Cross…?”
“Who knows? But strangely enough, they weren’t unpleasant.”
“That’s true. If we ever meet them again, I’d like to have a long conversation with them.”
Subaru and Cross looked up at the night sky, and thought of the mysterious strangers that they had met that day.
That night, the skies were exceptionally clear, and the constellation Taurus was twinkling in the eastern sky.
◇ ◇ ◇
“Is this the outcome you wanted?”
[Yes, I am grateful to you. Thanks to your efforts, I was able to grant a portion of my power to the most deserving warrior.]
“We don’t mind. We owe you a debt, after all. But are you planning on continuing this?”
[I must continue to bestow my power unto as many warriors as I can, until my body fails me. Unless I do this, there is no defeating The Endruler Dragon.]
“I see… You’re right. I know how terrifying that monster is.”
[I had almost forgotten… All of this is because I did not have enough strength. You may curse me as much as you wish.]
“Deity of Dimensions, the world was born because you existed. While we may feel gratitude towards you, we would never curse you.”
[Is that so… Then I shall return you to your proper world.]
“Please do. Well, shall we go home, Cross? To our world?”
“Yes. But… Ades, as in the Pleiades star cluster, the group of stars known as ‘Subaru’ in Japanese… That was clever, Subaru.”
“What about you, Cross? ‘King Cross’ is a bit on the nose, isn’t it?”
“I-It was all so sudden, that’s all I could think of!”
“What’s so funny, Subaru?”
“I was just thinking how much better I feel when you’re at my side…”
“I feel the same way. I hope that those two will also support each other.”
“I agree… A future where the ‘me’ of this dimension can keep pursuing his sense of right and wrong. That’s what I hope for…”
Text by Shun Menjo