Chapter 20: The End of The Beginning

Notes: Woohoo! I made it to twenty chapters, finally. ^_^; I've only ever made it to 19 before with my YGO series.

"^^;;; Yeah, uh-huh..."

And thanks so much for the reviews guys. ^_^ I've never made it over 100 on my series either. YAY!

"O_O Ooookay. Here's Chapter twenty for you all. ^^ Enjoy. Oh, and if we hadn't mentioned it before, the Army of Anubis is from the Mummy Returns. ^^ We modified their origins though. And thanks to Alan for the idea regarding the Dark Magician. ^_~ And yep! I'm REALLLLY happy to be in on all the action! Go me!"

^^; Oh, and as always, since this is the end of the story, my next one will be started either today or tomorrow. The "clue" to this next story was in the chapter where Mai was talking to Amber and Tea. ^_~

* * * * * * * * * * *

Chapter 20: The End of The Beginning

Back in Domino, Tea opened the door to the storeroom a crack and peeked out. Both the army of Anubis AND all of their friends had disappeared, probably by Bastet's spell.

But where had they gone...?

"The coast is clear," Tea told the others as she opened the door wider and stepped out into the eerie silence of the shop.

Mai walked over to the light switch and flicked it upwards, bathing everyone in light from the ceiling.

"My oh my," Mai muttered, looking around at the torn-up door and the broken glass that was scattered about the floor. "If this place didn't need cleaning BEFORE those jackal-guys arrived, it sure does now."

She'd meant the comment to lighten the air around them a bit, but no one seemed to take notice of it. Mokuba, Tea, and Serenity all wore similar expressions of worry on their faces as they looked around.

Bakura was still silent, watching the others and thinking to himself.

"So they're all really gone?" Mokuba asked, his voice breaking a little. "Where to though, and when will they come back again?"

Tea bit her lip.

"I don't know," she replied. "But I DO know that Yugi will never let anyone or anything beat him. They'll all be back safe and sound," she added firmly.

Serenity still looked worried as she looked up at the sunroof.

"It looks like the Bastet cat went with them," she observed, noticing that the black cat was no longer on the ceiling. "I hope that everyone'll be okay..."

As the others paced around, unsure of what to do in the large, empty lobby, Bakura's Millennium Ring suddenly lit up and one of the glowing, golden pointers pointed into the next room.

Angrily, Bakura pushed the ring's pointer down and stuffed the ring inside his shirt. There was enough trouble going on right now without the Millennium Ring causing anymore.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Meanwhile, back in Egypt, the battle between the army of Anubis and the monsters of the gang's still waged on, Yami's team seeming to be slightly ahead, as several jackal-warriors were disappearing each moment.

"Blue Eyes!" Seto declared as a large troop of warriors came towards he and his ancient self.

"White Dragon!" Priest Seto called, calling upon his dragon.

"Attack!" The two yelled in unison, and two large white burst-streams destroyed nearly a hundred of the jackal-warriors in their tracks, the destroyed warriors turning to sand and falling to the ground.

The two looked over at each other for a moment and Priest Seto was sure he almost saw a smile flicker over his reincarnate's face, but a moment later, he was focusing on the battle once again.

"Dark Magic Attack!" Yami declared, his magician sending out a black beam, destroying several of the warriors at once.

Out in the midst of all the action, Gearfried and Orgoth used their swords to cleanly slice off the jackal-beast's heads, reducing them to sand once again, as the Cyber Commander of Tristan's used his heavy weapon as Joey had used the baseball bat, to knock off the heads of the warriors.

"Take that you stupid wannabes!" Joey yelled triumphantly as Gearfried sliced off two heads in one tremendous blow.

Amber gritted her teeth as the clam on her monster slammed shut again to protect her, Orgoth coming to her aid and destroying the jackal-warrior as he was attempting to pry open the shell.

"Thanks Duke," Amber said with a wink, as Duke grinned.

"No problem," he replied as Red winked at Orgoth, though he didn't seem to notice in the middle of the battle.

By now, nearly all but a hundred or so of the jackal-warriors had been destroyed, and it was becoming easier and easier to kill them off without so many protectors around each one.

As Orgoth turned to attack one, however, another jackal-warrior lifted the heavy ax-blade and chopped through Duke's monster, cutting it clean in half, the remaining pieces fading away as they fell toward the ground.

"Oh," Duke muttered, clutching his chest with narrowed eyes. "Darn..."

Amber raised her eyebrows, concerned.

"Are you okay?" she asked tilting her head as her mermaid pinned a jackal-warrior to the ground with one of her arrows.

Duke nodded grimly.

"Yeah, fine I guess," he muttered, standing up straighter again. "I just don't know why that happened..."

Yami narrowed his eyes.

"When you summoned these monsters, you used part of your own spirit, your soul, in doing so," he explained briefly. "Because of that, when your monsters are injured, you feel part of their pain."

Duke grimaced.

"Ya! I see whatcha mean," Tristan muttered, sinking to the ground as the Cyber Commander was defeated by another one of the jackal-warriors, vanishing from the field.

Joey gritted his teeth.

"Come on guys!" he called as Gearfried's sword was nearly knocked out of his hands as several warriors surrounded him at once. "We gotta win this!"

Yami bit his lip as the time it took for the Dark Magician's distance attack to get to the warriors gave the enemy enough time to evade the attack altogether.

"Yami, maybe we ought to fight with a warrior type monster," Yugi suggested, appearing beside Yami as the battle waged on. "That way, we could get our attacks through to the jackal-warriors."

"Attack, Blue Eyes!" Seto declared again, but the attack only caused a large sheet of sand to fly into the air and rain down again upon the gang, obscuring the fight from view.

"You're right, aibou," Yami replied to Yugi, an idea forming in his mind as he remembered a tag-duel he'd once fought with Joey. "Joey! Play the magic card to turn Dark Magician into a stronger type for this battle!"

Joey looked blankly at Yami for a moment, then realized what he was talking about. Hurriedly, he fished through his deck until he came upon the magic card he was looking for.

"Go! Name of Knight on Dark Magician!" Joey called, holding up the glowing magic card and the Dark Magician was surrounded by a white glow as he began to transform.

Within a few seconds, the Dark Magician's staff had been transformed into a green sword, and his magician's hat turned down into more of a warrior's helmet as he became a warrior monster.

Joey grinned broadly as the new Dark Magician Knight hopped down onto the field, using his glowing blade to slash through the jackal-warriors. Anubis's white eyes went wide, as he saw the new and powerful creature destroying several of his by the second.

"Destroy the Dark Magician Knight!" Anubis howled, backing up slightly.

There were only twenty or so warriors left on the field, and judging from earlier performance, Anubis figured they wouldn't last against two dragons, an archer, and two knights.

"We're coming to the home stretch!" Joey cheered as Gearfried and Dark Magician Knight battled back to back, Red Archery Girl and the two dragons picking off stray packs of the warriors.

Dark Magician Knight raised his sword once more and sliced through the very last warrior of Anubis's, reducing it to grains of sand which fell to the ground and settled in with the rest of the desert.

Yami looked up at Anubis, who looked astonished, with narrowed eyes, the monsters all turning their attention to the jackal-headed god.

"This...this is impossible!" Anubis snarled, his voice shaking with both fury and fright. "My army! My entire army..."

"...was beaten by us," Joey finished with a smirk.

Priest Seto nodded.

"You cannot defeat us by a mere army like that," he said to Anubis, as he knew the god could hear him.

"And you will never defeat our combined power no matter WHAT means you decide to use," Yami finished, the monsters all poised for attack.

Anubis growled, a blue glow forming over his body, his sword still glinting in the light of the moon. There was no point in fighting all the monsters straight up, for he would not be able to defeat them. He would have to think of a new plan and destroy the fools next time...

"This isn't over, mortals," he snarled, started to disappear. "I will return, and you WILL regret this."

And in a puff of blue smoke, Anubis disappeared. The Millennium Puzzle glowed for a moment, and all over the monsters, with the exception of the White Dragon, disappeared, returning to their proper places in their respective owner's decks.

Priest Seto called back his White Dragon, which returned to its spot in his master's mind.

"All right!" Joey cheered, raising both palms for high-fives. "We rock! Did we kick that dude's jackal butt good or what?"

Yami raised an eyebrow, although he was smiling.

"That is an interesting way to put it, Joey," he replied as Tristan, Duke, and Amber all slapped high-fives.

Seto didn't join in the high-fiving, obviously, although he did look somewhat satisfied at having beaten Anubis. However, a thought was lingering in the back of his mind.

"The Millennium Puzzle called forth all the monsters, but Yugi said something about our own soul being connected to them," he muttered to himself, watching Yugi and his friends cheerfully enjoying their victory. "Does that mean that believing the monsters would be victorious was a key element in the battle, like in his Heart of the Cards?"

He was quite irritated to find himself thinking about such things a moment later, however. Though, although never would he admit it, he knew that they must be true.

" won," Came a smooth voice from behind them, and everyone turned to see Bastet, her silver collar aglow.

Yugi smiled, taking over his body again.

"Yeah, for now," he said, looking down at Bastet with a smile. "Thanks for helping us out back there, Bastet."

Bastet huffed haughtily and turned around, her tail flipping back and forth.

"It is my duty to aid you," she replied calmly. "But now I must go. I have found Thoth's location, and he will need my assistance."

Joey folded his arms across his chest as the black cat was consumed with the blue glow as well, and vanished, as had Anubis.

"Well good riddance to her," Joey grumbled as he turned to face his friends. "Let's go home and..."

He trailed off, his eyes growing wide. Suddenly, no one looked that happy to have seen Bastet leave.

"Uh...Joey..." Duke muttered, biting his lip. "We're in the middle of an Egyptian desert."

"Gah!!! No wait! Come back you stupid cat!" Joey yelled, his cries seeming small in the vast and empty desert that stretched for miles on end.

Seto sighed.

"Why can't anything ever go right?" he grumbled to himself.

"What are we going to do, Yami?" Yugi asked his friend nervously, digging the toe of his shoe in the sand uneasily.

But before the gang had anymore time to think, the blue glow flashed again and Bastet returned.

"I am not stupid, nor a mere cat," she said icily to Joey with a cat's-eye glare. "If it is home you want, it is home you will return to."

And in the flash of blue light, the entire gang disappeared.

* * * * * * * * * *

A split second later, they found themselves in the middle of the lobby back at the Black Crown, the rest of their friends still pacing around, Bakura looking up at them, shocked.

"My, you've returned already?" he asked, wide-eyed. "Did you defeat the army?"

Yugi nodded.

"We sure did," he replied as the other ran over to them, Serenity and Mokuba both hugging their older brothers, and Tea running over to him.

"Yugi!" she cried, giving him a quick hug before remembering everyone else, especially Mai, were still watching and letting go. ""

Now I feel stupid, Tea thought to herself, wishing she'd never said anything at all.

"Good to see you again," she settled on, smiling, hoping she didn't look TOO silly.

Yugi, however, smiled back.

"Good to see you too, Tea," he replied happily.

"I think it's good this whole mess is over," Mokuba sighed, looking around at the others.

Tristan nodded.

"Man it has been one heck of a night," he said, stifling a yawn.

Duke sighed.

"And one heck of a party, too," he kidded with a crooked grin. "Guess no one'll be coming to my place again without being afraid of possessed classmates and jackal army attacks."

Yugi laughed, as did most of the others. Amber put a hand on Duke's shoulder.

"It's okay, the party was still fun," she replied.

Mai nodded.

"Yeah, so was the tournament," she added, which caused Duke's eyes to widen.

"Oh yeah...we never finished the tournament!" he moaned, looking around.

Amber glanced down at her watch.

"Whoa, I think it's a little too late to continue now," she sighed, looking around at the others, who were either yawning or had their eyelids drooping.

Mai shrugged.

"You could always call it a "to be continued" tournament," she suggested, flicking her blonde hair back. "I mean, no one was going to be around to watch the rest anyway right now."

Duke nodded, feeling slightly more cheerful.

"Yeah, you're right," he replied. "I guess we'll just have to pick it up next time."

Yugi smiled.

"Uh-huh," he agreed.

Priest Seto smiled for a moment before sensing something behind him and whirling around, just as the others heard a strange crunching noise, like footsteps on broken glass.

"Who's there?" Yugi called, looking slightly nervous.

What if there was still a jackal-warrior that had been left behind when Bastet transported them all?

But to everyone's relief, they saw it was not a jackal-warrior, but Ishizu Ishtar, walking over to them, a small white bandage over her forehead.

"Ishizu!" Tea sighed with relief, as Yugi ran over to their friend.

"Ishizu, what happened to you?" he asked, staring up at her, indicating this bandage.

Ishizu smiled softly.

"I encountered I see, so did you," she replied, peering around. "I assume, Pharaoh, you won the battle?"

Yugi grinned, embarrassed.

"Well, for now," he replied simply. "But are you sure you're okay?"

Ishizu nodded.

"Of course," she replied. "I will be fine. I just came to make sure you all had gotten through the evening safely."

Yugi grinned, then sighed, yawning. He was tired. It had been, after all, an exhausting day, and everyone was still standing around Duke's game shop in their Halloween costumes.

"Well guys," Mai yawned, stretching her arms up. "It's been a fun evening, but I'm heading home."

Joey nodded.

"Yeah, us too," he said, he and Serenity heading for the door. (Or what used to be the door.)

"Thanks for having us over," Serenity called back, politely, to Duke and Amber.

Amber winked.

"Any time," Duke replied with a smile.

Within a few minutes, everyone had left Amber, Duke, and a few of the Black Crown employees who had come over to see what the commotion was about alone in the Black Crown lobby.

"Well," Duke yawned, pulling his eye-patch off and tucking it into his pocket as he headed for the house part of the shop. "I'm heading off to bed."

Amber nodded sleepily.

"Yeah, me too," she added, following Duke toward the house, when a neighbor-boy, dressed as Frankenstein, poked his head in through the broken door.

"Hey!" he called, causing Duke and Amber to stop and turn around. "Where did you go to hire all those guys dressed up as jackal-soldiers to pose at your place? I'm putting on a play downtown and wondered where they got their costumes."

Amber and Duke glanced at each other and burst out laughing, leaving the boy looking quite confused.

* * * * * * * * * * *

As Seto walked home, carrying Mokuba, who had fallen asleep, he glanced down at the silver briefcase he was holding. Inside, rattling back and forth as he walked, was the golden Millennium Rod.

What sorts of trouble would that item cause for him, as he didn't doubt that it would.

Above him, Priest Seto looked down at his reincarnate for a moment before looking back up at the sky.

"The first step has been taken," he thought to himself, smiling.

They now had the rod in their possession, and Yami Taerro was nearby. Soon, they would be able to seal away the evil once again, and rid themselves of his terror.


If they could do it in time.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Yugi padded home, his Egyptian outfit looking slightly dusty and his face streaked with dirt due to all the sand and the sandstorm, but he was smiling, proud. He AND Yami, along with the others, had managed to once again foil Anubis's plot.

Although Yami was still not quite sure what his aibou had meant by giving Seto Kaiba the Millennium Rod, he too, was satisfied.

"Well Yami," Yugi said, his voice piercing the dark silence of the night suddenly. "One thing's for sure."

Yami raised an eyebrow, curiously.

"Oh? What's that?" he inquired.

Yugi smiled.

"This was one Halloween I'll NEVER forget," he relpied.

Yami grinned.

"That is quite true, Yugi," he replied, looking up at the full, white moon that was glowing overhead. "Quite true."

* * * * * * * * * * *

End of Story!

So what did you all think? ^_^ Leave us a review and let us know.

"And afterwards, you might want to check out our next story in the series which is going to be titled, "A Pearl By Any Other Name" and will be up today or tomorrow."

Thanks for reading! ^_^