Chapter Sixteen: The Door

Notes: ^_^ Here we are with the final chapter of The Strike of the Vampire Lord!

"Thanks for reviewing, and our next story will be up tomorrow, as always. ^_~ The pending title is "Trial of Spirit" but we're not sure if it's going to stay that way. XD The infamous "hint" was actually in the last story, since a certain villain-ness needs to come out into the open."

SO! Last chapter, here we come!

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Chapter Sixteen: The Door

It was dark, but the darkness was comforting as Seto slowly came to his senses. He was definitely not in the dank underground of the desert, he knew that for sure, but other than that, he had no clue where he could be. The Vampire Lord had been sealed, yes, that was his last memory. Then, he fell down and Mokuba was next to him...

Slowly, Seto opened his eyes to see the dark ceiling of the Gravewatcher's home looming above him. They were above ground again, he thought to himself, trying to raise himself up, but he realized that all his muscles felt too stiff and tired.


Seto blinked, confused and looked next to him to see Mokuba sitting on his own bed across from Seto's, watching his brother anxiously.

"You're awake!" he cried, grinning. "I was so worried about you..."

Priest Seto, who had been floating around near the ceiling looked down at the sound of Mokuba's voice, smiling to himself.

"What...happened?" Seto asked, pulling himself upright into a sitting position.

"You used the sealing ability of the Millennium Rod," Priest Seto put in, Seto looking up at him. "With your sealing ability and the young girl's ice, I think that the Vampire Lord has been sealed for a very long time. Unfortunately, tapping into some powers of the Millennium Rod prove to be more draining than others."

Seto nodded, everything sinking in at last.

"Yes, I see," he replied, thinking to himself.

Mokuba smiled, walking over and sitting on the end of his brother's bed, cross-legged.

"I'm glad you're okay, niisama," he said softly, looking down at the bed sheets. "I was worried for a little bit."

Seto smiled and put his hand on his brother's shoulder, causing Mokuba to look up.

"It's okay, Mokuba," he replied.

Mokuba smiled up at Seto.

Priest Seto smiled and floated out of the room, wanting to give the two brothers some time to themselves. Now that he knew for certain that Seto Kaiba was all right too, he had something important he needed to do.

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

Bakura yawned and sat up in bed, feeling groggy. Looking to the bed beside him, he saw that Yugi was sound asleep. Blinking, the boy looked around for Yami, but the spirit of the Pharaoh was nowhere to be found.

"We...we won," Bakura said aloud in disbelief, almost.

"That's right," Came a familiar voice from the doorway, and Bakura looked up to see Taerro standing there, smiling. "You guys did a great job. I saw the stone tablet for a second when we came down to get you guys."

Bakura gestured for Taerro to come in as he blinked, confused.

"You guys found a way in?" he asked, curiously.

Taerro nodded, sitting down on the end of Bakura's bed.

"Yeah, after a bit, Tristan ended up falling down into one of those magic holes and ended up in the middle of the black platform. We lowered down a rope and got everyone out once we figured out what had happened, but I couldn't resist going down there and seeing the tablet for myself," he replied, looking down at the ground.

Bakura nodded.

"Thanks," he replied, smiling, glad the Vampire Lord was gone for good.

There was a long pause between the two, and then Taerro spoke up again, his voice soft and apologetic.

"I'm sorry," he sighed, his eyes looking sadly down at the ground.

Bakura tilted his head, completely surprised but the sudden twist of conversation.

"Sorry? For what, Taerro?" he asked, leaning toward the black-haired boy.

"Well," Taerro sighed, facing Bakura. "This is really all my fault. I mean, if I had only been more careful in that antique shop last spring, I wouldn't have dropped it and released his spirit. Think of all the trouble it's caused for everyone: Like at the amusement park, at the beach, stealing the medallion, when he ended up in Egypt and stole Pearl's powers, and now this."

Bakura smiled reassuringly.

"Taerro, I know exactly how you feel," he replied honestly, Taerro looking up at Bakura in surprise. "The evil spirit of the Millennium Ring," he replied, looking over at the ring, which was sitting on the table beside his bed. "Has caused more trouble than I can recall, or want to, and it's partially my fault. But I never wanted him to do any of that, and you never wanted the Vampire Lord to do any of what he did. We were against them and fought against them, and that's what matters."

"Besides, everything's okay now," Bakura added, Taerro nodding, looking grateful.

"Thanks Bakura," Taerro replied, smiling.

Bakura scratched his cheek.

"No worries, Taerro," he replied happily.

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Yami blinked as he followed behind Priest Seto, who was taking the Pharaoh deep into the desert.

"So tell me, priest," Yami asked as the two approached a stone temple in the middle of the desert. "What is it that you want to show me?"

Priest Seto walked through the stone wall of the temple, followed by Yami, who still looked rather confused, but intrigued.

"I thought that perhaps by seeing something that brought back memories to me might aid you in bringing back some memories of your life, Pharaoh," Priest Seto explained, gesturing to the tombs. "These are our...tombs."

Yami bent down to look at them, and surprisingly enough, he seemed to be able to understand what one of them said, even though it was written in hieroglyphs.

"Nameless Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty..." he murmured, narrowing his purple eyes as he thought to himself. "Died in a battle against evil."

Slowly, he turned to face Priest Seto.

"This is my tomb," he said, looking as though he'd discovered something. "I can feel it. However, it seems empty. I can't sense anything beneath it."

Priest Seto nodded.

"When you died, your body disappeared," he explained, not knowing how he would explain HOW he had seen this, since he had already been dead by that point. "You were sealed into the puzzle, like Bakura."

Priest Seto bit down on his lip, knowing Bastet had forbidden him to tell Yami anything about his memory.

~It is his destiny to find his memory in his own way...~

"Yes?" Yami asked, looking interested, watching the priest carefully.

Priest Seto sighed.

"I apologize, Pharaoh," he replied, turning away. "Bastet forbade me to say anything more about your lost memory. She said you must discover it on your own. But..."

Priest Seto turned to face Yami again.

"I thought that taking you here might help you," he explained.

Yami nodded slowly, looking down at his empty tomb. Nameless. Nameless. Why? What had happened to make him the NAMELESS Pharaoh? Why did the people suddenly forget him, and his name wiped out of history? And most importantly, why did he himself not remember a thing?

Although these questions buzzed around in the Pharaoh's mind, he felt somehow that coming here had opened something up; brought his memories into a new perspective.

"Coming here was not a waste, priest," he replied at last, smiling vaguely down at his tomb. "I feel as though my memories are hidden somewhere within me, within one of those doors in my soul room, and since I've come here, it is as if the door to my memories has opened an inch or so."

Priest Seto's eyes lit up. It HAD jarred some memories after all. Yami clenched his fists, determined.

"And now, I must find the remaining Millennium Items and continue searching for my memories so that someday, I'll be complete again," he said in a firm voice. "Someday."

Priest Seto nodded, knowing he'd always be willing to help.

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

A few days later, the gang stood outside the Ishtar's home, three cabs waiting behind them to take them home once more. Yugi blushed as Ishizu smiled at him, wanting to thank them.

"Thank you for everything you did to protect us all, Pharaoh," she said, nodding toward Yami. "And you too, Yugi. And all of you."

Priest Seto frowned, recalling what Ishizu had said to him a few nights before, in the dark room.

~Why are you here? You are not bound to anyone or thing...~

Having no ties to anything made it a bit difficult to exactly say WHY he was there, but he felt that for some reason, he WAS tied to someone, or something, in a small way. He'd just have to figure out what, and how.

"No problem!" Joey replied confidently, winking at the Ishtars. "Besides, we ought to be thanking you for getting us out of that hole."

Bakura nodded.

"Yes, thank you very much," he replied, looking over at Mr. Taylor, who was talking to Rishido about something, taking notes.

"Come back and visit us soon," Malik added with a smile as Pearl shoved her suitcase into the backseat of one of the cabs. "Although, I'm sure we will meet up again soon."

Yugi nodded.

"True," he replied.

Tea frowned, feeling as though something were being left out, although everything appeared to have been wrapped up. The Vampire Lord was sealed, the zombies had disappeared, and everyone was safe...

"Shadi!" Tea suddenly cried, looking around at the others. "Where did Shadi ever go?"

Ishizu frowned, looking at Tea curiously.

"I don't know," she murmured in reply, thinking. "I do hope he is alright, but I have a feeling that he is dealing with something important."

Tristan shrugged.

"Yeah, I'm sure he's fine," he replied, bored. "He always seems to show up at the right moments anyway. Like when he caught you and I on the Battle Ship after we'd been..."

Tristan trailed off, embarrassed, and was definitely not going to mention WHY they were fighting, especially not right in front of Serenity. Duke was just as glad, not wanting Amber to get the wrong idea about him. After all, that had taken place BEFORE he'd met her anyway.

Joey raised an eyebrow.

"After you'd been what?" he asked suspiciously, leaning over toward Tristan, who turned red.

"After we'd slipped and nearly fallen off the blimp!" Tristan exclaimed, waving his hands in front of him.

Serenity's eyes grew wide.

"You nearly fell off of a blimp, Tristan?" she asked, looking horrified. "I'm glad Shadi showed up then!"

Tristan rubbed the back of his neck, blushing at Serenity's concern. Duke rolled his eyes and turned back to Amber, who was fiddling with her amber pendant.

"Well, I guess Pearl's going to have to come back to Japan with us for a little while," Amber said in a playful voice, prodding her younger cousin, who blinked.

"I...I do?!" she cried in disbelief, a big grin spreading over her face. "YAY!" she cried, jumping up and down in excitement. "All right!"

Duke chuckled as Joey shook his head in irritation.

"Thank goodness this is only over winter break," he muttered. "Amber is bad enough. We don't need Pearl around too."

Duke nudged Joey, glaring at him, but Amber winked.

"Oh well!" she replied, she, Tea, Serenity, and Pearl getting into the backseat of one of the cabs. "See you at the airport guys!"

The four girls waved as their cab took off back toward the airport, the boys waving as they packed their things into the other two cabs. Seto sighed, stowing the Millennium Rod in his briefcase and snapping it shut before putting it under the seat in the car.

"Ready to go home?" he asked, looking down at Mokuba, who was flipping through a brochure on Egypt that one of the cab drivers had given him.

Mokuba looked up and nodded, grinning.

"Yep," he replied, giving his brother a quick hug before getting in the car himself.

"Me too," Seto replied, looking at the desert one more time. "I've had enough adventures in Egypt for a while."

Priest Seto chuckled, shaking his head as Yami finished up talking to Ishizu and headed toward where Yugi was getting in one of the cars.

Priest Seto nodded politely to acknowledge Ishizu as Seto got into the car next to Mokuba, Taerro and Bakura double-buckling beside them to fill up the rest of the room in the car. Squished as he was, Taerro waved at Malik, Ishizu, and Rishido as Tristan, Mr. Taylor, Yugi, and Joey got into the last cab, Yugi double-buckling with Joey, making an even tighter squeeze.

Yami and Priest Seto were both fortunate since neither took up any room in the cars. Yugi waved at Ishizu as the cars took off toward the airport once again.

"Bye Ishizu! Bye Malik! Bye Rishido!" Yugi called cheerfully as the three Egyptians grew smaller and smaller until they were only specks on the horizon.

Yugi turned around and sat down in his seat again, Joey's elbow in his face. He looked up at Yami, who appeared to be deep in thought again. Smiling, Yugi decided to talk to the spirit.

"Yami?" he asked mentally, Yami looking down at his friend. "What did the priest want to show you?"

Yami smiled.

"Just a temple," he replied honestly. "Just a temple."

Yugi nodded.

"I'm glad we've banished the Vampire Lord," he sighed, closing his eyes happily.

Yami nodded in agreement, looking out the window as they flew by the desert sands in the speeding car.

"Ah," he agreed, feeling that their adventures in Egypt were far from over completely. "But I have a feeling that there are many evils still in our path."

Yugi sighed.

"Then let's try not to run into anymore for a while," Yugi replied with a hint of laughter in his voice. "At least not until Christmas Vacation is over."

Yami laughed.

"We'll try Yugi," he replied, still smiling. "We'll try."

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^_^ WOW! It's done already!

"^_^! REVIEW and let us know how you liked it. And by tomorrow or the next day we should have the start of our new story, "Trial of Spirit" up. ^_^!"

Until then! And thanks for reading. ^-^!