I do not own Yu-gi-oh. All characters and pre-established plots from the series belong to author Kazuki Takahashi. The original characters within the story are my creations and I request that they not be copied or used elsewhere.

Note: Though this story takes place right before the "battle city saga" I have altered Seto and Mokuba's ages to suit the plot better. (Honestly, I think it's a little unrealistic to have a high school student running his own company). In the story, Seto is in his early to mid twenties and Mokuba is about nine or ten years old. Everyone else in the Yu-gi-oh cast is at his or her portrayed age.

A Healer's Quest

By: HyperFerret

Chapter 1

A figure draped in a long brown hooded cloak looks intently toward the city she is approaching. She pauses momentarily, lowering her hood and brushing a piece of her hair out of her face. A warm, furry form brushes against her leg causing her to glance down at her side, where her companion, a sturdy white wolf is standing. The wolf looks up at her friend with anxious gray eyes.

"It wont be long now Silver." The human whispered reassuringly to the she-wolf. Crooning softly, the animal flattens her ears as her human friend strokes her head. The pair continues to walk toward the city. Shortly now their journey would be over. 

"Help! Somebody help me!" Mokuba Kaiba's cries rang through the air as the two bullies continued to chase him. He had no idea why they had suddenly decided to pick on him, probably just being mean. Whatever the reason, he wasn't about to stop running. His plans took a sudden turn when a third bully appeared in front of him, almost out of nowhere. Mokuba skidded to a stop then turned abruptly, ready to sprint in the other direction, but his actions came to late.

            "Help!" Mokuba shouted again as he was yanked off his feet by the bully that had ambushed him. He squirmed desperately trying to escape the strangers grip.

            "Stop struggling you little worm, it ain't you we're after!" the bullies voice was harsh and loud, and the fact that he was shouting right by Mokuba's ear amplified his commands

            "Stop right there!" the unmistakable shout of Seto Kaiba made the bullies jump. Sure enough, much to the relief of Mokuba, his older brother Seto was not far away. He had heard the commotion and was now prepared to settle the score, preferably by the most painful measure imaginable. The bullies seemed undaunted, for they had the upper hand.

            "I wouldn't try anything stupid, Kaiba," the leader warned "Otherwise your brother might not fare so well." The bully shot a glance at Mokuba, who now hung suspended by the collar of his shirt. Seto scowled furiously.

            "What do you want?"

The three punks just smiled. "Isn't it obvious! We want your Egyptian god card." Seto glared coldly. There was absolutely no way he would even think about giving that card up, especially not to a gang of street thugs. "A rare card like that would fetch a pretty penny on the market," the bully continued. "I suggest you hand it over, otherwise…" a thug curled his lips into a devious smile and shot a menacing glance at his prisoner. Mokuba looked at his brother helplessly, how was he going to handle this mess.

            The answer came quite unexpectedly. A flash of white fur caught Mokuba's captor by surprise. Before he could react, a set of sharp fangs dug into the seat of his pants. Howling in pain, the thug released Mokuba and tried desperately to ward off this new attacker, a large white wolf.

            Mokuba scrambled to safety beside his brother. Both watched agog as the heroic beast lashed out at each thug with ivory fangs and fearsome snarls. One of the bullies managed to escape the she-wolfs wrath. He returned to the scene armed with a heavy metal pipe, which he aimed for the animal's head.

Just as before he struck, however, a young woman caught his blow in mid air. Her features were hidden under a satin cloak, but her strength was tremendous. After she stopped the bully's assault, she sent him sprawling to the ground with a fierce punch to the face. The leader of the gang, though torn and bleeding from the wolf's assault, tried to attack the newcomer from behind. He threw his arms around the woman's neck and tired with all his might to out muscle her. Without even flinching the woman reached behind her, seized the attacker and flipped him over her shoulders sending him crashing into the pavement at her feet. Stunned and out of breath, the three gang members finally retreated. The Kaiba brothers looked on as they ran, neither one believing what had just happened.

Mokuba turned to thank the kind stranger who had saved him, but his gaze fell on empty road. Both the woman and the wolf had gone. Mokuba walked forward a few steps in the direction they had left, but he stopped when a shimmer on the street caught his eye. At his feet lay a golden pendent with a shattered chain.

"It must have belonged to that woman," Mokuba thought to himself as he picked up the trinket from the street. "It probably got broken during the fight." Mokuba showed the necklace to Seto. The charm on the piece of jewelry had a very interesting design. It looked like an ancient symbol. Seto's eyes widened when he saw it. He recognized the marking. It was nearly identical to the symbol Yugi Mutou adorned on that strange millennium puzzle he always wore; the same symbol was also on Ichizu's millennium necklace. But, Seto looked again, this mark was slightly different. There was a pawprint in the center instead of a plain circle. Seto pondered over the charm as he and Mokuba made their way home. Perhaps this was something he should look into, and he knew just the person to ask.

"I had a feeling that you would be coming." Ichizu's voice echoed out in the quiet of the museums exhibition area. It was eight pm, hours past closing time. Her presence there did not surprise Kaiba; in fact he was counting on it. "You have questions." Ichizu asked, or rather stated. Seto fixed his eyes on the mysterious woman. It irritated him that she always seemed to be a step ahead. He pulled the golden charm from his pocket.

"Can you tell me anything about this design?" he asked. Ichizu took the pendent from Seto and looked it over carefully. When she spoke again her voice was a dull whisper.

"This is the crest of the shadow healers…" Seto raised an eyebrow. Ichizu seemed utterly stunned by his discovery. Though she managed to hide her emotions well with a calm face, there was a definitely a change in the woman's tone.

"Shadow healers?" Seto repeated, the title eluding him. Ichizu looked up at Seto once more. Her amazement had sparked an unexpected curiosity in Kaiba.

"Come with me," she said motioning to a different area of the museum. She proceeded to lead Kaiba to the lower level of the exhibit, off limits to the general public. This area was not unfamiliar to Kaiba, he had been invited there once before by Ichizu, and it was then he had learned of the Egyptian god cards.

Ichizu continued to walk until they reached a small room, practically hidden in the far corner of the display area. "This," she said as she carefully unlocked the door, "is the archives. All of my rarest and most treasured artifacts are being kept here." The room was nothing glamorous, just a collection of safes. But Kaiba was quick to notice the thick layer of steel that lined the interior. No doubt the room was very well protected. Ichizu turned her attention to the safe furthest to the left on the center wall. After dialing in the correct combination, she extracted a delicate parchment scroll from inside. Carefully she unraveled it for Kaiba to see.

On the paper was the same strange symbol, an eye with a pawprint in the center. Below it was a picture of a woman draped in a robe. She was holding out her hands as if to offer help. And lowering its head to her was a blue-eyes white dragon. Seto blinked, unsure of how to react.

"According to the legends," Ichizu began. "It was believed that this race had the ability to tap into the energy of all the ancient monsters in the shadow realm, like a sixth sense if you will. By learning and taming their powers, these people were soon able to help the sorcerers' monsters recover from injury and fatigue they received during the shadow games. That is why they were dubbed shadow healers." Seto continued to stare at the scroll. So a healer could sense the energy of duel monsters.

"Does the mean they could track the monsters also?" Seto inquired. Part of him felt foolish for even being there, but… what if these stories were true?

"If they were skilled enough yes," the woman replied. An idea was beginning to form in the recess of Seto's mind, but Ichizu interrupted before he could dwell on it. 

"But they've been extinct for nearly five millennia now. After the pharaoh sealed the monsters away into stone tablets, there was no need for shadow healers…." Ichizu paused when she saw a glimmer in Seto's eye. Had she acted too swiftly? Had she been so absorbed in her own hopes, that Seto Kaiba was finally going to understand his part in history that she inadvertently said too much? "Why are you so interested all of a sudden?" Kaiba fixed her with a cold stare.

"That is none of your concern," he said snatching up the golden pendent from Ichizu's grasp.  "Now If you'll excuse me…" he turned and left without saying anything.

As Seto walked toward the entrance, his mind was still racing, now even more then ever. Imagine if the race of healers still existed. They could locate any duel monsters card that they wanted in the entire world! They could that is, if the cards were actually alive. Kaiba shook his head. But that wasn't possible, duel monster cards were just that, cards. Nothing but pieces of paper…

Seto left the building and continued onward down the street, completely forgetting about his ride. But than again, what about the heart of the cards? He had seen it for himself on several occasions. It was like the cards had a mind…a soul of their own! But that couldn't be…could it? Seto stopped when he heard his driver call to him. Casually he walked over to the car and got in. He leaned back on the leather cushions and continued to think as he glanced over his deck. Maybe he was overreacting. Kaiba pulled out the golden charm and looked at it. His tournament was only two weeks away and there was still no trace of the other two god cards. What if the legend of the shadow healers was more then just that? More importantly, what if that mysterious woman that had saved his brother was one of them! If that was the case, if she really did have powers, and could locate any card in the world… A sly smile formed on Kaiba's lips. She could prove quite useful to him. Kaiba slipped the pendent back into his pocket. He would have to test her first of course, to see if these ancient powers were a reality, and he knew just the means to do it.