Opening: Together As One-James Paget
Chapter Two: Max's First Battle
"You're going to get it now, kid." Wolf slid his Cardrian card across the reader. "Monsune! Summon!" The dark dragon appeared from the card.
"Oh, yeah!" Max exclaimed excitedly. He slid his card across. "Silvercub! Summon!" Nothing happened. He tried again. Once again, nothing happened. "Uhhhhh..."
"Exactly how many battles have you been in, kid?" Wolf asked.
"This is my first one," Max said sheepishly, rubbing his hand on the back of his head.
Wolf faceplanted into the street. "W-WHAT?!" He stood back up. "How long have you owned your Cardrian?"
"Just got it today."
Another faceplant. Wolf stood back up again. "You really are easy prey. Look at the bottom right hand corner of the card. See that blue box?"
Max looked over the card until he saw a tiny box in the corner with lots of blue lines. "This one?"
"Hold your thumb over it and say 'Register Cardrian, the name of the Cardrian, then your name, and your id number."
"What id number?"
Wolf picked himself up from the ground a third time after faceplanting yet again. "Exactly when did you get that today?"
"Just now," Max answered, grinning widely.
Wolf sighed. "Inside the bottom top cover...No...Underneath it. Yes...That one...That's your Cardrian Duelist number."
"So I do this? Register Cardrian, Silvercub! Joseph Maxwell Starr! ID 1546823!"
His card reader glowed and a feminine voice came out of it. "Affirmative. Card reader activated. Searching name database. Found. Joseph Maxwell Starr. Son of Arthur Starr."
Wolf looked up with wide eyes as passerbys stopped in their tracks. "Did I just hear Arthur Starr?"
"Yeah. That's my dad."
"You're the son of the greatest Cardrian Master ever?!"
"AND YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO ACTIVATE YOUR CARDRIANS?!"
"I was too young to remember," Max said, looking around nervously as everyone stared. He could hear whispers of Arthur Starr reverberating throughout the crowd.
"Duelist and id number locked. System activated." The cardrian reader underwent a metamorphosis. Lines along it began to glow as it shifted and became a glove that snapped onto his hand and the reader slide shifted to attach to the outside edge of the glove on his arm. "Duelist ready to play."
"That's an interesting reader there, kid. It's unlike everyone else's. The fact that it connected to the network makes it legit. But, who made it?"
"I did," Mr. Fitzgerald walked out of the shop to stand behind Max.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Archie Fitzgerald."
Wolf's eyes bugged. "The living legend himself?!"
"What's he talking about?" Max asked looking up at Mr. Fitzgerald.
"You really are clueless, kid. Ten time world champion, holder of the illusive Dragon Cup, and trainer of Arthur Starr."
"The Dragon Cup?"
"The Dragon Cup is the prize from winning the Dragon Tournament, a tournament that only occurs once every 15 years."
"That's right," came another voice. The same girl who had beaten Wolf and the other duelist appeared out of the crowd. "And I plan on winning it." She walked up to Mr. Fitzgerald. "Hello, grandfather. I'm here for my regular reader checkup."
"Ah, yes, Lilly. I'm sorry. Slipped my mind."
"I told you to call me Lillian in public. Makes me sound tough. I have a reputation to uphold."
"You're 13 years old. Exactly how tough must you sound?"
"Never mind, grandpa. You wouldn't understand." She looked at Wolf. "Buzz off, creep." She looked at Max. "So you're Arthur Starr's son, huh? I will be your opponent."
"Now, dear, Bowakune is an Elite level Cardrian. He's new. You can't do that."
"Very well. Bowakune, come out in your Basic form," she said looking at her card. She slid her Cardrian card. "Oiwakune summon!"
A little orange puppy-like creature appeared on the ground. It had horns on the side of its head.
"Right." Max slid his card. "I summon Silvercub!" A small silver wolf cub appeared in front of him. "Let's start this."
Oiwakune lunged forward, biting at Silvercub. Silvercub dodged and rammed it from the side.
"Come on, Silvercub! You can do it!"
Oiwakune was knocked off his feet. He got up and shook himself off as Silvercub pounced on him. They went rolling across the ground snarling and yapping. They sprang off each other and landed across from each other, both panting and glaring at each other.
"Two legendary Cardrians battling," Mr. Fitzgerald commented, pulling on his moustache. "Amazing."
"So her Cardrian is a legendary, too," Max said, gazing at the fight in wonder. "Silvercub, come here." Silvercub looked at Oiwakune, then at Max, and cautiously walked over to him. "You can understand every word I'm saying, right?" Silvercub nodded. "Then this is what I want you to do." He bent down and whispered in Silvercub's ear.
After Max was done, Silvercub sauntered into the middle of the field and began rolling around playfully. Oiwakune eyed him warily. Then he slowly crept over and sniffed him. Silvercub rolled over to his feet and rammed into Oiwakune's head and jumped away. As Oiwakune sat there dazed, Silvercub opened his mouth.
"Silvercub! Growling Bark!"
A small ball of light erupted from Silvercub's mouth and slammed into Oiwakune, rolling him over and over, until he lay still.
"Very good," Lilly said. "But not good enough." She slid a card across her reader. "Transformation activate!" Oiwakune glowed and then shifted into a bigger version of himself and his horns were now situated over his eyes. "Kowicchikune! Horn Flare!"
Kowicchikune's horns glowed and then shot out giant beams of light and slammed into Silvercub. Silvercub glowed and then became a beam of light that returned to his card.
"What was that about not needing to transform to win?" Wolf asked.
"Regardless, he's going to run into it. If he had a proper deck of cards, he could've used them and possibly still have won."
"I'm sorry, Max," Mr. Fitzgerald said. "Your father didn't cover a deck. He said you had to figure that out on your own. What was it he said? 'Learning is half the fun'? Something like that. It was only your first match. And you held your own quite well. But she is an elite player. You'll get better with time."
Max looked up with a big grin on his face. "That was...AWESOME! I can't wait until I do it again! I'm gonna buy cards and keep trying until I find what suits me. Then I'll become the best. Just like my dad." With that, he walked towards home.
Ending: The Hero Within-James Paget