Chapter Four: Snatch and Steal: The Evil Spirit Returns.
Later that evening, everyone was preparing for Mai's party except, of course, Kaiba, who hadn't been invited. He, however, was none the less busily working on his newest program.
Yugi and Yami spent half an hour arguing over which outfit would look the most appropriate for the occasion, Serenity leafed through a pile of CD's as Joey pressed his cards into a large, (and quite unused) English book.
Triston and Duke, of course, wanted to be sure to be early, so to get a dance with Serenity, and Tea practiced her dance steps.
Bakura spent the afternoon reading and when he clock read 6:15, he got up.
"Might as well get ready for Mai's party," he said walking over to the closet and looking around for his sweater.
Behind him, his dresser drawer suddenly shook oddly. The handles rattled and it suddenly flew open. Bakura whirled around and looked in horror as his drawer's contents spilled themselves out onto the floor. Sweaters, pants, and pairs of socks flew out and heaped themselves in a pile.
But this wasn't as frightening as what came out of the drawer last. Lifting itself up and dangling in the air was the Millennium Ring.
"Oh...no..." Bakura cried shakily backing away from it as it drew ever closer to him, but he knew he couldn't escape it.
"Bye Grandpa!" Yugi called as he walked out of the Game Shop later that evening. "We'd better hurry," he added to Yami. "The party starts in less than 15 minutes!"
Running swiftly down the street, he turned a corner and began to run down a dark alley. Suddenly, a maniac laugh echoed through the alley, causing Yugi to come to a halt.
"Who...who's there?" he demanded, in a fake confident voice.
"Partner, let me take over," Yami said taking control of the body. "All right, who's out there?"
"You'll know soon enough!" Came a voice that Yami couldn't recognize.
It was disguised.
"What do you mean?" Yami asked impatiently looking around the dark alley for a sign of the mysterious voice.
Suddenly, the whole alley became, if it was possible, darker than ever, and the area around them became misty purple.
"The Shadow Realm!" Yami cried looking around.
Then he faced straight forward with confidence.
"Are you luring me into a duel?" he snapped.
The same maniac laugh echoed through the vast Shadow Space.
"Took you long enough," Came the voice through the darkness. "Yes. Now arm yourself and be prepared, this thieving deck will rob you blind!"
"Thief?" Yami asked himself as he started up his duel disk and drew his opening hand.
Over at Kaibacorp, a small red light began flashing on Kaiba's computer screen. He rolled the cursor over to it and clicked.
"Hmm, another duel active?" he wondered as he typed in a password to check which duelist was dueling. "Yugi? What would be be dueling for in the middle of the night for? And in an alley?"
He flicked off the computer and stood up.
"Maybe I should go check this out," he muttered walking towards the front door.
"Nisama! Where are you going?" Mokuba asked coming downstairs.
"Just going to check on a duel," Kaiba said picking up his own duel disk.
"Um, okay," Mokuba replied. "Can I come with you?"
"This duel doesn't sound so safe," he said, but noticed the disappointed look in his brother's eyes. "All right then," he said changing his mind.
"Yes!" Mokuba said hopping over the last two stairs and skidding over to the door.
Back at the duel, Yami stared into the darkness, trying to find the outline of the "thief" who had challenged him.
"I'll go first," Came the same disguised voice. "One monster card, in defense mode, and then I'll set one of my cards face down. End of this turn!"
Two holographic cards appeared a few feet away from Yami.
"My turn," Yami announced, and picked his card.
It was Beta, the Magnet Warrior. (1700/1600)
"Yami," Yugi said appearing beside him in spirit form. "We should try to defeat this person as soon as possible, otherwise the others will get worried about us, and we'll miss Mai's party."
"Ah," Yami said placing a card on the field. "Beta, in attack mode!" he announced.
"Attack his defense monster!"
Beta lunged forward and hit the face down card, which appeared as he launched his attack. It was the Cyber Jar.
"No!" Yami cried as Cyber Jar used it's effect and destroyed all the monsters on the field.
"Now we each draw five new cards and summon any four stared or lower monsters to the field!" The disguised voice called out. "I summon Red-Moon Baby in attack mode." (700/1000)
"I play Gazell, the King of Mythic Beasts (1500/1200) in attack mode and Celtic Guardian (1400/1200) in defense mode," Yami said, then stopped to analyze the strategy of his opponent.
"Red-Moon Baby," he muttered staring at the odd creature's deep blue gaze. "It's a weak creature, so it must have an effect. I end my turn!" he said aloud.
"Good," Snapped the voice. "I now active my face-down card, Axe of Despair, and put it on Red-Moon Baby!"
A large axe appeared next to the zombie and it's attack power raised to 1700.
"What?" Yami cried.
"Axe of Despair increases the selected monster's attack power by 1000," The voice called, and there was a glint of gold in the shadows.
"A millennium item?" Yami wondered. "Is that how he took me to the Shadow Realm?"
"Now, Red-Moon, attack Gazell!"
The zombie baby lunged forward and destroyed Gazell with one chop of the Axe of Despair.
Yami's life points dropped to 3800.
"I play one card face down and end my turn," The voice called.
Suddenly, something started to appear on the unknown duelist's field.
"It's...it's...Gazell!" Yami cried as his own monster appeared in attack mode on the other player's field. "But why?"
The was a terrible laugh that echoed through the alley.
"Red-Moon Baby's special ability is that any monster destroyed by it will be summoned to MY field at the end of the turn, and remain MY monster until it is destroyed," The voice cackled. "So now anything I destroy with my creature will become mine!!!!"
"Oh no!" Yami gasped. "His deck must be full of things to power up the Red-Moon Baby, so it'll get stronger and stronger every turn!"
"This isn't good," Yugi told Yami. "His number of monsters will double every turn if we don't get rid of the Red-Moon Baby."
"Ah," Yami replied picking his card.
"Red-Moon's attack power is only 1700," he thought. "That's not too high. I can sacrifice the weaker Celtic Guardian and summon a more powerful monster to destroy it. But....what about his set card?"
Yami gazed forward at the face-down card looming in the darkness behind the Red-Moon Baby and Gazell.
"It might be a trap, but then again, it might just be for security," he thought. "If I don't do anything, I'll be defeated anyway, so I'll take the risk!"
"I sacrifice the Celtic Guardian for the Dark Magician Girl!" Yami said moving the Celtic Guardian to the graveyard and putting the Dark Magician Girl (2000/1700) to the field.
"I've seen that girl in action before," The voice thought. "Yugi always depends on his Dark Magician's to win him the duel. But I've prepared something that will stop those magicians in their tracks!"
"Dark magician Girl! Dark Magic Attack!" Yami ordered.
"Activate magic card!" The voice cried and the card flipped up.
"Oh no!" Yami cried.
"Rush Recklessly, Red-Moon!"
The Red-Moon Baby flew forward and used it's Axe to cut the DMG down. Yami's life points dropped further to 3400.
"But how?" Yami asked.
The same maniac laugh cackled again.
"Rush Recklessly is a quick-play magic card that increases the attack power of any monster by 700, raising Red-Moon Baby to 2400, much higher than the wimpy Magician Girl," The odd voice said gleefully.
"Oh no!" Yami cried again. "Dark Magician Girl was destroyed by Red-Moon Baby, meaning at the end of my turn..."
"Dark Magician Girl will become MINE!"
Meanwhile, everyone but Yugi and Bakura had arrived at Mai's house for the party. Joey and Mai were talking by the kitchen sink as Mai was washing out a punch bowl and Duke and Triston kept trying to get Tea away from Serenity, both of whom were in lively conversation with each other.
"I wonder where Yugi has gotten too," Mai muttered looking out the window. "He did say he'd be here, right?"
"Yeah," Joey agreed. "It's not like Yugi to miss anything like this."
"And what about that other friend of yours, Bakura?" Mai asked.
"Aw, I don't know," Joey said with a wave of his hand. "Bakura's probably always late. I'll bet he got lost on the way here."
"Joey!" Mai said angrily. "I don't think your friend would appreciate you talking that way behind his back."
"Whatever," Joey said, then turned quickly toward the sound of a crash in the living room.
Mai and Joey hurried out to see what had happened. Duke and Triston had managed to trip over one of Mai's stereo speakers and had crashed headlong into her magazine bin. Magazines were everywhere and the more Duke and Triston attempted to get up, the more the wrecked what was left of the magazines.
"Bakas!" Mai shrieked. "You're ruining my collection!"
"Sorry?" Duke offered timidly as he managed to get out of the slippery magazine mess.
Mai looked like she was about to explode.
"I'll go finish scrubbing that punch bowl," Joey said quickly and ran out into the other room as Mai started screaming at Duke and Triston.
Kaiba and Mokuba walked down the darkening streets with Mokuba's lap-top tracking the duel signals.
"Okay, they look like they're just beyond this corner," Mokuba said turning down the alley and running into the purple fog of the Shadow Realm.
"What's this?" he asked putting his arm out to test it.
"Hmmm, I think I've seen something like this back on the Battle Ship, when that girl dueled Malik," Kaiba thought to himself. "Yugi called it the Shadow Space, but if this is where Yugi is dueling then...."
Inside the Shadow Space, Yami placed one card face-down to end his turn. As soon as he ended his turn, the Dark magician girl appeared on the opponent's field.
"You have no monster to shield you with," The voice said with a cruel laugh. "And my monsters possess more than enough fire power to beat you down in this turn."
"That may be what you think," Yami declared.
"Don't try to fool my with a bluff," The other person snapped. "I know very well you have ways to manipulate an opponent into believing in your fake traps. That's a bluff and everyone knows it. Now prepare to say good-bye!"
"Red-Moon, Gazell, attack!"
The two rushed forward and slashed at Yami who stumbled backwards as his life points fell down to 200.
"See? No trap! Dark Magician Girl, finish him off!"
"I activate my set card!" Yami cried opening up the card. "Magical Cylinders!"
"What?"
"It negates one opponent's monster's attack and does damage to the opponent's life points equal to the attack force of the monster!" Yami declared. "Which means you lose 2000 life points!"
"No!" The voice cried as his life points dropped. "You saved your trap for my strongest monster. That way, you tricked me into a false confidence!"
Yami chuckled.
"Yes," Yami said. "And now that your turn is over, allow me to deal you the final blow."
"Final blow?" he cried. "What do you mean?"
"I mean this!" Yami cried pulling up a card. "Fist, I summon The Rock Spirit (1700/1200) in attack mode by taking Celtic Guardian out of play. Then I play, Brain Control!"
"You want the Dark Magician Girl?"
"No, I want Red-Moon Baby!" Yami declared and instantly, the zombie rushed over to his side of the field.
"But why?"
"Because I want to sacrifice it for my Dark Magician!" Yami cried and used it and The Rock Spirit as tributes for his mighty Dark Magician.
"But that still won't take down my life points," The voice protested.
"We'll see," Yami chuckled playing another card. "Attack the Dark Magician Girl!" he cried, as much as he hated to destroy one of his favorites.
Dark Magician Girl was destroyed, putting the mysterious person's life points down at 1500.
"My turn!" he cried and set a monster in defense mode. "Now I'll play, tribute to the doomed on your Magician!"
"Not so fast," Yami said flipping over his trap card. "Fairy's Hand Mirror will flip the effect you set on my magician to your own monster!"
"No!" he cried as his defense, The Portrait's Secret (1200/1500) was destroyed.
"Gazell, defend!" he cried. "I end my turn."
"Good, now watch this!" Yami cried playing a card. "Monster reborn! Revive the Dark Magician Girl!"
"This is bad," The voice thought. "Yugi will wipe me out for sure in the next turn. I don't even have a bluff card to trick him with."
Suddenly, a bright yellow glow came from the other end of the alley and the Shadow Space disappeared.
"What?" Yami cried looking around for his opponent, but he wasn't there.
"He left," Yugi said. "He probably realized you were going to win, and canceled the Shadow Game. Coward."
"Yes," Yami said, then turned around.
Kaiba and Mokuba were standing there.
"Did you win your duel?" Mokuba asked excitedly.
"I...yes, I did," Yami said truthfully, as the other player had just about forfeited. "Why are you here?"
"Your opponent," Kaiba said pointing to the screen. "His duel disk wasn't recognized and his deck won't show up either. We figured it might be something...." He stopped.
"Never mind, you won anyway so it doesn't matter," Kaiba said turning away. "Come on Mokuba, it's late."
"Okay, Seto!" Mokuba said running to catch up with his brother. "Bye Yugi!"
Yami stared after the two for a second.
"You know Yami," Yugi said appearing beside him. "I think Kaiba was actually worried about us."
Yami chuckled.
"Really? I'd never have guessed that he'd worry about us," Yami said letting Yugi take over. "Come on! We're already late for the party!"
"Um!" Yugi agreed.
Chapter 5: Conclusions
Back at Mai's party, Serenity looked out the window and saw Yugi running up the apartment steps to Mai's.
"It's Yugi!" she cried and Joey opened the front door.
"Where've you been, buddy?" Joey asked as a tired Yugi walked inside and collapsed on the couch.
"You know, dueling odd people in dark alley's," Yugi tried to joke, even though it was true.
"Ha ha," Mai said nudging Yugi playfully. "I know you probably just got lost."
"Yeah," Yugi muttered looking around.
Tea and Serenity were talking again and picking through the stack of CD's they'd brought. Joey and Duke were washing the punch bowl and Triston was eyeing Serenity. Wait....
"Where's Bakura?" Yugi asked.
Mai shrugged.
"Probably got lost like you did," Mai said. "I'm sure he'll be here, some time."
"Yeah...." Yugi said vaguely.
Was it just coincidence that Bakura wasn't there? But that couldn't be, he didn't even have the Millennium Ring anymore...
"Yugi come on!" Tea said grabbing his hands and the music started up. "Let's dance!"
Putting his worries behind him, Yugi took Tea's other hand and stood up.
"Sure!" he said happily.
At the same time, Bakura woke up to find himself at home in his room. He was sprawled out on the bed, but had no recollection of what happened in the last hour.
"What was I doing?" he asked himself looking around the room.
Everything looked just as it had before, except for some Duel Monster cards that had fallen out of his pocket. He picked them up and looked at them.
"Odd," he said leafing through them. "I don't use any of these cards. Oh well."
He set the deck down on his desk and gasped at the clock.
"7:34?!" He cried. "I'm late for Mai's party!"
He turned on his heel, grabbed his sweater, and sped out of his room.
Back in his bedroom, however, the top card of the deck he had placed on his desk was the Red-Moon Baby.