Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction / Hamtaro Fan Fiction ❯ Return of the Duel Hams ❯ the sad song of a retired, challengeless duelist ( Chapter 16 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

It's the end of the day and the hams are heading for home. "Well, have fun with your owners, and see you again." said Lapis.
"See you hams tomorrow." said Boss.
"Ready to go, Pepper?" asked Oxnard.
"I'm gonna stay here tonight, you go on ahead without me." Pepper answered.
"Stay here? No! You can't stay here... Kana already saw you in my cage, what if Dylan comes by?"
"There's the panic-mode Oxnard. Relax, will ya? I'll be fine over here, stop treating me like I'm a kid."
"Get outta here already. Go on, scram."
"All right. I guess I'll see you tomorrow." and off Oxnard left sadly.
Boss pats Pepper on the shoulder. "I guess this is punishment for bragging." said Boss.
"Not really, I just have something I need to do." Pepper explained.
Hours later, Pepper sat quietly in Oxnard's room. So there's a tournament going on soon. I guess I'll get in on the action. she thought. It's been a while since I had some real competition in the dueling world, so long that I sort of retired from dueling and broke down my deck. Well, it's time to reconstruct it. Pepper stepped outside of the room and looked on the buletin wall. Luckily for me, this is the updated list. None of these cards in my control are banned, but some are limited. No matter, this only makes me more interested.
"Looking at the ban list I see." Jam said.
"Yup, just seeing what has changed and what is new." Pepper answered.
"I see."
"Jam, I need a favor from you."
"Could you escort me to the farm, I need to do my deck.?"
"When do you wanna go?"
"We better go now if we wanna get back before Oxnard notices." That's when it hits Pepper. "That's right, you haven't been where I call home, apologies."
"None needed. We can go right now, it's not like I have anything else to do."
"Well, let's go then, it's a long way there."
"Nonsense, nothing is a 'long way there' to me."
"Oh yeah, that's right. I forgot you're a globetrotter."
Jam pulls out the Blade of Ra and draws a circle around them. "Okay, we're all set to go." said Jam.
"I... don't understand." Pepper was confused.
"Here, hold this in your left hand."
"Uh, no thanks... I don't mess with knives or blades. Besides, won't that burn my paw?"
"If your heart is unpure, then yes. Otherwise, take the Blade in your left paw, think of home in your mind, twirl the Blade over head and spike it into the ground."
"Um, right." Pepper takes the Blade of Ra.
Jam takes hold of Pepper's right paw. "I'd normally do it, but I haven't been there before, so it'll have to wait until we leave."
"Okay, here we go."
Pepper followed the instructions and just like that, the two were teleported from the clubhouse. Hitomi on the other hand, witnessed the whole event, Interesting. she thought. There's much more than him than just his playful decor....
In a short time, the two hams were standing outside the farm. on a stack of hay. "Hoo wee. That was faster than a stampedin' bull with a twelve second brand on his ass." said Pepper.
Jam shook his head. "Bad pun, honey." he said.
"Knock that off, only Oxnard calls me 'honey' and no one else."
"Funny, I thought he would be the only one to call you 'molasses'."
Jam giggled. "Of course you can't find a comeback to that, it just reminds me of an old contry proverb: 'A farmhand can't harvest honey like they can harvest wheat.' Which makes sense since I haven't seen a cowboy or cowgirl who had a beehive on their land."
Just shut up....
Despite the "Cowfolk and Bees" incident, Pepper still treated Jam to some Southern Hospitality. The two even shared a thumble of hamster whiskey, while talking about country experiences and the like. A good time was actually had by these two and Jam even dicided to cook up some grub for her. "This is pretty good, what did you use?" asked Pepper.
"Lesse..." Jam began, "rice paste, mashed up hamster pellets, ground up pumpkin seed, hominy and a taste of that whiskey you shared."
"I knew something was familiar about this grub."
"Yeah buddy, what a meal huh?"
"You got that right."
"Let's get another thumble of that whiskey."
"Sure, why not? It's not like it'll kill us..."
"Ah, the things you get down home...."
After all of that, Pepper and Jam get to where they need to go. You know, Pepper's all right. Jam thought. Oxnard's a lucky guy to have a southern belle like her. Man do we get along so well, but then again, it's only natural for me to get along with hamsters....
Jam, you're one hell of a guy. Pepper thought. I never knew a guy like you could be so much fun. You're more fun than Oxnard. I wonder what he's like in the sack... Then again, I can always get Oxnard in the sack....
The two decided to let that whisker wear off, so they drank three thumbles of water. And after a good pee, they were back to normal. "Damn, that was some good whiskey." said Jam. "You sure know how to live."
"I get told that a lot." said Pepper.
"Really? Who says it to you so much?"
"I do."
The two hamsters share laughter. "Okay, that's enough fun, you have a deck to make."
"That's right."
Pepper shows Jam to where she keeps her cards. "Wow, look at this collection, you got stuff here that even Boss would kill for." said Jam.
"Yup, my collection is great." said Pepper.
"Man, some of these cards I haven't even seen played. You even have Magic Arm Shield."
"Yup, my collection is lovely and I treasure each and every rare card."
"I see."
"Also Jam, I wanna fill you in on a secret."
"Sure, tell me."
"Pegasus is holding a contest regarding these cards."
"What kind of contest?"
"He's having a 'Design your own Duel Monster' contest."
"Huh, that'll be interesting."
"And here it is, this is my duel disk." said Pepper.
"It's dusty." said Jam.
"I know, I haven't dueled with it for quite some time. But it still works."
"I guess you don't really have many to duel with out here..."
"To be honest with you, I sort of retired myself from dueling. I wasn't the best duelist in the world, but I was certainly a skilled one. Which is why I have so many rare cards, prizes for getting far in tournaments some are, while others are from promotional events. It soon turned out that no one would ever duel me since I've pretty much played everyone around and won to the point that I lost all my challengers. With no one around to want to duel anymore, I hung up my dueling days and enjoyed my collection." Pepper began to dust off her duel disk. "Oxnard is pretty much my only link to what goes on in the dueling world and since he won't even make a deck to duel, I have no way of dueling myself. It's sad in a way, but I understand."
"I get that way too."
"I soon learned that there's no point in dueling if there's no one else to have fun with you, so I decommissioned my deck... but though I still collected the cards, I never really dueled anymore."
"So you do plan on entering this tournament..."
"Of course, I need to see if the rust on my gears can be oiled away, or if I should stay a retired duelist."
"This tournament means a lot to her... to see if she's still good enough... in a way, it's an inspiration. You really are a Cinderella Story, you know that? But if that's the whole deal, you can always duel the rest of the hams to brush up."
"That's true, but I don't get to visit them as often as I would love to, but reaching them takes a while for me. You probably don't get that problem much since you travel and observe duelists. Sure you get that dry spell, but at least you can find duelists to play..."
"That's not entirely true..."
"I know, I'm just making excuses. I also know that duelists aren't what they used to be. And with so many cards out now, I feel like I'm outdated, even with my current booster pack cards."
"Some of the best cards are the oldest ones, Pepper. I can tell you that from experience." Jam took a card from his pack and threw it towards her.
Pepper caught the card, "What's this card?"
"An old friend of mine."
Pepper looked at the card and saw how the edges were worn out. "Blackland Fire Dragon... man, look at the wear on this thing...."
"Yup, it's old. It's also the very first Duel Monster card I ever got."
"Wow, MRD-062... yup, it's vintage all right. A dragon from the Metal Raiders set. What other old cards do you have?"
"This one. And unlike that dragon, this one is my most trusted."
"I see. Most trusted huh? It's probably something very powerful..."
Pepper looked at the card. "You've gotta be kidding me!"
"Nope, I'm serious. You can even ask Oxnard, Pepper. All the hams know that of all my dragons, even Horus, this is my most trusted card."
The card Jam showed her: Code number 75356564 "Well, I'll leave you to building your deck." Jam said as he took his cards. "Lemme have your duel disk for a moment."
"Go ahead." said Pepper.
Jam took pepper's duel diskand went out ot the area. While Pepper reconstructed her deck, Jam dusted off, touched up and upgraded her duel disk. After debating, Pepper rejoined Jam with her completed deck. "You're ready with this deck?" asked Jam.
"Yes I am." Pepper answered. "I would like my duel disk now."
"One more minute, it's being upgraded."
"You're upgrading it? How so?"
"It's something I plan on doing with everyone's duel disks, so I might as well start with yours."
"I see..."
"I figure since you haven't been around, that you could use it." Pepper's duel disk makes its activated effect. "Well, that's it. You will still need Panda to tweak it up, but you're good for now." Jam returns the duel disk.
"Thanks. I also want you to have this as a gift."
"...A jug of that whiskey. Haha, you're something else."
"Oxnard tells me that too."
"Oh, and you might wanna sleeve that deck up."
"I don't have any."
"No problem, I have some extra ones, I'll even sleeve it for you too."
"You really are a real 'gem of the south' Jam."
"Hey, no problem. Well, let's get back to the Duel House."
"Sure, let's go."
Pepper places her deck in the clip of the duel disk. After that, she took Jam's right paw and Jam did the teleport thing and the two were gone in a flash.