The Millennium Ritual

Disclaimer: I don't own YGO, sadly.

Chapter 33: New Roads

The birds in the sky that were once frozen before began flying once more. The monsters that once terrorized cities all around Egypt disappeared, leaving destruction. The darkness filling the sky vanished, the sun appearing once more. Time began on its regular basis, as if it was never stopped by an unnatural force. Joey and the others successfully brought the wounded friends to the hospital. All seemed well in the world.

Except for this.

Yami was screaming, clutching his head tightly. "Sister! Sister! Maeve! Aura! COME BACK!" he cried, grimacing. Kaiba backed away, not believing what he did himself. He stared at his trembling hands, realizing for the first time what he done.

'Did I do the right thing?' he wondered, looking at Yami's shaking form. What he caused at that moment began to unravel around him, as he looked at Ryou, Shadi, and Ishizu's shocked faces. Yugi, being in his soul room, felt his yami's deep pain, and cried for the death. Kaiba looked this way and that, trying to find an answer.

"It's not my fault!" he yelled, staring at them all, "I swear, Aura wanted me to do it!"

"But Kaiba, WHY?" Ishizu asked, holding onto Shadi's shoulder for support. Kaiba didn't answer, for then the hole that swallowed Aura began to disappear, and Yami noticed too late.

"No! NO!" Yami yelled, digging through the sand, "This can't be! NO!" He continued digging, but with no prevail, which made him look pathetic indeed.

"Yugi, it's too late, she's gone," Ryou said sadly, staring at the Millennium Orb still in Yami's hands. Yami clutched the necklace tightly, tears making their way through his eyes.

He couldn't believe it. His sister, he only seen for just a moment, was gone. Forever. 'Just like before. . .' Yami thought. 'And just like last time, I couldn't protect her. Just like last time, I came in too late. But now, not only Maeve is gone, but Aura is too. Her spirit is gone, because now Aura's gone too. And it was because of the same person. . . Priest Set did it last time, and now. . .' Yami quickly wiped away his tears, and stood up quickly, everyone staring at him. (He believe Priest Set killed his sister because his dagger was found at the scene of the crime, and he was the first to appear by Maeve's dead form.)

Yami ran and lunged onto Kaiba, strangling him. Kaiba was choking, his eyes rolling inside his skull, sweat dotting his forehead. Shadi and Ryou gasped, and ran over to them, separating Yami from Kaiba's neck. Ryou and Shadi held onto Yami's arms hard, as he squirmed and struggled to get out of their grasp. Kaiba staggered back, alarmed, as Ishizu ran to his side and held onto his side for support.

"Get offa me, you foolish fiends! I need to get that bastard!!" Yami cursed, struggling, "He killed my sister TWICE! Kaiba, this is all your fault! You made me lose my sister!"

Kaiba glared at Yami, saying, "I told you, it's not my fault! Aura wanted me to do it! She wanted to be with her family again! That's why I let go! Besides, it was the only way for us to be okay! She said so herself!"

"But what about her!? Huh?! You didn't even think about her, because you're too thick headed, Seto Kaiba!" Yami yelled, growling.

"Pharaoh, calm yourself! Doing this will never bring her back! Face it; whatever you do, it won't change anything. All you will have is regrets," Shadi said, staring at the Orb. He took it in his hands, and put in front of Yami's face. "Would Maeve want this? Would Aura want this?! Yami, you are only thinking about Maeve, when there is another soul that died today! Think!"

After that, Yami calmed down, gently getting out of their hold. Kaiba looked on intently, as Yami held the Millennium Orb gently in his hands.

"I swear Yugi, no matter what Aura and I had in the past, I'd never do that to her, or anyone else. Who do you think I am, a monster?! And if you hadn't noticed, I wasn't thinking about myself! I was thinking about Mokuba, my brother, too!" Kaiba yelled angrily. Yami was silent, unable to look at anyone.

Suddenly the ground shook, as everyone looked toward the ceiling of the black pyramid, wondering.

"Now what?" Ryou asked to the air. He soon found his answer, as the black pyramid started to disappear to thin air. They watched with amazement as the stone jackals started to melt into the sand, as did everything else around them. Then, after a few moments of awed silence, the five people were outside in the sand, covered with sand from the black pyramid.

When they turned to look at Yami, they noticed that he had become smaller. Yugi suddenly appeared in his place, holding the Orb tightly in his hands. He looked at everyone, including Kaiba.

"I think. . . That it's time to go home," Yugi whispered.

It did not take as long as they suspected to reach the hospital on foot, for they were not far from civilization. But what they saw in the streets of Egypt made them gasp in horror.

Everything was torn to shreds, houses down, stands burned, and even worse. All around them were stretchers with wounded people, each soaking in their own blood. Yugi, Kaiba, Shadi, Ishizu, and Ryou walked among them, with only a few bruises.

"What. . . Could have done this?" Yugi asked.

"The monsters that the necromancer released before. OUR monsters." Ishizu replied, staring at her deck of cards. Kaiba, Yugi, and Ryou stared also at their decks, for their monster cards reappeared in their decks after Aura's death.

"Yugi!" A voice called. Yugi's eyes lit up, as he realized who was the voice's owner was.

Joey, Serenity, Mokuba, and Mr. Motto were running toward them, waving their arms wildly. As they came closer, Joey ran up to Yugi and gave him a big bear hug, Mr. Motto laughing cheerfully. Mokuba ran into Kaiba, hugging his legs tight. Serenity smiled and shook hands with Shadi and Ishizu, and then said hi to the others. Ryou grinned and shook Joey's hand and hugged him. For a moment, all that happened before was forgotten, much to everyone's relief.

Looking up, Yugi asked his grandfather, "Grandpa, are Duke, Tea, and Tristan okay?" He nodded in reply.

"They're doing just fine, Yugi! In fact, their burns are healing really quickly!" Serenity cried happily.

"Yeah, what that one spirit thingy girl did to them really helped! In fact, I bet they'll be okay in a week or so!" Joey said, grinning. The moment Joey mentioned Maeve caused the gloom to return to the five. Their smiling faces soon turned into frowns, causing Joey and Serenity to wonder what happened.

Suddenly Mokuba looked around. "Hey bro, what happened to Aura?" Mokuba asked, who was standing by Kaiba and looking at him questioningly. Kaiba was silent, and turned his head away, a frown on his face.

"You guys. . . She's gone," Yugi whispered, everyone looking at him in surprise.

Serenity laughed, saying, "What do you mean? I'm sure she's somewhere around here, isn't she. . . She. . . She didn't get hurt, did she?" She suddenly turned serious.

"Aura died. . ." Ishizu said quietly. Everyone gasped, staring at her.

"Wha-What? No! Aura can't be dead! I mean, come on! You're joking. . . Right Seto?" Mokuba asked, shaking a little.

"A-Aura too?" Serenity said, tears in her eyes.

Ryou raised his eyebrows. "Too?"

Mr. Motto shook his head, saying, "Something happened before. . . The Healer was murdered by. . . by these women. After they killed her, they pointed toward. . . the east I think, where you were. So we left her on one of the beds in the tomb keeper's bedrooms, and quickly drove to where you were. When we came back, she was buried outside, and we didn't know how."

Mokuba gaped, saying, "She died too?! Did this happen before you rescued me?!" Serenity nodded. Mokuba stepped back, holding his stomach. Kaiba saw, and stepped toward Mokuba.

"Mokuba, come back here," he ordered, but softly. Mokuba shook his head.

"H-how did she die?! Did a monster kill her?!" Mokuba asked Kaiba. Kaiba soon stopped, eyes widened. Yugi noticed, looking at him.

'If Mokuba knows what Kaiba did, he'll never forgive him,' thought Yugi.

"We don't know, Mokuba," Yugi said aloud, as Kaiba stared at him, "She. . . just died. We don't know how she died, she just did. Maybe it was because of those phoenixes, or maybe something else. It's hard to know." Kaiba stared at him with amazement.

"Do you at least have her body, Yug'?" Joey asked. Yugi shook his head.

That was when Ryou spoke, saying, "Her body was burned. Nothing remained." Everyone was quiet, Mokuba crying a little.

Joey wiped away his tears on his sleeves, and said, "Well, I guess we should be heading back to Domino. The doctors said that it would be good for Duke, Tristan, and Tea's health. There's not much more they can do here, with all the destruction. They said that we can leave today." Yugi, Ryou, and Kaiba looked up in surprise.

"Now? But, what about all of this. . ?" Ryou asked, waving his hand to show the wounded people.

"It's not our problem now, Ryou. We must leave. Your parents will be worried. Besides, we were here in Egypt for at least a month," Mr. Motto said. The teenagers gaped at him.

"We. . . We've been gone that long?" Serenity asked, as Mr. Motto nodded. As everyone stared at the Egyptians, they nodded also. Yugi and Joey looked at each other, not realizing how long they were gone.

"Then I guess. . . It's time to go home," Yugi whispered. Making a silent agreement, they all walked forward, seeing the stretchers with their wounded friends moved to a van. They all walked toward it, including Shadi and Ishizu. They were all on board the van, to notice that one certain black haired boy did not walk in. Mokuba.

"Hey Mokuba, come on. We have to leave," Serenity urged, holding out a hand. He did not move.

"What about Aura?" Mokuba asked angrily, staring at them all. Once again the gloom was placed on them.

"We can't do anything Mokuba. She's gone. It's time to move on," Ishizu said sadly. He shook his head.

"We need a funeral for her, that's what we need! I'm sure she would have done the same for us!" Mokuba exclaimed sadly, his eyes watery. No one answered, the burden growing heavier on their shoulders. Kaiba looked at his brother softly.

"Sure Mokuba," Kaiba said, surprising everyone, "We'll have a funeral for her." Everyone stared at him in amazement.

Kaiba held out a hand, which Mokuba took. Helping Mokuba inside the van, they closed the sliding door, and the van started, driving through the streets of wounded people. In the car, Yugi, Kaiba, Mokuba, Ryou, Joey, Serenity, and Mr. Motto looked at each other with sad faces. Shadi and Ishizu sat in front of them, facing the front. Slowly, Serenity took the hands of her brother and Ryou, smiling a warm smile. Ryou held Mr. Motto's hand, as Joey held Mokuba's hand. As Mr. Motto held Yugi's hand, Mokuba and Yugi both held Kaiba's hands together, with Kaiba's silent disapproval.

Then they all stared at Duke, Tea, and Tristan, sleeping peacefully. Then Yugi looked out their car windows, to see all the destruction, chaos that ensued that day. Yugi suddenly felt sad once more, but then he saw sign of hope.

A small girl was standing above her wounded father, grasping his hand tightly. The father looked up at his child, smiling a little, and then falling to sleep once more. As the girl watched the van drive pass her, she waved at Yugi and smiled. Yugi waved back, feeling a little lighter. Then he looked up to the sky, to see, even on this dreadful event, the sun shining brightly through puffy white clouds. At that precise moment, Yugi felt that Aura and her family were looking down at them, smiling. He turned back on his seat, smiling.

"You okay Yug'?" asked Joey. Yugi smiled, seeing that they all let go of each other's hands moments before.

Yugi shook his head, and then stared at each of their faces, seeing their different features, imagining their different personalities, and their different attributes.

"Something tells me that everything will be okay, you guys," Yugi said, everyone, including Yami, smiling. The only person who did not smile was Kaiba, but at that moment, Kaiba realized something.

He remembered that the date was June 11, and Mokuba's birthday would be next month, July 7. As he thought of this, in one part of his mind he remembered that it was a part of the vision he had in the Shadow Realm before. And later on, when they are in Domino, he would realize that all that had been predicted in the vision would happen.

Epilogue

After the plane ride, Mr. Shields, Aura's father, found out about Aura's death, which made him slap Kaiba across the face, thinking that Kaiba had something to do with it. As they entered the plane before, Yugi smashed the Millennium Orb into pieces on the plane, making sure no one would use it for evil. Tea, Duke, and Tristan were taken to the nearest hospital after the landing. Later on, Kaiba walked up to Yugi and talked to him, as Yugi stared at the Dark Magician and Wingweaver, which he found in his deck, in his hand. When Kaiba remembered Aura falling, he realized that Aura did fall, but did not reach out for a hand like the vision had told. All that the vision told (with the exception of Aura's fall) really happened, which confused Kaiba very much.

Now it is Aura's funeral, and the tombstone in the graveyard held her name, Aura Riordan. It was held weeks later, and Duke, Tristan, and Tea were well enough to get out of the hospital. Everyone dressed in black with grim faces. Ishizu, Shadi, and even Rasa the driver flew to Domino, to pay their respects. As the funeral hymns were playing, Mokuba cried, as Kaiba patted his back. Yugi held his grandfather's hand tight, seeing the empty coffin. Mr. Shield's tried his hardest not to cry, for he did love his daughter, and would miss her.

Only fourteen people came to her funeral, which consisted of mostly of Yugi, Kaiba, and the others, with Aura's father and Rasa. When the hymns were done, each of the fourteen people stood and placed a single white rose inside the coffin. Yugi came first, then Mr. Shields, Tea, Serenity, Joey, Ishizu, and so on.

Kaiba was the last to go, and as he placed his white rose in the coffin, he said quietly, "We'll see you soon. I'll give Mokuba your present to him."

He stared at the Wingweaver card Yugi gave him. Turning around, he saw the rest leaving, with Mokuba staying behind. He walked up to him and held his hand, Mokuba's eyes shining with tears. The two brothers stared as the coffin was lowered down, ready to be covered with the Earth's soil.

When it was finally lowered, Mokuba said, "We'll miss you Aura," He looked up to Kaiba. "Me and Seto both. Bye Aura."

As they walked away and stepped into the limo, Kaiba stared ahead of himself, thinking about the future. Mokuba stared at his brother.

"What are we gonna do now, Seto?" Mokuba whispered. Kaiba shook his head, looking out the window.

"I guess I'll start working on my dream about creating my own game, like Duke did with Dungeon Dice Monsters. I guess. . . We'll be going to America. I think we're going to need time and space to forget about this event and move on." Kaiba said, with Mokuba nodding his approval.

"Seto. . . You never did do anything to hurt Aura. . . Did you?" Mokuba asked quietly.

Kaiba hesitated before shaking his head. "You know I'd never do that, Mokuba. I never will." They were silent for a moment.

"Do you think Aura's with her family right now?" Mokuba asked. Kaiba stared at him with amazement. He could imagine Aura saying:

"Seto, I'm going to see Seth and Mama again! Don't worry, I'll be okay! And you and the others will be okay too."

And then, as he looked out the window, he could have sworn that he saw Aura up in the clouds with her little brother, Seth, and her mother, Aura smiling and waving at him. Kaiba smiled and waved back, with Mokuba looking at him strangely.

When Kaiba looked back at his brother, he replied easily, "You know, I bet she is. In fact, I bet she is happy too." Mokuba smiled, and embraced Kaiba in a hug, which he hugged back. And for some reason, Mokuba and Kaiba both believed that everything will be okay.

Above the city of Domino, the three women who killed the Healer before looked upon the brothers, frowning.

"This wasn't supposed to happen. . ." one said.

"The necromancer altered destiny," said the other.

"What shall we do then?" the third asked.

"Wait," said the woman who talked second. They nodded at each other, and in a blink of an eye, they disappeared.

They would not appear until a year later, when fate once more brought the lives of Yugi Motto, Seto Kaiba, and others together once more.

The End

And that's the end of the story. Don't think that this will end right here. A sequel shall come in a few weeks, or maybe one. Who knows. . . Until then, I'll see you later.