Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! But I shall rule over the world someday! Muahahaha! Oops...my sugar level has increased again...
The Legend of the Three Souls
by Alena S. Anigor
The scattered pieces and the chessboard on Solomon's bed were completely forgotten when inspector Muhadda barged into the room, almost slamming the door into the wall and making everyone jump with a start from their attempted slumber. When he barked at them, demanding to know where they had been while he was desperately trying to find a missing girl and solve the case he was assigned to, everyone flinched visibly, with the exception of Kaiba and Bakura who glowered at him, the gruffness in inspector's voice piercing their ears.
Silence ensued in the room, in which Solomon and Mokuba could've sworn that they had actually heard a fly zooming by the window. Rashid looked at Marik, who looked at Ishizu in panic and soon, the chain of anxious glances continued until finally, Joey glanced nervously at Solomon who, when he realized that all eyes were on him, swallowed hard. A vein popped on inspector Muhadda's forehead, his mustaches twitching dangerously in annoyance.
"Well?" He barked again, making Serenity cower behind Ishizu, the black-haired owner of the museum at a loss for words. "Where have you been?"
"Uhh..." Chorused all over the room; Mokuba and Rashid gawking queerly at them. Joey scratched the back of his messy hair and glanced at Tristan awkwardly after another moment of uncomfortable silence.
"We, uh, we went sightseeing!" He exclaimed, letting out a nervous laugh after that. Tristan nodded, quickly stepping into the role of a guide.
"Yes! We went to see the pyramids and the sphinx and...the desert and the tombs, too, and..."
"And then we kind of lost track of time and..." Joey ventured, looking at everyone else for some support, glaring at Yuugi and urging him to say something. The spiky-haired boy recovered from the initial shock and nodded twice quickly, turning around to look oddly at Kaiba who raised his eyebrows slightly.
"Of course," he added wryly, earning a snicker from Mokuba in return. Tea and Mai agreed enthusiastically, faking a conversation about the mysteries of the tombs. Bakura, Serenity and Marik were left to stare at them all in confusion, not knowing what to say or how to act. Rashid and Mokuba had to turn around and look outside the window to mask the fit of snickers. Inspector Muhadda raised an eyebrow slowly, eyeing them all with a dry look. When they stopped murmuring after a while and silence filled the room again, the inspector coughed and then with a heavy frown retrieved a notebook and a pen from his pocket, the fez on his head tilting a bit to the left. He sighed inwardly, deciding to just let it go and buy their story. He already thought they were weird enough when he first met them at the museum.
"Right," he said and took a deep breath to prepare himself. "I am sorry to inform you that we still haven't found miss..." and there he stopped to squint at the name scribbled on the paper, "Gardner, but we are still working wholeheartedly on it, and-"
"What's he talking about?" Tea whispered and looked at Ishizu who pointed at Bakura slyly. The thief frowned at the gesture and then glowered at everyone else who threw an accusing look in his direction. Inspector Muhadda was still on a roll.
"-doing are best to catch the thieves who broke into the museum. Now, about miss Gardner-"
"But I'm here!" Tea objected; raising her hand in the air and making the inspector ogle at her first, then at the group of people around her. They were smiling at him brightly, making him want to check if he hadn't perhaps missed the address and ended up in a mental institution.
"But..." He spluttered, looking at her in bewilderment, "but you were kidnapped!"
Tea's eyes rolled to gaze at Bakura who suddenly wanted to hide under the bed or jump out the window. "No, no," she replied with a smile, "I...I got lost!"
Mai resisted the urge to snort and merely coughed instead. Yuugi and Solomon deadpanned discreetly. Inspector Muhadda's eyes bulged out even further.
"Lost?" He echoed in an almost shrill voice. Tea sweatdropped and nodded awkwardly.
"Yes...it was...night and I got lost," she replied, pointing at Bakura who stiffened when he saw what she was doing. "Luckily, this young man found me and...err, brought me back." She added and Bakura's heart skipped a beat when she smiled at him, something warm sweeping over him. He had a sudden impression that the temperature started to rise in the room. Inspector Muhadda scanned each and every one of them, now wanting nothing more than to run out of the room and to never have to deal with foreigners again. He had obviously chosen the wrong profession.
"Uh-huh..." He managed to choke out and scratch his head with the tip of his pen, glaring at the paper dejectedly.
"Then that leaves us only with the burglary problem-"
"Actually," Ishizu cut in briskly, noticing the frightened look on Marik's face. Bakura stiffened again, beads of sweat rolling down his forehead now. Inspector Muhadda suppressed the urge to stomp angrily.
"Yes?" He replied through gritted teeth, clutching the pen and the notebook in his hands, the paper starting to bent slowly under the pressure of his chubby fingers. Ishizu smiled sweetly, hopping off the bed and taking the inspector by the hand, ushering him out of the room.
"Let's discuss this outside," she said in a sugary voice and waved at the rest of them, closing the doors behind her with a click and shutting out inspector Muhadda's offended spluttering. A collective sigh of relief was heard in the room as they all plopped down onto the beds flaccidly.
"That was close," Joey mumbled, staring at the ceiling, his face slightly pale. Marik and Bakura exchanged relieved glances, Bakura heading off to Tea who smiled at him and hugged him tightly, making the thief blush profusely. He definitely wasn't used to that kind of display of emotions in public. But when she kissed him lightly on the lips, the world around him was completely forgotten and he hugged her back, surprising the girl who shivered and blushed slightly when he deepened the kiss, others gaping at them in wonder.
"Yeah, but...who would believe us, anyway?" Mai retorted, deciding to leave the two alone. She got up and went to sit next to Tristan, who nodded in agreement, Joey and Serenity doing the same and reverting their eyes from them.
"I can't believe it's finally over," Yuugi mumbled thoughtfully, staring out the window. Joey sprawled across the bed and closed his eyes, the silence taking over the room once again.
"I just want to get some sleep," He muttered and exhaled loudly, letting the weariness get the best of him. Others stared ahead, deep in thoughts, as well, thinking about the ancient Priest, the cloaked ogres and the ancient Gods for a while longer, still not quite convinced if that all hadn't been, perhaps, just a dream...
They had to stay in the hospital for one more day, the doctor who treated Solomon, Rashid and Mokuba ordering them to stay in their beds after the nurses informed him of all the injuries, cuts and bruises they had; Yuugi, Bakura and Kaiba especially.
When he asked them what in the Allah's name happened to them, they just exchanged knowing glances and replied in unison:
"It's a long story."
At least they had a day to rest fully, although Ishizu went to the museum together with Rashid to check up on it.
Solomon went back to the hotel the next day to go check if the rooms, the documents and their personal belongings were still there and in one piece. Although he had suffered a minor head injury, he managed to trot up the carpeted stairs, the receptionists gaping after him, wondering where he had been for so long.
Yuugi, Tea and Mai went to the town center in search of a new camera. It took Mai a long time to finally choose one, Yuugi and Tea vegetating by the shop window with sore facial expressions. They jerked and blinked when Mai took a shot of their grim faces, testing her camera and catching them off guard.
"I'll be keeping this in my living room!" She exclaimed happily, making Tea and Yuugi moan dismally.
They met with the others in the hotel lobby again, spotting Joey, Serenity and Tristan sitting behind one of the tables. They saw Ishizu, talking to Solomon animatedly about something not too far from the reception. Ishizu's eyes were glistening slightly with something akin to sadness and regret and Yuugi already thought he knew why – the busts were gone and she was left without the only proof that they had actually existed. The convention was held and everyone could see the bust of the Second Soul, though, but the questions and doubts would always remain...
"I thought he'd come, as well," Tea murmured thoughtfully, referring to Bakura. Yuugi and Mai glanced at her then at Joey and Tristan who greeted them happily when they approached the table; other guests chatting pleasantly around them.
"Hey, Yuugi!" Joey exclaimed happily, "Tea, Mai!"
They sat down, Mai pulling an extra chair to sit on. Solomon and Ishizu joined them quickly after that, but they had to stand since other chairs had already been taken by other guests. Ishizu, despite feeling sad and crestfallen, smiled at them and offered to take them to the museum to see the new shipments that had arrived that day.
Tea and Yuugi beamed at the news, others getting up and accepting her offer gladly.
The Museum of ancient artifacts was open again, tourists and other visitors roaming around and observing the relics with great interest. When they entered the main, conference hall, Tea's eyes widened when she spotted Bakura, Marik and Rashid, cleaning and dusting the large room, Marik laughing loudly at the sullen expression on Bakura's face. Ishizu approached them and smiled, explaining the scene.
"Rashid gave them an ultimatum," she said, a note of amusement in her voice, "either they would pay off their debt by working for us, or he would report them to inspector Muhadda."
Solomon chuckled and shook his head in mild amusement. Yuugi and Mai just stared at them with blank expressions, although Tea frowned upon that a bit.
"Hey, there you are!" A loud, cheerful voice came from the corridor behind them and they turned around to see Mokuba, peeping through the curtain. He approached them happily, blinking at the three in the middle of the hall, Rashid giving out orders.
"Is your brother also here?" Yuugi asked the younger Kaiba sibling and he nodded, the bandages around his arm removed.
"He's outside, waiting for us," Mokuba replied on which they all exchanged puzzled glances. Mai and Joey leaned forward, surprise evident in Joey's eyes and mischief glistening in Mai's.
"Did you say 'us'?" They repeated and Mokuba nodded, grinning at them somewhat impishly.
"Yeah," he chimed, putting his hands behind his head. "I kind of managed to talk him into taking you all to dinner."
Joey and Solomon's eyes sparkled at the mention of food and they beamed at each other merrily, making everyone else sweatdrop.
"Well, let us go then!" Solomon declared happily and marched off towards the curtain to disappear behind it, leaving Yuugi to gape after him.
"Oh, not again...Grandpa, wait!"
Seto Kaiba was waiting impatiently outside the museum, glaring at the midday sun and frowning at the amount of people that were constantly pushing and shoving him around. Silently, he was reprimanding himself for giving in to Mokuba's wish, knowing very well that he could afford to pay a dinner for all of them, but wasn't really in the mood to do that. He simply wasn't a sociable person.
When he spotted Solomon, tagging everyone else behind him, his jaw almost dropped. Mentally, he counted them all and then resisted the urge to slap himself when he saw that he would have to take eleven people out to dinner, with the exception of Rashid, who decided to stay and watch over the museum.
Mokuba smiled uneasily when he saw the murderous gleam in his brother's eyes and simply shrugged, making the CEO's brows twitch.
They started walking down the street, Mai seizing the opportunity and taking a picture of the CEO, making him blink at the sudden flash of light directed at his face and then glowered at her. When she wanted to ask him for an interview, she barely managed to open her mouth when a loud, firm 'No!' silenced her immediately. She glared back at him, leaving him to walk down the street with Mokuba and joining Joey and Serenity instead. The blond Egyptian smiled at her and she smiled in return, blushing slightly when he offered her his hand.
Solomon and Tristan were listening to Ishizu intently, laughing all the way at the story she had to come up with to satisfy inspector Muhadda's curiosity and survive his interrogation.
"I thought his mustaches would fall off," she chuckled, laughing herself at the memory.
Bakura and Tea were walking behind them slowly, the thief (now, one of the museum's workers) holding her by the waist protectively, both of them listening to Marik who was in the middle of explaining what was happening to him while he was under Amukh's control.
"I think he got what he deserved," Tea commented, earning a scoff from Bakura in return. Marik looked at the sky, wondering briefly what happened to the ancient Priest. He shrugged mentally when Tea said how she was glad it was finally all over and smiled at his sister, glad he was forgiven and given another chance.
Yuugi was the last one in row, walking silently behind them, feeling strangely sad and gloomy. He peeked at Kaiba through the small loop between Joey and Mai, and then at Bakura who was walking calmly in front of him, his hair billowing slightly behind him. And for some reason, felt sad that it was all over.
He knew that he and his friends were in serious danger; that they could've died so many times by Amukh's minions or by the Priest himself. But, he had to admit that no matter how dangerous it was, he was a part of a great adventure, something he had been dreaming of ever since he was little.
And now...now he had to leave Egypt, leave those people behind and wonder if he would ever meet them again. He stopped and sighed heavily, glancing up to look at the blue sky.
"You are sad," someone spoke behind him and he whirled briskly to stare at Shadi. The Prophet was standing calmly in front of him, a small smile playing on his lips. Yuugi recovered quickly, although he was still gawking at him.
"Shadi? Where have you been?"
The man with a turban smiled mysteriously again and looked at the retreating group of people behind him. "Had some things to take care of." Yuugi frowned in confusion.
"What kind of things?"
Shadi glanced at the sky and then with a smile, tilted his head a bit to point at his friends. "You better go now."
Yuugi wasn't satisfied with the reply, but knew the Prophet well enough already to know when he wouldn't get an answer from him. He half-turned around, spotting Marik scratching the back of his head uneasily and then turned to look at him again, his eyes inviting.
"Want to join us? Kaiba's paying!"
Shadi shook his head calmly, blue eyes unwavering but warm. "I'm afraid I can not," he replied, Yuugi's face saddening slowly.
"Why not?" He asked, feeling dishearten and disappointed again. Shadi put a hand on his shoulder, a small grin appearing on his face.
"My work here is done," he answered simply, making Yuugi frown in confusion again. "I must leave now. I just wanted to say goodbye and thank you for everything."
Yuugi watched in wonder how the Prophet bowed respectfully in front of him and then turned to leave. He reached with his hand quickly, not quite understanding what he meant by that.
"Wait! Where are you going? Are we going to see you again?"
Shadi stopped, and turned slightly to smile enigmatically at him, Yuugi blinking at the sudden happiness, shining on his face clearly.
"Perhaps we shall," he replied and shrugged, turning around and raising his hand in the air to wave at him. "In another lifetime."
Yuugi was left to stare oddly at his retreating form, and then blinked when he started to disappear slowly, his famous robes and turban fading away under bright rays of sunshine.
"Hey, Yuugi!" Tea yelled from behind, waving at him and making him turn around sharply to see them standing in the middle of the street, waiting for him.
He waved back at them and with a smile, turned around, but not before glancing at the bustling street and then at the blue sky above for the last time, feeling happy and content again.
"See you," he whispered, "in the next life."
÷takes a deep breath÷
I DID IT! WOOHOO! It's finally finished!
Wow...I still can't believe I've spent almost two years writing this...And I still remember how discouraged I felt when I received only one review for the prologue...
Anyway, I'm glad I managed to finish this in the end. You have no idea how many hours I used to spend in front of this computer, writing and then deleting and then writing new chapters all over again because I didn't like the way they turned out...but I must admit that I also feel kind of sad...I've really grown to like the characters and the roles I gave them. Amukh and Inspector Muhadda were the first original characters I've ever created and I'm proud of them. As for Rashid, I wanted to come up with an Egyptian name for Odion, but I didn't know what his Egyptian name was, so I came up with the name Rashid, only to stumble across a web page a few months later and finding out his name was Rishid. I almost fell off the chair when I saw how close I was...
And last, but not least – I'd like to thank you all for being great reviewers and supporting me all this time. So, I'd like to thank:
Andrea (thank you for being a great friend and listener, and for putting up with my rants and diligently pointing out my mistakes), DojomistressAmbyChan (who is only five days older than I am and whom I often tortured with evil cliffhangers...sorry! And yes - we're both Leos! Rowrrr!), YumeTakato (for being a faithful reviewer of a few words and for making me think hard about the 'busts in action' scenes), Mercy Sky (for being the first reviewer! Thank you!), Insanity Rose Sparkles (for being so enthusiastic in her reviews and making me laugh), PrEtTyStUpIdGiRl (Did I write that right? Anyway, thanks for loving this story), Mystic Dragon, Diana Artemis Silvermoon, Keoi, TeaTwin, sadistic introvert, mariks1andonly, Melimea, JenniChan, Scarlet-Moonlight, Crystal Koneko, A lilmatchgirl, Liviania, Deena70, Echo – Angel of Chaos, winky golden (thanks for pointing out those mistakes!), Deon.good bye everyone (odd penname you have...), XxxStrawberry-WitchxxX, angelus-2040, Malik Fan 03, Curingangelx3, Ice Ember, kaz, LadySilverDragon2...
And everyone else who will someday read this story and review!
I love you guys!