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Old 07-22-2019, 09:29 PM   #11
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As if being arrested Muneshige threw up both her palms and gave a look of utter defeat. “Oh no! I have been bested!” Before the crowd could even respond she scooped her cards, including the unrevealed face down one, back into the deck. “All the careful planning has been for naught! Oh well.” She gave her opponent a wink. “Good game.”

“Er, right.”
The Master of Ceremonies cleared his throat into the microphone. “Onto game 2, then-”

Muneshige quickly waved her hand back and forth and snorted dismissively. “Ah, no need. I know when I'm beat. I'll just surrender right here.”

Now there was a proclaimation that earned the ire of the audience. Even Ryo was up on his feet at that one. “You old sack of jerky!” He roared. “People paid good money to watch this dumpster fire!”

“Uh, ah, okay then. Let's bring out the runner-up for the loser's bracket-”

The woman's eyes lit up and she shot the MC a thumbs up. “Hey, he's my buddy, can I talk to him a bit back-stage first?”

“Eh?”
Once again the elderly woman was zipping off before waiting for a response. It was as though she didn't care about the sacred decorum of the card game at all! After a great deal of confusion and agitated murmurs from the crowd the runner up was indeed brought out to the finals platform. There stood one very bewildered looking Noboru, clutching his deck to his chest as a child might hold their mother's wallet.

“Boy, crazy day isn't it?”
Ryo choked on his pretzel as Muneshige mysteriously appeared in the seat next to them with a tall frosty mug of something in each hand. Inabune only shook her head. “My feet are killing me. How did your games go?”

”Madam Chosokabe, that was a very poor showing.” The muscular Inabune pounded on Ryo's back to try and get him to cough up the food obstructing his windpipe, but the disappointment in her voice was palpable. ”I did not think you were one to give up so easily.”

With a smug sip and satisfied 'pyah!' Muneshige leaned back in her chair and grinned. “What do you mean, give up? Ain't our boy still up there?” She temporarily set down her beverages to cups her hands around her mouth and scream. ”YOU CAN DO IT, NOBBY!"

Dabbing at the sweat beading on his forehead the MC continued on as if nothing had transpired. “We, uh, have been informed that Mutou Noboru will be progressing onto the finals. So without further ado, uh,” he glanced at the frantic assistants who were still trying to get the confetti and streamers ready. “Let's begin the final match!”
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:05 PM   #12
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A half-unbraided Shikagerou looked wistfully over at the smuggled contraband in the crowd as he rested his chin against the heel of his palm, letting a yawn slip through the corners of his mouth as the boy sat across him for the second time that day. He cut his eyes through the discount-store glasses and offered a grin.

Glad to see you made it back to meet me again. Did you get a chance to reassess your strategy?

For what it was worth, the organizers, with their limited space, had managed to make a spectacle of the whole thing. As the lights over the audience dimmed and the fluorescent lights above them kicked on with a hiss that smelt like stale dust, it suddenly felt like the pair were sitting alone - - even if they were seated at a plastic table raised only a few feet above the dozen or two dozen folks still lingering in the audience - - like they had all the time in the world to prepare themselves mentally for the game ahead.

Let’s begin the final match!” The MC tried again, with a bit more gusto. “Our time runs out in less than an hour, guys, so...

The man started to shuffle his deck with a practiced grace, like a dealer at a blackjack table, and passed it over to the boy to cut.

That elderly woman...she’s got some surprising tricks in her sleeves.” He said, absently. “She’s your cell leader, right? Or, no, you wouldn’t call it that...your boss, your mentor.

He took his deck back and readjusted his large nose and glasses all at once, leaning back in his chair. “If she imparted some of those tactics on you, then I wonder - -

Clock’s running, guys.

- - if you can keep up with me, kiddo.

DRAW!
IT’S THE FINAL MATCH!
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¤Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
¤Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
¤Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
¤Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
¤Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
¤Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
¤Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
¤Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
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Old 08-10-2019, 01:54 PM   #13
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The only responses the boy could muster up were dazed nods in affirmation as he drew his cards. Mrs. Chomin was by rank their leader but something about the man’s phrasing didn’t sit well with the child. As he nervously reorganized his cards Noboru’s waif-like voice tried to sort out his own emotions and answer his opponent’s question. “She’s not…like that, though.” His eyes flickered between cards with uncertainty. “Mrs. Chosokabe is my leader, but she’s not our boss. I’m not making any sense, am I?”

The game progressed slowly at first, to the chagrin of some. “Spoil it for me now, you expired bagpipe.” Ryo’s throat still seemed agitated from the pretzel as he watched the game unfold. “You gave the brat some game winning advice, right? Some killer strategy to take down this guy?”

“Oh yeah, totally.”
Muneshige shook her head in agreement as she crunched on some half bursted kernels of popcorn. “I told him that his opponent was a lonely old man with no friends, who used trading cards as a way to relive his youth that was stolen from him.”

“What? Is any of that true?”

“Who knows?”
Muneshige garbled out through a mouthful of some kind of carbonated beverage. “Sounds plausible though, don't it?”

”So your advice-“

Muneshige swallowed and let out a satisfied sigh. “-was to have fun. Isn’t that what this is all about?”

Game 1 went nearly the same as all the other bouts. The challenger dominated early game with his eclectic deck while Noboru could scarcely put up a defense in time. In some ways it had gone worse than their first duel- at least in that one Noboru had put a dent in the man’s life total!

“I can’t watch this.”
Ryo moaned. “Give me another pretzel.”

Game 2 started out just as rocky. Every card the boy slapped down was answered perfectly by his opponent. Down to only a few cards it looked bad for the young contender. Then came the swing.

After an agonizing pause, Noboru timidly laid down his card. “I quick-summon Yearling of the Planes in response, and choose its second effect to exile your graveyard.” He waited while a good number of audience members murmured at the seemingly weak play. “That's all I have. You can finish your turn now.”

Last edited by Junge; 08-10-2019 at 02:28 PM..
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:36 PM   #14
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Shikagerou’s thumb was already pressing up his counter spell as the Yearling was being placed down and then hesitated at the boy’s words. Bikini Mishap only functioned on regular and spell-based summoning methods. A quick summon was just too fast, so then of course he’d use the first effect to - - but no, Noburo had different plans.

He hesitated again with a soft oh-ho and slid his graveyard with one delicate motion away from the playing field.

Interesting. More than half of his cards had effects that danced around his graveyard, and only one or two could do anything with cards out of play - - one of which he had used to great effect against the boy’s grandma or whatever. A minor inconvenience, but that meant the boy’s strategy had changed somehow. Mill and exile? Mulching his graveyard? Maybe a ghost-pop technique that was popular a few years ago? It was hard to tell. In Onmyodo you couldn’t only stack your deck so much, it wasn’t like a real battle where one could do the unexpected. Everything was printed on the cards, and for some time, Shikagerou had memorized every card effect - - but his database was years out of date at this point.

Playing blind was kind of exciting. He evoked ki and Scythed the Calf and placed his spell into the graveyard, and lightly brushed his fingers against his three attacking battle miko and upturned his hand to the boy.

Combat resolves in my favor,” He adjusted his glasses, nose and all. “Deferring to your turn.

He glanced down at his hand. He was prepared to burn through his resources to protect himself from any sneaky attacks the boy might have in his hand, and if something happened to his High Purifier on the field, he was ready to field a second one - - and a sword equipment, if his deck would produce one of his Ronin-type cards. That would pretty much spell the end of this match. It didn’t feel good, beating a child at a children’s card game.
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¤Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
¤Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
¤Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
¤Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
¤Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
¤Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
¤Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
¤Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
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Old 08-10-2019, 08:54 PM   #15
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Noburu blinked a couple times in surprise and couldn't stop himself. “What? That's it?” His eyes glanced towards the crowd where he could easily pick out his comrades (not that it was difficult with Ms. Chomin taking up nearly two entire seats). The faintest hint of a smile tugged at his lips but- no, no! 'Savor a victory only after it is accomplished, and not a moment earlier.' There too many obstacles left to navigate, too many cards left unseen, too chances for fate too throw it all away...

And that quote came from Dr. Mishap anyway, who was a villain in the Onmyodo universe, so it was best to ignore it. The bridge the kid would have to walk was narrow and likely to collapse at any moment. He was more likely to lose than win at this point. But a non-zero chance was still a chance!

Noburo took a breath and drew his next card, gave it a once over, then squeaked like a stepped on mouse.

“Oh!”
Muneshige knocked Ryo on the shoulder with her fist. “Get your nose out of the nachos. The show is about to start.”

The boy's fingers acted with more confidence than he could must himself as he began to lay down his combo. “I pay 5 life and exile these two Light types from my graveyard...” A small blessing, having most of his cards get destroyed by his opponent. It meant he could set-up to summon one of his favorite cards! “...to summon the Green-Eyed Magician!” Anticipating a response Noboru snapped another card down. “Since I still have priority I also resolve Mobius Dragon from my hand, letting me cast my Magician two more times.”

“Hey, grandma.”
Ryo solemnly grumbled. “I get that he's got a lot of stuff on the board, but how does the brat win his game when he's paying so much life, huh? What if that pervert up there has one of them burn cards or something, won't it just be game over?”

”The only blow that matters is the final one.” Inabune's eyes remained locked on the stage as she addressed her confused teammate. ”Much like the oath we swore, isn't it? As long as a single breath remains in our lungs, the Brigade shall continue to repel the dark.”

“Hey, my good, dear friends.”
Muneshige squirmed in her seat as she tried to see past the head of the person sitting in front of her. “Shut up and watch the game.”
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Old 08-10-2019, 10:06 PM   #16
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Three Green-eyes, huh...

Kagerou sidled ever so slightly in his chair to get a better look at the board - - the Green-eyed Magician and the two tokens representing the second and third ones. It didn’t look like much, sitting on the small playmat spread out over the table, but in the world of Onmyodo even one of these bastards was something to worry about. High Purifier and the other battle miko on his side of the field didn’t stand a chance against something like that. He felt like he could visualize more of the field, now - - guess at more information what would be sitting in that boy’s deck, assume the spread, the statistical chances of what was coming up to the field. A hundred thousand possibilities, racing around in his head like magic.

Still, it wasn’t going to set him too far back to ride out this turn. He nodded at the boy and the attack came - - and three cards on his side of the field moved to the graveyard. He drew his next card and shuffled it into his hand before looking down at his options for a moment.

I could really use my graveyard now,” He said behind a smile. “But I’ll improvise.

Midsummer Shrine Maiden from his hand, allowing him to tap down an other miko (fluffed on the card as being caught in a water ballon fight) preventing High Purifier from charging to her death this turn.

And because I tapped an ally - -” His thumb riffled up his deck and he drew the top card, glanced at it, and let out a soft shrug. “I draw a card. Luck is on my side. By sacrificing two of my precious Miko cards, I can invoke a mercenary card to my field.

Tsubaki of the Errant Path!

And since she’s a ronin, I’ll equip her with - -

Million-folded Iron Country Steel!

And of course, the illustrious Million-folded Iron Country Steel Katana has a special effect.

Tsubaki raised that glorious blade, unashamed of her Errant Path promotional catsuit, and swung.
__________________
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¤Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
¤Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
¤Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
¤Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
¤Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
¤Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
¤Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
¤Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:36 PM   #17
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Boom, boom, boom! Like a cascading waterfall his Magicians hit the graveyard. Noburo slid each token off the table with a pained expression.

“Hey, what gives? I saw someone play that million...country...iron...thing...”
Ryo’s mustache quivered with a mix of confusion and agitation. “Whatever. Someone used it against me. It doesn’t have any effects that destroy stuff. And the Green-Eyes Whosits are immune to countering AND destruction!”

“No card is immune to the rules, brother.”
Muneshige stroked her wrinkled chin with a ponderous finger. “That thing makes every card on the field into a legendary. You can’t have multiple legendaries at the same time, so our boy had to sacrifice the extras.”

“This game is a crock of nonsense! And the art is way too lewd!”

“It works both ways. Now his opponent can’t play multiples of the same card either.”

That won’t be an issue for him, though!
Noboru pulled his next card and winced at how weak his turn would be. He’s playing a singleton deck without any repeats! Anticipating the coming execution the crowd’s silence became suffocating. What would the boy do against such a stunning rejoinder? Concede? Attempt a bluff?

“Cheat?”
Inabune grabbed Ryo’s shoulder and bent down low to give him the stink eye to end all stink eyes. “Kidding. Kidding! Obviously that’s out of the question.”

“I think he’s right, though.”
Muneshige mused. “Conventional warfare won't do the job here. He needs to pull a fast one to get out of his jam.”

“…the Eclectic Coquette.”
He tried to quickly mumble the card's name so nobody would hear him mispronounce it. “I use its effect to get Schemer's Scythe out of my deck…”

“Oh, I know that one too!”
Ryo seemed to grow more attentive. “The brat put that one in my deck. It lets you draw each time you attack. He's going to fish for more cards!”

“...and I equip it to your Tsubaki and end my turn!”
Now that got some folks out of their seats.

Muneshige threw her arms up. “He gave up! The mad lad gave up!”

Ryo threw his arms wide, knocking the hood off the sulking teenager sitting behind him. “He's got no spine!”

Inabune merely crossed her thick arms and waited patiently. Noburo wasn't the type to spit in the wind. What could he have hoped to accomplished by strengthening his opponent like that?
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:27 AM   #18
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The novelty-store bespectacled man let out a soft oho as the boy turned the game over to him. A hundred thousand strategies the boy could be employing was suddenly reduced to just a few dozen, with only three or so being relevant to the field at hand. There was always a chance in a collectible card game like this that your opponent didn’t have exactly the best cards to employ their chosen strategy, which kept things just fresh enough - - aberrant against the most optimal strategy, patch-meal solutions could catch most anyone off guard. But this seemed to make sense. He had played this deck against the boy twice now, and there was a good chance he got a chance to spectate his battles against the players he had gotten a chance to battle against.

He lowered his hand down to his deck and brushed his thumb up the cards as he drew his next card, a simple technique to count the cards remaining in his deck. Did the boy want to overload his hand and force him into a poor state that way? Or did he want to simply mill out all of his options? Perhaps the actual goal was to just fill the graveyard again.

Let’s see if that pays off, Noboru-san.

Peach Garden Oath!

This allows any three Legendary combatants on my side of the field to act as one - -

Effectively giving him the best of the combat attributes across all three cards, which he moved together to signify the Oath. The historical event the card referenced was supposed to inspire ideals of loyalty and fraternity, but the three women crawling over each other in a peach-plum-pear bath seemed to have different ideas. “So, your Magician - -!
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¤Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
¤Sanada Ema, Chuunin of Leaf.
¤Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
¤Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
¤Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
¤Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
¤Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:09 PM   #19
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“I have a response!” The boy blurted out like the yelp of an excited dog. “I quick summon Brawlmaster Rolo!'

“Oh my!”
Gasped Muneshige. “I didn't even know the youngster had that card. I wonder why he's never played it before?”

“What in the goddamn!”
Ryo's jaw hung agape. “Look at the size of its-”

“-effect!”
Noboru was too excited to be ashamed of tawdry card art. “I declare a card name, and if you have that card in your hand you have to play it and have it fight my Rolo!

Getting over the initial shock of the scandalous illustrations Ryo regained some of his composure. "That boy ain't right. Doesn't the Headmaster have rules against keeping that type of thing on Brigade grounds?”

”It's safe for work,” confirmed a smug, smiling Inabune. ”I don't see any issue with it.”

“Fine, whatever.”
Ryo huffed. “The boy just loses here, doesn't he? Whatevermaster isn't tough enough to take one attack from those other cards. I get that he made the dude draw to try and maximize his chances of guessing right, but still...”

If any divine entities are listening...
Noburo held his breath, and seeing that his opponent had no response, prepared to name a card. ...don't worry about me! This is my own mess, and I'll take responsibility!

Without any hesitation Mutuo Noboru made his choice. “I choose Priestess Jue, the Disgraced! Muneshige let out a low whistle while her squadmates stood perplexed. “The same card that beat me, eh? The youngin' must be thinking this Kagero fellow is paranoid and kept it in case there was an infinite combo coming.”

”Is there?”

Muneshige grinned and tapped her forehead. “Probably not the one he's expecting!”

The trap dawned on the audience bit by bit. Priestess Jue wouldn't survive combat with Rolo, sending her to the graveyard and by her own effect instantly ending the combat phase. Then Kagero's Temple field would activate, letting (rather, forcing) him to put a card from his graveyard onto the top of his deck. And with an empty graveyard save for Jue, there was only one choice to make. Which meant...

It's a complete lock!
Every turn he'd draw Jue, and every turn Noboru would force it out of his hand and into combat with Rolo, starting the whole cycle over again. Meanwhile Noboru was free to draw every turn until he found some way through, virtually ensuring him the win. It was an absurd combination only possible thanks to the man's recursion filled deck and -hopefully- Kagero's ability to always keep a back-up plan.

Of course his opponent still had to have the card. The grand ballroom fell silent as everyone seemed to hold their breath at once. It was so quiet you could hear a card drop.

Last edited by Junge; 08-28-2019 at 11:22 PM..
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:27 AM   #20
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So many strategies. The fun thing about card games was no body had to die.

He brushed his thumb against the protective sleeves on the cards in his hand and looked across the ridge of them at the boy. In real life, your options weren’t limited to a deck of cards. Here, you were forced to commit to a single game’s worth of strategies and do your best to overcome whatever your opponent could throw at you. Meticulously planning could only get you so far.

He could guess what what was remaining in the boy’s deck at this point. Eventually, he’d draw that and his Peach Garden Oath team would be useless.

He revealed Priestess Jue, the Disgraced from his hand with a sheepish grin and placed her into the field. The audience broke out into erupting applause.

You got me, kid.” He said behind that grin, adjusting his glasses. “Normally people are too embarassed to keep cards like Rolo in their collection, and you didn’t seem the perverted type, so I gotta admit...

He scooped his field and stacked it on top of the many cards in his exile pile.

I didn’t even see that one coming.

Mutuo Noboru - - a fictional hero obsessed traveling mercenary, and the boy who took the sennin of the Nara Clan by surprise.

Good game, kid.
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¤Hyuuga Yuu, Genin of Leaf.
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¤Gushiken Ren, Chuunin of Mist.
¤Hikoboshi no Natsu, Miko of Wind.
¤Sajime Sahori, Jounin of Stone.
¤Kiku-ichimonji Jun'ko, ronin samurai.
¤Hatsuyuki Shiro, renegade shinobi.
¤Keisei Ranko, The Prince of the Keisei.
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