Dark Magic Rising

A/N: How did this happen? Well, it started half a year ago... I turned on the TV and watched a purple-haired kid going from place to place fighting duels... Yeah, okay... But there was this one particular brown-haired, blue-eyed guy in a long jacket that caught my eye. Something about his personality just struck me as unique. You don't see many characters nowadays that can only best be defined as Neutral (not Good, not Bad, just out for his own purposes). Anyway, this "Seto Kaiba" kept me coming back for more episodes. When I caught mention of a "Pharaoh," I was hooked. I never thought I'd write a story. But I have, and here it is. My first YGO story... Yu-Gi-Oh belongs to Kazuki Takahashi; this story is my own...

Special thanks to Vathara for beta reading. Inspiration comes from... Vathara's "Foreign Exchange," Ellen Brand's "Don't Fear the Dark," and Lone Wolf 55's "Gozaburo's Revenge."

Notes: It took me about as long to write the duel near the end as it did the first half of the story (so, I hope you appreciate it), and I made up one or two cards. (First for creativity, the second 'cause of a goof. Heh.) And this takes place after the Battle City Finals (seems like a good cut off point). I'm saying Kaiba has the Rod but there's no spirit in it. / = communication with yami or through the Shadow Realm (like when Yami sent a message to Pegasus in "Give Up The Ghost.")

Updates: As per reviewer request, I've reuploaded this story as separate chapters. I haven't revised it, though, so I'm sorry if I got your hopes up. Please, feel free to check out my other stories in the meantime.

August 2011: I've decided to change the name of one of my characters from "Alya" to "Tiye." "Tiye" is an Egyptian name meaning "beloved of Isis." No other revisions. I know I've gotten much better at writing in all this time, but every time I try to revise my older stories, they end up taking a different direction, so you'll just have to read my more recent work. Sorry.

Summary: Someone jumps Ta in a dark alley... and he's after the Millennium Necklace...

Dark Magic Rising
Evil Overlady

~ Prologue ~

It had been a quiet night, but Hery-Sesheta, Master of Secrets, would not let that discourage him. His prey would soon be along... He could sense her.

He heard her footsteps coming down the sidewalk.

Priestess... Lady of Isis... Soon you'll be at my mercy...

Hery ducked back into the alley, drawing his unmarked black hood over his eyes.

Téa Gardner stopped to take off her shoe and massage a cramp out of her foot. Ugh. What a night... Two mop duties and one order mix up... Don't these people ever eat in?

Blue eyes caught a flicker of shadow. Huh?

Up ahead under the streetlight lay a Duel Monsters card, face down.

Téa replaced her shoe and walked up to it. Hm... Someone must've dropped it... She reached for it.

"Don't flip it over," a low voice cut in.

Téa jolted and spun around, leaving the card untouched. One hand went to her purse. Téa took a step backwards.

Familiar white hair glowed in the moonlight.

"Bakura?" Then, Téa grew suspicious. "Spirit," she presumed by the stance and the malevolent gleam in his eyes. She balled her fists. "What do you want?"

"You really shouldn't travel the streets alone, especially at this hour of night, and especially if you're friends with Yugi Mouto."

In other words, no answer to her question. Téa considered her options.

Footsteps stopped behind her. "Stay out of this, thief," came a new voice, unfamiliar. "This is no affair of yours."

Téa turned to see a man in a robe, a black one, not like the ones the Rare Hunters wore.

Bakura sneered. "You're of the Shadow Realm. That alone makes this my concern." He reached for his cards.

Faster than Téa could react, the stranger had her in his grasp, one arm around her, the other hand to her chin. "Not another move, or she dies."

Okay... What did I just walk into?

The spirit merely smiled. "Fine by me. Either way you're going to the Shadow Realm!" He drew.

"Ice Magic. Grow cold!" the stranger snapped, slapping a card to Téa's chest.

Ice gripped Téa's heart, and she gasped painfully, grabbing the card reflexively.

Téa looked suddenly pale, distracting Bakure for the split second the robed figure needed to fade into the shadows and disappear.

Ryou pushed forward. Bakure let him.

"Téa!" Ryou yelled, catching her before she fell, tucking his unplayed card into his pocket with his deck. "Téa..." his soft British-accented voice came, reassuring. Her skin was cold to the touch. He pulled off his jacket and wrapped her in it, holding her close, hoping to warm her. "It's going to be okay..."

/Ugh... Terrific. I got to play hero.../ Bakure complained off to one side. /I'll have to take one of those 'showers' to wash all the goodness off of me.../

In the midst of Ryou's concern, the high school student couldn't help a smirk. But it went away, as he saw the card in Téa's hand and lifted it up for he and his yami to see. /Ice Magic?/

Bakure narrowed his eyes.

Téa was back in ancient Egypt again, but this time there was no sign of Yami Yugi.

Instead she was in Egyptian garb herself, all white cloth and shiny gold, and there were a bunch of guys up to no good, sacking a temple that belonged to some goddess.

"You there! What do you think you're doing?" Téa demanded with a command in her voice she'd never heard before.

Someone grabbed her from behind, and she caught the glint of metal by her throat. "Just helping ourselves to a few of your valuables, priestess..." a familiar voice hissed into her ear.

"Bakure..." she uttered. "You won't get away with this!"

"That remains to be seen..." the spirit of the Millennium Ring replied.

The man from the alley stepped out from behind the pillar, robed. "Release her, villain, or face the wrath of a Master of Secrets!"

Bakure removed the knife from her neck and pointed it at the other man. "You're the one I'm after - one of the six priests. You took the souls of my family."

His family? No wonder he hates the pharaoh so much...

Téa narrowed her eyes. "I'm one of the six too, Bakure." She took a step back, got her stance, and flipped him onto his back, taking his knife and putting it to his neck. "The keeper of the Necklace!"

She'd knocked the wind out of him, for he stared at her wide-eyed, sputtering and coughing. The other thugs turned.

Téa glared at them. Her necklace shone briefly with warning.

They bolted, dropping what bags they were carrying.

"You..." Bakure rasped as Téa returned her attention to him. "But you're just... a woman."

"I am the pharaoh's wife." Wife? Oh, man... Téa lowered her eyes to the Millennium Ring around his neck. "Mahaad... So, it was you then... Murderer."

"It was justice, plain and simple. I will not rest until every bearer of the Millennium Items is hunted down and destroyed."

She looked down at him. "Then you will have to destroy yourself as well." Téa's necklace glowed. "For I bind you to that Ring!"

"Tiye, no!" the robed man cried.



Téa jerked to consciousness, gasping, still feeling the cold, finding it ever harder to breathe. "Pharaoh... help me..."

/She's not going to make it!/ Yugi warned, eyeing the hospital monitoring equipment and the erratic heartbeat.

Yami had his hand clenched around hers. "This is beyond my power..."

Yami Bakura stepped forward. "Use the necklace..." he said softly.

Yami turned his way.

"Use it, you fool!" the spirit said with more force. "What choice do you have? This is Shadow Magic. Only a Millennium Item can defeat it, and this is beyond the power of my Ring as well..."

Something's not right... "Why are you helping me, Spirit?" the pharaoh challenged.

"Don't question me," he snapped. "You have precious little time."

Yami narrowed his eyes.

Yugi's spirit gripped his sleeve. /He's right, Yami... I don't trust the spirit of the Millennium Ring any more than you do, but we're running out of options. The doctors have done all they can... I think we should go with Bakura's plan and question his motives later... I don't want to lose Téa./

/Nor do I./ "Very well..." Yami opened a pouch by his side and drew the glistening gold neck band with its Horus eye.

Bakure watched temptingly at the ownerless item almost within his grasp but stuffed itchy fingers into his pants pockets.

/Téa isn't responsible for what happened to your friends and family./ Ryou reminded him.

/But the spirit within is./ Bakure bit back.

/Is revenge really worth so many innocent lives? Is that in your Thief's Guild code of honor?/ Ryou snapped, a power in his voice unlike any Bakure ever heard before.

Guess stabbing Ryou in the arm finally did it for him. The spirit barely got away with anything now with Mother Teresa looking over his shoulder all the time.

Bakure could feel the power rising as the necklace touched Téa's clavicle, and his ring glowed.

Yugi's puzzle glowed as well, and he could see the strain on his face.

Another spirit was about to be unleashed from its prison as it connected to a compatible host, which meant only one thing: Téa was destined for the Necklace just as Ryou and Yugi were for the Ring and Puzzle. No other host would do. Not even Ishizu.

Yugi closed the clasp and an enormous amount of light spewed forth.

Yugi and Bakura covered their eyes and braced themselves.

Ta gasped, feeling the warmth. I'm alive...

Seto Kaiba had been soundly asleep when a huge bright light filled the room. He jumped to a sitting position on his bed, knife drawn.

The Millennium Rod was leaning against the back of a chair in his bedroom, glowing.

"What in the world was that?"

The Rod had activated for him once before to remind him of that duel he supposedly had in ancient Egypt, and though he didn't believe in magic something about those flashes seemed almost... real.

Seto... Téa's voice called out to him in his mind.

Kaiba relaxed his grip on his weapon. Téa? What did that have to do with...?

A single thin beam of light was emitted from the eye of the Rod, homing in on a spot on a map on his wall where the Domino City Hospital was located.

Kaiba felt like tangling his hair even more than it already was. He growled softly. "This had better be good..." he managed through clenched teeth.

The light faded, and Yami was back in his spirit room.

Yugi blinked the spots out of his eyes and saw the monitors returning to normal on his right. On his left Ryou Bakura was back in control.

"Whoa... What was that?" Ryou blinked.

"I'm not sure..." Yugi said. "Is your spirit...?"

"He's still there. Just... impacted."

"Same here. I guess a newly emerging spirit releases a lot of power." Yugi faced Ryou. "It affects the spirits more than it does us."

"Well, that certainly is a change," Ryou remarked.

"Yeah," Yugi agreed quietly and faced Téa.

His friend's eyes fluttered open and stared blankly at the ceiling. "Uh... where am I?"

Yugi took her hand and Ryou stood supportively beside him. "It's okay, Téa," Yugi assured her. "You're in the hospital."

"Hospital?" she repeated, not understanding. One hand lifted and touched her necklace. "Uh... There you are. My prison for so long..." She blinked at Yugi. "Téa?"

Yugi's heart felt like stone. Oh, no... It's not Téa.