Author’s note: And we finally reach the 20th century and the other character who, in my humble opinion, did not get nearly enough screen-time. About Ryou’s age in this one…I’ve watched Season 0 and in that flashback scene Ryou seemed to be about five or six when he wished for friends, so I figured he must have got the ring around then…
And maybe I wanted an excuse to write the Thief King with a little kid… At this point it’d be pretty pointless to put an OOC disclaimer. I’ve read a theory that explained Yami Bakura’s mercurial moods (especially in the Millennium World manga, yes I’ve read the mangas!) as the result of him being the result of a fragment of Zorc merging with the soul of the Thief King, one side being more prominent at times than the other. In this case, no random Zorc fragments littering the Ring, which would probably make for a much different first meeting between the two.
Preaching over and done with, on with the show!
***I share my world with no one else/ All by myself I stand alone***
The Thief did not even bother moving from his bed when he felt the Ring. It had moved through various hosts over the centuries and he had noticed that none of them had lasted long before going insane. Instinctively he knew what this had meant: that the poor soul was not the Ring’s destined carrier.
Even from within the apathy that had taken over his mind and heart he could feel his host’s excitement and admiration for the shiny gift. A young one, Akefia mused, feeling a tinge of regret for the boy’s inevitable fate. His eyes drifted again to the only source of light in his soulroom; a mural of her enveloped in his arms as she had been the day they declared their love for each other. He was half-asleep when a wave of fear and alarm hit him.
Without thinking, Akefia jumped to his feet and raced to the door. He closed his eyes when he crossed the threshold and when he opened them again he found himself in control of the body of a young boy. A barrage of memories pelted his mind, shocking him with their intensity. At his feet lay the body of a little white-haired girl whom he instinctively recognized as his host’s sister. Her blood had painted the ground red and the Thief knew that she was dead. Looking around, he noticed another body nearby.
Mother, he recognized her. No, not his mother, the boy’s mother. The line was blurred at the moment. A man approached him and Akefia tore himself from the sight and followed him. No child should have to see what he had just seen.
Ryou woke up in a strange room after he cried himself to sleep that night. His father had stayed at the hospital and so the little boy had been alone for the first time in his life. Looking around curiously he took stock of the soft light, the various games scattered on the white carpet and finally his family’s photo at his bedside. Feeling the tears coming back the little boy blinked and stood from the bed. His new Ring’s weight felt comfortable around his neck. For the first time he noticed the door on the far wall.
Curiously Ryou opened it and found himself on a shadowy corridor. At the exact opposite wall there was another door, this one made out of rough wood and the eye from his Ring engraved on it. Ryou felt something pulling him towards the ominous door and hesitantly pushed it open. The room he entered was made out of stone and almost bare of things. At the opposite wall there was the engraving of a fierce-looking monster that made Ryou gulp nervously. Looking to his right he saw the picture of a man and a woman hugging, surrounded by neat columns of hieroglyphics. Finally, on the wall opposite of the picture, there was a bed and on it a sleeping man.
As if he sensed another presence nearby, the man’s eyes snapped open and landed directly on the boy. Ryou took a step back, scared by the glare he received and rushed to the door. He tried to pry the heavy door open but he wasn’t strong enough. A sigh came from the bed’s direction and its occupant stood up and walked over to the boy. He rested a hand on the wood, over his host’s head.
“And what do you think you’re doing?” he asked the boy. Ryou looked up to him, tears ready to fall from his eyes.
“I…I…I’m sorry!” he stuttered nervously, looking up at the man. “I didn’t mean to bother you sir.”
Akefia was taken aback at the boy’s response. In all his years no one had ever addressed him with any type of courtesy. He just might like this host of his. Kneeling so that he would be at the boys eye-level he made an effort to smile.
“You did not bother me Landlord,” he said calmly. The boy was traumatized as it was. “I have been meaning to meet you soon.” As he said the words, he realized that they were true. For the first time in millennia he could feel the Ring accept its bearer as it had welcomed him when he gathered it from that Priest’s corpse. Ryou looked at him confused.
“Why am I your Landlord?” he asked, gathering courage now that he knew he wasn’t in trouble.
“You are the owner of the Millennium Ring,” the Thief King explained patiently. “I live inside it, so that makes me your tenant and you my Landlord.” The boy nodded in understanding. Then looked up in confusion again.
“But why me?” he asked innocently. Akefia bit back another sight and settled down for a long conversation.
“Let me tell you a story little Landlord…”