Jan. 1st, 2014

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They left after Manjoume died, hurried and haphazard and shouting at Judai all the way. Judai watched them go, wondering vaguely if he should just be rid of them now, but they were no threat. Not yet. Surely they would come back, surely they would try to take Yubel away from him, but not quite yet. For he did know: They would regroup and return. They were stubborn and stupid and cared too much.

“They’ll come back,” he told Yubel. She leaned over and took his hand, her nails scratching the back. She’d made him see so much. He remembered everything now, and the idea of parting with her was nearly unbearable. How had he ever been able to do so as a child? He had been so stupid.

“What can a group of children do to harm you? You are a king, my Judai. You were born to rule over them.”

“And I will.” He remembered his childhood now, after years of wondering why his memories had been so fuzzy. He remembered his past, how he had been born king, and how Yubel had given up everything to protect him from—

Protect him from—

Protect him from all enemies, of course. All those who tried to separate them. And if his former friends would try to separate them, he would treat them as his enemies. Yubel had given up everything to protect him. She had loved him more dearly than anyone else.

“Do you like it, this world?” Yubel asked. Judai took his time to look around, his eyes lingering on the dreary, dark landscape.

“It’s rather dark,” he said, “but it’ll do.”

He didn’t really like the dark, but then again, who did? Yubel hummed. Again that feeling, the one that told him he’d forgotten something, and looking at Yubel, he thought she’d felt it too. But she smiled and wrapped her arms around him, and the feeling disappeared.

“There is one here — He fancies himself king.”

Judai smiled, slow and lazy. “That won’t do, will it?”

“Shall I take care of him for you, my love?”

Judai shook his head. If he were to rule, he would have no one dispute his right to do so. “I’ll do it myself. But not now. My deck…”

Not that he’d ever been in any danger. He could have defeated Manjoume blindfolded. But his deck had been quite uncooperative. He’d seen hide nor hair from the Neospacians and Hane Kuriboh in days.

“A weak soldier brings down a whole army,” said Yubel. She was right, of course. He needed to fix his deck. He would not be king with a worthless army.

It took him three days. Three days by the end of which Brron the Mad King lay broken at his feet, and an army of monsters swore allegiance to him and Yubel. They would become his first new subjects. He would rule as the Supreme King, the way he’d been meant to do since ages past.

There was something off about that, something he still couldn’t quite put his finger on, but as he thought about it, the feeling was drowned out by blessed silence and Yubel by his side. He would rule over all the worlds, and they would fear him. Foolish as the creatures in this world were, they did not leave him unchallenged. He destroyed them. His army grew larger by the day, and his grip on this world grew stronger. They would obey him or fall in ruin.

And the part of him that protested, that cast a shadow on all his accomplishments, was blinded and chased away by the bright shine of Yubel by his side.

It was no surprise when his dear friends made a move. It was a surprise to only see Kenzan, dragged into the throne room by two of his most faithful followers.

“Release him,” he commanded. Ah, poor impulsive Kenzan. Of course he would have come charging in alone.

“I will let you leave now,” he said, “if you do not oppose me further.”

Kenzan jumped up, fists clenched. “I’m not letting you do this, Judai-no-aniki!”

Yubel snorted. Judai shook his head.

“I have no desire to see my subjects die. Yet, if you continue to oppose me, you give me no choice. I shall duel you.”

He even made it swift. Kenzan, who didn’t even provide half the challenge Manjoume had, didn’t stand a chance against a deck that had conquered the world.

Perhaps he felt some slight regret as Kenzan’s duel disk clattered to the ground and Malicious Edge faded from view. He was supposed to rule, after all, not destroy.

Not yet.

It was a light voice, one he heard sometimes and had come to associate with Yubel, even though it wasn’t hers either.

“Dispose of that,” he ordered. He had no interest in seeing cards scattered all over the place.

“There are other worlds, you know,” said Yubel. Judai hummed. She was right, and once he had squashed the very last of resistance in this world, he would move on. He shuffled his deck. Dark Fusion had served him well, but perhaps he needed something stronger, something better. Something that could unite entire worlds and bring them under his control. He suggested the idea to Yubel, who smiled into his hair.

“I have just the thing,” she said.

And as she explained, Judai felt lighter than he ever had before. Truly, he didn’t need anyone but Yubel.

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