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WARNING: Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot, storyline, character, etc., details.
Lu Chao's Bargain
One night, after saving a prostitute from a gang, Arrathir finds a mysterious e-mail in his in-box. Despite a warning from his other self (the Keepers' names are progressively revealed throughout the story), Arrathir opens the e-mail and is transported to a white room where he meets Lu Chao once again.
The Planeswalker tells Arrathir and the Keeper of Black Mana that he is displeased with the progress they've made towards awakening the remaining Keepers of Mana. The spirit flat-out refuses to awaken the Keepers, so Lu Chao challenges him to a summoner's duel to force him to go along with his plans.
The spirit is quickly overwhelmed by Lu Chao's strategy and dejectedly agrees to awaken the Keepers. He completely rebuilds Arrathir's deck for the upcoming Pro Qualifier Tournament.
On the morning of the PTQ, Arrathir wakes up to find he's overslept (the spirit having broken his alarm clock when it went off) and is forced to summon a Havoc Demon to speed him to the tournament.
As he rushes to the front door, he collides with Eva Pezrokov. Completely thrown off by her, Arrathir makes a very bad first impression and Eva writes him off as another nerdy pervert.
After having a bit of trouble registering, Arrathir finally gets to the first round of the tournament, only to find out his opponent is Eva.
Extremely intimidated by her aggressive behaviour, Arrathir's gameplay totally falls apart and he loses the first game, despite the spirit taking over his body at the last minute in an attempt to win.
Eva isn't impressed by his strategy and taunts him about it. However, the spirit manages to come back and win the next two games, leaving Eva confused as to how he managed such a win after his pitiful first game.
Arrathir goes on to win the next two rounds, but after his third round is accosted by Eva who challenges him to a duel with one catch: the loser has to drop out of the tournament.
As Arrathir is about to lose his final game against Eva, the doors to the arena where the PTQ is being held burst open and a herd of Slivers begins slaughtering the players. A woman on a Winged Sliver arrives and summons the Sliver Queen. Arrathir takes this as his cut to leave and summons his Havoc Demon.
Taking Eva with him, Arrathir escapes the woman and lands in an alley where he reveals the truth about who he is to Eva. Eva tries to flee, but the spirit restrains her, telling her the Slivers have most likely killed her parents. Eva breaks down in tears and begs Arrathir to train her in summoning. Reluctant at first, Arrathir finally agrees.
The two of them attempt to hide out at Arrathir's mother's home, but they find the Slivers have beat them to the chase. Arrathir finds his mother dying and carries out a bloody vengeance on the Slivers. With her dying breath, Arrathir's mother reveals that the reason she ignored him so much as a child was because she knew of his power and was afraid of it. It is also revealed that Arrathir's father was a summoner. After cremating his mother's body, Arrathir leaves for the family cottage with Eva.
Once they arrive at the cottage, Arrathir begins training Eva in summoning. The next morning, Arrathir wakes up to find Eva cuddled up in bed with him. After trying to get away undetected, Arrathir is shocked when Eva kisses him in her sleep. He passes out and awakens when Eva begins attacking him with a pillow. When questioned as to why she was in bed with him, Eva replies she was frightened of sleeping alone, so she laid down beside him.
Afterwards, they resume Eva's training and eventually, Eva manages to tap some red mana. As they continue training, Arrathir realizes they are being stalked by Slivers and he tells Eva to make a run for it. The Slivers attack and Arrathir tries to fend them off, but he is outnumbered.
Seeing Arrathir in peril, Eva summons a Blistering Firecat to defend him, although the effort causes her to pass out. Arrathir manages to get her to his car and drives off. When Eva awakens, Arrathir chastises her for summoning such a powerful creature, but acknowledges she did save his life.
When they reach the city, Arrathir and Eva stop in an Internet Cafe where they have a friendly duel, which Arrathir wins by a narrow margin.
As he stands up, he bumps into Erik Morlock, who spills coffee on his coat. After some verbal jousting, the two decide to have a duel and the loser will apologize to the other. Despite Arrathir's efforts, Erik wins and a humiliated Arrathir apologizes to him.
Arrathir and Eva head back to Arrathir apartment and find it ransacked. The next day, Eva sees a report on television about the Sliver attack. The reporter mentions Erik was supposed to be at the tournament. Fearing the Sliver summoner will hear of this, Eva manages to convince Arrathir to warn Erik.
Eva telephones Erik (have acquired his phone number the night before) and tells him he is in danger. Erik is skeptical at first, but invites Eva to visit him.
When Eva and Arrathir arrive at Erik's mansion, they tell Erik about the Keepers and the Slivers. Erik doesn't believe them until Arrathir summons his Havoc Demon. At this point, the Slivers storm the mansion and Erik, Eva and Arrathir escape through a secret underground passage.
They board Erik's jet and head for Japan, where Arrathir assumes they will be safe for the moment.
The next morning, Eva wakes up and decides to have a bath. Unfortunately, Arrathir walks in on her and ended up on the receiving end of a Lava Jet.
Eva and Arrathir spend the next few days touring Tokyo. One night, Arrathir awakens after a nightmare. Deciding to get some air, he goes up to the terrace and lies down, staring up at the sky. Eva arrives and lies down next to him.
The two converse about fate and are about to kiss when the Sliver summoner arrives. She introduces herself as Anima and challenges Arrathir to a duel. Erik arrives and joins in the duel with Eva and Arrathir.
They get an early lead on Anima, quickly bringing her lifepoints down to one. As they are about to claim victory, Anima summons an Essence Sliver and quickly regains a lot of lifepoints. Things get a whole lot more hectic when Anima summons the Sliver Queen.
Anima defeats Eva and taunts Arrathir about his inability to save her. Desperate, Arrathir asks the spirit for help. It is at this point his name is revealed to be Chikuro.
Taking over Arrathir's body, Chikuro continues the duel with Erik. They continue bringing Anima's lifepoints down, but then she summons the Sliver Overlord and quickly overwhelms their defences.
As all hope seems lost, Chikuro sacrifices his Havoc Demon to clear the field and Erik summons Akroma, Angel of Wrath to deal a hefty amount of damage to Anima. Unfortunately, Chikuro decks out and forfeits the duel. Erik is on his own against Anima.
Anima launches her final attack to kill Erik, but after the attacks hits, Erik is still standing. It is revealed he is the Keeper of White Mana and that the spirit took over just before the attack hit and cast a Beacon of Immortality to save himself. The spirit then defeats Anima.
Erik awakens in his Soul Room and meets Lu Chao, who tells him he's the Keeper of White Mana. Erik refuses to accept the Keeper, despite Lu Chao's pleas.
When everyone awakens from their post-duel lethargic state, Erik reveals he is the Keeper. Chihowaido is outraged at the fact Erik refuses to accept his destiny.
After partaking in a Saviours of Kamigawa tournament, Eva notices Arrathir's ears have become much larger and furry. Upon questioning Chikuro, Arrathir discovers all the Keepers of Mana were hanyōs, half-demons, and apparently, Chikuro was a rat hanyō.
Arrathir gripes about the change, but Eva finds it rather comical, pointing out the ears look cute and further humiliates Arrathir by rubbing them.
The next day, Eva and Arrathir go to an anime convention and Arrathir browses through some of the cards for sale at a stand. He comes across a | Yawgmoth's Bargain inquires to the salesman as to how much it is. The man refuses to sell him the card, saying Arrathir isn't experienced enough to handle it. Furious, Arrathir challenges him to a duel: if he wins, the man sells him the card, but if he loses, Arrathir will give him his | Demonic Tutor.
The man accept and tells Arrathir is name is Charles Wainscot. Chikuro begs Arrathir to let him play the man, and Arrathir agrees.
Charles plays a mono-blue deck and quickly begins annoying Chikuro with his bounce spells and creature effects, counter spells and mass card draw. Despite his best efforts, Chikuro loses.
Arrathir meets up with Eva and tells her of Chikuro's loss. Eva wants to go look at the Dungeons and Dragons game tables, so she and Arrathir part ways, agreeing to meet again in an hour. Arrathir browses through the video game section and after the hour has elapsed, returns to the meeting point. He waits, but Eva does not show up. Concerned, he searches for her, but cannot find her.
He stops by Charles' table and asks about Eva; Charles tells him he saw a hooded man dragging her away. Arrathir and Charles follow the man's mana signature and track him to the basement, where they find Eva tied to a chair and unconscious.
The hooded man appears and introduces himself as Numa. He tells Arrathir he has injected Eva with a poison that will kill her in fifteen minutes and he will give Arrathir the antidote if he can defeat him.
Despite their combined efforts, Arrathir and Charles cannot defeat Numa in time, and Eva dies. Numa escapes, leaving a distraught Arrathir behind. While he cries over her dead body, Chikuro fills Charles in on the Keepers of Mana and informs him he is the Keeper of Blue Mana.
As Charles struggles to grasp with the concept, Arrathir arrives, furious and ready to find Numa to kill him. Charles gives him his telephone number and the two of them part ways.
Arrathir wanders around before collapsing on a bench and resuming his mourning. A young Japanese girl accosts him and Chikuro tells Arrathir she might be the Keeper of Red Mana. Motivated by the prospect of saving Eva, Arrathir decides to find out if she is the Keeper and plans a meeting with her for the next day.
Upon returning to Erik's apartment, Arrathir is thrown out by Erik when he learns about Numa. Homeless, Arrathir calls Charles and asks him for a place to stay.
Upon arriving at Charles' flat, Arrathir meets Charles' room mate, Kouji. Afterwards, Charles is awakened as the Keeper of Blue Mana when Chikuro reveals it was him who had killed Chiburuu during the War of the Keepers.
Meanwhile, Erik awakens in the middle of the night to find a beak has grown on his face.
The next day, Arrathir and Charles return to Erik's apartment to retrieve Arrathir's notebook. They find an extremely upset Erik who demands to know how to get rid of the beak. Erik and Charles butt heads over Erik's continued refusal to accept his spirit.
The pair leave, Arrathir having discovered his notebook was in his pocket the whole time. Chiburuu warns Charles that if Erik does not accept his spirit, the Keeper may eventually take over Erik's body by force.