The Lost Pharaoh

Author's Note: The last chapter of this until the SEQUEL. Sequel is called Rebirth.

Chapter 18: The Power of Love

The dark sky crackled with thunder as it was swallowed into the darkness of the shadows. At the moment, the dark cloud only loomed directly overhead of both Yami and Kontar.

"Are you ready for this, pharaoh?" Kontar snickered evilly.

Yami gritted his teeth. "I'm ready."

"Good. Do you remember how to play or do you need a reminder?" Kontar grinned but didn't wait for him to respond, "It has been so long since the shadows have been opened, but since the millennium items have been awakened in this era, the only way to defeat each other is in a proper duel using the dueling cards. Think of all the monsters, trap and magic spells you want and they will be summoned in card form."

Yami closed his eyes, focusing his attention not only on his inner strength and power, but of a tactic to use against Kontar. He knew he'd need Slifer again, but the only way to bring about the beast in the kind of duel they were having would be to sacrifice three monsters. Nodding to himself, he thought of all the cards he would need. When he opened his eyes a deck of cards had magically appeared in his hand.

Kontar grinned, "And now we shuffle," he said, as his deck flew toward his just as Yami's went toward him. The two shuffled each other's decks before they handed them back, or floated back rather.

"In order to play them at all, whether in defense mode or attack mode, or even hidden by wanting them face down, you only need to say it. Do you understand pharaoh?"

"Yes," Yami answered.

"Very well. Thanks to shadow realm though, these cards can come alive. And since I'm in a such a good mood today I'll let you go first."

Yami's eyes narrowed at the smirk settling on Kontar's face. He had to concentrate. They each gathered five cards in their hand and Yami stared down at his, inwardly pleased that he had a good start.

"I play the Dark Magician in attack mode!" Yami said, summoning his most reliable spell caster. "And I place one card face down. That ends my turn."

I hope my strategy so far works. I know he's got Marik's Winged Dragon of Ra. I'll have to try my best to prevent him from summoning it, at least before I get a chance to summon Slifer.

Kontar smirked at him, but didn't respond. Instead he picked a card out of his hand.

"I summon Swordstalker in attack mode," Kontar grinned, summoning the warrior forward.

Yami's eyes narrowed as he tried to figure out why he'd summon a monster with less attack points than his.

Swordstalker only has 2000 attack points, where as my Dark Magician as 2500. Unless he's got something up his sleeve…

"And then," Kontar continued, "I activate this magic card Sogen, which increases the attack and defense points of my Swordstalker by 200. And I place one card face down as well and end my turn."

"Fine. My turn," Yami said roughly, picking up more cards. "It seems that your Swordstalker is still 300 points behind my Dark Magician, leaving it wide open for attack! Destroy his beast my Dark Magician with dark magic attack!" Yami bellowed, pointing at the Swordstalker card standing just in front of Kontar.

The Dark Magician prepared for attack, but Kontar just sneered.

"You've forgotten about my face down card, Yami. How foolish. I activate Sword of Dark Destruction! It's a magic card that grants my dark warrior with 400 more attack points, while its defense decrease by 200, giving it a total of 2600 attack points!"

Yami's eyes widened in surprise. The attack his Dark Magician did caused no harm to Kontar's monster.

"Tisk, tisk, Yami," Kontar sneered. "And now since it's my turn, Swordstalker attack his Dark Magician!"

The purple, muscular beast rose the sword above its head, howling as it twirled it around. With the Sword of Dark Destruction fused with its original sword the blade cast an eerie blue hue while fire surrounded it. Yami's eyes narrowed as the attack was sent.

"Not quite, Kontar! You've forgotten about my face down card as well! I activate Book of Secret Arts, a magic card used only for spell casters like my Dark Magician that increases its attack and defense points by 300! Your attack is rendered useless now!"

The eerie blue flame that had surrounded the Dark Magician slowly faded out, leaving the faithful spell caster unharmed. Kontar grinned and clapped his hands together with false enthusiasm.

"Very well done, Yami. Congratulations. I knew that card of yours would be a magic card and now I see that you're not completely useless. However, I will have to admit that was just a test. The worst is coming…," he sniggered.

Yami glared harshly, "Don't be so sure. I place another card face down and end my turn."

I should be all right for now. My Dark Magician has 2800 attack points and 2400 defense points. I knew he would stand strong beside me. Now I just have to make sure that Kontar doesn't get enough powerful monsters on the field to summon Ra.

"My turn, pharaoh," Kontar smirked, picking up a couple new cards. "Ah yes…perfect. I suppose you still rely completely on that Dark Magician of yours, don't you Yami. Well, that's going to change…I summon Lord of D. in attack mode!"

Yami's eyes widened, "Lord of D., but why that card?" he whispered to himself.

"And now Yami, watch and learn. I play the magic card The Flute of Summoning Dragon. And because Lord of D. is on the field, face-up, I am able to use a special summon to bring two Dragon-Type monsters to the field."

"Oh no!" Yami's eyes widened.

"Oh yes," Kontar sniggered. "I bring forth Blue Eyes White Dragon and Curse of Dragon in attack mode. And because of the magic card I get to attack you without waiting for my next turn. So, Blue Eyes, attack his Dark Magician with White Lightning Attack!"

"Oh no!" Yami exclaimed, his eyes widening.

Blue and silver sparks of lightning erupted from the giant beast's mouth, heading straight for his Dark Magician. His other face down card was a magic card, but not something that could stop the attack. His eyes widened as he saw the Dark Magician swallowed by the attack and soon erupted into dust. He felt something tear at him from within. Yami tried to stifle the cry of pain that came out. He nearly toppled over from the electric shock that sent waves throughout his body.

Cold laughter echoed around him and he glanced up, wincing slightly, to see Kontar laughing. When his laughter died down the familiar smirk was still apparent on his face.

"Well, well, pharaoh, it looks like you've figured out another perk about this shadow game that I created. Each time life points are taken away you feel the pain in losing your monsters. Unfortunately for you, your Dark Magician was a lot stronger than usual due to the magic card you played, which made it a little more painful for you," he grinned widely, his eyes gleaming in the dark. "Not only that pharaoh, but in this duel there are no life points. The only way one loses is if the other is too weak to continue battling. Now that your faithful servant is gone, what will you do? My turn has now ended."

Yami glared at him and winced once more before gaining back his composure. He could feel some of his energy drained by the attack, but he was still holding strong. After all, the game was far from over.

Oh no! Kontar has four monsters on the field! Three of which are powerful enough to summon Ra, if he has it in his hand. And by the look in his eyes, I'm guessing he does. That's why he waited to play Lord of D. until he was sure he could render me useless. I have to stop him.

"I summon Gaia The Fierce Knight in attack mode!" Yami bellowed.

With 2300 attack points he's nearly as good as my Dark Magician. Now I just have to play this out.

"And thanks to your own magic card, Kontar, Sogen, my warrior-type Knight gets a 200 point boost in attack and defense, which brings him up to 2500 attack points! And that's not all. I activate my face down card, Card Destruction, and you know what that means. This magic card requires us to discard our hands and draw the same number of cards, which would be five."

Kontar's eyes narrowed, but he did exactly that. Yami watched him closely as he did the same thing. Taking a deep breath, he gathered a couple more cards in his hand. His eyes widened in recognition as he found he picked an extremely rare card. It was an ancient magic he used back in the day, a magic formed from the powers of his own millennium item, which meant that no other person could use it. He smiled inwardly, saving that card for later use.

"I also put two cards face down," Yami glanced up at Kontar.

"Really, is that all?" Kontar drawled.

Yami stared at him surprised. He didn't seem the least bit concerned.

"Well now, I guess it's my turn. Your Fierce Knight may be as powerful as your Dark Magician, but that's no matter to me. As you can see Blue Eyes is much more powerful still, Yami. You've left your poor Knight out in the open. It's time for an attack!"

Blue Eyes White Dragon summoned another burst of white-hot energy coming straight from its mouth.

"Not so fast. I activate my face down card, Fairy's Hand Mirror," Yami interrupted, just as the attack was heading for Gaia. "This effectively switches the target of your attack onto one of your own monsters. And I choose your Lord of D!"

The white-hot lightning attack suddenly curved around away from the Knight and headed straight toward the warrior-beast. It was surrounded in blinding light before exploding. Kontar visibly winced and clutched his cards tighter, but made no other move. His life points, and life energy, had drained a little, but it wasn't shown as much compared to the effect it had on Yami.

"You know what this means, Kontar. Now that your Lord of D. has been destroyed your Flute of Summoning Dragon is rendered useless, which means that your Blue Eyes, Curse of Dragon and magic card all go to the graveyard."

Kontar's eyes narrowed as the monsters suddenly disappeared from in front of him and the cards vanished, sent to the unseen graveyard. Just as quickly as Kontar's face had held a scowl, he smiled widely.

"I guess you're not going to be easy to beat, are you pharaoh? You might have destroyed my monsters, but that doesn't mean you'll win. I still have more in store for you."

"We'll see," Yami glowered darkly.

His Swordstalker is still protecting his life points and it's got a hundred more attack points than my Knight.

"I summon Neo The Magic Swordsman in defense mode, also switching my Knight to defense mode, and place two cards face down."

"How pathetic pharaoh. You're truly desperate to protect your life now, aren't you? Are you trying to prolong your defeat? It won't last for long," Kontar sneered. "I guess it's my turn. Even though you won't lose life points I'm still going to have fun ridding you of your lovely Knight. But before I attack, I summon Boar Soldier in attack mode. Now, Swordstalker, attack his Fierce Knight!"

The beast roared as it charged for the Knight. Yami's lips tightened as the beast's blade sliced through his Fierce Knight, turning it to dust. Yami closed his eyes for a second before opening them.

Kontar smirked, "I'll place two cards face down and end my turn."

Yami glared at him harshly for destroying his Knight. Now, Kontar had two powerful monsters protecting him. His Boar Soldier was weaker but had 2000 attack points, which was still more than his Swordsman.

"Looks like you're getting rusty, pharaoh," he grinned.

"Think again, Kontar! I sacrifice my Magic Swordsman to summon Soul of Purity and Light. This light card allows me to decrease both your monster's attack points by 300 just with one sacrifice of a light card, which I did. Now your Boar is down to 1700 and your Swordstalker is down to 2300. I also bring out Summoned Skull in attack mode and end my turn. My Skull is stronger than both of your monsters now."

"For now, yes," Kontar smirked. "But I activate my magic card, Lightning Blade, which allows my Swordstalker to increase attack points by 800 points. Now he's up to 3100, which is more than your precious Summoned Skull. Say goodbye, Yami. Attack now!"

The blade of his Swordstalker slashed his Summoned Skull, tearing it to pieces. He could feel his life energy draining away as he fought to stay on his two feet. He winced and shut his eyes tightly until the pain passed. Taking deep breaths he rose up again and glowered at Kontar who had a smug expression on his face.

"Now then, I place one card face down and end my turn. Go on, pharaoh, show me everything you've got!" he laughed.

Yami breathed deeply, but picked up more cards before turning back to his opponent.

"You'll be incredibly sorry, Kontar, for now I am going to play an incredibly rare and value card. I finally got the other part of the card I needed. Watch and learn!" Yami shouted, summoning the card. "This trap card is called Treasury of the Pharaoh. Does that ring a bell?"

Kontar's eyes widened, "It…It can't be! How could you reclaim that sort of magic in such short time!"

"You'd be surprised what love and friendship can do," Yami retorted. "This card allows me to bring back a card from the graveyard, but that's not all it does. Its special ability is that the card I bring back will come back in ultimate power. And you know which card I choose?" he waited as Kontar's face glowered at him. "The Dark Magician! This special trap card, that only I can access, allows the Dark Magician to come back as he had before he was sent to the graveyard, which means that he comes back with the amount of attack points given to him with the help of some magic cards. My Dark Magician has 2800 attack points as he had before!" Yami bellowed as his Dark Magician appeared by his side.

"And what can your Magician do, Yami? My monster has 3100 attack points! You could destroy my weaker monster, but then I'd destroy your precious Dark Magician once again."

"Not quite! I activate a face down card, that was created while I was pharaoh. It is called Yami named after me. And this magic card allows my Dark Magician's attack and defense points to increase by 200 points. If I had a fairy-type monster it would also increase its strength. Now my Dark Magician has 3000 attack points. But that's not all, Kontar. The effect of the trap card: Treasury of the Pharaoh has one more special ability. It allows me to attack a monster that's no more than a hundred and fifty life points above mine, and since yours seems to qualify…Dark Magician, attack his Swordstalker!"

The Dark Magician raised its staff and aimed it at the beast. It was swallowed in a dark sea of shimmering magic until it burst into dust. Kontar gritted his teeth as pain washed through him from losing some more of his life. He glared harshly at Yami, his dark eyes narrowed into slits.

"Very clever, pharaoh, I have to give you that much. But you didn't take into account my face down card. Ookazi! A powerful magic card that inflicts 800 points of damage directly to your life points, or technically, your life energy!"

Yami clutched at his chest with eyes closed shut as some more life drained out of him. Kontar sniggered victoriously before picking up some more cards.

"Now, since you only have your Dark Magician on the field, I guess I'll have to deal with it. My Boar Soldier is still on the field. I empower it with the magic card Invigoration with 400 points, and thanks to your Purity magic card it only goes up to 2100 points. I'll place one card face down and end my turn."

Yami's eyes narrowed. Kontar was obviously up to something. He left his beast with less attack points than his own, which was probably why he put the face down card. His card couldn't possibly increase his beast's by a thousand to reach his own, could it? What choice did he have?

"I summon Ansatsu, with 1700 attack points, to the field! I place one card face down," Yami said, watching Kontar carefully.

Kontar just sneered, "Too bad, Yami. I activate my face down card Monster Reborn! And do you know what this means, pharaoh? You sent my Egyptian Godcard to the graveyard near the beginning of our duel. Of course you wouldn't have known that. Now, I can summon it to the field! I know what you're thinking pharaoh," he said, noting how wide Yami's eyes were, "but I'm not going to do an immediate attack on you. Another perk about this shadow game is that I can choose to use my attacks differently. Instead, I'm going to use 1000 of my life points to keep Ra on the field, without having to attack you so it'll go back to my graveyard by next turn."

"But it has zero attack points," Yami stated.

Kontar sneered, "For now, yes. But at least it'll stay by my side where I can control it. The only way you could destroy it with zero attack points is if you summon Slifer, but I doubt you will be able to. I place another card face down and end my turn."

Yami's eyes narrowed, wondering why Kontar didn't wipe out a lot of his life energy by summoning the immediate attack. Obviously he didn't want to sacrifice only having Ra for one turn.

He needs Ra on the field permanently, that's why he did it. Unfortunately, some rules can be bent in a shadow game. As long as he sacrificed some of his health he's allowed to keep it on the field, in its monster form.

"Fine," Yami said bravely, "and now it's my turn, Kontar! This is it! I am going to sacrifice to bring forth my beast."

"Oh really? You'd destroy your all powerful Dark Magician? And Don't you need a third monster to bring Slifer to the field?" Kontar quirked his eyebrow.

"I have one," Yami smirked. "I bring forth The Enchantress! An extremely rare mystical being that has no attack or defense points. She was created as another guardian of the Egypt, one that stands loyally by my side, and she allows me to use her during this turn, when normally I'd have to wait for next turn. So I will use her power to add her as a sacrifice, along with my Ansatsu! As for my third monster to sacrifice, I activate my face down card to reveal Soul Exchange! This magic card allows me to put one of your monsters in place of mine for a sacrifice, which means I won't have to sacrifice my Dark Magician. And I choose your Boar!"

Yami rose his arms just as his mystical Enchantress, warrior monster and Kontar's Boar were suddenly enveloped in blue flames. They came together as a funnel as lightning crackled in the sky, turning it red as blood. Kontar's eyes narrowed and he scowled darkly, his eyes shimmering up at the beast that was appearing before him. Sharp red scales, a long tail with a spike at the end encircling a huge body of a beast. Rows upon rows of sharp teeth glistened at him and the same red eyes gleamed into his. Slifer roared violently, his incredibly sharp talons hitting the ground as it stood above and partially in front of Yami.

"Now, your Egyptian God is powerless against mine!" Yami bellowed, his eyes seeming like they were on fire. "It is over, Kontar."

Instead of looking afraid as he had in the past, Kontar laughed coldly, his eyes gleaming into Yami's.

"Not quite, pharaoh. For I have a face down card. And it's called Deal of Phantom, a very powerful trap card!"

"What?" Yami exclaimed.

Kontar sniggered, "I have strengthened with time Yami, preparing for the day I'd defeat you. And since you're growing weaker by the minute you know you won't be able to stop me that easy. This trap card allows me to empower one of my monsters with a thousand life points from each card in my graveyard. And you know what that means? Think about it, Yami. In my graveyard are the four cards we discarded in the beginning, Blue Eyes, Curse of Dragon, Lord of D., Swordstalker and my Boar. That gives my beast 9000 life points, while yours only has five thousand! You're over Yami…your reign has finally ended."

Yami gritted his teeth, clenching his fists, "Maybe not. Like you said, there are no life points in this game, just our lives. Just because your beast has more attack power doesn't mean I'll be finished."

"Oh, that may have been true if you weren't so weak Yami, but look at you. I can see it in your eyes. You're exhausted, almost half your life energy drained away. And with this attack, even if attack points don't matter in this shadow game, my beast still has a stronger power in it than yours and since you're all ready weakened, I'll bet you won't be able to get up."

Yami panted heavily, trying to keep up his strength. He knew Kontar was right; he was growing weaker by the minute. He hadn't regained his full strength as pharaoh after he had been awakened that fateful day. And because he had been awakened early he was only a spirit, not empowered with his body that held most of his power. He was fighting with desperation, the need to protect his people and the world, and also for Yuugi…

"Now pharaoh, it is time…Say goodbye! My Egyptian God, attack Slifer and the pharaoh! Wipe them from the face of this earth and send their souls permanently to the shadow realm!"

The Winged Dragon of Ra glowed brilliantly as it screeched mercilessly. Yami watched with widened eyes as it summoned an incredible pillar of strength in a huge crackling energy ball, that was aimed directly at him and Slifer. His heart was pounding loudly and his ears were ringing as he stared in disbelief. The beast let out another howl before the attack was sent directly at him. He couldn't back away, and he couldn't leave the duel. There was no escaping it this time. The ground shook with incredible force as their entire dueling field was engulfed by the brilliant light and power of the Egyptian God beast. A funnel of golden flames surrounded Yami and Slifer, glowing brightly till it reached the sky, parting the dark clouds and producing a sign that could be seen for miles; a sign of the powerful Egyptian God.


The door opened and Ryou blinked and stepped inside. Finally they had found the room they had left before. Bakura was still beside him with crossed arms, not having said a word on the way there. He had managed to figure out a way to use the millennium Ring in order to follow the aura of another millennium item, which happened to be around Isis' neck.

Isis was standing by the window, staring out across the land, her eyes never laying on the soldiers that stood outside the palace and city walls.

"Isis," Ryou greeted politely as he entered. "Where are Yuugi and the others? Shouldn't they have come back by now?"

"They have," she answered, finally turning around. "Yuugi, his grandpa and Jou went to help the pharaoh. Hopefully they aren't too late."

Ryou blinked innocently. "Oh…Do you think they'll be able to help?"

Isis' eyes dimmed. "Only time will tell."

"And where are Anzu and Honda?"

"They are helping me set up in the ritual chamber," she said, her eyes suddenly glancing up at Bakura who was leaning up against the walls, not seeming to have a care in the world.

"Bakura, as I said before, I'm going to need your help. You will have to join the others in the ritual room."

Bakura snorted, "So I've heard."

"Then let us go," she said, walking toward the door.

Without another word she left and Ryou quickly followed behind her, glancing backward to see Bakura walking a distance behind them. They were led all the way back to the hallway that they had come from, but instead they entered through another door. Isis led them inside and, after Bakura drifted in slowly, she shut the door. She unlocked a fancy polished door in front of them, that was protected by the lock that could only be opened with a key that appeared from her necklace. Ryou watched in awe as the walls moved aside to allow them entrance through the strange door.

Inside the room was dim, only lit with torches here and there, but Ryou could clearly see figures seated in a large circle. Most of them he didn't recognize, except for the two figures standing at the other end of the room.

"Anzu! Honda!" Ryou smiled brightly at his friends.

"There you are, Ryou! We were so worried about you," Anzu said, rushing over to him. "Are you all right? Where's Yuugi? What happened?"

"Calm down, Anzu," Honda said, covering her mouth to quiet her rambling. "Let him speak."

Ryou smiled softly, "I'm fine, but Yuugi and his grandpa, with Jou of course, went to help save the pharaoh. We won't know if they're successful until they get back."

"Oh," she said, her expression falling.

"Don't worry," he smiled reassuringly, "if Yuugi was destined to help the pharaoh everything should be fine."

Anzu smiled weakly through tears that had begun to appear in her eyes, "I guess so."

"What's going on in here?" Ryou asked, blinking as he stared at the figures of strange men that appeared to be wearing golden items like Bakura and Isis.

"They are here for the ritual," Isis said calmly. "With enough millennium items working together, we can perform a powerful, ancient magic that will surround the palace. This we must do, while our brave pharaoh is dueling the evil that has returned," she closed her eyes momentarily before opening them.

"Even though this evil wants to reign in Egypt and destroy Yami, he also wants to destroy the palace because everyone in it is loyal to Yami and Yami alone. If we are destroyed then the people of Egypt will be helpless against Kontar's power. He has gained much more than I had thought possible for him. If the palace is protected, and our pharaoh knows it, he will feel stronger in fighting knowing he doesn't have to worry about us, at the moment anyway. Kontar is building up strength from the shadow duel as Yami gets weaker," her eyes dimmed again.

"So that's what you want me for?" Bakura spoke up, eyeing her suspiciously. "I'm supposed to give you my power so you can protect the palace? And what will I get in return?"

"A chance to live and reclaim your millennium item as your own," she smiled softly.

Bakura's eyes narrowed but he didn't comment any further. Anzu, who was listening intently to Isis, was now focused on Bakura, who was still standing in the shadows, though he had come forth a little when he spoke.

"Uh, Ryou," she whispered in his ear. "Is he possibly related to you? Maybe a cousin or distant relative?"

Ryou chuckled lightly after he noticed she was staring at Bakura, "No, we're not. There are only a few similarities between us, but we are quite different."

"You're right…I mean, just upon first glance he looks like your older brother, but I see it now. His hair is definitely longer and styled differently. And it's white, that's a rare color I've never seen before," Anzu said aloud in a hushed voice.

Ryou nodded, "Yes, we don't have the same eye color or anything. Not even the same shape of our faces. If you talk to him you'll see his personality is very different too. He may be a little cold at first, but if you are able to see behind his mask, he has a good heart, though a lot times he's selfish."

Bakura glanced at him, obviously suspecting the two were talking about him. Ryou locked eyes with him and they fought a silent battle before Bakura broke the eye contact and turned to Isis again.

"Isis, don't we need one more millennium item? There are only four here, and I'm sure we need at least five," Bakura said, crossing his arms.

Instead of looking stern, Isis only closed her eyes, her lips forming a wistful smile.

"The last one is coming."

Before Anzu could even open her mouth to question what she meant by that, the door opened and in stepped another figure. Ryou blinked in surprise at the appearance of the particular person. He was wearing very expensive silk robes, a dark purple, that brought out the color of his eyes. And Ryou noticed that his eyes were like Yuugi's, a very rare color, only darker. He had golden blonde hair that contrasted with his tanned flesh. There were gold trinkets all over him, like rings and arm bracelets that went above his biceps, but the largest trinket was the golden item he held in his hand.

"Welcome brother," Isis smiled.

No one in the room seemed to comment or look anything but casual at the appearance of the new face, all except one.

"WHAT?!" Bakura bellowed. "You're trusting Marik! That's absurd priestess! The pharaoh would even agree with me! Your brother is a traitor!" he spat.

Marik smirked at him, his dark purple eyes narrowing slightly, "Well, well, Bakura. Long time no see. And here I thought you'd be dead in the sands of time. Before you stand there and call me a traitor, how about you listen first," Marik said, and continued without waiting for a response. "It is true I have been with Kontar most of the time. I felt the need to keep the trust between us, since he deemed me highly loyal. He considered me loyal because although my family worked for the pharaoh I chose to go my own way. However…I have helped Kontar with the minor things, such as making sure he got a hold of Yuugi."

"You did that?! How could you?!" Anzu exclaimed, glaring at him as much as she could.

Marik smirked, "Don't test me little girl and let me finish. I have known all along what his plan was, to get the power of the pharaoh. I convinced him I only wanted this millennium item and he was foolish enough to think I didn't know anything about the ultimate power of the Egyptian Gods. He was my only way to getting my millennium Rod back. It would've stayed with me had I been loyal to the pharaoh, but just because I didn't want to wait up for Yami it left me when everyone was put to sleep with the pharaoh! I needed Kontar's help. With his millennium Scale he granted me full use of the millennium Rod, since it wouldn't obey him."

"So…you're on our side?" Anzu asked tentatively.

"I'm on no one's side. I only help myself, and I realized the goal of what Kontar was trying to accomplish would, in the long run, not benefit me. He promised me the millennium Rod, and the other millennium items once he got it. But you see, if he reached his goal to obtain control over the three Egyptian Gods, he could easily take all that power away from me. He thought I didn't see it, but I did. All I wanted was my millennium item back."

"And what are you going to do with it, after this that is?" Ryou asked curiously.

Marik's smirk widened, "That's my business. And as I've told my sister, I am not joining by the pharaoh's side. I am only helping to stop Kontar for my own benefit. He truly doesn't know what powers he's dealing with. No mortal such as himself, who wasn't blessed with powers to control a millennium item, would be able to control such beasts. It would rip him apart and then set chaos throughout the entire world."

Isis nodded calmly, "Yes, Marik is right. Kontar will either be destroyed as the dark power he's creating begins to corrupt and destroy the world as we know it, or he'll be combined with the darkness, using his soul to set death and destruction upon all those around it."

"That's…horrible!" Anzu exclaimed, covering her mouth.

"Yes, but first he wants to penetrate the palace. If he does, it will break Yami's spirit to know his people might be hurt, so that is why we must do this quickly. That way, the pharaoh can concentrate on defeating Kontar."

"So…are you or are you not an enemy of the pharaoh?" Anzu asked him.

Marik just smirked, "You'll have to make that judgment for yourself. For right now, I am willingly helping in order to help myself. But I guess you could say I didn't sell the pharaoh to Kontar, because that would only ensure my demise eventually," he said, and then turned to stare at Bakura. "So I'm not a traitor."

"I didn't mean to the pharaoh, I meant to me," Bakura growled darkly. "We had an agreement to steal all the millennium items ages ago, remember? Before this whole prophecy started! You said you would let me keep my millennium Ring, after it was mine, but I found out you began collecting millennium items while I was stranded in the desert! It was lucky for you I figured out how to use my millennium item, even though its power wasn't entirely granted to me!" he hissed.

Marik's lips curled slightly, "I figured if you couldn't get out of that mess you weren't worth having an agreement with. You proved me wrong though, so we'll have to keep in touch."

Marik then closed his eyes without another word, even while Bakura glared at him, as he walked up to the rest of the group, receiving quizzical stares from some. He placed his item in the center, as had the others, and waited. Bakura hesitated before approaching the circle himself and placing his item, rather reluctantly, into the center as well. Ryou, Anzu and Honda sat back and watched, waiting to see what would happen. Isis took off her necklace and placed it in the center.

The final person to do it was the man with strangely vacant blue eyes, holding a millennium item in the shape of an ankh. He placed his millennium item down but instead of reaching the pile, it rose up in the air. Slowly, the other items followed, creating a circle within the circle of the people around. There were others there as well, loyal servants and friends of the pharaoh's that didn't have millennium items, but were still there to help.

The man with vacant blue eyes held up his hands and began chanting something in ancient Egyptian. One by one each of the millennium items began to glow. First, it was a small golden hue around each of them, but as the chanting continued the power appeared to grow, not only in size but in strength. The golden aura began to change as it took on a crystal clear appearance, with extreme intensity. It began to grow and grow as the items connected to one another until the entire room, and soon the entire palace, was flooding with the brilliant light.


Deep maroon colored eyes swept over the area where the beast and his master had once been. The ground had a massive hole in it, as if a crater had suddenly fallen on it. There was dust rising from the ground, but he didn't seem to see any movement. The Winged Dragon of Ra lowered itself back down to the ground, its eyes gleaming with an extreme power that had yet to surface; a power even Kontar didn't see as he sneered victoriously at where Yami had previously stood.

"Well, well, pharaoh, I suppose you can be defeated," his lips curled upward even wider.

A sudden shadow emerged from the dust that was rising and Kontar's grin slowly faded. Out of the dust, Yami appeared, clutching his side and kneeling on the ground panting heavily, but still alive. His beast lay in the crater-space, unmoving.

"How are you still alive?!" Kontar snapped.

"Because…you…forgot about my face down card," Yami said, breathlessly. "It's Dian Keto The…Cure Master. This magic card…bestows 1000 life points to me, but I…," he hesitated as he winced, "I gave it to Slifer."

One of the beast's large wings moved almost barely noticeable. Slowly the head of the dragon appeared as it struggled to get to its feet.

"How interesting…sacrificing yourself for your Egyptian God. Although they're powerful, they're not worth sacrificing for," Kontar sneered.

Yami winced but managed to struggle to gain his footage, "I'm still…alive, Kontar. You haven't won. And my Egyptian God is still…standing."

"Yes, but barely. Because it was nearly destroyed, its original life points are gone so it's left with only the thousand that you gave it. My, my, getting desperate now, Yami? I'm afraid only one more hit, even from a weak monster, and you and your beast are finished," Kontar laughed loudly. "And to think I've waited for this day for so long and it's finally come. It was a good duel, but now it's time you said goodbye."

Yami panted breathlessly as he glared harshly at Kontar with as much strength as he could muster. He waited, prepared for an attack, but it never came. Kontar studied him passively for a few minutes before another smirk appeared on his face.

"I don't think I'll destroy you just yet, pharaoh. I want you to watch as your precious palace crumbles to the ground, the only protection the people feel they have. Once that is broken, and I send your spirit to the shadow realm, the people will have no hope left for themselves and they'll be forced to turn to their next great ruler: Pharaoh Kontar," he laughed coldly, his eyes gleaming with sickening pleasure. "And now, how about that palace…," he said, turning to look across the area in the direction of the palace.

Yami's tried to stand up all the way, struggling as he did so. Kontar pointed in the direction of the palace, sneering.

"You…you can't. The monsters can't leave…this dueling area."

"That's where you're wrong," Kontar grinned again. "With every second you grow weaker, I grow stronger. That was a perk I failed to tell you about. Your life energy just doesn't disappear, it comes to me. And of course whenever you hit me, you'd get your life energy back, plus some of mine. But I hit you more times, and since you're weaker and I'm now much stronger, I can bend another little rule in this shadow game. My beast has the power to break through the binds of this realm to get into the real world. It can only survive for a few minutes, for the time being, but it's enough to destroy your palace! Go now, my Egyptian God! Destroy the pharaoh's palace!"

The Egyptian God screeched in response and rose itself high, firing an attack on the darkness surrounding them. Where its power touched, a hole was created as the bright golden light ate through the darkness. The beast was able to fly high through the hole toward its destination. Yami watched with horror as the beast began to fly in a particular direction.

"NO!" Yami bellowed, trying to summon the last of his power and strength to stop the beast.

Slifer rose up, bearing its teeth but was unable to fly due to its lack of energy and power. Yami fell to his knees, panting from exertion and barely able to stay conscious.

Kontar's laughter rang out around him, "Now, pharaoh! Watch as your people fall to me!"

Yami's eyes dimmed greatly and he turned his head, focusing in the direction of where the beast was headed and where he knew the palace lie. Although he couldn't see it from the distance they were at, he knew there was no way he could stop it. Yami bowed his head in defeat, his shoulders slumping as he waited for the explosion. Just then a loud screech echoed through the sky. Yami lifted his head weakly and stared at where Ra was now floating in mid air, screeching in pain. It had apparently run into something, since its wings were glimmering with some sort of magic spell that had reflected the attack of Ra back on itself. The Winged Dragon gave one last howl before it burst into flames and disappeared.

Yami's eyes, however, were directed on the glimmering shield that had produced itself around the palace. Although he couldn't see the palace, the shield was so bright and large that it stood out even from that distance. Yami's lips curled into a weak smile.

Thank you Isis. You have come through for me yet again.

Yami turned weakly to stare at Kontar who was looking at him with a grim expression on his face. The darkness around them, which had come from the shadow realm, began to fade until the dark sky was visible above them again.

"So, pharaoh, it seems your loyal followers have destroyed my beast. And they are protected…for now," he said, his eyes narrowing darkly.

"What do you mean by that? You can't…penetrate it," Yami said weakly.

"Not yet, but when I achieve the greatness of all three Egyptian Gods I will have the power to do anything, including breaking through that shield. For those few millennium items protecting the palace are no match for the power I am seeking. Which means I'll have to kill you myself now and take possession of your great Slifer."

"You…can't…I don't have my millennium puzzle with me. And you didn't…defeat me in a shadow game, which means you…can't claim my powers."

"No, but if you die then Slifer dies as well, or at least is put back into hibernation. Once I defeat that pathetic little Yuugi in a shadow duel though, the likes of which he can't survive because he's a mere boy who would be too greatly affected by the power of the shadow realm, I will finally have control over your millennium puzzle. And once I have control of it, I'll be able to summon Slifer back on my command! Of course, in order to reach Yuugi and make sure that I can claim my prize without you or anyone saving him, I'll have to destroy you first."

"Leave…Yuugi alone! He's…an innocent…boy!" Yami winced.

"Yes, yes, so I've noticed," Kontar drawled. "That won't stop me from defeating him in a shadow duel. If I find he is any use for me though, I may not send his soul to the shadows but rather have him as a personal servant. After all, he is very loyal to you, risking his own young life to protect you; to protect a pharaoh that is all ready dead. So I'll have to find a way to force him, or brainwash him to be my servant, if I find fit to do so. But first, I must defeat him in a duel, which shouldn't be too hard."

"Yuugi is a lot smarter than you think," Yami said, as he struggled to stand, only finding he had no energy left to do so.

"You can protect him with as many words as you like, but once you're out of my way, he's all mine," Kontar sneered, pulling out his millennium scale. "And since you so willingly gave him your millennium puzzle, it shouldn't be too difficult to kill your spirit with my own millennium item. It was nice dueling, Yami, unfortunately for you though, you lose!"

Kontar rose the millennium scale and aimed it directly at Yami, who was still kneeling on the ground in pain. A luminous red light erupted from the item and was sent straight for him. Yami's eyes hardened, even as he realized he couldn't defend himself, and he watched bravely as the power came directly at him, only inches away now. Just as it was about to collide, Slifer roared loudly and stepped in front of Yami, blocking him from view. The power hit the dragon and he roared in pain before stumbling on its feet and collapsing to the ground.

"Slifer, no!" Yami shouted, dragging himself over to his loyal dragon.

Before him, Slifer began to disintegrate, turning into pieces of sparkling red dust before disappearing completely. Yami sat in silence, stunned. Kontar stared at the spot where the beast had been and frowned.

"Again with the loyalty, it's driving me crazy! Even that stupid dragon was your servant! Well, I suppose that's all good, because once I control all three Egyptian Gods they'll be doing my bidding!"

"You can't control them!" Yami shouted with as much strength as he could. "It's a mutual benefit. If you respect them, they will protect you, but never can you control them like a slave!"

"Oh Yami, please stop being so sentimental. It's making me nauseous. I think it's about time you die now," Kontar drawled, raising his item again. "Goodbye for good, pharaoh!"

Yami closed his eyes, waiting for the inevitable. He could feel the last of his strength draining away as he sat still, waiting for the excruciating pain to come.


His eyes snapped open as a familiar voice called out to him. He turned his head in surprise and saw that a small figure was running in the distance, getting closer with every second.

"Yuugi?" he whispered. "Yuugi, no! You mustn't come any closer! Get back to the palace!"

Kontar's lips curled widely, "Well, well, how predictable of your loyal friend, Yami. I suppose I'll let you watch him die first, before I kill you. I know how much that would hurt you to see him suffer."

"No!" Yami growled. "I won't let you!"

The symbol of the Eye of Horus glowed brightly on Yami's forward. The wind began to pick up and Kontar's eyes widened slightly in fear. Just as quickly as the symbol had come, it disappeared and Yami collapsed completely to the ground, unable to move or get up because of his weakened state.

"Yami!" Yuugi shouted, running to his side, breathing heavily while trying to catch his breath. "Yami, please, get up!"

Yami didn't budge or respond, his eyelids having closed before he collapsed. His breathing was incredibly shallow, showing his weakened state.

"Yami! Yami, please wake up!" Yuugi cried out, panic-stricken.

"He won't get up," Kontar said from a distance, eyeing him.

Yuugi wheeled around and glared at him, "What did you do to him!?"

Kontar's eyes glistened in amusement, "Nothing but what your precious pharaoh deserved. It's time for a new ruler, little boy, and you'd be smart to willingly come to my side now and save yourself any trouble or pain."

"Never!" Yuugi shouted angrily, turning back to Yami and trying to lift him in a sitting position.

Kontar's eyes narrowed, "Trust me little Yuugi, Yami isn't getting up ever again. And if you don't join me now I will have to duel you for that millennium puzzle you wear around your neck. I would take it, but apparently since Yami gave it to you, bestowed with some of his power, I have to defeat you in a fair duel. However, it will be in my own realm, the Shadow Realm," he smirked. "I can handle its dark powers thanks to the millennium Scale I possess now, and thanks to Yami I have much of his life energy from our duel, even though I didn't win it. So you see, you will lose either way."

Yuugi clenched his fists angrily and stood up, "No! I won't back down! If I have to duel you then I will! I'll duel you for Yami!"

"Such loyalty, I'm impressed," Kontar smirked. "I suppose I'll have to duel once more then. That is, if you know how to duel."

"Of course I do!" Yuugi snapped, his normally passive amethyst eyes now ablaze with anger.

"Very well," Kontar said, smiling casually, "anytime you're ready then."

Yuugi glared darkly at him, but turned around and bent down to Yami, his eyes dimming. He placed a hand on Yami's face to feel that his temperature was going down. His breathing was slowing greatly and his face seemed more pale than usual. Yuugi could feel the tears and pain well up inside him, combining with his fear, but he wouldn't allow the emotions to come forth. He knew he had to be brave, for Yami and his people. If this was his destiny, then he would do everything in his power to help.

"Please, Yami, wake up soon," Yuugi whispered to him, too quiet for Kontar to hear. "I promise you he won't win, so please don't give up. I believe in you."

With his back turned to Kontar, he placed a delicate kiss on Yami's forehead, tiny droplets of crystal tears falling onto Yami's face. He quickly wiped them away and with his hand searched through his pocket. He pulled out the vial filled with crimson-colored liquid; a color that reminded him of Yami's gentle, yet powerful eyes. Now they were hidden behind eyelids, glassy and vacant. Sniffling, Yuugi uncorked the vial, placing it at Yami's lips. He didn't have any water to try and soothe Yami's weakened body, so the liquid would have to do. He had tasted some earlier to see if it was edible. It tasted like nothing, but it had soothed his throat, gliding down like a cool refreshing liquid. Hopefully it would comfort Yami somewhat.

"This is all I have for you. I'm sorry…I'm sorry I'm not strong and powerful like you are. I'll try my best though," he said quietly, tipping Yami's chin back as he allowed the liquid to pour into his mouth.

He waited until he was sure the liquid had gone down before gently letting Yami's head drop back down to the ground. He placed the empty vial down and turned around, prepared to face Kontar.

"I'm ready for our duel now," Yuugi said confidently.

Kontar examined him for a minute, taking in how brave he now appeared since Yami was unable to battle.

"How interesting, Yuugi. I never thought anyone outside of Egypt would care for him so much. I figured the only reason he was cared for was because everyone believed he was the most powerful, and best pharaoh of all time; the one true Pharaoh of Egypt. You, however, seem to care for him, not because he's a pharaoh, but because of something else."

"We're friends," Yuugi stated heatedly. "And I care about him because he has a kind heart. He'd do anything for his people…anything for the people he cared about. And I feel the same way, as do my friends. There are a lot of people like Yami, Kontar, but you seem to be the only one without anyone to care for, or without anyone caring for you. You just exist, not because you're meant to, or because you need to, but because you just do. You shouldn't have come back…your destiny is to always have been defeated by Yami!"

"Silence you insolent brat!" Kontar's eyes flared up as power surged from his millennium item.

Yuugi wasn't prepared for the full on blast that sent him sprawling backwards at least twenty feet. He cried out in pain as his body was dragged across the ground roughly. He grimaced as blood dribbled from the cuts that formed on his arms and legs, but he pushed himself to stand back up on his feet. Seeing Yami's lifeless body nearby gave him more strength and determination.

Kontar was seething now, angry at what he had said, "You foolish boy! Never compare my destiny to the pharaoh's like that! He may have been able to defeat me before, but I've worked hard to acquire the power I have now! And I deserve to defeat him once and for all and take over his throne!"

"Why would you deserve that?!" Yuugi shouted, holding his sore arm.

"Because Yami has always gotten everything that I have wanted! Power, strength, loyalty, wisdom, riches…everything he was given! That throne is rightfully mine! His father killed my father in battle!"

"Yami told me the story," Yuugi retorted, wincing as he limped forward a few steps. "He said your father was planning to kill his and that your father attacked Yami's father's palace with an army! It's your father's fault that he underestimated Yami's father. And that certainly doesn't prove you deserve the throne! Only Yami does!"

Kontar's eyes were ablaze again and he rose the millennium Scale toward Yuugi, who closed his eyes and waited for the pain to come. He would just have to bare it, for Yami. The blow, however, never came and Yuugi peeked his eyes open to see that Kontar had lowered the millennium Scale. He suddenly laughed out loud, coldly, sending shivers up Yuugi's spine.

"Fine, Yuugi, defend your dying hero. But your confidence will soon dwindle when Yami is no longer here," Kontar sneered.

"What…?" Yuugi whispered, his eyes darting over to Yami. "YAMI!"

He raced over to Yami's body, not caring how much his legs and arms hurt. His eyes were wide as he noticed that Yami's body was beginning to become transparent. With each passing minute a part of his body would begin to disappear. Yuugi hadn't noticed it before and he hoped that it wasn't from the vial. Guessing from the expression on Kontar's face, it wasn't the vial, it was from their duel.

"You see, Yuugi, soon his spirit will be completely destroyed once it finally disappears entirely. And this time he won't be able to come back," Kontar said quietly, his lips curled in a half-smile, half-smirk.

"Liar!" Yuugi shouted, his eyes now shimmering with tears.

"It's the truth. He was only supposed to come back in order to regain his place as pharaoh, which he couldn't do unless he became human again, which meant returning to his body. The priestess couldn't figure out a way to return him to his body, so he was left as a spirit, and that's why he's not disappearing."

Yuugi's lips trembled as he stared down at Yami's lifeless form that was beginning to disappear even more. His arms and legs were all ready transparent and his face was becoming more transparent by the second. Yuugi couldn't bring himself to tear his eyes away from Yami, nor let his tears fall. It was too much for him…he couldn't believe that Yami was going to disappear and he'd never see him again.

"It's not too late," Yuugi whispered. "If I win this duel then you have to let me take Yami!"

Kontar's eyebrows rose, "Let me guess, so that you may bring his spirit to Isis in hopes that she found out how to bring him back to his body? There's no point, little Yuugi, he's going too fast. Even before our duel ends he'll be completely gone and anyway, even if he wasn't gone it wouldn't matter. I have his body locked away up in one of my chambers. It's being heavily guarded and there's no way you'd even get to it in time before his spirit dies. It's all pointless. That's why there's no use in dueling me, since you're doing it for Yami, because he'll be long gone."

Yuugi bit his trembling lip as his eyes clouded with sadness. Yami's face was becoming more and more transparent that Yuugi could barely make out the delicate lines of his chin. He choked on a sob and grasped Yami's transparent hand.

"Please, Yami, fight it! You have to fight it! Don't give in!"

"There's no use, Yuugi. The only way he'd have stood a chance is if he hadn't given you his millennium Puzzle. It probably would've protected his spirit from dying, but I suppose there's nothing you can do now. It's all ready too late," Kontar said, watching him intently.

"No…No, I won't believe it!" Yuugi exclaimed quietly, tears trailing down his cheeks.

He couldn't hold them back any longer, they were freely falling. Yami's body was cold in the places that were still visible. His legs were almost gone now and Yuugi knew there was nothing he could do.

"Yami…I'm so sorry, I failed you," Yuugi said, laying his head on Yami's chest as he started to cry. "Please…forgive me," he said, in between quiet sobs.

Kontar watched with an intrigued look on his face, but not saying or doing anything. For several minutes he just stood as Yuugi quietly sobbed until he finally stepped forward.

"Terribly sorry to break up this touching moment, Yuugi, but I really do need that millennium Puzzle," Kontar said quietly, his expression calm and neutral.

Yuugi lifted his head, tear trails visible on his cheeks, "I'm not ready to duel yet!"

"That's fine with me," Kontar smirked.

Before Yuugi could even grasp what he said, he found himself suddenly bound in ropes that came out of thin air. They were golden and glowing brightly just like the millennium Scale that was held in Kontar's hand. Yuugi struggled violently against the binds but couldn't break through.

"What are you doing?!"

"I don't have time to duel you. Once the pharaoh is gone, I can just snatch that millennium item right off your neck. I've realized that since Yami gave you his millennium item, that means that treating you like the pharaoh is in order, except that you can't use the pharaoh's power," Kontar smirked. "I just remembered you're a normal boy. Once the pharaoh dies I won't have to win a duel against you. The protections around the item will die with him."

"NO!" Yuugi shouted, struggling against the binds to no avail.

Kontar smirked as his eyes trailed over to Yami's body, watching as the last of his body began to disappear. Yuugi struggled and struggled, calling out Yami's name, but it was no use. In a matter of seconds, Yami was gone without a trace. The only thing left was an imprint of where his body had been. Yuugi's eyes were wide with shock and his arms fell limp against the binds. Tears began to well up in his eyes again and they began to fall freely down his cheeks. His lip trembled as he stared hypnotized to the spot where Yami had been.

"Yami! Yami!" Yuugi called out again, his tears sliding off his cheeks and dripping on the ground. "YAMI!"

"It's no use, he can't hear you now," Kontar drawled. "Now be a good boy and hold still while I take the millennium Puzzle."

Yuugi turned back to him, still in too much emotional pain to fight against the binds. Kontar approached him, a victorious grin on his face as he reached out his hand toward the necklace around his neck. Yuugi closed his eyes tightly, memories of Yami passing through his mind. All the places that he was taken to, the laughter and joy he felt with Yami, and even the warmth that it gave him to see the gorgeous millennium necklace in the shape of a pyramid lying serenely in his hands. Yami had given it to him out of friendship, love and trust. It was the best gift anyone had ever given him, and he cherished it.

"I won't…," he whispered feebly, tears still sliding down his cheeks. "I won't…," he whispered again, his fingers unconsciously clenching. "I WON'T LET YOU!"

His eyes snapped open in anger and he glared harshly at Kontar, who was centimeters from touching the Puzzle. Before he knew what was even happening, he saw Kontar thrown back roughly, flying more than fifty feet away and smashing straight into one of the pyramids standing tall underneath the gray sky. Yuugi's eyes were narrowed, even though on the inside he was in shock, wondering how Kontar had been thrown. It was then he noticed that golden sparks were emitting off of Kontar's fancy robes. In the places where the sparks were, the robe had been torn, revealing injured flesh. Whatever it was, it had gotten all the way through his robes to his skin where he was now visibly bleeding in some areas. Kontar grunted from pain, his arms and legs bearing cuts from having been smashed against the stone pyramid.

Yuugi watched as Kontar rose himself to stand, his eyes focusing back on Yuugi. Instead of anger in their depths, Yuugi saw something else…something like fear and shock. Kontar's eyes were staring at him with a strange, fixed gaze. Yuugi blinked and looked down at him, almost gasping out loud. A golden hue had surrounded his body, protecting him like a shield. He blinked again, noticing a tingling sensation on his forehead. There was no way he could look at his forehead but he had the strangest feeling something was on it.

After several minutes, in which Yuugi began healing from the shock of what happened and still being confused, the aura died down and the sensation left his body. Kontar was staring at him harshly now, his cold eyes gazing into Yuugi's and his lips stretched in a thin line as he frowned darkly.

"How unpredictable," Kontar hissed. "You are able to use some of the pharaoh's powers. How is that possible?!"

Yuugi gazed at him with uncertainty, still confused and dazed at the same time. The aura emitting off of him appeared to have drained some of his energy for he was feeling a great deal weaker.

"Answer me!" Kontar snapped angrily, walking closer.

"I don't know," Yuugi answered quietly.

Kontar hesitated, but finally his frown disappeared, "Well, however it happened I am unable to touch that item! And it belongs to me!"

"No it doesn't!" Yuugi retorted angrily.

Kontar's eyes narrowed, "Very well, little Yuugi. Since you're getting in my way much more than I expected, I guess I have no choice but to get rid of you. Maybe once you die, whatever bond you and Yami hold will die too! That way I will finally have access to the item."

Yuugi's eyes widened visibly with fear and he began struggling against the binds again.

"And this time you won't access any more power!" Kontar snapped, using his millennium item again.

This time, however, the millennium item caused an eerie blue glow around the millennium Puzzle. With a swift move, the item floated up and off of Yuugi's neck, being thrown backward behind Kontar so that Yuugi was unable to retrieve it even if he could escape the binds. Kontar's eyes were fixed on him with a hungry gaze. Yuugi struggled more violently against the binds as Kontar moved closer.

"Now you are unprotected, without the millennium Puzzle and your dear pharaoh. Your life will be easy to claim," he said, approaching him.

"Leave me alone!" Yuugi shouted with fear as he tried to back away.

Kontar's lips curled into a sneer, "I'm afraid I can't. You stand in the way to my goal, which I must say is unexpected. I expected it from Yami, but surely not a small foreign boy. But don't worry, little Yuugi," he said as he now approached within a foot of him, "you'll be joining Yami in the afterlife soon."

"HEL— "

Yuugi was cut off from his cry for help as Kontar squeezed his neck with his hands. He choked, nearly gagging as his windpipe was cut off. He had luckily taken a deep breath before trying to call out for help, but it wouldn't last long. Yuugi began struggling as his breath was running out, unable to take in another breath due to Kontar's fingers wrapped tightly around his neck.

"I'm sorry I had to do this the old fashioned way, but I figured there was no need to take a risk," he sneered. "I'm all ready feeling my energy drained from using so much power from the millennium Scale, so I'm afraid this will have to do."

Yuugi made a choking sound as Kontar's fingers tightened. He struggled weakly, trying to get his hands free but it was no use. The binds were too strong, as were Kontar's hands. He wouldn't be able to hold on much longer. He suddenly wished he hadn't told Jou to wait back with the horses; that it was his responsibility. He had rushed off without thinking, knowing that Jou wouldn't be able to catch up to him even if he tried to follow. Now he was greatly regretting that decision.

"You know, Yuugi, you would've been a great ally to me," Kontar smiled as he whispered that in his face, their foreheads just barely touching.

Kontar watched as Yuugi began to choke more, his eyes wide with fear. His struggling was becoming weaker as he felt his breath and strength begin to leave him. More tears began to fall and Kontar watched them, his eyes alight with pleasure and satisfaction. In one swipe, he wiped the tears away.

"Now," he whispered, his eyes keeping fixed on Yuugi as he bent toward his ear, "I'm afraid you won't be returning to the palace."

Yuugi's struggling began to stop as he felt his eyes roll back in his head. Kontar sniggered in his ear, tightening his grip a little more. Yuugi's head felt too weak to stay up. His vision was blurred and he knew he wasn't going to hold on much longer. He was so weak he couldn't even let out the choking sounds that were now lodged in his throat. His hands fell limp as did his head, his eyes closing…

An explosion suddenly sounded, though Yuugi couldn't tell if he was becoming delusional or not. It took him a couple minutes to realize that Kontar's hold on his throat had been released. He sucked in air deeply, choking and gagging violently in order to get his breathing back to normal. He was still dizzy and confused and barely registered his hands falling to his sides freely. He stumbled and landed on his side on the ground, coughing and taking in deep breaths. He lay on the ground for several minutes trying to regulate his breathing, before lifting his head up. His vision was a little blurred, but it quickly began to clear again. He blinked, seeing what the explosion had done. There was a large hole where Kontar had been standing. It was sizzling with deep golden flames.

Yuugi stumbled upright, stepping away from it and nearly falling into the other large hole behind him. He looked around, not seeing anyone in sight. He heard a cough and a groan and wheeled to his right to see a figure lying on the ground. Kontar rose himself up and turned slowly, giving Yuugi a very clear view of his injured arm and bruised up legs. His arm was bleeding and looked like the skin had been burned just enough for the wound to bleed freely. His robe was more torn up, but from the looks of it he must have jumped out of the way in time or else from an explosion like that he would've been much worse off. Kontar's eyes finally settled on Yuugi, his hand raising the millennium Scale.

"You little brat!" he spat angrily, blood coming out of the corner of his mouth. "You're going to pay for that. This time I'm going to make it much more painful for you!"

Yuugi stumbled backward as Kontar began to approached, pointing his millennium item toward him.

"I didn't do it!" Yuugi choked out, stumbling backward until he hit one of the pyramids.

Kontar kept approaching, now within five feet with his millennium item prepared to send power out that would probably injure him greatly. Kontar wanted him to suffer now, Yuugi could clearly see that in his eyes.

"Really, Yuugi? If you didn't do it, who did?" Kontar's eyes narrowed, gazing into Yuugi's frightened eyes.

"I did," a voice boomed nearby.

Yuugi jumped, tripping over his own feet and falling to the ground. Kontar wheeled around in the direction of where the new hole sat, golden flames still inside and around it. A figure suddenly emerged from the flames and Yuugi had to blink several times to make sure he wasn't imagining things. Dressed in silk purple robes, lined with gold in the seams, flowing out past his feet, was Yami. The brilliant symbol of the Eye of Horus was glowing so brightly on his forehead Yuugi had to squint. Yami stopped just in front of the hole, a calm yet determined expression on his face. The flames finally died down, as did the symbol, but the sensation of the aura around Yami was still there.

"This…this can't be!" Kontar shouted. "You were dead! Your spirit disappeared, never to return!"

Yami didn't answer but just stared at him evenly, his eyes unblinking. He looked even stronger than he had when Yuugi first met him, and his eyes seemed alight with flames in their depths. Kontar was sputtering now, his eyes widened in shock and disbelief. Suddenly, he wheeled around on Yuugi, glaring at him with spite.

"You stupid runt! It was you wasn't it! You did something! What is this, an illusion? Have you used the powers of the pharaoh again? Perhaps I should kill you faster."

"You won't touch him, Kontar! I am no illusion!" Yami bellowed.

"Then I guess I'll have to destroy your weak spirit again! My millennium Scale has a special ability using the dark powers of the shadow realm! I am able to trap spirits inside my item so that I may later send them to the shadow realm. And now it'll happen to you!" he spat, sending out a jet of black energy toward Yami.

"NO!" Yuugi shouted, struggling to get to his feet.

He watched with wide eyes as Yami was engulfed by the dark power of the millennium item. Kontar laughed coldly, turning toward Yuugi.

"Now, Yuugi, your dear pharaoh may have escaped death from not moving on, but he cannot escape that powerful magic."

Yuugi opened his mouth to say something, anything, but his throat was too dry. He had just lost Yami, yet again and he had done nothing. He knew the tears were beginning to fall again, but he didn't care.

"Guess again."

Kontar wheeled around as Yami emerged from the black swirl of energy as it died down.

"This can't be! You should've been swallowed whole! No spirit can escape that!" Kontar yelled, with wide eyes.

Yami's eyes narrowed, "That's because I'm not a spirit anymore."

"What? There is no way….You can't possibly be human!" Kontar shouted. "Isis wasn't even here! Your body was locked in my chamber, guarded securely!"

"Yes, it was," Yami spoke up. "That's where I woke up, in your chamber. My spirit returned to my body and when I walked out your guards didn't even put up a fight against me. They seemed a bit…frightened."

"No, this isn't real! It's a lie! You can't possibly have returned to your body without a ritual! You'd need the power of millennium items to do that and Isis and your other followers aren't even here!" Kontar spat out, his hands shaking with fear and rage.

"Apparently something else happened, because I have returned," Yami said, his eyes lighting up, glowing an intense crimson. "I have returned to claim back my throne."

"Impossible! Using the powers of the shadow realm with my millennium Scale, I call upon Ra!" Kontar suddenly shouted, raising his millennium item.

The sky rumbled again as bright light was emitted. Ra emerged with a screech looking as strong as it had before.

"Attack the pharaoh!" Kontar shouted with rage and panic, pointing at Yami.

"Not so fast, Kontar! Slifer, my faithful dragon, appear for me!"

Out of the sky, red lightning flashed dangerously, grazing the ground. Huge talons appeared first, before the body, the head and the long tail. Slifer appeared stronger than it had ever looked before. Kontar's eyes were wide with shock as he stared at the beast.

"But how…? You didn't even have your millennium item."

Yami's lips curled into a smile, "Oh but I do, thanks to you. When you took it off Yuugi and threw it down I was able to pick it up."

"NO! I won't believe this! YOU CAN'T DEFEAT ME PHARAOH! RA ATTACK!" Kontar screamed.

"I'm afraid that won't work. Your power over Ra has vanished," Yami smiled.

"YOU'RE LYING!" Kontar yelled, glancing up at the bird. "ATTACK HIM!"

Ra just sat there, as if it couldn't even see Kontar. Yami smiled as his eyes narrowed.

"I'm afraid you've underestimated the power of the Egyptian Gods. Saying that they were your servants and that you had ultimate power over them made your hold on Ra weaken. These beasts have no master and since you disrespected it, you no longer have any protection or respect from the beast."

"But it's supposed to listen to my commands! Marik said it would!" Kontar shouted, his eyes still widened with fear.

"Marik lied to you. He's lied the whole time. He never wanted to help you with your plan. He's had his own plan in mind for a while now and he needed you in order to retrieve his own millennium item that got separated from him. He knew you wouldn't be able to control an Egyptian God card, not for very long anyway. No one even now understands their full power and strength, they are a mystery to this day," Yami said, as Kontar stared at him with disbelief in his expression. "But they can be very loyal allies when respected. And since you respect no one but yourself it's no surprise that you can't control it. Even Marik respects them because he knows of their power. And you were foolish to believe you even had the chance to control them."

"Marik…that traitor!" Kontar hissed. "He'll pay!"

"I'm afraid you won't be doing any more harm to anyone. I will have to keep a watch on Marik for the future, but you, Kontar, are to go where you should have all those years ago," Yami's eyes narrowed as the golden aura surrounded him again, the symbol appearing back on his forehead with full strength. "To the afterlife."

Kontar was shaking from head to toe, backing up as far as he could away from Yami.

"No, I won't be defeated! I can't die! NOOOOOOO!"

"SLIFER!" Yami bellowed.

The dragon roared as both its mouths opened, sending a blazing attack straight for Kontar. His scream was swallowed by the power and drowned out by Slifer's roar. In a matter of seconds the light faded only leaving a black scorch mark where the attack had been fired. There was no sign of Kontar anywhere, and all that lay in his place was the millennium Scale, sitting harmlessly on the ground. Yuugi sat in stunned silence after watching the entire thing, wondering if what he had watched really happened. His eyes traveled to Yami, watering with tears, but this time for a different reason.

"Y-yami?" he called out weakly.

He felt weak as his legs shook beneath him. Before he knew it, he fell forward, about to land flat on his face on the ground. Warm arms caught him in time and lay him gently on the ground. Yuugi opened his eyes all the way to see the familiar crimson eyes staring back at him.

"Y-yami? Is that really you?"

Yami smiled softly, "Yes, it's really me."

"How did you…?" Yuugi trailed off, his eyes widening in remembrance. "Was it…could it have been the vial?"

"I don't know, Yuugi. All I know is that I've finally reclaimed my human body so that I may live again. And now Kontar has been destroyed, which means that everyone is safe once again," Yami smiled down at him. "And it's all thanks to you."

Yuugi's eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "What do you mean? You're the one who destroyed him. You were much more powerful than him…much more powerful than me."

"That's where you're wrong, Yuugi," Yami said gently. "You are powerful like me, otherwise you would've never held on so long. And whether not I returned to my body because of something you did or not, you were still always there for me. You believed in me Yuugi. Even in the darkness, when I felt so weak and defeated, I heard your voice calling out to me. I felt a warmth spread through my body like fire and I found myself in Kontar's chamber. I knew it was because of you that I was alive. And because of you I was able to finally defeat Kontar, this time for sure."

Yuugi smiled up at him, tears falling out of the corners of his eyes, "I'm glad, Yami. I'm so glad I could help. I thought I had failed you. I thought you would die being disappointed in me."

"I could never be disappointed in you," his eyes softened.

Yuugi could feel more tears begin to fall and he quickly sat up, throwing his arms around Yami.

"Oh Yami! I was so afraid you had died!" he sobbed, his shoulders shaking.

Yami embraced him tightly, rubbing his back soothingly, "It's all right, it's over. You are now free to go home."

Yuugi sniffled and pulled back. "Home? You mean…I have to leave?"

Yami's eyes softened. "You belong back where your life is. Egypt will always remember you, and you can always visit, but you need to go home."

"Yami, I…I almost lost you! I don't want to leave you now! There's so much we have to do! I thought if you became human that meant you wouldn't have to leave me!" Yuugi said, his eyes shimmering with more tears as he grabbed onto Yami's robes.

Yami clasped his hand in his and held it tightly. "I promise you, we will see each other again soon. I am needed here right now."

Yuugi looked up at him, "You promise? You won't make me wait too long?"

Yami smiled and bent down to kiss his forehead, "I promise, you won't wait long."

Yuugi smiled brightly, resting his head on Yami's shoulder a moment before pulling away. Yami helped him stand up and put an arm around him to keep him from falling.

"I'm sure your grandpa and friends are worried. My viziers will have to heal your wounds before you leave," Yami said, glancing at the cuts and bruises.

Yuugi smiled brightly, "I wouldn't worry too much about me. I'll be just fine. Grandpa, on the other hand, is a different story. I'm sure he's having a panic attack back home."

Yami laughed, his deep, rich laugh filling Yuugi with warmth and happiness.

"Yes, then we shouldn't keep him waiting."

Yuugi smiled, wordlessly, his eyes sparkling with new life as Yami helped him walk. They made their way back together, arms around one another. Yuugi's heart was bursting with joy. And he knew for sure he and Yami would see each other soon because he knew they were meant to be together.

The End.