Tag Archives: Millennium Ring

Sands of Time chapter 10

Standard

Author’s note: In which the author is twitching nervously because she’s almost out of material (again) and will have to stop binge-watching Supernatural and do some work. Also, in which there is a BAMF!lady and one of the creepiest characters that anime has ever gifted us with gets his ass handed to him. Fun times…

It also occurs to me that the chapter titles appear to be rather random. They are, in fact, lyrics from whatever song I had on repeat while writing the chapter in question. My music taste and thought process are clearly on that side of bizarre!

***It’s like you’re a demon I can’t face down***

The irony of the fact that he was once again staring certain defeat, and this time in Shadow Game with such high stakes, did not escape Yami Bakura. Marik was oddly quiet at his side, watching in horror as his darker counterpart summoned Ra in his Phoenix form. The Spirit’s lips curled in disgust. There was only one person whose soul was pure enough to deserve the Phoenix’s power and that was most definitely not Yami Marik.

“Any last words before I cast you to the darkness?” the dark creature asked tauntingly.

“You fool!” Akefia smirked, “Don’t you realize that I am the darkness? I will be back.” Yami Marik did not seem worried.

“Perhaps, but not before everything you hold dear is destroyed,” he said, looking over the white-haired man’s shoulder. The Thief snapped his head in alarm, in time to see Elena followed by the Pharaoh bursting to the arena, before darkness enveloped him and Marik.

 

Yami Marik walked to where the Millennium Ring landed, but before he had a chance to grab it, it glowed and flew to Elena’s outstretched hand. He frowned.

“I won that Item fair and square,” he told the woman. Really what did the Thief see in her was beyond him. But then again he did not really see the point in caring about anyone.

“Over my dead body,” came the calm response. The Pharaoh looked at them nervously.

“You are not a duelist,” he said cautiously. “If you have a claim on the Ring, how will you duel against him?” Elena shrugged her red robe off to reveal a golden bracelet covering her entire left arm from the wrist to her elbow.

“I like doing this the old-fashioned way, Your Majesty,” she said as she stepped on the platform. “A Ka against a Ka and the strongest soul remains standing.”

“Name your terms then,” Yami Marik said intrigued. Did this girl think that she could yield ancient magic, old enough to defeat the Shadows?
“If I win, you will release the souls connected to the Millennium Ring. And if you win, I will surrender the Ring to you.”

“And your soul will follow your boyfriend to the Shadows.” Yami Marik grinned at her. Elena frowned.

“He’s not my boyfriend. He’s my husband.”

“Elena, I can’t let you risk your soul for…” Yami Yugi began, determined not to see anyone else being banished to the Shadows.

“Stay out of this Pharaoh!” the Thief Queen snapped. “You know nothing about me.”

“You heard the woman Pharaoh,” Yami Marik said mockingly. “Let her destroy herself if she wishes to.”

 

Hidden under his mockery was unease though. He had only encountered Dia-Danks on the memories of his weaker side’s lessons. His new opponent looked hardly over her twentieth birthday and was certainly mortal. Nevertheless he faked a respectful bow.

“Since you are about to be destroyed, you may summon your creature first.” After all, her Ka spirit couldn’t possibly defeat Ra. He watched Elena knit her fingers together and close her eyes, as if to pray. His eyes widened in alarm when a familiar chant was heard.

“Great beast of the sky, please hear my cry. Transform thyself from orb of light and bring me victory in this fight. Envelop the desert with your glow and cast your rage upon my foe. Unlock the power from within so that together we may win. Appear in this Shadow Game as I call thy name.” Her eyes snapped open and a bright glow enveloped her. “God Phoenix!”

 

Yami Marik took involuntary a step back. This was nothing like the Phoenix version of Ra that stood now by his side. Elena’s Ka was shining brightly and with an unearthly cry attacked his creature, reducing it to ashes. Yami Marik cursed as he felt the burning sensation of the attack as well as two (?) souls escaping his clutches. The Ring shone for a moment, its connection with its bearers reestablished but by the time Yami Marik had blinked the stars from his eyes, he was alone on the arena.

Sands of Time chapter 9

Standard

Author’s note: And here is the episode (or part of it) that first had me thinking. Long before I saw the sub or read the manga this episode just…bugged me…Many years and literature classes later I’d learn this is what we call “subtext”. So, there you have it: Subtext becoming text. Also, Marik is annoying and any chance to inconvenience him needs to be taken!

***And as you ripped it all apart,/ That’s when I turned to watch you/ And as the light in you went dark/ I saw you turn to shadow***

Yami Bakura couldn’t remember the last time he had been so furious but he was quite certain that it had been before he had been sealed inside the Ring. He had only agreed to work with the Marik-brat to keep Ryou and Elena out of trouble (though the prospect of gaining two more Millennium Items was a definite bonus), had even injured himself to go along with the brat’s plan and now it was all going to go down in flames. He frowned.

“I can’t lose,” he said, more to himself than his thrice-damned opponent. “There’s too much at stake!” Sadly there was nothing he could do other than brace himself for the impact of Slifer’s attack when he felt his soul being violently pulled back to his Landlord’s mindscape.

“What is the meaning of this Marik?” he asked angrily.

“Your opponent won’t attack his friend,” came the smug reply. The Spirit turned his attention to his hikari.

 

Ryou had been in his soulroom during the entire ordeal and to be suddenly forced in control of their body meant he would have to deal with phantom pains of the Spirit’s stab wound. Indeed, the boy was on his knees, clutching his arm and asking confused what was going on. Akefia sent a look to Elena and saw her standing a little ways from the Pharaoh’s gang, her face livid with anger. He had a feeling that it took all her self-control to not jump on the platform and stop the duel.

“Yugi would never attack Ryou,” the Thief King mused.

“Unless he doesn’t want to risk his position to the finals,” Marik shrugged uninterested. Akefia’s eyes snapped back to the Pharaoh. He was hesitating, and the Thief King hated uncertainties.

Yami…Ryou’s voice floated weakly through the mind link. Akefia gave a strange smile to Marik.

“Perhaps you’re right Marik,” he said, “but I won’t risk Ryou’s health in that game of yours.” Ignoring the boy’s surprised exclamation he forced Ryou’s soul back to its soulroom, taking control again.

“I’m back!” he taunted the Pharaoh, who seemed unbelievably relieved to see him. “So why don’t you attack me and end this duel.” Yami Yugi was only happy to comply, surprised to see his opponent greet the Egyptian god’s attack with a laugh.

 

The moment the platform was lowered Elena raced to Ryou, pausing only to grab the Ring from where it had fallen. Reverently she put it around her neck, relieved when it gave a soft glow of recognition. The Pharaoh and his friends had gathered around the half-conscious Ryou, trying to get his attention. The boy seemed concerned by only one thing.

“Where is my Ring?” he asked desperately, looking around in the vain hope that he would see the artifact hopping back to him.

“Right here Ryou,” Elena said, kneeling next to him, sparing the Pharaoh a nasty glare. To her satisfaction he flinched a little. Tea seemed to be the first to recognize her.

“Hey, aren’t you the girl we met at Duelist Kingdom?” she asked.

“Indeed,” Elena nodded, her attention focused on the white-haired boy staring longingly at the Millennium Item. “I will give it to you as soon as we go inside,” she told him. Ryou nodded and tried to stand up.

“Whoa! Easy there buddy!” Joey exclaimed as he steadied his friend.

“I’ll be fine,” Ryou objected softly. “I am just worried for my Yami.” He suddenly became conscious of the strange looks he was receiving. Elena frowned.

“As you should well be,” she said disapprovingly. “No matter how many times I warn him, he still doesn’t get it through his head that he takes too many risks.” She wrapped Ryou’s arm around her shoulders and helped the boy inside the blimp.

 

They were both aware of the Pharaoh’s entourage following them as they hurried back to their cabin.

“How do you know that psycho anyway?” Tristan asked, unable to hold off the questions any longer. Elena took her time helping Ryou sit on the bed and giving him the Ring before turning to glare at the brunette boy.

“Care to rephrase that?” she asked icily. Tristan gulped.

“What Tristan meant,” Tea rushed to rectify the situation, “was, how you know Ryou and the Spirit of the Ring?”

“Akefia,” Ryou said quietly. Seeing everyone’s confusion he explained. “His name is Akefia.”

“He is my, well I suppose you could say husband, though we never had a priest to make it official.” Elena smirked at the bewildered looks she got from the Pharaoh, Joey and Tristan.

 

Sands of Time chapter 8

Standard

Author’s note: In which I’m playing the Mamma Mia soundtrack while update my blog because I’m feeling nostalgic. Also in which I play around with a snippet that I curiously find one of the funniest in Season 1. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea!

***The reason to change***

It was only for the fact that Akefia’s mood was much better thanks to Elena’s return that he didn’t reach for the knife hidden in his pocket and murder one or more of the Pharaoh’s entourage. Since Ryou was their friend, Yugi had invited them to tag along. Now they were stuck wondering around, aimlessly looking for the blond boy, Joey, who had gone ahead on his own and disappeared. Seeing a cave up ahead he took the lead, silently guiding the rest of the group towards it.

“Hey, where do you think you’re going?” Tristan asked suspiciously. No matter what Ryou had said, he had a hard time trusting the guy.

“You found your friend’s wallet nearby, didn’t you?” Akefia asked, showing said object that he had snatched from Tristan’s pocket. “The only footprints around here lead to the cave.”

“What footprints?” Tristan insisted, annoyed at having his pockets picked. Akefia shrugged.

“Thief King,” he said as if that was explanation enough. Ryou followed silently his Yami, knowing that his friends would follow. The Thief was not an easy person to be around and the white-haired boy often wondered why didn’t his gruff manner put him off as it did anyone else. He reasoned it had to do with the fact that the Thief had practically raised him after his mother and Amane had died.

Like I told Elena once, you are too soft-hearted Landlord. His Yami’s voice echoed in his head suddenly. There’s no other explanation to it.

 

The cave was lighted ominously by candles inside human skulls. While the teens looked around nervously Akefia smirked and led Elena, holding her hand. Neither of them was unnerved; having lived in a village filled with restless souls tended to make you immune on these things. Elena had been taking in everything in her usual calm way. The only way to notice her quiet happiness was to pay attention to the way her face lighted every time she turned to Akefia, and that was quiet often.

“What’s up with those coffins?” Tea, the girl of the group suddenly asked as two coffins came to view. She and Ryou wondered over to them.

“Beats me,” Ryou said. “Who would leave them just standing here?”

“I wouldn’t touch those,” Yugi cautioned them and the Thief King couldn’t help but approve. Then roll his eyes as the coffins opened to reveal two skeletons. Moving closer to his hikari, he grabbed the boy and shook the skeleton of him.

“For someone playing with an Occult deck, you sure get scared easily Landlord,” he remarked, getting a sheepish smile as a response from the boy.

“Maybe you should take the lead Yami Bakura,” Yugi offered. The older white-haired man made him uneasy but if Ryou was willing to trust him, then so would Yugi. With a grunt the Thief pulled the Millennium Ring from under his shirt and walked ahead, once again holding Elena’s hand. The things he did for his hikari…

 

Sands of Time chapter 6

Standard

Author’s note: Ever been to a roller coaster? You know that first abrupt drop? That would be the time lapse from last chapter to here… I do have more of the kid!Ryou snippets coming up though. Seems like that’s my go-to trope when I get stuck. Go figure… Anyway, Duellist Kingdom episode here. Funnily enough, this was actually one of the first episodes I watched a thousand years ago when I was a kid…

***I’d give it all to you/ Letting go of me/ Reaching as I fall***

The Thief was restless, pacing up and down his soulroom, while his hikari searched the island for the Pharaoh’s vessel. Ryou had been nervous about hurting his friend and the only way Akefia – or Yami Bakura – as he had been called lately, had secured his cooperation was by promising that no mortal would end up trapped in the Shadow Realm. There was something wrong in Duelist Kingdom. The Ring reacted to not only the Puzzle’s presence but also to something else. It made the Thief uneasy that he could not identify what it was. He paused his contemplations when his Landlord sent a warning his direction. Moving to the corridor between the soulrooms he met with Ryou and with a quiet nod of acknowledgement he took control.

 

As his shadow game with the Pharaoh continued, Akefia’s uneasiness – well hidden under his arrogance – grew tenfold. The shadows were hungrier than in his previous games. It took almost all his concentration to keep them at bay. He drew and had to hold back a sigh of relief when the angel of Change of Heart looked up to him from the card. He had placed Ryou’s soul there to keep it safe. In the unlikely case that he lost the duel his spell would be released and Ryou would return to his body. With a smirk he played the card.

 

It took Ryou a few moments to realize what was going on. His eyes scanned the field, noting his friends dressed as their favorite cards, the Pharaoh dueling in Yugi’s place and finally his Yami facing him. He was about to ask the Spirit what was he supposed to do when the shadows behind him rose and a pair of red eyes appeared. He heard behind him his friends gasp and huddle close to each other but he remained frozen in fear as his Yami jumped to his feet and faced the shadow.

“You have forgotten your place Thief King,” the shadow drawled. “You’re loyalties lie to me, not some mortal boy.” Akefia’s eyes narrowed in anger.

“My loyalties lie to whoever I choose to Zorc,” he said defiantly, moving to shield Ryou at the same time, ignoring the Pharaoh and his merry band of friends for now. He would deal with them later. “You have no say in that.” The red eyes narrowed and the shadows drew back a bit. Akefia braced himself for the hit he knew was about to come, gripping the Millennium Ring tightly.

 

The shadows charged towards him and he prepared to counter-attack when a flash of golden light tore them apart. Zorc shrieked in anger and disbelief as his victims returned to the real world. Akefia allowed Ryou to resume control of his body, the souls of the Pharaoh’s friends returning to their bodies automatically when a thud drew his attention.

 

The body of an unconscious woman dressed in a bloodied dress and a long red cloak was lying in front of Ryou’s feet. Separating from his Landlord he knelt next to the woman, gently turning her so that her face was visible. His eyes widened when he recognized her. In a reverent whisper he called her name.

“Elena…”

Sands of Time chapter 5

Standard

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…”

 

Sands of time chapter 4

Standard

Author’s note: I don’t know, Viva la Vida always seemed such an appropriate song for Yami B’s storyline…

***Just a puppet on a lonely string, oh who would ever want to be king?***

He lay at the outskirts of the desert, struggling to breathe; his battle with the Pharaoh and the summoning of the Dark One had left him spent. In retrospect he should have understood this was a mistake. His Phoenix had always protected him, he should have heeded her warnings and tears. She had told him that Zorc was treacherous, that he did not care for justice but he had been drunk with power, so much power cursing through his Diabound. Now there was nothing in him to remind the people of the once fearsome Thief King. He was only twenty-five yet he felt his life slipping out of his body.

It was only a matter of time before the shock of the outcome of the battle left everyone and he was found. They would execute him, he knew as much. Closing his eyes Akefia wondered if there would be a chance to see his people before Ammit devoured his heart. Maybe if the gods were merciful he would die before they found him. Warmth enveloped him and he felt like he was soaring at the skies. If that was what dying felt like, he didn’t get what there was to worry about. With a light smile he allowed himself to fall asleep.

When he woke up again he knew instantly that he was most definitely alive. His body still felt like lead from the exhaustion and the heavenly warmth had receded. Forcing his eyes open Akefia took stock of his surroundings. He was back home in Kul Elna. The spirits’ presence was hardly there, exhausted as they were from Zorc draining their hatred. Something moved in the corner of his eyes and he struggled to turn his head to see who was there. A flash of golden eyes greeted him and his mouth tasted bitter with regret. They had parted fighting, why did she save him?
“Because I love you,” she answered the unspoken question. Elena sat next to him and traced a hand over his scar. “That will never change.” He wanted to answer, apologize, tell her that he loved her too with all his soul. He didn’t get the chance.

Elena had hoped that the Pharaoh’s men would fear the spirits of Kul Elna and avoid coming to the village. The shouts that suddenly tore through the streets proved her wrong. The blue-eyed priest charged inside the house they had been living, flanked by two soldiers. Akefia tried to stand, summon Diabound, anything to protect Elena. He had no strength left. It all happened in an instant.

One of the soldiers saw him move and, fearing that he was about to fight, threw a knife. The weapon arched through the air and started falling, a graceful arc that would end in his heart. Elena threw herself at him, taking the knife for him. Her blood sprayed everyone around, painting her white dress red. She smiled at her love one last time before darkness claimed her. Akefia held her frozen, feeling her heart stop. Her dead face was the last thing he saw before his soul was torn from his body and imprisoned within the Millennium Ring.