Thanks so much for all the support! It means so much to know that people are enjoying this story. Here's Chapter 2 for you. Hope you have as much fun reading it as I had writing it. And as always, don't be afraid to tell me what you think. Reviews are inspiration.
Child, you are Hell Bent.
Thursday- I hope that means that you're excited? Glad you're enjoying the story so far 3
MyNameIs- Glad you liked it. I spent a good amount of time trying to figure out what Yugi would do with his life if he didn't go into Archeology. My Roommate is a nurse, so she helped me write that bit.
DreamMelody- Thanks! I love stories where Atem comes back as well. I finally worked up enough courage at trying my hand at one. All will be revealed soon, I promise!
Xyrlea- Heya! thanks for the review. I'm so happy that you're enjoying it so far. I totally agree with what you said about 'return from the afterlife stories'. My favourite part of the Yugioh Fandom is that there's so much room for authors to put there own personal spin on events. And there are so many talented authors here! I hope I can keep everyone in character, (Yugi is so cute, but he's so strong at the same time, it's why I love him so much! but it can be so hard to find a balance.) A lot has changed for Yugi and his friends in the five years since Atem left. That being said, I don't think Atem will ever stop being protective of his Aibou. ;)
dragonlady222- eeep! Don't worry, I promise that I'm working on updating R&G very soon. I just have a few plot holes that I need to tighten up first. R&G is kind of showing it's age for me as a writer. I still love it so much, and I have so many ideas, but there are somethings I need to work on. Finishing After Forever is really going to help me with that. It'll be worth it in the end, I promise!
alexandra ross 902- thanks for the support! I'll do my best.
Yep, still don't own Yugioh. It would be super special awesome if I did. But, then again, I wouldn't actually get to post anything, so where's the fun in that? Hmm, now that's something to think about.
Despite all odds, the Museum was standing by the time Yugi arrived in the City centre. He skidded to halt, chest burning as he crouched behind the safety of a large metal dumpster. He stared at the sturdy building on the other side of the plaza. With over half the city reduced to nothing more than smouldering rubble, Yugi hadn't been optimistic that the Museum was still here.
That wasn't to say it wasn't damaged. Even from this distance, Yugi could see that black scorch marks that scarred the stone arches. Entire chunks of the roof had been torn free, sacrificed to the elements or something meaner. Yugi didn't know which, and he didn't want to find out. The damage seemed largely superficial, and that's all that mattered.
Yugi released a shuddering breath. Ishizu would know what was happening. She would know why the entire city had been transformed into a dark game. He just had to make it to the museum. Which, Yugi had a feeling, was going to be easier said than done.
Still kneeling behind the relative safety of the dumpster, Yugi stared out at the plaza. It was completed abandoned. Everyone had already fled to the freeway. At first glance, it seemed safe enough. At least there didn't seem to be any monsters. The hunting was probably better where there was actually people. Yugi shuddered at the thought
Yugi's eyes narrowed as he continued to stare out of at the empty plaza in front of him. Something had destroyed the fountain in the centre of the square. Water gushed from the damaged pipes, covering the cracked, uneven flagstones with water. The stones that surrounded the pool had been thrown in every direction, with deep claw marks embedded in the surface. There was no way that lightning had done that kind of damage.
Gritting his teeth, Yugi sprinted out onto the square. His chest burnt with the effort, his legs still exhausted from running through the city. Water sloshed beneath his trainers. It felt like he was going to slip at any moment. It was all he could do to keep his balance. He was about halfway across the plaza now.
Somewhere above Yugi's head, something screeched. At first, Yugi thought someone was screaming, but it sounded far closer to a hawk than a person. His foot slipped out from under him. Yugi hit the ground, hard.
The air left his chest with a suffocating whoosh. He groaned miserably, curling on his side as he clutched at his aching chest. But movement above him caught Yugi's attention. He stared at the sky.
Three Harpy Ladies circled above him like vultures. With every swoop, they came closer. Yugi scrambled to his feeding, half running and half crawling underneath the belly of an abandoned SUV. He wrapped his arms tight around his head.
He heard the thump as the three beasts landed somewhere behind him, the clank of their talons against the torn up flagstones. Had they even seen him? If they had, then it was all over.
Harpy Ladies, Yugi remembered from his duels with Mai where vicious and too smart for their own good. If they found him, the SUV would provide as much protection as a wet newspaper.
The bird women squawked amongst themselves. Yugi could smell blood. Rusty iron clung to their talons like nail polish. Yugi couldn't stop the whimper that escaped his lips. He slammed his hands over his mouth, trying to hold perfectly still even has he trembled. The muscles legs tightened, every instance urging him to run. There was no way the monsters couldn't hear the hysterical pounding of his heart.
Yugi could see the brilliantly coloured feathers on their legs now as the three Harpies circled the SUV. The car trembled as one hopped onto the roof. The screech of torn metal sent ice through Yugi's veins. He cried out as the other two harpies slammed against the right side of the SUV. It rocked up onto his side, before slamming to the ground.
Would he get to see Atem in again in the Afterlife?
The SUV flipped over, skidding across the stone in a shower of sparks. Yugi couldn't even bring himself to move as the Harpies moved in, their beautiful faces twisted in feral delight. Yugi squeezed his eyes shut. He waited of for the icy kiss of talons against his skin. Would it feel the same as it did during a hologram duel?
He never found out. There was a howl from behind Him. Yugi opened his eyes to see Silver fang standing beside him. It frowned deep in its throat before leaping over his head. It slammed into the chest of the first Harpy Lady, teeth snapping for her throat.
Blood and feathers rained everywhere, coating the wolf's muzzle as the blue Harpy collapsed, dead before it hit the ground. Her sisters screamed in rage. Silver Fang's mouth curled back into a feral snarl, baring its gore stained canines in challenge.
The Harpies looked at each other before they flew into the air, broad wings preparing to carry them away. But Silver fang jumped onto the turned over SUV, and leapt into the air. He caught the purple Harpy lady by the leg, dragging them both down the ground with an almighty crash. The Harpy hissed and lashed out with her talons. She caught the wolf across its flank, opening three ragged words.
In duel monsters, Harpy Lady had more attack points than Silver fang, even if it was only by a small margin. But that seemed to have no barring here. Silver Fang rolled them over and buried its mouth into the Harpies throat.
Blood poured onto the concrete. The female monster tried to scream, but it was barely a gurgle as blood bubbled from her mouth. She fell limp.
Yugi pulled himself up onto his knees, scarcely believing what he had just seen. Silver fang climbed over the dead monster and sniffed at the wound on its side. It still bled sluggishly. The wolf gave the calf marks a hesitant lick before it huffed and let out a mournful howl.
Yugi stepped towards the beast, his hand outstretched hesitantly. Was it possible that the monsters were more sentient than they appeared? Silver Fang had been a mainstay in Yugi's deck even before he solved the millennium puzzle. Did the wolf know who he was?
Silver fang's ears twitched as Yugi's approached. It stared at him with glowing yellow eyes. "Hey, buddy," Yugi whispered, taking another step forward as the animal continued to stare. "Thanks for the save."
The monster's tail waved like dogs. Yugi took that as a promising sign. If the monsters were sentient, then maybe they chance. If they had allies, then future seemed far less grim.
As Yugi came closer, however, he began to recognize the look in Silver Fang's eyes. It wasn't the recognition of an old friend, but a Carnivore that had spotted an easy meal.
Silver Fang's head tilted to the side. Its tongue lapped lazily against the blood that streaked its muzzle, revealing its long teeth. Yugi stumbled back, frantically trying to find a weapon or anything he could use to defend himself.
Out of the corner of his eye Yugi spotted a tree branch, the wood as thick as his wrist around. He kept this movement's slow as possible, bending down to grab it. Silver Fang snapped menacingly. Yugi's fingers curled around the branch. He held his makeshift weapon out in front of him a dull sword, knowing deep down that it would be all but worthless.
Silver leapt forward, jumping at Yugi with a snarl. He cried out as the monster knocked him clear of his feet, and onto his back. His head slammed the ground. Spots danced in his vision. Yugi barely had enough time to get his makeshift weapon up as Silver fang snapped at his throat. The branch cracked as it was forced between the Monster's jaws. Yugi's arms trembled with the effort of keeping those snarling teeth away from his throat.
He could feel the wood breaking in his hold. Silver Fang continued to snap and snarl against it, biting down even as it pushed closer to Yugi's jugular. Warm drool splashed down onto Yugi's cheek.
With strength born purely from panic, Yugi used the branch as leverage to heave the beast off of him. The wolf fell onto its side, yelping as it landed on the Harpy's wounds. Yugi scrambled to his feet at the same time as Silver Fang.
Barely knowing what he was doing, Yugi swung the branch like a baseball ball back. The branch smashed against the snarling animal's skull. It shattered on impact. Silver Fang paused, shaking its head for a moment. With shaking hands, Yugi threw away the useless remains of his only defence as Silver fang began to circle.
Yugi took a step back, then another, stopping only one he felt the metal frame of the upturned SUV at his back. There was nowhere left to run. Silver fang growled as crouched down, body coiling for one final attack.
Electricity snapped and crackled. But there was no thunder. Instead, Silver fang whimpered. The monster crashed to the ground writhing in pain. Two small metal spikes were embedded in its side, connected to coiled wires shot from a Taser.
"Honda!" Yugi shouted in surprise as his old friend stepped into the light, dressed in the dark blue pants and uniform of the Domino Police department.
Honda stretched out his hand. "Hey Yugi." he said, pulling the smaller man up onto his feet. "Looks like we got here at the right time."
"Bit of an understatement." Yugi chuckled breathlessly. He ran a hand along the back of his skull, wincing as he grazed the large bump that was forming there. "What are still doing in Domino? And what do you mean, we!"
Honda shrugged as they turned towards the museum. "We have officers all over the city helping with the evacuation." He said simply. "But when the acid trip lightening started and the Monsters showed up, I kind of figured my talents were needed elsewhere." He pointed up the stone steps that led to the museum door. "I ran into the others on my way here."
There was a small group of people standing at the Museum's doorstep. Even in the darkness, Yugi could recognize the familiar faces of Jounouchi, Anzu, and Ryou. Yugi's heart plummeted, even as relief raced through him. Why where they all still in city? It was far too dangerous to be domino, hadn't they realized that?
Yugi leapt up the stairs as fast as short, exhausted legs would carry him. "Hey, Yugi!" Jounouchi crowed, wrapping an arm around Yugi's neck, ruffling his hair. "What took you so long?" Yugi struggled against fake chock hold trying to escape from beneath Jounouchi's arm.
"Seriously Jounouchi!" Anzu cried as he helped Yugi escape. "He's bleeding; why would you attack him like that?" Yugi blinked, before looking down at his arm. Sure enough, the material of his hoody was torn, revealing where the cement had ripped away layers of his skin. Compared to what could have happened, Yugi didn't mind a little bit of road rash. But Anzu seemed to take offense as she dabbed with some tissue she had pulled from her purse.
Her hair was longer now, pulled away from her face by a complicated braid that reached half way down her long-sleeved crop top. It was more than a little disheveled now though, strands of brown covering her face. "I'm fine, It's just a cut. " Yugi said, waving off her attempts at first aid. "Why are you still in the city?"
"What and miss this?" Jounouchi demanded incredulously. "It's not the end of the world if I'm not in it!"
"Don't be an idiot." Honda jeered as he slapped the back of Jounouchi skull. "This is serious!"
"I know that!" Jounouchi snapped back. "But common on, we're in the world saving business, what else would we be doing?"
Anzu rolled her eyes, even as Ryou chuckled behind his hand. "We came to find you." He said to Yugi, growing as from his dark blue collared shirt and white hair. "Your mother is really worried. She thinks you're running off to do something stupid."
"Can't imagine why," Honda smirked.
"I told her I was looking for you guys!" Yugi countered, even as he became very interested in the laces of running shoes. "There's nothing stupid about that."
"Except for the fact you're here, and not actually looking for us," Anzu stated shrewdly. "We saw your mom and Grandpa on the road. When I said we hadn't you, she started to panic."
A dull red painted the tops of Yugi's cheeks. "I didn't want her to worry." He lamented. "What was I supped to say? She doesn't know anything about magic puzzles and dark games. I didn't think she'd understand why I suddenly needed to go to a museum."
"Yah, about that; We have a problem." Jounouchi walked up to the large glass doors and pulled on the heavy metal handles. "Ishizu and Malik aren't here."
"What?" Yugi asked. He yanked on handles, but the Jounouchi was right, the museum was locked. Yugi tried to squint through the windows, but it was difficult to see through the heavy iron bars that had been installed to prevent people from breaking in. Those hadn't been there yesterday.
He stared blankly at the heavily fortified building in front of him, mind reeling as he tried to understand what was happening. He had thought for certain that Ishizu would be here. Yugi could barely believe how stupid he'd been, how incredibly naïve. Why on earth would Ishizu be sitting merrily in her office when the entire country had declared a state of emergency? Yugi's entire save the world plan was dependent on Ishizu being there to show him what to do. Because without Atem, Yugi could even handle a single monster without needing to be rescued.
Yugi sighed, letting his head fall against the unfeeling glass. Atem would have predicted that Ishizu would have left the city. He would have known what to do next.
Anzu placed a hand on his shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze. "So we're on our own?" she asked. Yugi knew that she was trying to sound confident, but seemed as scared as Yugi felt.
"Seems like it." He replied, watching as Jounouchi pressed his boot against the door frame for extra leverage as he tried to force the door open. But it didn't budge. The stone building looked as if it could survive a front assault from a tank. They weren't getting in by pulling on the door. "We'll have to figure this out by ourselves."
The world flashed violet as thunder boomed so loud that Yugi's ears rung with the echo. Yugi didn't have the slightest clue how they were going to save anything without Atem. Without the Pharaoh, they were just a group of ordinary people in way over their heads. Just because they could identify some weird looking clouds didn't explain why the world had suddenly decided to come to an end. Nor did provide a way to stop it.
"Do hear that?"
Everyone turned to Honda. "Here what?" Jounouchi questioned, rubbing his ear. "All I can hear is ringing from that bloody thunder."
"No, I think I hear it too," Ryou said, tilting his head to the side in concentration. "It sounds like it's coming… from behind the Museum?"
Yugi could hear something too. It was faint, he really had to focus, but it was there. "What is it?" he asked. It was a soft rumbling, obviously mechanical, but throatier than the rumble of a car engine.
Anzu's eyes widened. "I know that sound." She cried, a broad grin splitting her features. "It's a generator! My folks have one at the cabin on Lake Nojiri."
"That means…" Ryou started to say.
"That someone's here!" Yugi finished triumphantly. "Anzu you're brilliant!"
Now that they knew what to look for, Yugi pressed his face against the glass. Straining this eyes, Yugi could just see the faintest glow of a hallway in distance beyond the dark foyer. "I see light!"
Jounouchi slammed his fist against the door, knocking loudly. But the museum remained silent. He continued to knock, louder and louder until he was practically hitting the door. "Ishizu! Let us in!" He shouted. But there was no response. "Hello, Anyone home?"
The howling wind was their only response. The museum remained dark and silent. "You have got to be kidding me." Jounouchi cursed, giving the door a solid kick. It didn't so much as budge. "What are they doing in there."
"Probably hiding," Honda said
"Not funny, Dude."
"Who said I was kidding?"
"Seriously guys." Anzu snapped at them, "is this really the time?" she frowned, but she wasn't staring at the locked door in front of them. Instead, her gaze darted around the empty plaza. "We can't stay here much longer, it isn't safe."
She was right of course. Yugi frantically tried to remember if there was another way into the museum. The loading bay maybe? It was probably locked, but it was closer to Ishizu's office. Maybe she would be able to hear them that way. It was worth a shot.
Something growled in the distance. They all froze, staring at each other. "Jounouchi," Anzu whispered, her arms wrapped tight around herself. "Please tell me that was your stomach."
It wasn't. They could only watch helpless as five, tall monsters stomped into the plaza. They were tall, humanoid looking demons, with melted purple skin. They wore heavy bone armour, edged with sharp metal horns. Cloaks of heavy green swirled around their heels, parting to reveal, the large swords that hung at their hips. They looked familiar, but Yugi' couldn't quite remember what they were called.
Ryou seemed to know. Whatever little colour that he had rushed from his face, leaving him a sickly shade of grey. "Ar…Arc...Arch Fiend Solider!" he gasped, eyes the size of dinner plates. He stumbled, back hitting the barricade of the door. Ryou pushed himself so firmly against it, that it looked as if he was trying to phase right through the glass. "Oh god... "
"Quiet." Honda hissed, his own voice barely audible. "Nobody move."
The Arch Fiends hadn't noticed them yet. The monsters continued to walk across the plaza at a leisurely pace, absorbed in their own conversation. They spoke in a guttural language of hisses and clicks. But carried a shrill, almost hysterical edge that sounded like a pack of hyenas. Beside him, Anzu trembled.
"What are they doing?" Jounouchi hissed. Honda glared at him for breaking the silence.
Yugi quickly realized what Jounouchi had been talking about. the Fiends were passing something amongst themselves. It almost looked as if they were playing catch while they walked. Or some twisted version of it anyway. Yugi couldn't quite see what they were throwing, but he had a sick feeling it wasn't a soccer ball.
The Fiends were almost passed the stair now. They were so engrossed by their game that they never looked up, never noticed the group of defenseless people huddled at the top of the stairs only a few feet away. And although it was still early to be celebrating, Yugi breathed a quick sigh of relief.
The archfiends tossed their ball once more. It sailed above their heads. One of the monsters in the back reached out to grab it, but if fumbled just out of their reach. The ball fell tot he ground, rolling to the base of the museum steps. Yugi was right; it wasn't a soccer ball. It was a human head, it's glazed eyes staring blankly up at them.
Realizing what she had done, Anzu slammed her hands over her mouth. But it was too late to muffle the sound. The fiends whirled around, hissing and pointing with steel tipped claws as their faces contorted with excitement. Drawing their swords with a steely hiss, the fiends began to advance.
Bile rose in the pit of Yugi's throat as he caught their gaze. Silver Fang and the Harpies both attacked out of animal instinct alone. But as Yugi looked into the glowing yellow eyes of the Archfiend Soldier, all he could see was bloodlust, and it seemed all too human. He slammed his fist against the door. "Ishizu!" he shouted frantically. "Let us in! Please!"
Honda pulled a heavy baton from his belt. He flicked his wrist, extending it to its full length with series of clicks.
"Are you crazy?" Anzu cried. She grabbed his elbow, pulling the brown haired man back. "You can't fight them with that!"
"We can't just stand here!" Honda retorted, trying to pull his arm free. "We have to fight back!"
"As much as I hate to admit it, Honda's right." Jounouchi dropped the threadbare backpack he had been wearing to his feet, ripping it open. He quickly began to rifle through its contents. "Yugi, you think this is a Dark game right?"
"It looks like one," Yugi replied absently. But is focus was torn between what Jounouchi was doing and the Monsters who were already at the base of the stairs. "Why?"
"The way I see it, if this is a Dark Game, then those ugly brutes are just Duel Monsters, right? I vote we level the playing field."
That caught Yugi's attention. He whirled around as Jounouchi pulled out the worn brown and black cards of his desk, pulling free the top card. "What are you doing?" Yugi demanded as Jounouchi nodded approvingly at the card he had drawn, and turned it skyward. "Jounouchi, no!"
Too late. There was a flash of light, more brilliant than even the lightening. Something was taking shape in the center. It wasn't long before a tall, bipedal Panther stepped forward, a heavy cutlass in its clawed grip. "Panther Warrior!" Jounouchi exclaimed, triumphant, "Attack the Archfiend Soldiers."
Panther warrior shot forward, it's heavy green cloak trailing behind. It rushed the fiends, swinging its giant sword as if it weighed nothing at all. The blade easily sliced through the first Archfiend, before whirling around to block another attack with an effortless grace.
"Great thinking Jounouchi!" Anzu cheered, pumping her fist into the air as Panther warrior ripped its sword free, ducking low to avoid the second Fiend's attack. The Panther turned its sword on its way back up, effectively running its enemy through. Anzu turned to Ryou, Yugi, and Honda. "We have to help him!" She said, "who has their deck?"
Honda nodded, reaching into a pocket of his uniform pants. But Ryou placed a hand on his wrist. "Don't." He said softly.
"Why not? Anzu questioned. She looked at Ryou and then to Yugi who made no move to draw a card of his own. "What's wrong?"
Yugi bit his lip. "Normal people can't handle the strain of summoning a monster like this." He said worriedly. "This isn't like Battle City's Holograms. Jounouchi actually summoned a spirit. It's tied to his life-force, and if that runs out…"
Even though Panther Warrior had only been out for a few moments, Jounouchi was already beginning to sway on his feet, his face pinched and shiny with sweat. Yugi could see the way his hands trembled and could hear the heavy rattle of his breathing. "Jounouchi, stop now."
Panther Warrior turned to his Master, even as Jounouchi collapsed down onto one knew. The moment of hesitation cost Panther Warrior. It was barely able to lock the Archfiend's next attack. Sparks flew as Panther warrior leapt forward aggressively, swinging for the Fiend's head. But it flickered halfway through the attack, becoming transparent. The strike passed harmlessly through the soldier, with the force of a breeze. The Archfiends crackled in a macabre version of what Yugi could only assume was laughter.
Ryou raced to Jounouchi, trying to support him with a pressing his hands between the blonde's shoulder blades. But even with the extra support, Panther warrior continued to waver dangerously,
Yugi crouched down in front of his friend, hands tight on Jounouchi's shoulders. "Let it go!" he implored. "You have to call it back."
But Jounouchi just shook his head. "I can't!" he said through grit teeth. He groaned, struggling to regain his feet. But it was an impossible test. "If I stop, we're toast."
"We'll figure something out!" Yugi said. "You have to stop, before its stop late."
"This will kill you Jounouchi." Ryou continued. "We don't have a lot of time."
Three of the archfiends had already been defeat. But Panther warrior was slowing down. It was on the defensive now, barely able to keep up with the remaining fiends overwhelmed it. Yugi's hand went his belt, where his own deck lay inside its case. His mind reeled as he tried to think of anything he could do to save them. There was almost nothing he could summon that wouldn't leave him worse of then Jounouchi was now, and what happened if it wasn't enough? At this point, he was ready to try.
At the sound of his name, Yugi whirled his head around. "Malik!" he exclaimed. The blond was standing just on the other side of the door, a lantern in one hand and a ring of keys in the other. But the Young Tomb Keeper made no move to unlock the door "You have to let us in!"
Malik shook his head. The Shadows from the lantern cast his face with grim shadows. "There too close!" he shouted, voice muffled by the heavy glass that separated them. "If I open it now, they'll get in. Then we'll all be dead.
"And we'll die if you leave us out here!" Honda growled, slamming his fist against the door. But Malik didn't even flinch. "Damn it!"
One of the Archfiends got in a lucky shot, slipping underneath Panther Warriors guard to stab Jounouchi's monster in the ribs. The dark sword slipped through Panther Warrior's breastplate as if it was made of butter. The panther roared in pain, even as Jounouchi cried out, curling in on himself as if he taken the blow.
"Jounouchi!" Everyone screamed. Panther Warrior flickered once, disappearing from view. When it finally reappeared it seemed blurry, its edges fuzzy.
"Listen to me!" Yugi shouted. "Please Jounouchi, you have to stop!"
"Not till they're gone," Jounouchi growled. He staggered to his feet, leaning heavily on Ryou. Panther warrior did the same, settling back into an attack stance. "Otherwise we're done for."
"Oh for god sakes!" Honda snapped. Even as Ryou struggled to keep Jounouchi standing, Honda moved into their space, blocking their view of the fiends. " Sorry, dude. " He said with a shrug. "Nothing personal, but you're being an idiot. "Before Jounouchi could question what he meant, Honda lashed out, landing a solid punch to Jounouchi's jaw.
Jounouchi's eyes rolled into the back of his skull, a testament to just how much maintaining Panther Warrior had drained his energy. He slipped to the side, collapsing bonelessly onto an unprepared Ryou. The white haired man yelped in surprise, struggling for a moment before the dead weight carried them both down.
As soon as Jounouchi lost consciousness, Panther warrior shattered into a thousand pieces. The energy quickly flew back into Jounouchi's deck, but the blond duelist remained unconscious. The two remaining archfiends paused, they seemed thrown off by the fact their enemy had disappeared so suddenly. But the peace didn't last long. The Archfiends looked at each other before raising their swords into the air. They let use a bone shattering war cry; a victory cry Yugi realized as blood ran cold.
Without Panther Warrior, they were defenseless.
Honda tightened his grip on his baton. He raced forward, swinging at the closest Fiend with all his strength. It didn't even try to block the blow with its sword. Instead, it raised an armoured forearm. The baton shattered on impact. Honda stumbled back, grasping the broken remains his baton in both hands. The Fiend chortled as it raised its sword, preparing for the final killing blow. Anzu screamed Honda's name.
"Swords of revealing light!"
Western style swords of pure light rained from the sky. Honda stumbled backward, barely able to get out of the way intimate as the swords embedded themselves into the ground, forming a wall between the archfiends and there pray. How long three turns lasted for in the real world, Yugi had no clue. But the wall he had summoned seemed to be holding well enough. One oft he fiends swiped at the light, only to leap back as the air sizzled, filling with the stench of burnt flesh.
Yugi choked, clutching at the front of his short. It felt like a voice was closing around his chest, slowly tightening. Anzu looked at him sharply, grabbing hold of his arm when he began to stumble. "Open the door!" she shouted at Malik. "Hurry!"
The blond didn't need to be told twice. The heavy glass doors swung open without a moment's hesitation. Anzu all but dragged Yugi through the doorway. His breathings were coming in ragged stop and starts now, sounding like a faulty engine. Honda and Ryou stumbled in a moment later, carrying the still unconscious Jounouchi between them. They were barely through the threshold before Honda dropped Jounouchi's feet in order to help Malik slam the doors shut.
It wasn't a moment too soon, as the swords soon flickered and disintegrated. The fiends slammed against the door, their metal claws screeching against the glass. Honda threw himself against it, using his weight to keep the door close so Malik could seal the locks.
The metal bar slid into place with an audible clank. They all breathed a sigh of relief. Malik ran a hand through is already messy blond hair, pulling it way from his face. "I know you lot are found of grand entrances, but we can't keep meeting like this." He said jovially, despite the tight lines around his eyes and mouth. "It's hard on the blood pressure."
"You have no idea how happy we are to see you, Malik." Yugi panted. Anzu shot him a sharp look. Even though they were safe within the museum she didn't remove her supportive arm from around his waist.
"Well, that's not something I hear too often," Malik said. "Ishizu was certain you guys would show up sooner or later. So we've been holed up here. She's in her office with Rashid."
"Does that mean you know what's going on?"
Malik seemed as if he was about to answer but seemed to think the better of it. Instead, he focused on Jounouchi, who remained passed out on the tile floor, completely oblivious to the world around him. Holding up his lantern, Malik shifted the light so it shone on the unconscious man's face. Jounouchi didn't even twitch as sweat beaded on his forehead. Malik whistled under his breath. "I couldn't see what was going on through the glass." He said, turning Jounouchi's chin to look at the red mark there. "That's going to leave a mark though. You have a mean right hook, Honda."
Honda just shrugged.
"I'm being serious though, what happened to him?"
"The genius summoned a monster," Honda said bluntly. "I had to knock him out."
"Of course he did." Malik rolled his eyes. He grabbed Jounouchi's wrist, feeling for pulse. "How strong are we talking?"
Honda paused, scratching the back of his head. "I don't know. It was just Panther Warrior I suppose."
"Very helpful, thank you." Malik sneered. He turned to Yugi pointedly.
"4 stars, 2000 attack. No special effects."
Malik dragged a hand across his face. "Could have been worse." He said finally. "At least it wasn't the stupid dragon of his."
"Can you help him?" Anzu asked?
Malik shrugged and passed Ryou the lantern, "More than likely. We'll have to take him to my sister though. Honda, you take the arms; I've got the legs. Anzu, you're on door duty."
"But what about Yugi?" Anzu asked. He was still breathing like had just run a marathon "He summoned something too."
"It was just a spell card." Yugi protested as if that explained everything. He wasn't impressed with being spoken about as if he wasn't even there. "I'm fine, I can walk by myself."
Anzu threw him a shark look. Yugi knew that she trusted him about as much as his mother earlier. Nonetheless, he met her examine gaze with what he hoped was confidence. Anzu's eyebrow rose critically, but she nonetheless let go of him. The second she did, however, the world swirled around him, grey clouding the corners of his sight.
Anzu latched onto his elbow in a vice grip. "You're fine, huh?
"Okay, I'm a little tried." Yugi chuckled. He smiled at her sheepishly.
"Just a little." Anzu mimicked.
"Don't worry, I've got him," Ryou said softly as he pulled Yugi's arm around his shoulder. With his free hand, Ryou shined the lantern down the empty hallway, aiming for the distant glow of Ishizu's office. Yugi threw his friend a grateful smile. For a moment it looked as if Ryou was going to try and return the look. But it came out more like a pained grimace than anything else. "You go ahead, we'll follow."