What Doesn’t Kill You
Chapter 22: An Ancient Enemy (version 2.5 – Formatting fixes)
A Yu-Gi-Oh Fanfiction
By: Azurite – azurite AT seventh-star DOT net
Site: seventh-star DOT net
Conceptualized/First Written: 5/7/05
Completed: 11/11/05 – It really didn’t take over six months; it was just May when I first came up with the chapter file. Honest!
Additional Edits: 6/30/07,4/12/10
Don’t Forget! All Review Replies are now hosted here. Thanks for your continued support!
Note that when I refer to any card game strategies or names in this fic, they’ll be using the dub names and/or English TCG translations where available. Note that cards like the God Cards cannot be used in a real duel, so I apply anime-strategies to their use. For almost all other cards, I stick to the English TCG attack, defense, effects, and so on. This kind of translating does not apply to the character names…as I stated before, I don’t condone 4Kids & Funimation’s bad mistakes (for example, changing Malik to Marik), so I’m retaining the original names in those cases. The one exception: Ishizu, which the dub got right (!) but makes no sense whatsoever. So her name is Isis, whether we’re talking about Malik’s sister or the holder of the Necklace back in Ancient Egypt.
Also note that I’ve been updating all the previous chapters to date. There are few story changes, but several tweaks in spelling/grammar, and coding.
SPECIAL NOTE! The web’s first fanlisting for Seto and Anzu, Blue Eyes and Apricots, has been accepted by The Anime Fanlistings network as the official fanlisting for the pairing! A brand new layout, tons of goodies for you, and over 300 members strong! So go check it out !
Thank you to Yami) White Rain and Mamono for their help with this chapter!
The desire to kiss her goodbye was far too great for Seto Kaiba to resist. He’d restrain himself—make it light and chaste and perfectly innocent, because he was already running behind schedule as it was, and he couldn’t afford to get wrapped up in her scent or her curves again. He’d already woken up an hour and a half off-schedule because of the temptation she presented.
Alas, when her lips started moving not-so-innocently under his, it became quite clear that he wasn’t going to be able to sneak out of the house with any amount of ease.
“Mmm, Seto…” Téa opened her eyes blearily, and realized that Seto was standing above her, not lying beside her, and he was wearing altogether too much clothing. When she realized it wasn’t a dream (she started feeling goosebumps creep up and down her arms, which she’d taken out of their warm, blanketed sanctuary) her blue eyes opened wide. Seto wasn’t just wearing clothes—he was fully dressed with his briefcase at his side.
“Where are you going?” She managed a sideways glance at the digital alarm clock on their end table and squealed in surprise. “It’s only five o’clock in the morning! You can’t have something so pressing to do at Kaiba Corp.—”
“It’s not that,” Seto silenced her. The truth was, he would have rathered Téa just discover his little note in the bathroom, but with her awake, he would likely have to do more explaining than he really wanted. He could try and omit certain parts, knowing they would upset Téa, but then he would have to make a horrible show of fetching the note from the bathroom and disposing of it so Téa wouldn’t know….
“Then what?” She couldn’t bring herself to sit entirely upright; she was still too exhausted, and the sheer comfort of the warm bed was tempting her to sleep once more.
“I’ll just be gone for a couple of days—I’m working on something important.”
He couldn’t tell her what it was—it had been hard enough trying to formulate the right words in the note. The whole reason why he’d bothered trying to wake up so early in the morning and writing the note in the first place was to avoid this kind of confrontation. Not that he was afraid of confrontation, least of all with Téa (actually, he rather missed the verbal spats they used to get into), but…this was a touchy subject. Something that had been bothering him off and on for some time, and it was eating away at his conscience. He had to do something about it.
“Oh…I’m too tired to question you right now. Please call?”
Thank the Powers That Be for exhaustion. Seto half-wished he could take credit for her being so worn out, but alas; she’d really been practicing out all the night before with the Domino Performing Arts group. Now that the mutt’s sister went to school with them (it was still mind-boggling; Seto swore she’d been in the first year of junior high when he’d met her in Battle City), she and Téa tended to stay out extra-late, supposedly eating dinner and talking about girly things together.
“Don’t worry,” Seto allowed himself a private smirk. If everything went as planned, then he would definitely call her as soon as possible. “I’ll call.”
“And he just left at five in the morning?” Serenity stared at Téa, the disbelief plain on her face.
“Yeah, no explanation whatsoever—” Téa offered a silent greeting to Malik, who was just passing by with a cell phone pressed to his ear.
Now that it was finally April, the hallways steadily emptied at lunchtime, and more and more people moved outside to stare at the cherry blossoms and enjoy their lunch in the warm springtime air. Inside, where Téa spent most of her time in the dance studio, it tended to be as bare as bone. Thus, there were no nearby conversations or noises to drown out what Malik was saying into the phone.
“Happy Birthday, sister. Yes…the exhibit is set up just fine. It’s well-protected.” Malik paused as he shifted himself into a more comfortable position against a wall. Téa tried to be inconspicuous as she paused, pretending to rummage through her satchel in search of something. Serenity was glancing over a bulletin board posted outside one of the classrooms, looking at the new club announcements.
“Everything’s going along like we predicted…What? Why didn’t you stop them?”
Téa wondered what new kind of trouble Isis was dealing with now; she hoped she was merely misinterpreting things, and Malik was making some sort of reference to a birthday party prank or something. But somehow the idea of 22-year-old Isis Ishtar having a birthday party complete with pranksters didn’t quite fit Téa’s image of the woman.
“I see. Well, we’ll have to deal with it when it happens—there’s nothing I can do until then. Yes, I—” All of a sudden, Malik looked up and spotted Téa staring at him. He didn’t look angry, just a bit surprised. He raised his chin a fraction of a centimeter and walked into an empty classroom, shutting the door behind him. Whatever he continued talking about to Isis, Téa was no longer privy to it.
“There is a prophecy that Isis and I never told you about—inscribed upon the stones now housed at the museum. I am here to ensure that it comes to pass.”
‘A prophecy…?’ Téa had only been back to the museum on that one adventure with Seto, when Yugi and the others neglected to show up. She hadn’t really spent any time looking at the three tablets that were the main feature of the exhibit. All she knew was what she remembered from her first visit to the museum, when Isis had been in charge. Yugi as the reincarnation of a 3,000-year-old pharaoh, and Seto…
Téa shook her head vehemently in an attempt to not think of the prophecy. Malik had told her it was one she probably wouldn’t want to hear anyway.
‘Besides—I make my own destiny.’
She had just turned on the news as a sort of background noise for her cooking in the kitchen that day; Mokuba was looking a bit listless, and Téa thought a full dinner for just the two of them might do him some good. She didn’t mind the distraction; she was trying not to think of why Seto hadn’t called since he’d left four days ago. She tried to keep her inner explanations simple: Seto hardly worked at all the past few months, and if he did, it was in short bursts, when he wasn’t around Téa (which was rarely ever). He probably left to work on something incredibly important, and he was throwing himself into his work the way he used to.
Téa tried not to think of it as a bad thing. Instead of going on vacation and relaxing at retreats, her boyfriend, the teenage corporate tycoon decided to take off for parts unknown and surround himself with piles of work.
‘Well, I hope he’s having fun.’
Work seemed to challenge Seto in ways that nothing else these days could anymore. After all, they were just ‘normal’ students—there didn’t appear to be any big bad enemies to fight, tournaments to duel in, or even the usual rivalries to quell. Seto, Yugi, and Joey all seemed to be getting on rather well as of late…
“Reports from the Duel Dome on the outskirts of Tokyo say that Seto Kaiba is back and busier than ever—though no one can precisely say for sure what. Power outages in the surrounding areas seem to indicate an extreme overuse of power from Kaiba Corporation’s famous Solid Vision holographic systems, though again, no one knows just what Mr. Kaiba is testing out. Requests for statements by Mr. Kaiba have been ignored, but insiders at Kaiba Corp. have informed us that Mr. Kaiba is working on a recreation of his most recent duel with Duel Monsters champion Yugi Moto…”
The report continued, but Téa didn’t hear a word of it.
Téa fumed with silent rage, completely ignoring the boiling-over pot of water she was supposed to be tending to on the stove.
‘He could have told me! Why didn’t he—’ Truthfully, it wasn’t so much that Seto was simulating what Téa had thought was a long-finished duel. If he’d just told her about it, instead of her having to find out from the NEWS, of all places, somehow, she supposed she would have been able to handle it better. She would have talked to Seto, and found out why he wanted to duel again, when it had been over a year since Battle City, with no indication on either his or Yugi’s part that they ever wanted to duel again…
‘He couldn’t have just decided to simulate this out of nowhere. But…hereally kept something this big from me? Why?’
Mokuba entered the kitchen from his room upstairs, greeting Téa with a cheery “Hey, Téa—oh.” The moment he realized where Téa’s gaze was directed, and the second he heard the news report, his mouth closed into a tiny line.
After the story finally ended and switched to a commercial, Téa turned around, her posture rigid, but trembling.
“Did you know about this, Mokuba?”
The ebony-haired boy bit his lip; there was no good answer to that question. In response, he just hung his head.
“Why?” Téa looked up at him, and Mokuba was astonished to see tears in her eyes. “Why didn’t he tell me? Why didn’t you?”
Was it all some sort of Kaiba family plot against her? What had she said or done to warrant all the secrecy, all the lies?
“Because he knew you’d get upset like this, Téa!” Mokuba tried to explain. “He knew you hated Battle City and everything, but…”
“But—?” Before Mokuba could answer, Téa shook her head violently. She switched off both the television and the stove and stormed out of the kitchen toward the garage. “I’m going to the Duel Dome. You can either come with me or not.”
‘I want answers. And only Seto can give them to me.’
Mokuba realized that sending a furious Téa straight to Seto at the Duel Dome would probably make things much worse than they had to be. If at least Mokuba managed to calm her down and somehow explain things, well, maybe….
He quickly raced after Téa, ignoring the grumblings and protests of his hungry stomach.
“You wanted a rematch, Seto Kaiba?” Yami Yugi demanded. “Well, you’ve got one!”
Three God Cards were already on the field, while Kaiba had his single trademark Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Back in his Battle City attire, Kaiba fixed Yami Yugi with a fierce glare.
“Things are going to end differently this time, you pompous windbag!”
It felt good to duel again—good to be in these clothes, in this arena, surrounded by his monsters again. It was a feeling that he’d lost long ago, but something as of late had propelled him to rediscover it.
And now here he was, once again dueling ‘Yami’ Yugi. Though the odds seemed stacked against him, this time, Kaiba was sure there was a way he could win… even with his opponent leading at 2200 Life Points, while Kaiba had only 1300. Life Points or the number of monsters you had on the field didn’t matter, not when you had skill…
“Even you must admit that your Blue-Eyes White Dragon is powerless against my Egyptian God Cards,” Yami Yugi said in that all-too-smug tone of his. Worse, the expression on his face was completely serious, as if he expected Kaiba to believe that his Blue-Eyes White Dragon, one of the only three in the world (of which all three were in his deck) was powerless.
“Make all the smug pronouncements you like…” Kaiba began as he drew a card from his Duel Disk II, “But know this! There’s got to be a way to beat your God Cards, and I won’t stop until I find it!”
Yami growled under his breath, his face morphing into a fierce scowl, a common expression whenever he dueled Kaiba.
“Now…I activate the magic card Polymerization!” Kaiba pulled the two other Blue-Eyes White Dragons from his hand and placed them on his Duel Disk, sliding Polymerization into one of the Magic/Trap card slots below the upper-level monster area. “This allows me to fuse my three dragons together to form a Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon!”
Bright blue-white light flashed, and Kaiba felt a thrill of satisfaction sweep through his veins. He didn’t quite understand why he still felt so connected to the Blue-Eyes cards; they were rare, to be sure: they belonged to him and him alone. But as Yami Yugi was fond of proving time and time again, they were not the most powerful creatures in Duel Monsters. Yet Kaiba could not see himself constructing a deck without his dragons.
The massive, 4500 attack creature reared its three massive heads and roared loudly, the sound almost deafening to the human ear.
“And that’s just for starters,” Kaiba pronounced triumphantly. He pulled another magic card from his hand and pressed it into another Magic/Trap card slot. “Next…I play a magic card that doubles my dragon’s attack points…Megamorph!”
It was a trick he’d seen Téa use in her play-duel against Mai back at the Kaiba Mansion some time ago. He didn’t know why he’d never thought of it before, but it was a damned good strategy, and he would have been a fool not to take advantage of it when the right cards were in his hand. The attack power of the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon skyrocketed to 9000 points, more than enough to wipe out the remainder of Yami Yugi’s life points—if Kaiba managed to destroy the God Cards.
Obelisk only had 4000 attack points, which made it the easiest target, but Ra and Slifer were something completely different…
Still, he was confident. He had to be.
“Now my Blue-Eyes is more powerful than any monster on the field!”
“There’s more to power than just attack points!” Yami Yugi shouted back reflexively.
Kaiba wanted to laugh. It was typical of Yugi to say such things.
“And just what is that supposed to mean?” Kaiba asked while he maintained a feral grin. Special effects or no, there was just no way that any one of the God Cards could do enough damage to get through his Blue-Eyes and finish off his life points. Yugi had already used all of the God Cards’ effects, hadn’t he…? And it would be pointless to try and sacrifice his life points to try and destroy the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon, or to alter Ra’s attack and defense values…
“It means my Egyptian God Cards possess powers far beyond mere monsters!”
‘Mere…monsters!?’ Kaiba’s blood boiled at the thought of his precious Blue-Eyes being called a “mere monster.” Part of him knew Yugi was right, but it would be a cold day in Hell before Seto Kaiba would admit Yugi being right about anything.
“They what!?” It wasn’t possible. Yugi couldn’t have discovered a new ability for the God Cards—
“By sacrificing two of them,” Yugi intoned, pulling Ra and Slifer from his monster slots and pushing them into the graveyard, “I can bestow upon the third… infinite strength!”
The card that had once been Kaiba’s—Obelisk the Tormentor, the mighty Divine-Beast Warrior—started to glow.
“They’re melding…pooling their energy!” It was unlike anything Kaiba had ever seen before—and he’d witnessed all of the duels in which the God Cards were used. He thought he had come up with every last strategy to counter each of their attacks and special abilities, but…
When Kaiba glanced at his Duel Disk and saw its digital readout of his opponent’s monster, he was positive something had short-circuited in the wiring. But despite pressing several buttons and even hitting the screen, nothing changed: Obelisk’s attack was at ‘infinite.’
“Now, my Obelisk the Tormentor is the strongest monster in play!” Yugi proclaimed.
“No! I can beat your God Cards! I won’t lose to you again!” It almost felt as though he were outside of his own body when he spoke. It may have had something to do with his lack of food and sleep the past four days, or maybe it was just this deep-seated obsession that he couldn’t possibly get over. There was no way he could just throw all those duels, all those strategies, all those rare cards away like they’d meant nothing…
Yami Yugi refused to listen to Kaiba and raised a hand in a fist. “Obelisk the Tormentor! Show him what true power is all about! Attack with Fists of Fury!”
As was typical of any card set in Attack Position that entered a battle with a God Card, the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon immediately reared back all three of its heads, each one’s gaping maw filling with bright spheres of blue, green, and red, each surrounded by crackling lightning. The blood-red of Obelisk’s fists collided with the trio of colors that formed the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon’s attack, bursting into a blinding array of light.
A cold, depthless feeling rose in Seto Kaiba’s core as he watched his Ultimate Dragon writhe in agony and then disappear in a crackle—along with the rest of the simulation, Yugi included.
Kaiba let out a sigh and started walking back up toward the control room of the Duel Dome’s largest open arena. He didn’t even bother to look up at the technicians to know they were probably running around like the bunch of incompetent chickens they were, clucking about how it couldn’t have gone wrong, they’d done everything right…
And so it was when he reached the top level and entered the stark gray room.
“System overload! The simulation is malfunctioning!”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Kaiba! I was certain our calculations were correct this time, sir!” a technician practically wailed. Kaiba looked the skinny man over; his hair was straggly and a mess; sweat was causing his bangs to stick to his forehead. He hardly looked like the kind of person that could postulate every possible special ability the God Cards possessed, let alone a calculated strategy against each one.
“If you’d just give us one more chance, sir!”
“So you can fail again?” Kaiba asked blandly. “No, sorry.” He didn’t even bother looking at the two crestfallen technicians in the eye. He just crossed his arm over his chest and allowed the duel to replay itself in his head… over and over. He was the duelist, he was the champion—therefore it had to be him that came up with the one way to defeat the Egyptian God Cards, once and for all.
“Please sir, we’re close to postulating a winning stratagem—” the same sticky-faced technician tried. There was very little in the world that irritated Kaiba more than people that begged and whined. Close to the top of the list were people that couldn’t maintain their own appearance, and people who thought they were know-it-alls. (Kaiba knew he didn’t fit a single one of those categories, because he never whined for anything, he always kept his appearance immaculate—except for that one time at DV8, but that didn’t count—and he was well-aware that he didn’t know it all. But he wanted to know it all, and there was nothing wrong with being on the quest for that knowledge!) Quite unfortunately, the hapless technician fit all three of the categories, and that only meant one thing in Kaiba’s mind.
“Well if I were you, I’d start postulating myself a new job! You’ve had more than enough time to find a way to beat Yugi’s EgyptianGod Cards!” The truth was, he’d had teams of strategists and programmers working on the simulation ever since he’d been defeated in Battle City. The project had an off-and-on status ever since then, but recently Kaiba felt the need to revive the program in full-force. He couldn’t quite explain why, but lowly technicians hardly had the right to ask about his reasoning.
“Now get out!”
Though it was on Kaiba’s orders that the technicians ‘get out,’ Kaiba was the one that actually left the control room.
‘There’s got to be a way to defeat Yugi’s Egyptian God Cards…and I think I might know where to start looking…’
As Kaiba strode down the glass-paneled hallway that overlooked the arena, his eyes fell on a slender silhouette just ahead of him in the hallway. All at once, the grayness of the place seemed to melt away, and the temperature-controlled hallways seemed to drop to a frigid temperature.
By the look on her face, she’d seen everything. Every last card set, every last insult hurled…Kaiba’s face burned out of involuntary embarrassment; he couldn’t seem to find the right words to say to her that would pacify the rage which was so clearly written on her face. For once, Kaiba couldn’t come up with any reasons at all, even though he knew he had them, he was sure of what he was doing, even in the depths of his heart…
“Why?” No pretenses, no tears. It almost seemed as though she were looking through him, for her eyes weren’t moving at all. She hardly even blinked, and for once in his life, Seto Kaiba felt truly intimidated.
It wasn’t as though he expected her not to find out…just not now, not in whatever manner she’d found out. He wanted to be the one to tell her—
“I–I need to.”
“I want a real reason, Seto! WHY?!”
Seto’s own blood started to boil at the insinuation that his reasons for wanting a rematch with Yugi, for wanting to beat him once and for all were not good enough for her. He had never questioned her reasons for the decisions she made!
This was a different situation, but…
‘She can’t possibly understand!’
“You’re not a duelist,” Seto said, looking away from her. “You may have seen the duels, but you don’t know what it’s like—”
“You don’t know anything!” Téa snapped. She clenched her fists until they were white, while her face flushed crimson. She hated hearing those words coming from him—he was supposed to believe in her! Wasn’t he the one with an ‘infallible’ photographic memory? Didn’t he remember that she had dueled and that she’d nearly died for the sake of other people’s duels?
Téa’s harsh tone started Seto and abruptly reminded of the few other times in which she’d raised her voice at him.
‘Times I’d rather forget.‘ He shook the memories off with a brisk movement of his head, and once again, his gaze rose to meet with Téa’s form.
“I’m always there,” Téa said, trying to fight the tremors that shook her form and cracked her voice. She had truly thought that Seto had gotten over his obsession about defeating Yugi in a duel. So much had happened, so much had changed since their first duel. Téa couldn’t deny the importance of Duel Monsters, but with the way Seto was obsessed with victory, one had to wonder if he realized it was just a game or not.
Téa took a deep breath and continued to speak in an even tone. “—whether I want to be or not. I’m always stuck as the victim. I’m sick of it – “
“Always the pawn, you mean?” Kaiba interrupted coolly, his eyes flashing. “If you’re sick of it, why don’t you fight back? That’s why I’m doing it!”
His words seemed to form into a physical force, one that hit her right in the hollow of her chest. She felt cold, confused, and horribly detached from reality. It made no sense. None of what he was saying did; he was like he’d changed into a different person.
‘No, regressed. Into what he once was…‘ That wasn’t the man she’d fallen in love with. Where was the Seto Kaiba she’d come to know and love?
“I can’t—” It wasn’t that she was saying she couldn’t be stronger, or that she couldn’t fight her own battles. She could. She wanted to. She was more than ready and willing to, especially when it came to things like the deaths of her parents and the Big Five still at large.
‘But I—I can’t keep standing here and talking to this…this person!’
Whoever he was, he wasn’t the Seto Kaiba she knew.
Téa sucked in one deep breath, releasing it in a shuddering sigh. Her gaze fell to the floor, and she turned around and ran away before Seto could speak another word.
‘I don’t get it. I still don’t get it. No matter how hard I try…’ Frustrated with the lack of answers available to her, Téa kicked a small stone near her foot into the nearby lake at Domino Park. It plunked into the water, the ripples reflecting all the brilliant lights from the nearby city.
It was night now, but Téa hardly cared about being out alone in the dark and the cold. She just wanted to understand what was happening, and when everything had started to change without her knowing…
Goosebumps raced up her arms while nausea threatened to claim her balance, but she kept on walking, mindless of where her feet were taking her.
‘Why would he have changed just like that? It seems so sudden. But…‘ At least, it was sudden to her. Mokuba had known all along that Seto was going to the Duel Dome to simulate a rematch with Yugi. But for how long…?
Where had Seto’s ‘new’ fighting spirit come from? It seemed completely out of left-field, because up until this point, other things had mattered. Things like their relationship, like Mokuba, like finding the Big Five and getting them behind bars, like keeping Kaiba Corporation running strong…
Maybe he’d had another encounter with Yugi. But that didn’t make any sense either. Yugi and Seto had seen each other plenty of times since Battle City ended, but the encounters never seemed to provoke Seto into trying to duel Yugi again.
Unless there had been something else…
But she couldn’t go back there, not now. She had nothing to apologize for, anyway. Seto had hurt and confused her, and she wasn’t any more the type to come groveling back to apologize for any more than Seto was himself. She could only hope that this whole thing would be over in a few days…
But something told her it wouldn’t be that easy.
Mokuba doubled the quickness of his pace just to keep up with his brother’s long strides; when his big brother was determined to get something done, he didn’t waste any time, nor did he let anything stand in his way.
The younger Kaiba frowned as he realized that they were walking farther and farther away from Téa—assuming she hadn’t already found her way out of the Duel Dome. Mokuba felt horrible about not having intervened in the fight that his brother and Téa just had, but…
He remembered the moment he and Téa entered the Duel Dome’s upper level and saw the duel—the flashing lights, the massive monsters. And they heard it all: the jeers and jibes, the summoning of monsters, and the declarations of attacks. It was almost as if a real battle were occurring between Seto and Yugi once more, but Téa knew better. The news reports had said Seto was using up a lot of energy to simulate something, and if the old, Roman-style coliseum was any indication, that simulation was a recreation of the Battle City finals.
Mokuba had snuck a glance at Téa’s face and found himself surprised by the hurt and grief he saw there.
And then when it all ended and the system overloaded, Téa’s gaze no longer pierced the curved glass windows that overlooked the Duel Dome arena.
“Mokuba, please…I need to talk to him alone.”
“But Téa—” Mokuba protested. He glanced up at Téa, surprised to see a thin line of tears tracing their way down the curves of her cheeks.
Mokuba hated seeing her cry. He hated thinking that after everything they’d all been through, his older brother’s needs and desires would get him into another fight with Téa, and make everything horribly awkward again. But…didn’t Téa understand Seto by now?
To Mokuba, it was simple, but difficult only when he tried to think of a way to explain to Téa that she didn’t need to fight with him, that things would be okay…
Mokuba never got the chance to come up with any explanations. Téa’s chin lifted and she stared at Mokuba. Though her tears stopped falling, the hurt on her face was as plain as the moon in the sky.
Something about the broken tone of her voice and the downward-curve of her lips broke the last of Mokuba’s resolve, and he let his chin fall to his chest in a droop.
“Okay,” he agreed at last. His arms and legs felt heavy as he turned around and headed toward the arena’s opposite entrance, near the other side of the C-shaped hallway. His next breath came out as a sigh, a whispered repetition escaping him as he took one last glance at Téa. She’d turned around so her back was facing Mokuba, but even from the distance, he could see her clenched fists and her slightly shaking form.
Mokuba frowned himself and sucked in a deep breath before rounding the corner and slipping out of sight. “Okay.”
Even after Mokuba revealed himself—right as Téa ran past him and out of the upper halls of the Duel Dome—Seto still didn’t speak. It had been more than ten minutes now, but his brother was still as silent as the grave, intent on doing something and heading somewhere.
He tried again. “Big Brother?”
“I’m going to Duelist Kingdom,” Seto abruptly announced. “Ready the Blue-Eyes White Jet.” With those words and nothing more, Seto strode off down a narrow hallway to the side of the one they’d been walking down; it led to the lower-level basement where the Blue-Eyes White Jet rested on a rising platform. Mokuba gawped in astonishment for a moment before scurrying down the path in the opposite direction, leading to the control tower.
“But I thought Pegasus was dead!” Mokuba protested. “Isn’t he?” His voice came out quieter and somewhat strangled compared to before; Mokuba had never liked Pegasus, and he knew his brother felt the same way. But for Seto to willingly leave Japan—and Téa, after that fight they’d had!—behind meant that he was absolutely, 100% positive that Pegasus was alive and had what he needed.
Seto scoffed. “Even if he is, I doubt he left this world behind without coming up with a way to defeat the God Cards.” Seto then shook his head abruptly, his smirk short-lived. “Pegasus isn’t dead. The man’s too stubborn to die.”
The cool April winds started in early that evening, sending all manner of cherry blossom petals and stray garbage fluttering about the park. Téa sat on a bench overlooking the lake, letting whirlwinds of petals and trash blow around her. It wasn’t until a flyer hit her smack in the face that she even bothered to stir in the face of the winds.
“Huh? ‘New Egyptian exhibit opens up at Domino Museum of History…’ What the—?”
As Téa’s eyes skimmed over the paper, they narrowed as they read one line after another. Before the last few letters left her gaze, she rose to her feet and broke out into a sprint. She needed answers—and she knew just where to get them.
Far away and still concealed within the darkness of the earliest hours of the morning, a very alive Maximillion J. Pegasus stirred in his sleep.
He had no dreams; he hadn’t since the Millennium Eye had been removed from his left eye-socket and he lost the prophetic powers it provided. Dreamless sleep was all that he knew, and it suited the retired creator of the wildly popular Duel Monsters game just fine.
Pegasus kept sleeping, even as a mysterious figure slipped its way into his room and made its way toward the vault. The figure didn’t bother trying to unlock any locks or not trip any of the security devices; it just reached through the solid steel and placed a single card atop the pile already within the briefcase in the vault. The figure’s fingers slipped slightly as it pressed the card into the top of the deck, and for a moment, it froze solid, as if a bolt of electricity stilled it as its fingers slid through the very core of the cards.
A moment later, the figure pulled away and disappeared, leaving no trace of its handiwork behind.
At that precise moment, the unexpected happened, and Maximillion J. Pegasus found himself within a dream. He stood on warm sands during the dim light of dusk; the sun was just barely beginning to creep over the horizon, and much of the sky was enveloped in darkness. All except the part where the three massive Gods towered, each of them staring down at Pegasus as if they truly saw him with their own eyes.
“The God Cards…?” Pegasus mused aloud. Each of the massive creatures—the Winged Dragon of Ra, shimmering in its golden glory; the massive Obelisk the Tormentor, warrior of ages past; and blood-red Slifer, slithering and sliding about in the sky—writhed in apparent agony, surrounded by bursts of light. All at once the tiny specks of light burst into one blinding array, swallowing the Gods completely.
Pegasus barely got a glimpse of the source of the light: an iridescent blue pyramid with the all-too-familiar Eye of Horus emblazoned on its front. However, unlike all the other Egyptian artifacts and Millennium Items that Pegasus had encountered, this one had a crimson jewel set within the middle of the eye, glowing as if it were the all-seeing eye of some greater invisible force.
The eye seemed to catch sight of Pegasus, and he gasped in shock and terror— and then he woke up.
Sweat covered his brow, and he couldn’t help but tremble despite the balmy island weather. “What a horrible nightmare,” he muttered to himself. “That’s it. No more white wine spritzers before bedtime for me!”
Still, Pegasus couldn’t quell the sense of unease that settled in his stomach. He rose on shaky feet, sliding a pair of Funny Bunny slippers on his feet before he walked over to the window.
‘Looks peaceful enough…yet I sense chaos. I may have lost my Millennium Eye some time ago…but I can still see something terrible is about to unfold…’
“Malik! Open up!” It was well past visiting hours to the Domino Museum, but luckily after several visits, Téa knew full well that Malik literally lived in the museum. If he knew anything about this mysterious new exhibit with a mummy and a slab that looked like it came from one of the tablets in Malik’s exhibit, he had to tell her about it.
After nearly five minutes of continual banging, at last, the doors swung outward, revealing a rather haggard-looking Malik. Once he rubbed his eyes and realized that the person who’d been shouting from the other side of the glass was none other than Téa Gardner, he stared in surprise.
In response, Téa simply thrust the flyer into his face. Malik took the paper from her hands and scanned over it carefully, and then he let out a long sigh.
“I knew about this. Isis told me about the new exhibit coming to Domino.”
“And that’s it? Even though that thing looks like it came off the slab here at your museum, and THAT—” Téa stabbed at the black-and-white picture on the flyer, “looks exactly like the same symbol on all of the Millennium Items?”
Malik’s gaze fell to the floor, and he shifted to the side to allow Téa to enter the darkened hallways of the Museum.
Unlike her last visit here, she didn’t feel quite so unnerved about being here alone with Malik. Maybe it was because a bit of time had passed and she’d gotten used to him being back here in Domino—and not being evil and all. Maybe it was because she was still so upset with Seto, and still so confused about this new exhibit that she managed to squelch the feelings in her that would have otherwise warned her of danger.
Whatever, the case, Téa entered the museum without a second thought, and followed Malik back to the Ancient Egyptian exhibit.
Once they reached the wide open room, Malik used his thumb-sized black remote to turn on the ambient lighting. He walked right to the three tablets, the second one being the most complete, and featuring the most telling images: Yugi and Seto dueling each other with the Dark Magician and the Blue-Eyes White Dragon.
“The tablet you see in this picture isn’t related to these tablets—not in the way you’re thinking, anyway.”
Upon closer inspection, Téa realized Malik was right; the tablet shown on the flyer was a triangular chunk with the engravings of the three Gods surrounding a strange-looking Eye of Horus. Though a triangle surrounded all of the God engravings and the mysterious Eye, it didn’t look like any of the previous depictions of the Millennium Puzzle that Téa had seen before.
“Then what is it related to? That pyramid in the picture—” Téa pointed to the other item depicted on the flyer: a pendant not unlike Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle, except it was right-side up, while Yugi’s hung inverted. The eye was also positioned differently, and it appeared to have the same stone as the triangular tablet’s Eye embedded within it.
“I’m not entirely sure. Isis and I both knew about the excavation when it started three years ago—”
“Three years ago? But that was when Yugi first assembled the puzzle—!”
“Precisely. It’s taken all that time for the archaeologists to finish the project and get it ready for exporting to various museums. Isis tried to stop them using her authority as the Secretary-General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, but they managed to get past her somehow,” Malik said with a furrowed brow.
“That was what you were talking about the other day, then,” Téa whispered in realization. “When you said ‘Why didn’t you stop them?’…Sorry, I couldn’t help but hear—”
“I know. Where the Pharaoh is concerned, you and your friends have every right to be worried…” Malik looked at the flyer once more. “But I’m not sure there’s much we can do except check the exhibit out when it opens tomorrow.”
“The minute school gets out, we’ll all go?”
Malik looked her, seeing the myriad of emotions flicker past her eyes. Fear, worry…and anger?
‘Better not to ask.‘
“All of us. Tomorrow, we’ll go.”
The moment the promise was made, the rear jet engines on the Blue-Eyes White Jet flared to life.
Mokuba stared at the monitors in the control tower and the tarmac below, the Blue-Eyes White Jet finally level with the rest of the landing strip that Kaiba built along with the Duel Dome. The young boy adjusted the headset wrapped around his ears and brought the microphone near his mouth.
“Blue-Eyes White Jet, you’re cleared for take-off.”
Kaiba heard his brother’s announcement just as he slid his helmet on. He wasn’t doing this because he was running away—he was doing this because he had to. That was reason enough.
“I hope you know what you’re doing, Big Brother,” Mokuba mumbled into his microphone.
The engines roared, sending the jet hurtling off into the sky just as Kaiba replied: “I was just hoping the same thing.”
By the time Kaiba was over the island where Pegasus hosted Duelist Kingdom, dawn had already broken. In fact, it was already 9am on Friday, which meant that Kaiba had effectively traveled back in time. He’d made the eight-hour flight solo, with little to no food or entertainment. Instead, his thoughts were entirely consumed by what he was about to do—what he had to do. For just a moment, he wondered why he’d come this far—not speaking in distance terms, but just to this point in his life, in his career. First the need to simulate a rematch with Yugi, and now…
Kaiba shook the feeling out of his head and shrugged his helmet off his head. It was time.
“Your red wine, sir.”
“Merci, Croquet,” Pegasus smiled as he took the proffered wine glass from his most loyal manservant’s hand. Whoever said that it was bad manners to have wine in the morning had never sampled the rich flavor of Chateau Pegasus’s full-bodied red wine. It was perfect any time of the day.
That was when Pegasus saw him. Reflected in the rounded crystal of Pegasus’s wine glass was none other than Seto Kaiba himself.
‘So, things are on course…’ Pegasus had actually been expecting his visit, but he wasn’t about to let Kaiba know that. The poor boy hadn’t believed in the powers of the Millennium Eye up until the point where his soul had gotten taken away; Pegasus highly doubted that he had changed since they’d last met.
“Can it be?! My dear friend, Kaiba-boy?” Pegasus drew a small bit of delight as he watched Kaiba’s lips curve even deeper downward. The boy got annoyed so easily!
“Spare me the pleasantries, Pegasus…” Kaiba scowled. “You and I have never been friends, so let’s not start pretending that we are.”
The nearer he drew to Pegasus, the easier it was for the Duel Monsters creator to see that there was more than just irritation on Kaiba’s face; there were clearly defined dark circles rimming his eyes, and even a little redness there. In fact, he looked quite gaunt. If the news that Pegasus had heard was right, then perhaps things weren’t going all that pleasantly for Kaiba-boy…
“Oh my. Sounds like someone needs a hug!” Pegasus smirked. He rose from his chair and faced the approaching duelist fully, allowing his long sheath of silvery hair to conceal the disfigured part of his face where the Millennium Eye once rested.
Kaiba only eyed Pegasus in disgust, stopping a good meter away. “No thanks. But since you mention it, there is something I need.” He didn’t even give Pegasus a chance to feign interest and ask what it was that Kaiba needed. “Listen. I’ve come to your little ‘fantasy island’ in search of a card powerful enough to beat Yugi’s three Egyptian God Cards.”
‘Exactly as predicted.’ It certainly was helpful that Pegasus had his sources about the future, even though he’d long ago lost his Millennium Eye. Alas, poor Kaiba-boy, again in the dark…Pegasus smiled as he lifted his wine glass to his lips, swirling the drink around a bit before speaking.
“And you believe I might have this all-powerful God-smiting card because…?”
“Because you created the game, Pegasus,” Kaiba replied, the smirk on his face matching Pegasus’s own.
‘Good to know his logic hasn’t failed him—yet.’ Pegasus suppressed the desire to laugh at the obviousness of Kaiba’s words, but he refrained. He had a very specific role to play in all this, and the only reason why he agreed was because he himself wanted to know the truth…about Yugi, Kaiba, and the Millennium Items. The one who had informed him about Kaiba’s coming was the same one who promised him those truths…so long as everything went perfectly.
“Once upon a time, Kaiba-boy, but I’m retired now,” Pegasus said after taking a sip of his wine. “The only things I create these days are places like this for the fishies to enjoy.”
“I know you, Pegasus,” Kaiba bit out immediately. Pegasus let a chuckle escape him that time. Kaiba-boy really hadn’t changed at all. He was still bragging that he knew things that he had no clue about…his own future, his own destiny!
“You created the God Cards…and would’ve never let them out of your sweaty little hands unless you’d also created a way to beat them—just in case!”
Pegasus’s eyes narrowed. There was a definite drawback to Kaiba not having changed, regardless of who he consorted with these days. He still spoke like the foul-mouthed teenager he was, without a shred of manners to his world-renowned name. If it hadn’t all been part of plan, Pegasus would have denied Kaiba what he needed out of spite.
“I may have one card that would help, but you can’t have it.” Pegasus delighted at watching Kaiba’s arrogant smirk slide off his face and contort into an angry and frustrated frown.
“I’m sorry, Kaiba-boy, but I don’t think you deserve it. True, I may not see as well as I once did…” Pegasus shifted his hair to the side, revealing the scarred skin that folded over his left eye-socket. Pegasus smiled when Kaiba reeled back, clearly disgusted by what he saw. “But to be honest, it doesn’t take a magic eye to see just how thoroughly Yugi has trounced your sorry behind again and again…quite frankly, it’s embarrassing!”
Kaiba only grit his teeth for a moment before regaining his composure. “Well since I’m such a disappointment, you should have no trouble defeating me in a duel!”
Pegasus spoke with carefully measured sarcasm. “And why would I want to duel you?”
“Because if you’ll put up the card I need to beat Yugi…I’ll wager these!” Kaiba reached into his trenchcoat pocket without hesitation, withdrawing his three precious Blue-Eyes White Dragons in his hand. Pegasus’s smile widened ever-so-slightly; this, too, he had known would happen. It was pure benefit if he happened to win this duel; like the God Cards, there were only 3 of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon in the world. At one time, there had been four, but Kaiba had seen to it that the fourth one was destroyed. Now he was the sole possessor of the ‘engine of destruction’ that held such greater meaning for him.
Only he didn’t know it yet.
Pegasus laughed loudly this time, knowing it would serve the dual purpose of irritating Kaiba and ridding himself of the suppressed temptation.
‘Poor fool has no idea what he’s doing!’
“Wow. You’d risk your precious Blue-Eyes White Dragons just for a chance to trounce little Yugi?” Pegasus set his wineglass down and closed his eyes. He was becoming quite the actor, if Kaiba-boy was truly eating all this up without a bit of hesitation. “My, my, my, seems you’re even more desperate than I thought!” He opened his eye and stared at Kaiba with narrowed brown eyes. “Well, I guess I could dust off my deck. Kaiba, my dear and devious friend…let the games begin!”
“So what’s goin’ on with this exhibit now?” Joey asked as he, Yugi, Tristan, Duke, Serenity, Téa, and Malik exited Domino High. He’d long ago noted Kaiba’s absence, but Serenity adamantly insisted that Joey not ask Téa about it. Joey passed this message on to the other guys, who all reluctantly agreed not to mention him.
“I saw a flyer for it last night,” Téa explained. “It opens today. Here.” She unfolded the paper that she’d found last night and shown to Malik; it was now a little bit worse for the wear, after she’d crumpled it into a ball several times, folded it, and then tried to flatten it with a textbook.
“Whoa—looks like Yug’s Millennium Puzzle!” Joey exclaimed in surprise. He squinted at the black-and-white image printed on the flyer, his lips curving into a frown. “But somethin’s a bit off…”
“That’s what we’re going to the museum to find out,” Malik said. “Isis told me that the excavation team shouldn’t have been able to leave Egypt without her say-so, but the council voted without her. Both of us suspect something got to the council first.”
“Like a wad of dough, you mean?” Duke asked cynically. “Even government bodies are subject to bribery, Malik.”
Malik stayed silent and let his gaze drop to the ground. However, he met the curious stares of both Yugi and Téa, indicating to them that he didn’t believe bribery had a thing to do with Isis’s failure to stop the exhibit from going international.
“Hey, come on! This is gonna be great!” A pair of rowdy students shoved between Joey and Serenity, not even turning around to apologize for their rudeness as they ran toward the gates of the school.
“I wonder what all the commotion’s about?” Téa wondered aloud. “I doubt everyone is going to the exhibit.”
“Dunno, but I haven’t seen this many people running from school since they served that meat loaf surprise last year,” Tristan laughed. He snuck a glance at Serenity to see if she’d found humor in his joke, but it was impossible to discretely glance at her without drawing the attentions of Serenity’s older brother or best friend. Joey and Téa both flanked Serenity on either side, to prevent Tristan or Duke from breaking out into another fight over the redheaded Wheeler girl.
A steadily-growing crowd of Domino High students congregated around the main gate, blocking anyone from exiting the school.
“Wonder who all these guys are waitin’ for?” Joey mused aloud. He stood on his tiptoes and caught sight of a motley gathering of people waiting with their arms crossed over their chests—almost all of them armed with Duel Disks.
“What in the—?”
“Lemme see!” Yugi said, hopping up.
The moment his spiky hair bounced into view, someone from the duelist crowd pointed and exclaimed “It’s him!” All at once, the crowds parted, clearing the way for Yugi and his friends to step forward.
“I never thought he’d show!”
“Told ya he’s a lot smaller than on TV!”
Yugi gasped, partly out of surprise, and partly out of insult. When he realized the crowd of duelists blocking the gates was even larger than he’d first thought, his eyes widened.
“Let’s go!” Someone shouted, and the duelists began to move forward. Yugi was jostled backward by the other Domino High students and his own friends, and soon he was being squished like a sardine into a can.
“No way, me first!”
“Get out of my way!” one particularly bulky man in sunglasses shouted. “If anyone gets the God Cards, it’s me!”
A smaller kid with blond spikes tried to squeeze his way through the approaching crowd, but the movement and size of his fellow duelists crushed him and pushed him out of sight even as he squealed “Please just gimme one shot at those God Cards!”
“What’s goin’ on with these guys?” Téa asked, even as she was being jostled from all sides. Joey, closest to her and Yugi, valiantly fought off the pushes of several of the bulkier, more insistent duelists, but with more closing around him every minute, it was growing increasingly difficult. Tristan and Duke followed suit, while Téa, Serenity and Malik faced the rear, their backs to the crowd of belligerent duelists.
“Life at the top, Téa,” Tristan grunted. “Everyone knows Yugi’s the best duelist around, so they all wanna piece of him and those God Cards!”
“It might also have something to do with Battle City being broadcast on TV last night,” Duke added as he strained against the force of the crowd.
“Oh great,” Téa mumbled under her breath. Her eyes widened as she felt an unfamiliar hand grope blindly at her chest; she wheeled around on the ball of her foot and delivered a swift jab with her heel into the foot of the offending boy. The would-be duelist yelped in pain and hopped off, creating a small opening in the crowd.
“Téa!” Joey hissed under his breath. “Try and sneak Yugi out ’round back while we hold ’em off.”
“You sure?” Téa asked. Still, she didn’t want to stick around any longer than necessary, especially if there were other perverted duelists around.
“Yeah, me and Tristan’ll handle things here!”
“Thanks, Joey—” Yugi began, but Téa noticed their window of opportunity closing, so she grabbed Yugi’s arm and tugged him away.
“You can thank him later. Let’s go, Yugi!” She pulled Yugi out of the crowd, and soon enough, she, Serenity, and Malik were dashing through the crowds.
“The usual plan, T?” Joey smirked, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his best friend.
“On three, partner,” Tristan agreed.
Both of them shouted ‘three!’ simultaneously and broke their way through the crowd, heading toward the front gate that Yugi, Malik, and the girls had just run out of. It didn’t take the crowd long to realize they’d been duped, and they started to break free to try and find Yugi.
“Quick, after ‘im!”
“Forget about those nobodies!” someone yelled, and immediately Joey and Tristan came to a screeching halt.
Duke, who’d just managed to escape the smothering crowd stood on the sidelines and shook his head in resignation. “How did I know something like this was going to happen?”
“Now wait just a minute…” Tristan began, his eyebrows drawn down in anger.
“What’d you say?!” Joey yelled, his Brooklyn accent thick and heavy.
“I said, you’re nobody!” the bulky duelist in sunglasses repeated. When Joey and Tristan started to growl, the man’s smirk only widened. “Yeah, that’s right! And everybody knows it, too! Well, just about everybody who’s anybody, that is!”
“Why does he sound so familiar?” Tristan groused. “Makes me want to kick some ass.”
“Listen up! Nobody but nobody calls me a nobody, ya bunch a’ nobodies, got that!?”
“Outta the way! We wanna take on Yugi, not you!” the bulky duelist snapped.
“Yeah, right! We want the King of Games, not the King of Lame!” the same blond boy who’d been crushed earlier seemed to have found both a place to stand and an ego large enough to get his attitude going.
“The Duel Monsters champ, not chump!”
“The Master of the Gods, not the Master of the Clods—”
“Hey, I think I get the point already!” Joey interrupted, looking irritated. “But you gotta prove yourselves first by duelin’ a top contender, and I think I know one!”
Tristan fixed Joey with an amused stare. “Who, Kaiba?”
Joey refrained from slapping his friend upside the head. Instead, he pointed at himself and announced to the crowd, “Me! Joey Wheeler! So if you wanna get to the King a’ Games, you’ll have to go through me, the…uh…uh da godfaddah a’ games, capice?!”
“You might want to have a Duel Disk actually on hand before you go challenging anyone, nimrod,” Duke shouted from the sidelines. Joey scowled, but Duke had a point. Suddenly, Duke tossed Joey’s Duel Disk at him, his deck pre-loaded. “Next time I’ll just let the crowd step all over your stuff,” Duke snapped. Joey thrust two fingers up in a silent thanks, and then slid his duel disk onto his arm. The Life Point counter immediately loaded and registered his cards, the lights flashing.
“All right, so who wants some!?”
“Won’t take too long,” the man in sunglasses said. “Let’s do this!”
“Okay,” Joey smirked. “Ladies first!”
The man’s scowl deepened, and the duel began. “Funny. Take this! I summon Injection Fairy Lily in attack mode!”
Lily, the beguiling Level 3 monster, didn’t look like much, but if the controller gave up 2000 life points, her meager attack of 400 could be increased to 3400 in the Damage Step. Nonetheless, Joey was a champion at beating the odds, and one after another, the duelists fell, much to both Tristan and Duke’s surprise. Neither of them had ever seen Joey take on so many opponents, one right after the other—and since he was winning, it showed that Joey’s deck remained strong, even though people could easily deduce what his stronger monsters were.
The bulky duelist was beaten, and soon the little blond boy was up. Midway through their duel, the boy announced he would sacrifice his grotesque duo of monsters, Inpachi and Fenril, in order to summon Maju Garzett, a decaying Fiend-type creature that possessed teeth dripping with blood and an eyeball too big for its single socket.
“Attack! Sludge regurgitate!” A volley of purple slime came hurling at Joey’s Gearfried the Iron Knight, covering it in muck and causing it to rot away.
“Hey, didn’t nobody teach you ‘Say it, don’t spray it!’? Some manners!” Joey frowned as he drew a card. Once he realized what he’d drawn, he chuckled under his breath and smirked. “Aww, boy, now you’re in trouble!”
“I sacrifice Baby Dragon, Rocket Warrior, and Little-Winguard…” Joey exclaimed.
A murmur went through the crowd; only the God Cards required a sacrifice of three monsters, right? Surely Joey Wheeler didn’t possess one of the Gods!
“…to summon Gilford the Lightning! That means all the monsters you got out on the field are destroyed, pal! Lightning Sword!” Gilford leapt forward, his blood-red cape billowing behind him. A bolt of lightning struck down from the cloudless sky, destroying all of the blond boy’s monsters in an explosion of light and heat. The boy’s Life Points immediately dropped to zero, and he cursed under his breath.
“Ha! Maybe now you’ll learn to have proper respect for Joey, da Godfaddah a’ Games!”
Téa, Serenity and Malik stared at the proceedings from around the corner. None of them could see how large the duelist crowd was, so Yugi dared to speak up. “Is the coast clear yet, Joey?”
Yugi realized his mistake just as soon as he heard the murmurs of the crowd start up again. Soon, faces peered in his direction, and he realized he was caught.
“Hey, it’s Yugi! He’s back!”
Téa yanked his arm urgently, and started to pull him away down the avenue once more. “Let’s go, Yugi!” Something about crowds of angry duelists frightened her like nothing else. You’d think she would have been used to it, after all the duels she’d seen and even been through, but…she couldn’t shake the feeling of being smothered in the crowd, and she only wanted to get away.
The smaller boy barely had time to protest, and was soon dashing off behind Téa, yelling “Whoa!” as he went.
Joey and Tristan took one look at the oncoming crowd and swallowed. All at once, the horde of duelists trampled them to the floor, and the two of them lay twitching on the street.
“Yeah, they respect ya,” Tristan mumbled.
“I coulda been a contender…”
“Quick Yugi, this way!” Téa led the way, dashing down various avenues and side streets. The truth was, she had no idea where she was headed, but she was following her instinct. Hopefully, it would lead them away from the crowds hunting Yugi down.
“Whoa! Those guys just won’t give up! We need to find a place to hide…” Serenity panted.
The quartet paused to catch their breaths, and just as they rounded a corner, they were astonished to see the Duel Monsters crowd nearby, looking for Yugi everywhere. Yugi and Téa pulled back in surprise, retreating to the shadows of the avenue with Serenity and Malik.
“Someplace where we’ll be safe from that Duel Monsters mob…someplace they’d never look!” Téa muttered.
“Then I suppose it’s a good thing we ran all the way over here,” Malik whispered. “Look.” He stretched a finger out across the way, beyond the sights of the duelist mob. The Domino Museum of History was barely a block away. The museum had a wide open plaza with stairs leading up to the entrance, but if they managed to get up those stairs without being caught, they would be safe.
“Are we going to go for it?” Serenity asked with a smile.
Téa glanced at both Yugi and Malik, and they nodded.
“One…two…three—GO!” And they were off like shots, reaching the museum before the duelist mob even noticed they were there.
Kaiba was only impatient because he was tired; the sooner he got this little duel over with, the better. He could return home to Japan, defeat Yugi, and…
Well, he’d cross that bridge when he got to it.
When Pegasus at last returned from his sanctuary fully dressed (and in those same grotesque burgundy suits that he’d worn back during the Duelist Kingdom tournament), Kaiba was practically half-asleep. It wasn’t until Pegasus spoke in that condescending air of his that Kaiba even bothered to look at the man.
“So what do you think, Kaiba-boy? Is this the latest in Duel Arena technology or what?”
Kaiba rolled his eyes. Croquet had led him down to a dungeon-like arena beneath Pegasus’s sanctuary. It had a horribly un-welcoming and all-too-familiar feel to it; a feeling Kaiba didn’t care to explore. Now that Pegasus had arrived and was waving his arms around like some sort of delusional seagull, Kaiba grew only more uncomfortable.
“This place is an outdated joke. But then, so are you, so I suppose it fits,” Kaiba said nastily.
“Now, now, Kaiba, let’s not get nasty…not just yet, anyhow.”
Kaiba felt bile creeping up his throat. He hardly eaten anything in the past nine hours, let alone slept. It certainly didn’t help that Pegasus was being his usual know-it-all creepy self.
“Look, enough small talk,” Kaiba snapped.
Pegasus’s lips curled into a devious smirk, and the two of them took their places in the dungeon arena.
Unlike the Duelist Kingdom duels, both Pegasus and Kaiba started with 4000 Life Points, and would abide by the “new” tournament rules that said monsters of Level 5 or higher had to have one or more monsters sacrificed in order to bring them onto the field.
“I’ll start things off,” Pegasus said as he drew a card from his deck. He took a sideways glance at it and started to chuckle under his breath.
“Oh dear! I’m afraid you’re about to enter a world of pain, Kaiba-boy! A world of chaos! A world of absolute mayhem!”
Kaiba felt his stomach flop around and bounce off his liver and his kidneys. ‘Sick to the stomach’ didn’t quite do Kaiba any justice, considering he knew just what card Pegasus was about to play.
“That’s right! A world…of toons!” Once Pegasus set the card on the glowing arena, a giant pink cloud appeared on the field, a bright green book cradled in its depths. The book popped open with an assortment of flashing lights, confetti, and balloon words, looking all too-cute for a serious duel.
Kaiba groaned. “Ha. Don’t tell me you’re still actually using that idiotic Toon World card.” Kaiba delighted in watching Pegasus flinch. “Well, this is going to be easier than I thought.”
Pegasus only responded by slapping a card down onto the arena table. “I summon… Toon Gemini Elf!” A pair of voluptuous female elves, scantily clad in matching dresses of blue with fur trim bounced onto the field and cackled maniacally.
“And this, for later,” Pegasus smiled, laying a card face down in the Magic/Trap zone of his field. “It’s your turn, Kaiba-boy.”
Kaiba already knew what moves he was going to make, long before Pegasus even told him it was his turn. “I summon X-Head Cannon!” The mechanic marvel sprung up in a burst of gold light on Kaiba’s side of the field. “Also, I’ll throw two cards face down.”
He ended his turn without words, grimacing while Pegasus’s lips curved up into yet another devious smirk. For a moment, Kaiba wondered if he was becoming delirious and imagining things, but was it possible that even without the Millennium Eye, Pegasus still possessed foresight? That look on his face seemed to say that he knew what was coming, but…
‘Nonsense! He’s been in seclusion since Duelist Kingdom nearly three years ago. He’s even tricked the media into thinking he’s dead—but I knew better. I doubt Pegasus knows a thing about what’s going on in the outside world, let alone what’s in my deck!’
So Kaiba told himself, anyway.
“Ooh, I’m so scared, Kaiba! Two cards face down, oh mercy me, what will I do?!” Pegasus said, the sarcasm thick in his voice. Kaiba’s scowl deepened, watching as an expression of false enlightenment overcame Pegasus’s face and he withdrew a card from his hand. “Oh, I know! Play THIS! Card of Sanctity!”
A warm glow showered down from the overhead projector, brightening the entire field in a bright haze. “Isn’t it pretty?” Pegasus continued. “And it allows us each to draw until we both have six cards in our hand…just what I needed.” The two duelists both drew until they had six cards in hand, at which point Pegasus smirked in that all-knowing way again and threw a magic card onto the field.
“And now I’ll activate the magic card Cost Down, which means that—”
“Do you ever shut up?” Kaiba grimaced. Maybe it was due to to being concurrently tired and hungry, and at least a little concerned about the way he’d just told Téa off…but he had no time nor patience for someone like Pegasus now. He was here just to get the card he needed and get back to Japan. Defeat Yugi once and for all, and then…
“I know what it means: now you can summon your strongest monsters to the field more easily. Please…what do you take me for—some kind of rookie?”
Pegasus was already prepared with a snarky comeback: “You’re not quite that good, Kaiba-boy.” With Kaiba at a loss for words, Pegasus continued his turn. “I summon the Toon Dark Magician Girl! But I won’t be using her just yet…first, I’ll attack with the Toon Gemini Elves! And I think I’ll have them target… you.” The obvious advantage of Pegasus still running his toon deck was that it possessed the unique ability to bypass an opponent’s monsters and target a player directly. The second the two busty elves came flying toward Kaiba, he realized what a mistake it had been to invent ‘solid’ vision technology.
Two sharp heels dug into his back as the elves jump-kicked him, sending him careening to the arena floor. Kaiba winced, but rose to his feet without complaint. He glared angrily at the Life Point indicator, watching as the numbers decreased to a pitiful 2100 points.
“Cartoons are so violent these days,” Pegasus chuckled darkly. “But we’re not through yet. My elves have another ability—when they deal damage to a player, that player loses a card from his hand.” The elves sprang forward again, this time snatching Monster Reborn directly from Kaiba’s hand and sending it flying into the Graveyard. The elves laughed in that same cackling way of theirs, and bounced back to their side of the field.
“Aren’t my toons simply magnificent, Kaiba-boy?!” Kaiba only glared at Pegasus in response.
“Oh, don’t look so sour! Think of it this way, at least it will be them stopping your little quest to the top and not Yugi-boy for the umpteenth time!” Pegasus spread his arms out wide, still keeping his hand carefully concealed from Kaiba. The man wasn’t as foolish as he let on…
“Now, let’s get on with it, shall we? Oh, Toon Dark Magician Girl! Your turn!” Pegasus called out in a sing-song. The childish-looking magical girl looked even more sickening and twisted now that Pegasus had made her into a toon. She came hurtling toward Kaiba, but this time, he was prepared.
“I guess that it’s true that when you get old, the mind is the first thing to go, because you forgot all about my face down cards, and now it’s going to cost you!” Kaiba flipped over the trap card, activating it by calling out its name. “Attack Guidance Armor!” The grotesque armor appeared on the field, styled like the maw of a great beast.
“This trap’s like a magnet that redirects your own attack right back at you,” Kaiba smiled. He watched with a measure of pleasure as Pegasus squirmed, his eyebrows furrowed on his head.
“No, you wouldn’t!”
“Oh yes I would, and I will!” Kaiba smirked. “Guidance Armor, attach to the Toon Gemini Elves!” The armor sped across the field to the elves, who were squished between the plates of armor before they had the chance to squeal. And squeal they did, once the armor tightened around them and the “eyes” of the device glowed red. The Toon Dark Magician girl turned around, entranced, and changed her attack to target the Toon Gemini Elves.
The Elves screamed in a high-pitched synchronous wail as the Toon Dark Magician Girl raised her wand and proceeded to pound the Elves with all her tiny might. The Toon Gemini Elves were flattened like pancakes on a skillet and burst into pieces, while the magical girl laughed happily. Pegasus glared as his Life Point counter dropped to 2900 points.
“But they were just innocent toons! You’ll pay for that!” Pegasus said with a snarl. “I activate the magic card Monster Reborn to bring them back!” A blue light illuminated the field as a swirl of eerie smoke plumed from the Graveyard—and with another ridiculously colorful “POOF!” the Toon Gemini Elves were back on the field.
“And I’ll play Ultimate Offering!” Pegasus’s Life went down by another 500 points as the trap card activated. “Now, for every 500 Life Points I give up, I can summon one additional monster. And if I sacrifice Toon Gemini Elf, Kaiba-boy, this first monster will be quite a powerful one!”
Pegasus shifted the Elves to his Graveyard, causing them to disappear within a circle of twisting light and smoke. His Cost Down card gleamed while Toon World started to emit a sickening pink smoke.
“Introducing the Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon!”
A disgrace. A complete and utter disgrace to Duel Monsters, to everything that card stood for—!
Kaiba grit his teeth in frustration. The appearance of the card that was his own personal pride and joy, warped and distorted into a sick caricature only fueled him on further. Pegasus had to be beaten, once and for all. Forget that he was the one that discovered Duel Monsters, that spent all the time and money and effort creating them, and that he once possessed powers that no mortal man ever should…forget it all!
‘I’m going to crush him…once and for all.’
“Looks rather vicious, doesn’t he?” Pegasus spoke, his eye closed against the angry expression on his opponent’s face. “But don’t you worry yourself, Kaiba-boy, he’s actually quite docile…well, compared to the next toon, that is!”
Pegasus slapped another card onto the arena platform and grinned. “Ladies and gents, the Toon Summoned Skull!”
Kaiba wanted to groan aloud, but he wasn’t about to give Pegasus the pleasure of knowing how irritated those monsters were making him.
“Sure, I’ll have to give up another 500 of my Life Points, but then, you know what they say, Kaiba-boy! You have to spend Life Points to take Life Points! Of course, you know all about that! Yugi’s been taking your Life Points for what, going on three years now?! Oh, I’m sorry to keep bringing that up!” Pegasus smirked in a manner that betrayed his lack of sincerity.
Kaiba ignored him and drew his card.
‘Perfect. Just what I needed.’
“I activate the Magic Card…Dark Core! Now by discarding one card from my hand, I can remove any monster from the game!”
“I see…well then, I’m sorry, Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon,” Pegasus said apologetically, “But I guess this is goodbye…”
“Not quite, Pegasus. You won’t be getting off that easily.” Kaiba paused as he shifted his own cards around. “Because I’m discarding the Y-Dragon Head from my hand so I can remove X-Head Cannon from the game!”
“What?” Pegasus uttered in astonishment. “But X-Head Cannon is your own monster! What are you scheming?”
Again, Kaiba ignored him, and continued on. Pegasus had only 1900 Life Points left. Even with the damn Toon Monsters on the field, this would be easy if he planned it all out right…
“I also activate the magic card Soul Release. It removes one more monster from the game, and I’m using it on my Y-Dragon Head.”
“Why are you removing your own monsters?!” Pegasus cried. From the look on his face, he was genuinely bewildered by Kaiba’s tactics, a thought which brought a wide smirk to Kaiba’s face. Pegasus’s self-imposed seclusion from the rest of the world likely meant he hadn’t kept up with the latest strategies, and had instead left the creation and release of Duel Monsters to Yugi, the primary shareholder of Industrial Illusions stock.
“And now I summon Z-Metal Tank!”
“But that makes no sense,” Pegasus said through gritted teeth. “Unless—”
“Unless I still have one more card to play, Pegasus” Kaiba interrupted him, his arms crossed over his chest. “And it so happens I do! Activate Return from the Different Dimension!” The other trap card that Kaiba had been keeping reserved activated. His Life Points decreased by half, leaving him with only 1050, much less than Pegasus—but for what he was about to do, it was more than worth it.
“It’s well worth half my Life Points to bring back all my monsters—a nice trick to know when you want to summon more than one monster in a turn!”
Pegasus jaw dropped in astonishment as the X-Head Cannon, the Z-Metal Tank, and the Y-Dragon Head all appeared on the field, looking for all the world like a ferocious assembly of mechanical monsters.
“And as you’re well aware, these aren’t ordinary monsters,” Kaiba announced smugly. “They combine!” There was a great burst of light and the whirring of mechanical parts, and when the holographic smoke faded, a grand mechanical beast stood in the place of the three individual machines. “Together they form the ultimate XYZ-Dragon Cannon!” Off Pegasus’s terrified look, Kaiba’s smile only widened further. “Yes! Now I have all the firepower I need to blast any card I want out of the duel! If you say you’re still gonna win, then it’s time to change your tune! Go! Destroy Toon World!”
“CANNON FIRESTORM!” There was a brilliant burst of golden light and flame as it discharged from the tank cannon, the artillery guns, and the dragon mouth on the massive machine Kaiba had summoned, all of it rushing toward Pegasus at impossible speeds. The explosion was so bright and the holographic technology so realistic that Pegasus practically flew from his place in the arena. He landed with a thud as the lights around the arena faded and died.
“That’s all, folks. Now let’s see what you’ve got to beat the Egyptian Gods.”
Kaiba ignored Pegasus as he groaned in pain, and instead he walked toward the briefcase Pegasus had brought with him from his upstairs sanctuary vault. His fingers traced over the cards before plucking them from their velvet interior, and his eyes widened upon reading the text.
“Looks like you had two cards up your sleeve!” Kaiba frowned at Pegasus. It was just like that loon to try and trick him with every opportunity. He’d probably been so self-absorbed that he hadn’t even considered the possibility of losing the duel, and so had foolishly left two amazingly powerful cards in his case…
“What do you mean, two cards?” Pegasus called as he struggled to get up. “Kaiba, there was only one!”
Kaiba, exhausted and relieved to have won the duel at last, ignored the genuine fear in Pegasus’s voice. “Yeah right. Nice try, you snake!” And with a whirl, Kaiba left the dungeon sanctuary, the cards he needed in hand.
“Tell me again, why are we guardin’ a stupid museum?” a young man with spiky hair and a thick Australian accent asked.
“You’re not supposed to question the boss’s orders,” a taller muscled man beside him responded. “There’s a reason for everything.”
“Ugh, not the whole fate and destiny speech again,” a third man rolled his eyes. He brushed aside some stray deep red hairs that stuck to the side of his face and scowled as he leaned up against a nearby wall.
“Shut up,” the tall blond responded, pressing his sunglasses further up his nose.
The three men would have looked extremely out of place near the entrance to the Domino Museum of History, were it not for the fact that all three of them were dressed in impeccable gray suits. Not a single one of them looked the least bit comfortable in the suits though, as they all kept fidgeting and looking around. Still, they were the only ones in the vicinity who even remotely looked like they worked for the museum.
Their boss had made sure of that.
“What are we waitin’ for, exactly?” the Australian asked again.
“For those dumb kids,” the redhead muttered under his breath.
“Watch your mouth, Alister!” the blond snapped. “Remember, the boss is keeping an eye on things from a distance, so I wouldn’t act like this isn’t important. Besides, there’s more to it than just babysitting some kids. And there’s a reason why the boss went to all the effort of bringing this exhibit here, and we’re here to make sure that his orders get followed. So just stand straight and shut up!”
The two other men scowled, but they said nothing further.
None of them noticed the white-haired teenager lurking in the shadows off to the side. He disappeared into the depths of the museum as soon as the men were done speaking.
“The museum is the last place those demented duelists would think to look foryou!” Téa smiled when they’d reached the Domino Museum at last.
“Hope you’re right, Téa,” Yugi murmured, still trying to catch his breath. “I hope Joey, Tristan, and Duke will all get here soon…”
“Yeah, if they didn’t get trampled by the du—” Téa’s sentenced died a quick death when she spotted the posters and signs indicating the Egyptian exhibit they’d come to the museum for. Entranced, Téa moved toward a poster on the wall, which showed where the dig had taken place, and the artifacts they’d found—including that bizarre blue pyramid that so resembled Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle.
“Come on,” Téa intoned flatly. “Let’s go check it out.”
Téa’s eyes took a few moments to regain their usual light quality, and there was a distinct haze preventing her from thinking too clearly. She wasn’t entirely sure what had just happened -what she had just felt– but it was far from the ordinary. She swore she had heard voices chanting, singing…
Still disoriented from what she had just experienced, Téa didn’t notice Malik’s concerned stare turn to her. The expression on his face plainly indicated that he’d seen Téa’s expression change rapidly in the course of a few moments, but he didn’t say anything aloud.
‘A vision… but what did she see?’ It was an impossible question for Malik to ask, and the answer wasn’t his privilege to know. Malik sighed in resignation, about to follow Téa, Yugi, and Serenity into the exhibit, but he stopped dead in his tracks once he looked up. It wasn’t a bad feeling or the sight of the blue pyramid on the exhibit posters that startled Malik into stillness; it was the appearance of Shaadii.
Neither Yugi, Serenity, or Téa seemed to notice the ghostly Tombkeeper, and they didn’t seem to miss Malik’s presence much as they walked off. Malik would have felt a bit insulted, were it not for the frighteningly calm look in Shaadii’s eyes. Still, the mysterious man didn’t appear very often, and Malik knew full well to beware of him. After all, he was the same person who’d told him that the Pharaoh would have the answers about why his father died, leading Marik to think the Pharaoh they waited for was behind his father’s death. As it turned out, Malik couldn’t have been further from the truth, but at the time…
“You are not having doubts about why you are here, are you?” Shaadii rarely ever bothered with names, though Malik suspected there was an ulterior motivein why Shaadii never used a name with him.
“Of course not.” Malik’s eyes flitted toward the exhibit, making sure he could still keep the others in his sight.
“Not having any…feelings, are you?” Malik was about to retort that he wasn’t some dead husk quite yet, and he was perfectly allowed to have feelings, but one look in Shaadii’s eyes made it clear that Shaadii was implicating something unspoken. How Shaadii knew about that was beyond Malik, but…
“Of course not,” he repeated in the same calm tone of voice.
“Be careful,” Shaadii said as he turned, his robes swishing with an invisible wind. “Darkness approaches.”
One blink and half a second later, he was gone, leaving Malik alone in the entryway.
Malik shivered; not out of cold, but out of the odd feeling Shaadii left him with. Malik already knew all about the prophecy and what was to come of that… but Shaadii seemed to be talking about something different. The fact that he’d appeared at this particular place at this exact time…maybe the exhibit really was more than it appeared?
There was only one way to find out.
Once Malik rejoined them, the quartet made their way to the rear of the exhibit, where the main attraction was positioned. It was a large glass case with a mummy inside it, complete with its ceremonial burial coffin. Yugi leaned forward and read the inscription on the brass plate fixed to the case.
“It says ‘The Tomb of Anubis – The Egyptian Lord of the Dead’.”
“But I thought Anubis was an Egyptian god,” Serenity murmured in confusion. “He wasn’t a real person—was he?” All eyes fell on Malik for answers.
“You would be correct,” Malik replied after a moment. The feeling he’d gotten after speaking to Shaadii still hadn’t faded. In fact, it had only increased, the deeper they went into the exhibit and the closer they got to this mummy. “Anubis was once a very important deity, but after the great king Osiris died at the hands of his brother Set, he was no longer considered the Lord of the Dead. Osiris took that role, leaving Anubis as the jackal-headed god of embalming.”
“Wow, that sucks,” Serenity said at last. “He got totally betrayed and left with next to nothing.”
“And isn’t Anubis considered to be a ‘dark’ god nowadays?” Téa asked. “I mean, when he does show up in folklore, it’s never as a good guy…”
“Who knows where those stories came from,” Malik answered. “Legends often have their basis in history. Perhaps that is why this exhibit claims to have the body of Anubis, Lord of the Dead.”
“If he’s not Anubis, I wonder who—” Yugi barely had time to finish his sentence before a rumble tore through the ground. It started low, merely shaking their feet and the few low signs, but soon enough everything in the room was shaking.
It seemed as though only Malik heard the voices, chanting in Hieratic…
No one saw the mummy’s empty eye sockets glow a faint blood red, light swelling from a sourceless place.
Within a minute, the shaking and quaking stopped. The silence was broken as the sounds of other people talking in the museum echoed from nearby halls. None of them seemed to be screaming or wondering what had happened; to the rest of the world, it was as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred.
“We didn’t just…imagine that, did we?” Téa asked in a shaking voice. She knew she’d had strange visions and weird feelings here and there, but imagining an earthquake seemed a little out of bounds, even for her.
“N-No, I don’t think so…” Yugi replied in a voice just as tremulous as hers. His hands had instinctively clutched the Millennium Puzzle, which still seemed to be quaking in his clammy grip.
“Oho—what a quake that was!”
“Grandpa!?” Yugi exclaimed in surprise. Indeed, Solomon Moto was hunched over one of the nearby exhibits, holding onto it for support. “What are you doing here?”
“Oh well,” Solomon straightened out, “Great minds think alike, it seems.” He gestured toward the exhibit that he’d been looking that: the mysterious blue pyramid.
So—you came to see the pyramid, too,” Malik spoke for the first time since the quake. Solomon’s eyes widened slightly at seeing Malik face-to-face for the first time. Even during Battle City, the two had never met in person before, and now, neither Solomon nor Malik could shake the strange feeling they had around each other. Of course, neither knew what to make of it, and Solomon merely attributed it to his recent scare from the quake.
“Yup,” Solomon said, turning away from the group. He examined the plate attached to the pyramid’s glass cabinet. “This says it’s called ‘The Pyramid of Light’. In all my years of Egyptology, I’ve never come across this relic before,” Solomon continued.
“But it says here that it belonged to an evil sorcerer who tried to bring about the end of the world!” Serenity read, looking frightened. “Maybe that Anubis guy?”
“Myth mixed with legend, most likely,” Malik said. ‘Still…’
“Well, I guess it’s safe to say that his plan didn’t work,” Yugi said in a falsely cheery voice.
“The legends say that a brave pharaoh destroyed the sorcerer with the mystical dagger of fate!” The rest of Solomon’s words went unspoken, but when everyone’s eyes fell on Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle.
‘The same pharaoh whom many believe possessed your Millennium Puzzle…’
“Come, I’ll show you,” Solomon said, gesturing the small group of teens toward the rest of the exhibit. “See, there’s the knife!” Indeed, a curved blade still wrapped in its colored sheath rested between the folded hands of ‘Anubis.’ Unlike other Egyptian sarcophagi, this one did not depict the jackal-headed figure with a staff and flail in his hands. In fact, if one looked close enough, they would have been able to see painted ropes binding the jackal’s arms to his chest, much like the ones that had been attached to the mummy, long before they had rotted away…
Téa shivered, not liking the mixture of nausea and cold that swept through her body. She couldn’t help but feel like somebody was watching her. But no one else was even in the exhibit room…
“What’s it say here on his sarcophagus?” Serenity queried, spotting a series of faded hieroglyphs. Both Malik and Solomon leaned in and squinted to read the glyphs. It was Solomon who spoke first.
“Let’s see…It’s some sort of prophecy. ‘The eye that sees what’s yet to come: its vision shall be fulfilled unless blinded by events predetermined, thus both light and shadows be killed.”
Téa looked at Malik for some sort of confirmation regarding Solomon’s rather odd translation, but before their gazes could meet, there was a blinding flash of brilliant white light.
When Yugi opened his eyes, he found himself in an endless starry abyss, with two very familiar shapes looming massively overhead.
“The Millennium Puzzle! And the Pyramid of Light!”
In the distance, an unfamiliar voice chanted in Hieratic, speaking words that held no meaning for Yugi whatsoever. Quite suddenly, pain lanced through Yugi’s body, and he lost consciousness, leaving Yami in his wake. The same pain flared through Yami, causing him to drop the Duel Monsters cards he found himself clutching. His heart wouldn’t stop pounding, and sweat continued to pour down his brow.
A low chuckle sounded from close by, and when Yami opened his eyes, he could just barely make out Kaiba standing not that far from him. In the few seconds that it took for Yami to regain his composure and the blurriness in his eyes to clear, another figure appeared behind Kaiba: a thickly muscled man with the head of a jackal…wearing the Pyramid of Light on a rope around his neck. He grabbed Kaiba roughly by the skull and hauled him up nearly half a meter in the air, heedless of Kaiba’s struggles.
Quite suddenly, the jackal spoke in a language Yugi could understand, and in that same voice that he’d heard earlier…
“From the light comes the dark!”
And just as quickly as the vision had come, it was over. When Yugi opened his eyes again, Téa and Serenity were both leaning over him, equal measures of worry and concern lining their pretty faces.
Téa, for her part, was trying her hardest to ignore the images that kept sliding past her mind’s eye. The Millennium Puzzle and that ‘Pyramid of Light’ colliding in a night sky. A blood red gem set into the center of the eye of Horus, gleaming at her maliciously. Infinite pain and sadness welling up in the core of her being, threatening to smother her completely…
She fixed a firm, concerned expression on her face as she regarded her fallen friend.
“Téa, would you tell me the story about the bunny?” Yugi mumbled, his head swimming.
“I’m gonna pretend that was the concussion talking and forget all about it, ’cause right now we’ve got bigger problems…”
Téa looked up hesitantly and was startled to find Malik standing so near to her, a distant expression on his face. He looked completely out of it, but somehow the look on his face told Téa that he, too, had experienced something odd when that brilliant white light flashed. He blinked a fraction of a second later, his gaze dropping to meet Téa’s. For a moment, there seemed to be a jolt of -something- that passed between them, but the feeling faded as quickly as it had come.
Neither of them noticed the three men in suits from the entrance look at one another and nod slowly before returning to the exhibit entryway.
Yugi fumbled to sit up and stared in shock and horror: the body of ‘Anubis’ was gone, and the Pyramid of Light had also gone missing with him!
A policeman raced into the building, having heard the alarms once the glass was broken. “The mummy’s body has been stolen!” he yelled to three shadowed figures in the doorway. “And that’s not all! He nabbed the Pyramid of Light, too!”
“Grandpa, stay here!” Yugi told his grandfather, who was struggling to sit up. “I have a feeling Kaiba’s in danger. I have to warn him!”
Téa stared at Yugi, horrified. “Wh-What did you say? Yugi, what’s going on?”
“Just keep an eye on Grandpa, please?” Before Téa could protest or ask a single further question, Yugi dashed out of the museum, leaving Téa, Malik, Serenity, his grandfather, and Anubis’s empty casket behind.
The only one who followed was the starkly contrasting shadow of a white-haired youth with the devil in his eyes.
No, Isis isn’t really the Supreme General of the Egyptian Council of Antiquities, but it IS a real position, unlike the weird one they gave her in the dub. That real position is filled by Zahi Hawass, who you may have seen on any number of History Channel or Discovery Channel specials about Egyptian tomb excavation. He’s a cool guy. Anyway…
Action! Excitement! Dead guys!? Yes, ladies and gents, we have the plot of the Yu-Gi-Oh Movie, also known as the Pyramid of Light. You’d think it’ll be mostly the same, but trust me, with Seto and Téa “together…, Malik being present, and Pegasus being far from dead, this will be one plot twist you won’t be able to predict! Stay tuned for more…and I hope you liked this latest long chapter!