The Lost Pharaoh
WARNING: Mild romance blooming between Yuugi and Yami (it becomes much more serious in sequel to this)
The streets were barely alive with the morning traffic as the last suitcase was shoved into the trunk. It was a great time for relaxation. No people complaining up and down the halls, no school and best of all no homework. Yuugi grinned as he opened his car door, looking back at the Turtle Game Shop his grandpa owned. And more directly, toward his bedroom window where he could still see his piles of books, puzzles and letters from his friends at school wishing him a great vacation.
"Come on grandpa!" Yuugi shouted.
The game shop door opened and out stepped an old middle-aged man wearing overalls and a tee shirt underneath. Yuugi had on his tight blue leather pants but wore a tank top because of where they were headed, to a dig site. Yuugi excitedly opened his car and door and jumped inside as his grandpa, Sugoroku Mutoh, climbed in the front seat. Minutes later they were off.
"So grandpa, what did Professor Hawkins ask you to do this time?" Yuugi asked, pouring over the map of the site with the highlighted areas.
Sugoroku smiled proudly down at his grandson. Yuugi was a very intelligent boy for his age, always watchful and wise and didn't slack off on homework. He was an excellent duelist when it came to Duel Monsters and had great loyal friends.
"We're going to a small site where they believe some ancient items were buried," Sugoroku finally said, turning back to the road. "Supposedly, they found traces of evidence that might lead us to where the lost pharaoh was buried."
Yuugi blinked and turned to his grandpa, the page he was turning stopping in mid air. "The lost pharaoh?"
His grandpa nodded calmly, "Yes, I have uncovered many tombs in my day, even with some of the most legendary pharaohs, but never in my day did I ever think I'd be trying to uncover this tomb. You see Yuugi, this pharaoh was what the Egyptians believed to be the true king of Egypt. He was called the Dark King because of his unnaturally strong powers, or so they said. That was only to his enemies though," Sugoroku said looking down at Yuugi, who was entranced all ready.
"To his people though, he was a savior, a martyr. He was so kind to his people that he protected each and every one of them, believing any life lost was tragic. As the legend goes he only died because he sacrificed himself for the people."
The maps were long forgotten as Yuugi sat up straight in his seat. "How old was he when he died grandpa? And what happened?"
He shook his head, "He was not much older than you, Yuugi. Maybe a few years. He was in his late teens, and that's because he was also the youngest pharaoh to begin ruling. I believe it was said he began ruling at age four or five, he was supposedly very wise and alert for his age. And his father was a great king and wanted his son to learn everything from the moment he could even understand his own language."
"Wow," Yuugi whispered. "He sounds like a great ruler."
Sugoroku smiled, "Yes well, that's what the legend says, but some legends are exaggerated. That's what we want to find out. You see, although we know this pharaoh sacrificed himself no one knows how or why or even when. The hieroglyphics that we have found and pieced together all ready from a different expedition only said that he left the palace in order to save his people, and they knew that. But he never returned and his body was never recovered, so Professor Hawkins and the other archaeologists believe he defeated whatever threat it was on his kingdom and traveled through the deserts until he got to another village, probably more than 200 miles away from his palace. What we don't know is if he was buried there, or if his body was moved to a more secretive location. We are sure though that he wasn't buried in Egypt."
"Did they know he was a pharaoh?"
"Oh yes, the King of Egypt wore a special crown. I can't exactly remember what it looked like...but I do know the Eye of Horus was a very popular symbol to the Egyptians and often worn by the pharaohs."
Yuugi nodded always glad to learn more about his grandpa's expeditions and knowledge of ancient Egypt. He wasn't interested in it for a future career but it was fun helping to dig for evidence of what happened in the past. He had only gone on one expedition that had actually been in Egypt with his grandpa before but he was too young to remember.
A little while later the car was pulled over to the side and Yuugi and his grandpa got in one of Professor Hawkins' teams' car to take them to the site. It wasn't too long a drive out there, though it was at least five times hotter, if not more. He knew the area where they were headed. It was nearby Lake Onneto, where the gorgeous mountains lay. It was in the Hokkaido area of Japan, nearby Daisetuzan National Park. There were a couple volcanoes around there too, but the center of the site was right by the lake.
Yuugi peered out the window as they approached a spot where tons of people, mostly men, were working. Many of them had tools and were carefully digging into the all ready huge hole they had started. It looked as though they had found some sort of cave made out of rocks by the river at the base of the mountain. Yuugi could feel the excitement running through his veins. He and his grandpa got out of the car and walked toward a man a little younger than Sugoroku. He smiled at them.
"Sugoroku! Nice to see you again! It's been a while," the elderly man said, smiling cheerfully.
"Ah yes, Arthur, what a pleasure," Sugoroku smiled and shook his hand.
Arthur Hawkins then turned and looked down at Yuugi.
"Yuugi, I haven't seen you since you were about four, you've sure grown up a lot," he smiled shaking Yuugi's smaller hand. "I hear you're doing very well in school."
Yuugi smiled almost shyly, "Yeah, I guess."
Sugoroku turned to see the workers digging away. "Well, I see you've all ready got an early start."
Arthur smiled, "Yes, well, my granddaughter was just too excited to come with me, she got us up two hours early."
"Oh, Rebecca's here?" Sugoroku asked, surprised. "Well, that's surely unusual. You would think a girl of eight would be out with her friends."
"Most would, but Rebecca takes after her old grandpa," he laughed.
Sugoroku chuckled knowingly and turned to Yuugi. "Oh Yuugi, would you mind getting the digging tools out of the car, I forgot them."
"Sure grandpa," Yuugi said and trotted off to the car. He opened the door and pulled out the large box of special tools his grandpa used. When he turned around a girl a couple inches smaller than he was stood staring at him, or glaring at him rather. She had wavy blonde hair tied in pigtails with bright blue-green eyes and she was holding a teddy bear. She would've been cute had she not had a scowl on her face.
"So, you're Yuugi Mutoh," she said, almost coolly.
Yuugi blinked, "Uh yes, I am. Who are you?"
"Rebecca Hawkins," she said simply, "And this is teddy."
Yuugi had the urge to laugh hysterically that an eight year old still carried around a teddy bear but he bit his tongue and nodded. She held the bear close and looked him up and down.
"My grandpa is famous you know? The news reporters wanted to come out and film him digging but he didn't want them to. He invited me along since my mom had to work today," Rebecca continued sounding more snobbish by the second.
"Oh, really?" Yuugi asked, trying to sound interested. "Well, my grandpa's famous too and he invited me on this dig as well."
Rebecca looked away indignantly, "Well my grandpa has been uncovering lost tombs longer than your grandpa. Besides, I've been with him a number of times and I've never seen you or your grandpa. So, why don't you just stay out of the way!" she snapped and turned on her heel still holding her teddy bear close.
Yuugi shook his head and went back to the site to give his grandpa his tools.
"Yuugi, would you like to help us dig, I'm sure Arthur wouldn't mind, would you?"
"Of course not! The more the better!" he smiled.
Yuugi opened his mouth to answer but his eye suddenly caught sight of Rebecca who was glaring at him so harshly it almost made him wince.
"Um...no, that's all right. There's somewhere I wanted to explore first," Yuugi quickly retorted nervously backing up.
Sugoroku blinked surprised, "Well all right, but don't go too far."
Yuugi nodded and walked off away from the site. A few minutes later he spotted a short river that led through the site and ended off with a water fall that fell into a large pond area. Yuugi looked across the river to see old ancient buildings that had long since been uncovered and were a tourist attraction now. He smiled and looked around for a bridge but he couldn't see one. Just then he spotted a man walking to his jeep, nearby the river. Quickly, Yuugi jogged over to him.
The man turned to him, taking off his sunglasses. "Yes?"
"Do you know how to get across that river?"
The man laughed, "That river? That's the Mu River. There hasn't been a bridge there in years. There was some time ago when it was being dug out of the ruins but nothing of real interest was found so they took it down."
Yuugi looked disappointed, "So, there's no way across?"
The man shook his head, "Not unless you want to try swimming across, which I don't recommend. Current's too strong, it'll pull you right toward the waterfall and that's quite a drop down."
Yuugi gulped as the man walked away, now feeling a bit queasy. He sighed. He just wanted to take a look at the buildings. Steadily, he approached the edge of the river. The man was right, the current was too strong. Not that he wanted a swim he wasn't that hot, or desperate. Yuugi sighed again and turned to leave when something strange caught his eyes. It was a bird, not jut any bird, an eagle. Yuugi looked closer at it. Eagles weren't very rare to see in Egypt, but this one was a golden yellow color with red-tipped wings and red eyes. He unconsciously took a step toward the bird to get a better look and...
Yuugi yelped as he lost his balance as his foot slipped on the muddy edge, sending him face first into the river. The current pulled him under so he couldn't get up for air. He was struggling frantically under water trying to get up for air but the current was too strong. He could feel his lungs bursting with pain as he tried to hold his breath. His struggling grew weaker and slowly he was beginning to feel lightheaded. He barely noticed a strange current of water underneath him push him up toward the surface.
Yuugi gasped for air, sputtering out water and flinging his arms helplessly. He wanted to call for help but as soon as he opened his mouth he froze. His wide violet eyes looked fearfully in front of him where he was drawing closer to the large waterfall. Yuugi quickly spun around in the water and tried to swim as hard as he could against the current to no avail. He looked back almost screaming as he saw it was only a few feet away. He tried harder and harder slamming his hands against the water to try and pull his small body past the large waves.
Just then he spotted the same guy he met earlier walking to his car. Yuugi opened his mouth to alert him when he was suddenly pushed underwater, a huge mouthful of cold river water filling his mouth. He felt himself falling backward as a huge rush of water surrounded him. He was falling...faster and faster, covered in the icy ripples of the river. His eyes slowly closed as he blacked out, hearing the roar of the waterfall.
The sun shone brightly down from the sky, warming the air that was all ready thick and hot. The rays sparkled across the water reflecting the colors of the rainbow off the waterfall, slowly falling up on a small figure lying on the edge of a small, dry shore still unconscious. A large bird with beautiful golden wings and red eyes landed next to him, studying him carefully. It flapped its wings as the sun shone upon it. Slowly, unnoticed by even the insects around, the eagle slowly began disappearing until it was specks of sparkling dust that landed on Yuugi, some seeping into his nose and mouth.
Yuugi suddenly coughed up water, rolling on his side and gasping for breath. He lay there sputtering and coughing until his lungs were clear of water. His legs felt cold and shaky as he tried to stand up. Yuugi pushed his wet spiky hair out of his face and gasped at the sight. Big beautiful old temples surrounded him, gleaming in the sunlight.
"Where am I?" he asked aloud.
He found his balance and stood up fully. It was a beautiful sight, but how far was he from his grandpa? And how would he get back? Yuugi pushed his fear to the back of his mind and decided to look around and see if there was a way back up. He looked up at the tall buildings knowing walking away from the waterfall would only lead him farther into unknown territory. He remembered the man by the jeep had told him these buildings had all ready been uncovered, and they were old and falling apart so Yuugi didn't want to dare try walking through them. But, where else could he go? He was trapped, scared and alone.
He could feel his shoulders shaking as shimmering clear tears fell from his eyes and slid down his cheeks. He fell on the ground and wrapped his arms around his legs burying his head in his arms.
"Grandpa...where are you?" he whispered through sobs.
Just then a loud cry from above got his attention. Yuugi lifted his head to see the same golden colored eagle flying above him. He wiped his tears away and stood back up. He didn't know why he felt the bird could help, it was just...a feeling. Yuugi watched as the eagle hovered closer to him, looking him right in the eye, then flew up toward the waterfall, hovering closer to the top.
It wants me to follow it? But how? I can't get back up the waterfall.
The bird screeched again, flying in circles and looking back down at Yuugi, who was more confused now than scared.
"How do I get up there?" Yuugi shouted, knowing the bird couldn't understand him.
Feeling helpless, Yuugi walked over to the rock wall on the side of the waterfall. The waterfall was at least 100 feet fall, if not taller. Yuugi swallowed the lump in his throat and walked toward the wall seeing if there was any way he could climb up. Feeling rather ridiculous he was about to give up when he saw a small rock sticking out just big enough for him to grab onto. He couldn't quite reach it, since he was small for his age, so he jumped up. His fingers brushed against it but he still didn't reach it. Yuugi glared in frustration and jumped with all his might. His fingers locked onto the small rock and he pulled himself up. Once he found a sturdy place for his feet to stand he found another crack in the wall above his hand and reached up with his other hand.
He began ascending the tall wall, getting sprayed by the water now and then. He concentrated on finding cracks and rocks to hold his hands and feet as he climbed. After about twenty minutes he stopped for a rest, still clinging on tightly. The eagle's call got his attention as the bird flew down a couple feet from his face and flew back up. Yuugi watched it before peering down, feeling his heart leap in his chest. His eyes were wide with terror as he saw he was at least fifty feet off the ground. He heard the eagle screech again and he looked back up, closed his eyes for a second, and began climbing.
"I...can't believe...I'm doing this, I'm following an eagle...up a gigantic waterfall," he muttered in between climbs, trying not to glance down. "I must've hit my head...on a rock, or maybe I'm just dreaming this all..."
Yuugi trailed off as he realized he couldn't go any farther. They were almost at the top of the waterfall but there were no other cracks or rocks to grab hold to. Yuugi's mouth went completely dry. He was starting to panic when he saw the eagle. It lowered near him and flew right at the waterfall.
"It wants me to jump in the water!?" Yuugi exclaimed wide eyed.
He blinked and squinted to see there was something funny about the waterfall. He pushed his head close to the wall and saw that there was space behind it, like a cave. He didn't see the logic in following an eagle but he was more than fifty feet above the ground and he didn't want to try climbing down. With all the courage left in him he slowly moved to the right making sure his hands and feet had something to hold onto. Yuugi saw the edge of the ledge only a little bit away behind the waterfall. He gulped and shakily reached out his hand toward it. The ledge was almost in reach but not quite. He moved his feet more to the right carefully to try and reach the ledge. His hand was closer.
"Just...a little more," he whispered reaching out a little farther and—
Yuugi screamed as the rock holding his foot collapsed. He lashed out instinctively and just barely grabbed the ledge. He was dangling by one hand, half of his body behind the waterfall and half of him was in the water. The rough icy water engulfed him again, getting inside his nose and mouth and soaking his all ready wet body. He reached up, barely able to breathe because the water was pouring down on his face, and grasped the ledge with his other hand. He pulled himself close to the ledge so he was behind the raging water. He pulled himself up dripping wet and sat gasping for air.
Yuugi wiped the water from his face wondering why he had climbed the wall in the first place instead of calling for help. Then, he remembered the eagle. It had flown in there but Yuugi didn't see it. Carefully, he crawled along the edge trying to find where it went. He wondered briefly if his grandpa was looking for him. Suddenly he heard a faint but familiar sound. It was coming from somewhere in front of him but it was too dark to see into the small cave-like area. Yuugi slowly crawled closer feeling with his hands. He reached out into the darkness to crawl further when his hand suddenly fell on air. The ledge had ended.
Yuugi yelped as he lost balance and fell head first into the darkness. The first thing he realized was that he was moving. He still couldn't see but he could feel it. He slid his hand out from under him and felt slimy wet hard rock beneath him. He was sliding down some kind of tunnel. Yuugi turned himself over so he was lying on his stomach. He put his hands out in front of him so he could stop himself from crashing into anything head first. Just as he was beginning to fear that it would never end, a bright light shone in front of him lighting the tunnel. It was an exit. Yuugi squinted from the brightness as he drew nearer, covering his eyes. Suddenly he was launched forward and he screamed as he tumbled down and landed on his back.
The sun was blinding compared to the darkness of the tunnel. Yuugi groaned feeling that his muscles were sore half from climbing and half from being thrown like a sack of potatoes. He opened his eyes all the way adjusting to the bright light. Other than his sore muscles nothing else seemed to hurt. He blinked as he rubbed his hands to feel what he was lying on. It was soft, dry, a little warm and...grainy, like sand. Yuugi pulled himself up and saw that it was indeed sand. There was a lot of sand because he had landed on a pile of it, luckily. He stood up and brushed himself off. He stopped when he heard the eagle cry and turned to see it flying right over him. When he looked out in front of him his eyes met with a dazzling sight.
There were ancient buildings lined up neatly like a small village. They looked like they were made from marble. The sand was like none he'd ever seen before, it was glistening like it was made of specs of diamonds and it was softer than the sand he felt at the site his grandpa was at. Yuugi walked forward in awe. He wondered why his grandpa didn't tell him of this wonderful site. Then it occurred to him...All the buildings, which were at least a couple thousand years old, looked in perfect shape.
Yuugi was snapped out of his daze as he saw the eagle hovering some feet above him. It flew through the middle of the buildings passing by them and Yuugi followed, figuring he had followed it this far. He looked at the buildings in amazement as he passed them. Some had strange symbols on them.
Yuugi turned his head back to look forward and felt his heart stop in mid beat. The eagle flew up high and landed on top of the tallest, most spectacular pyramid Yuugi had ever seen. Bigger than even the one in Giza and made of what looked like solid gold, or perhaps the outside of the structure was coated with gold.
Could this be the tomb of the great pharaoh my grandpa was telling me about?
Yuugi smiled brightly, his violet eyes lighting up immensely. If it was the pharaoh, his grandpa would be so proud of him to know he found it. He lifted his head up almost falling backward to look at the eagle, which was currently sitting on the top of the pyramid. What was Yuugi supposed to do? He hesitantly approached the mesmerizing pyramid, wondering why it wasn't being studied by a team of archaeologists unless...no one else had found it. Yuugi's excitement rose as he reached his hand out to touch it. It was warm from the strength of the sun and smooth, almost like silk. It was so shiny he could see his small face and large violet eyes staring back at him. He closed his eyes sighing contently feeling the warmth of the sun on his back. He opened his eyes and almost immediately jumped back from surprise.
There was a pair of deep crimson eyes staring back at him instead of violet. As quickly as Yuugi had seen them they disappeared. Yuugi stepped forward staring at his reflection to see if he imagined it accidentally bumping his foot on the base of the large pyramid. Suddenly it began to shake. Yuugi jumped back wondering what was happening. The pyramid trembled, cracks appearing in the very center from the middle to the bottom. The cracks slowly became bigger and bigger until Yuugi realized they weren't cracks. The large piece of the pyramid slowly cascaded down like a gate to a castle. Yuugi watched in awe as it reached the ground providing a little bridge to walk across.
The walkway was solid gold as well and as Yuugi approached it and peered across to the inside of the pyramid, he could see the inside wasn't gold as he suspected, but was oddly made out of marble. Usually the inside of a pyramid was just made with cement, but nothing as fancy as marble. It looked dark though, even with the walls being a bright white. He could just make out a large space with some kind of decorations or symbols on the walls. Yuugi wanted to head back knowing he shouldn't be trespassing but he felt a sudden urge, a sensation to go in, like something was drawing him towards it. His eyes were fixed ahead of him and he hardly noticed his feet walking across it until he was inside it.
Once inside Yuugi snapped out of his trance and wheeled around to see the tomb closing in on him. Fear engulfed him as he stood trembling in the unknown sanctuary. His eyes were brimming with tears and his lips were trembling. He opened his mouth to scream, but instead his eyes caught sight of something on the wall. It was light enough in the tomb so he could see what was carved into the marble. He looked at all the drawings, which seemed to tell a story. He could see fighting, wars...bloodshed, even innocent mothers and children being massacred. There was a strange beast, that perhaps resembled a monster but it was in the shape of a dragon…Yuugi had never before seen anything like that in Egyptian writing. Then he saw a picture of a bright figure with robes the color of rubies with a crown on his head. In the center of the crown was that looked like a strange eye-shaped symbol.
Yuugi's eyes widened. "The Eye of Horus," he whispered.
His grandpa had briefly described it along with a brief history of the pharaohs of the ancient times. He of course knew about Ramses II and Cleopatra, the supposed last pharaoh of Egypt, but there was one dynasty that hadn't been recorded in history, at least not until recently. The dynasty was called the Asim Dynasty. Yuugi had heard his grandpa say that Asim in Egyptian meant "protector." And in that dynasty there had only been a few rulers—rulers that were said to be immortal, though most of the time pharaohs were considered god-like, especially in ancient times.
There was one pharaoh who was of greatest importance to the people who went missing and since then his grandpa along with many, many archeologists, scientists and others studying medieval times, spent their lives in search of mysteries like that one. It was so entrancing that Yuugi barely even realized his hand was reaching out toward the picture until his fingers lightly brushed over the figure of the pharaoh. Before he could even blink his finger pushed on something and a piece of the wall sank in. Yuugi gasped as he was pushed off balance from the sudden shaking of the pyramid. He caught himself and turned in time to see the floor in the center sinking and revealing a staircase leading into a deeper portion of the pyramid.
Yuugi felt drawn to it and cautiously tip toed toward the staircase. There were at least fifteen steps down underneath the pyramid. Yuugi knew enough about pyramids to know that the coffin inside was placed underground and the pyramid was placed on top. He pretended to forget his fears and let his curiosity get the better of him. He told himself he wanted to find proof he had seen the pyramid and take it back to his grandpa and the other half of him was hoping there would be a way out. Yuugi reached the bottom and realized it was too dark to see. He slowed down and cautiously felt for the next step, gasping when the step sunk into the ground. Yuugi yelped as he almost tripped. Suddenly light filled the room as torches lit up on either side of him.
In front of him was a dark tunnel that seemed to lead farther west into the side of the pyramid. Yuugi bit his lip to keep from trembling. His grandpa had told him before when he was being bullied in school to stand up for himself, to not show any fear and the bullies would go away. Sugoroku also said it applied to life. Taking chances was part of it and as long as he tried different things in life he wouldn't feel as scared. He took a step forward and began following the tunnel. It seemed to go on for miles, twisting and turning. Finally Yuugi came to a large wall with a huge blown up symbol of the eye; the symbol of the pharaoh.
"Maybe this is the other way out," Yuugi said hopefully, more to comfort himself.
He studied the eye trying to find how the door opened. Finally remembering this was a pyramid full of secret passages he pushed on the center of the eye and watched as the door rumbled and slowly began descending into the floor, revealing a doorway for Yuugi to climb through. He walked inside hoping to see daylight or an exit and stopped cold. His blood froze as his heart stopped in mid beat. His bright violet eyes were wide with shock and fear, as if he couldn't believe what he was seeing.
There, sitting in front of him only a foot off the ground, in the very center of the room, was a coffin made of solid gold. It was decorated with the face and body of the pharaoh on the wall. And a crown was carved into it on the forehead with the symbol of the eye. Two sphinxes made of marble or some form of shiny stone sat on either side guarding the coffin with blank eyes. Yuugi walked right past them and approached the coffin.
There were more strange Egyptian symbols on the coffin, many of which Yuugi couldn't read. He was still in shock but logically told himself that it was all here for decoration. That this place was part of the tourist attraction and probably hadn't been opened yet and he somehow stumbled across it.
"What's this?" Yuugi asked aloud peering at the coffin above the crown. There were symbols carved in a deep crimson red color on the top of the coffin. Yuugi stared at the writing entranced by the color of them. He had thought he had seen a flash of that color on the pyramid. He shook his head assuming it was just his imagination. Yuugi's eyebrows furrowed as he traced his fingers along the symbols. He was able to make out some of them.
"...Y..u, no, Ya...something...y," Yuugi shook his head. "Wait, that's an M," he said to himself.
He scrunched his eyes harder, "The last symbol is one feather, two means Y, so one means...I!"
Yuugi smiled and sighed with relief. Those few lessons on reading ancient Egyptian texts with his grandpa finally paid off.
The eyes of the sphinxes suddenly glowed brightly, unnoticed by Yuugi. The secret door that had led him into the room lifted up. Yuugi whorled around gazing with wide petrified eyes as the wall began to close back up.
"NO!" Yuugi screamed running as fast as his legs could carry him.
The wall closed tightly just as he reached it. He banged his fits on the wall screaming for help. He was shaking from head to toe, the fear of being trapped alive where no one could find him, consumed him.
"Grandpa! Grandpa, help me!" Yuugi screamed, tears running down his face. "Please! I don't want to be trapped in here!"
He banged his fists harder to no avail and slowly sank to the floor. His breath caught in his throat as he heard a strange rumbling sound. Yuugi turned around and whimpered as he saw the coffin itself was moving. The top of it was slowly sliding off. Yuugi's lips were trembling as he sat on the floor shivering. The coffin continued to open, creaking slightly. He probably hit a defense mechanism. His grandpa had warned him about some pyramids that, if the trap was activated, could kill people. Yuugi shivered uncontrollably as he recalled the story his grandpa had told him about his cousin going into a pyramid on one of his dad's trips, and how he got stuck in one of the rooms and sand had come piling in. He would've been buried alive had his father not had dynamite with him.
Yuugi pulled his legs close to his chest and began to cry, burying his head in his arms. His shoulders shook with each sob as the coffin continued to make noise. Just then the noise stopped and a new sound came. It was the sound of something soft dragging, or maybe sand was going to come in and bury Yuugi alive. Either way he wasn't going to see his grandpa again. Yuugi began to cry harder wanting for it to all disappear like it never happened. The sound stopped and Yuugi shivered, anticipating the worst to happen.
"Why do you cry little one?"
The crying stopped as Yuugi choked on his sobs. He could've sworn he heard a voice, but that wasn't right. No body had followed him, or maybe...maybe it was just a tourist attraction and one of the workers had spotted him. Yuugi's fear slowly subsided. He knew it couldn't be someone who wanted to hurt him or they would've done it all ready. Carefully, Yuugi lifted his gaze.
He expected any person with a helmet, workers uniform, even a large turtle with wings besides what was standing before him. A young man, not too much older than he was stood wearing long Egyptian robes made out of what looked like ivory-white silk. The robes were lined in gold on the side. The cloak only wrapped around the lower half of his body and flared out like a cape around his shoulders, but left his chest bare. There was a golden belt-type shape around his waist that held the cloak around him. He wore lots of gold, at least three golden rings on his fingers, all of which appeared to have the symbol of the Eye of Horus on them, and he even had a bracelet on each upper arm just below his biceps. His tanned stomach stood out with his complexion and a small golden tattoo of the eye was imprinted on his chest right above his left collar bone.
The young man blinked, his ruby red eyes showing nothing less than compassion and curiosity. "You still haven't answered my question."
"Huh?" Yuugi realized he had been staring. He remembered that the man had asked him a question but he was so scared he hadn't heard what the question was.
"Why were you crying?"
Yuugi couldn't answer. He felt stupid now, realizing that he wasn't trapped anymore and that this man was probably dressed up for show as an Egyptian pharaoh for the tourists and Yuugi had trespassed. But then, where did he come from? Yuugi didn't see any other way in or out of the room except the way he had come. Maybe he just hadn't noticed he was in the room. The young man noticed Yuugi's hesitant and uncertain gaze. His ruby eyes softened and he slowly approached the young boy looking up at him fearfully from his position on the floor. Slowly the stranger bent down a little, his eyes never leaving Yuugi's face and extended a hand.
"Do you need help up?" he asked softly.
Yuugi looked down at his hand and nodded. He thought the man would be angry at him for trespassing but it seemed he didn't even realize it. Even though his grandpa always told him to beware of strangers, Yuugi felt like he had known him from somewhere. He lifted his smaller hand and grasped the stranger's, which was warm and soft but yet still strong. He pulled Yuugi to his feet.
"Thank you," Yuugi said politely, grateful he wasn't in trouble.
The man smiled down at him. "You are quite welcome. How did you end up in my tomb?"
Yuugi blinked innocently with confusion. "Your tomb? So, you're not a site worker? Did you create this tomb? I'm really, really sorry for trespassing, I mean...I just found it, I meant no harm."
The man looked bewildered and confused at the same time. It was as if he didn't understand anything he was saying, except one thing.
"You found it?"
"Yeah...," Yuugi looked down blushing from embarrassment, "Well, you see...I-I know this is going to sound crazy, but I followed a bird."
"Horus led you here?"
"Horus?" Yuugi asked.
He smiled and nodded, "Yes, Horus is my bird. He came to me the first day I took my place in Egypt."
"Oh," Yuugi said, wondering what he meant by that. "Well, my name is Yuugi," he said holding out his hand.
The man shook his hand almost immediately. "Yuugi…," he smiled, "it's nice to meet you. My name is Yami."
"What?" Yuugi asked, not sure he heard right. Did the man say his name was Yami? As in, the same name on the coffin? Did he really think Yuugi was that young? He looked young for his age, but why was the man pretending to be the pharaoh he was dressed up as?
He smiled again. The smile was almost mysteriously powerful to Yuugi; it was so gentle but yet so entrancing. It lit up his whole face giving Yuugi a strange feeling of security.
"My name is Yami," he repeated.
"No, I heard you, but...you know I'm not a child, well not exactly. I mean...What I'm trying to say is, that I read that name on the coffin," he said pointing to it.
Yami turned and followed his finger acknowledging the golden coffin.
"Yes, that's my coffin. It was you that called me out."
Yuugi shook his head disbelievingly, "I know you can't really be the pharaoh, he's dead. My grandpa is Sugoroku Mutoh, one of the famous archaeologists working on the site back at the front."
Yami blinked and then chuckled. His chuckling soon turned into a soft laughter. Yuugi was bewildered. Why was the man laughing at him? Did he not believe he was Sugoroku's grandson?
"I see, Yuugi," he said after he stopped laughing. "You don't believe what your eyes are telling you. It's common for most people to think logically whenever they're confronted with something they don't understand. You think that I am one of the... archeologists, as you say, and that I have disguised myself as the Pharaoh of Egypt. You saw my coffin open after you called my name, didn't you?"
Yuugi nodded hesitantly still not quite following what the man, Yami, was saying. Was he saying he really was the King of Egypt?
"Didn't you see my spirit come out?"
Yuugi's eyes went wide. He hadn't seen anything because he had been crying, too scared to look. Was he really telling the truth?
"Um...No, I didn't see anything."
Yami smiled, nodded and raised his hand. He suddenly called out something in a strange language. It sounded pleasant but like nothing Yuugi had ever heard. He was guessing it was Egyptian. The wall to the left glowed brightly and Yuugi watched in awe as specks of golden-yellow dust seeped through slowly taking shape. The eagle that had led Yuugi there appeared out of thin air and landed on Yami's arm.
"This is Horus, Yuugi. He led you to me. Now do you believe me?"
Yuugi was at a loss for words. He didn't understand how it was possible, but it was true. He was talking with the Pharaoh of Egypt, the most important pharaoh to the people at least a couple thousand years ago.
"But why?" Yuugi asked quietly.
"Why?" Yami blinked down at him.
"Why have I been able to find it and no one else?"
Yami's smile faded. "Because there are those out there who are full of greed. They would rather disturb my rest and steal my treasures," he said, pointing to the golden, silver and jeweled artifacts in his coffin. "But there is ancient magic cast upon it in order to protect my spirit from anyone who wishes me harm. It was built for me when I had first become Pharaoh. My vizier Isis foresaw I would need it—a resting place so that my spirit can be in peace, but not move on.
"For thousands of years it has been hidden by magic. I wasn't told much except that when the time came, my pyramid would no longer be needed and I could return to Egypt. However, I was told I would have to wait until it's safe. Your ability to find my tomb and wake me shows how pure you are, Yuugi. In fact, I don't quite understand how it's possible, but I have faith that you're here for a reason. Horus sensed something in you as do I."
The eagle, Horus, screeched, not a horrible sound but a beautiful sound. Yuugi watched as the room slowly disappeared in a golden mist. When the mist cleared Yuugi stood transfixed at the sight. It was magnificent. Tall buildings built from what looked like marble only it sparkled when the sun's rays touched it. There were statues and temples set up around as well, but what caught Yuugi off-guard most was the spectacular palace in the center of the city. There were tall and elaborate buildings built from solid marble.
He had seen pictures of the Egyptian palace and all the peoples' homes in the towns around the palace. The cities that had long been established thousands of years ago. It was the ancient Egyptian city, the home of the pharaoh. Yuugi knew it couldn't be real, only a mirage. He felt something brush against him and saw that Yami was standing next to him, looking with a content expression. Horus sat upon his shoulder.
"What is this place?" Yuugi asked.
A smile crept across Yami's face. "This is my home, Yuugi. This is Egypt when I ruled. That tall building you see in the center of all the peoples' homes was my palace."
"What does it mean?" Yuugi turned to him.
Yami turned to stare at him and Yuugi could see the joy in his eyes. Yami took Yuugi's hands in his.
"Horus is showing us this to tell me that you and I are connected."
"Connected?" Yuugi asked surprised.
"You see, Yuugi no one was ever supposed to be able to find this pyramid. Especially not someone like you who does not possess a millennium item," Yami explained with a smile as Yuugi blinked in confusion. "You possess a strong but pure heart and perhaps you awoke me for a reason. It is possible Egypt needs me now and you've made it possible."
For the first time in his life, Yuugi wasn't scared. In fact, he didn't want to leave the pyramid. Yami was so amazing, with eyes as captivating as rubies and his hands surprisingly warm for a spirit. He squeezed Yami's hands back comfortingly.
"Yami, I promise to never tell anyone about this pyramid," Yuugi said, hoping that if Yami knew his loyalty then perhaps Yuugi could stay longer and get to know Yami better.
Yami's eyes sparkled with unshed tears that he would've shed happily, had he had a complete human form. He embraced Yuugi in a hug filling him with warmth and compassion. Yuugi had never before met anyone as inspiring and kind-hearted as the pharaoh. He only wished that Yami wasn't just a spirit. Finally, to Yuugi's disappointment, Yami let him go with a smile still on his face.
"You must go back now, Yuugi. I feel that your loved ones are looking for you."
Yuugi lowered his eyes. Now that he finally had met Yami he didn't want to leave.
"But...where will you go?"
Yami's eyes softened kindly knowing what Yuugi was feeling, for he too had felt the same way when he had had to say goodbye to his people. He closed his eyes for a minute before turning back to look upon the illusion of his palace sitting peacefully in Egypt. It looked as peaceful as Yami had remembered it before he had to fight the battle to save his home. His smile faded only a little.
"I will leave Yuugi. I will leave this place now and go back home."
Yuugi's head shot up as he stared at Yami disbelievingly.
"Home? You mean back to Egypt? What will happen to this pyramid?"
"This pyramid no longer needs me, not now that I have found you or rather now that Horus has found you for me. It will vanish, as it's supposed to when I leave."
Yami knelt down still holding Yuugi's hands tightly and pulled him closer.
"It's because of you that I am able to go back home. I fear Egypt could fall into the hands of someone not worthy of ruling on my throne, if it all ready hasn't. And what I did would have meant nothing…," Yami trailed off and Yuugi didn't think to question the meaning.
Yuugi's eyes glimmered brightly as he tried his best not to cry. If Yami were to stay in the pyramid Yuugi would have a better chance of finding him there again, since his grandpa would most likely be digging in the area again. But if Yami were to go back to Egypt...how would Yuugi be able to see him again? He was happy he could help the pharaoh. In fact, he had never been so happy to help anyone before. It was like he could feel the bond that had connected between them. It wasn't just a bond of friendship or trust it was a magical bond...one of great power.
Yuugi swallowed slowly, "What will you do when you get back...home?" he asked, trying to keep the quivering out of his voice.
Yami's smile faded as he gazed at Yuugi with a solemn expression.
"I will try and take my throne back."
"But...aren't you...well...," Yuugi looked down.
Yami closed his eyes and nodded, a small but barely noticeable smile graced his lips.
"Yes Yuugi, I am dead...but I am not gone. Since my spirit was saved from moving on I can go back home and get one of my viziers or closest friends that stayed by my side, when I ruled thousands of years ago. They may be able to find a way for me to become more than a spirit."
Yuugi's brilliant eyes brightened with curiosity and hope. "You mean they might revive you, so you can live again?"
Yami sighed. "I'm not sure yet. Hopefully they can do something so I'm able to interact with the world again."
"Oh," Yuugi said, his eyes dimming.
"Yuugi...," Yami said softly, letting his words trail off. He could see the hurt in Yuugi's young face but he couldn't find what to say. Before he could even open his mouth he suddenly froze, keeping alert as he heard someone calling.
"What is it?" Yuugi asked, looking up at him with concern.
Yami looked back down at him, "It's your grandpa Yuugi; he's concerned for your safety."
"You can hear him?" Yuugi asked awed.
Yami smiled again, lighting up his entire face. Yuugi found him entrancing, especially when he smiled. He looked more than kind, like someone who would sacrifice everything for the better good. Even so, Yuugi couldn't just let this magnificent person go. Sure Yuugi had his friends, but Yami was different.
Yami began to stand up and back away to let him leave but Yuugi grabbed onto his cloak.
"No Yami," Yuugi protested holding onto his robe. "I want to stay with you a little longer."
Yami smiled almost sadly and reached out a hand to brush back Yuugi's bangs.
"We will meet again soon."
Yuugi smiled as he felt Yami's hand lightly brush over his forehead. Slowly, Yuugi closed his eyes.
It was colder, the air a thick moist temperature and the feeling of security was gone. Yuugi opened his eyes and was greeted with the bright blue sky. Startled, he sat up and looked around. He was lying on the small shore, the river flowing gently nearby. the waterfall was roaring like Yuugi remembered it only...he wasn't at the bottom of the waterfall, he was lying near the edge just by the jeep that was parked nearby. It was as if he had never fallen into the water at all. He rubbed his eyes in confusion.
"Was it all a dream?" he wondered aloud.
His clothes felt dry, although they smelled of something unique...he couldn't quite place it. It was then that he noticed footsteps nearby.
Yuugi turned to see the man he met earlier running toward him. Yuugi scrambled to his feet.
"Are you Yuugi Mutou?"
"Yes," Yuugi blinked.
"Your grandpa's been looking everywhere for you. I thought I checked over here..." he muttered scratching the back of his head. "Thought you had fallen in the water or something. Oh well, you're safe now."
Yuugi nodded mutely, "Uh thank you."
He nodded and trotted off toward his jeep. Yuugi quickly rushed back to the site to see his grandpa conversing with Professor Hawkins and Rebecca was standing by his side. Sugoroku turned.
"Yuugi! There you are! I was so worried."
Yuugi smiled sheepishly and approached, "Sorry grandpa, I wandered off."
"That's all right," he said looking relieved.
"Did you find anything interesting?" Professor Hawkins asked.
Yuugi opened his mouth but stopped. Should he tell them? He wasn't sure if he dreamed it all or not. Suddenly, a loud cry filled the air and Yuugi looked up to see a beautiful eagle with large wings that seemed to give off a golden-yellow hue in the sunlight. His lips curled into a smile and he turned back to them. They hadn't seemed to notice the bird.
"Nope, I didn't find anything."
"Well, would you like to help us dig? I have a feeling we'll uncover something today."
Yuugi looked to Rebecca who actually smiled brightly at him, with a partial look of guilt like it had been her fault he wandered off.
"Sure!" Yuugi smiled and followed them to the large hole the workers were digging at. He would help them search for a secret that would forever remain buried as long as Yuugi and Yami held the strong bond between them. Yuugi only hoped that by keeping the secret safe he would see Yami again soon.
TO BE CONTINUED...