Trial of Spirit

Notes: ^_^ Okay! Here we go with our next story!

"Usual disclaimers, we don't own YuGiOh, or the manga or anime characters. ^_~ We do own our own characters, of course, and this story. ^_^"

Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed our previous story(s) and I hope you all enjoy this one too. ^_^!!

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Chapter One: Winter Dance

It was a windy day in February in Domino City, Japan. The wind rustled through the bare branches of the trees outside the yard of the Game Shop and whistled against the windows like a mad storm demanding to be let in.

Yugi Motou was sitting at his desk, looking down at the flyer he'd just received in the mail. Yami Yugi, the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle, was hovering over the boy in spiritual form, anxiously awaiting Yugi to announce what the colorful flyer was for.

"A dance," Yugi said, looking behind him at his friend, blinking. "It seems the school is scheduling a Winter Dance for this Friday."

Yami cocked his head.

"On what occasion?" he inquired, although a dance seemed harmless enough.

Ever since Yugi and his friends had gotten back from their little escapade in Egypt over the holiday break, Yami had been rather skeptical about everything, as if he were expecting another evil to pop up any second and attack them.

Yet, two weeks had passed and still no sign of evil, not to anyone's dismay. Everyone had enjoyed a relaxing vacation and they were now trying to get back into the routine of waking up early and going to school. The Winter Dance flyer seemed to be the only thing of interest Yugi had managed to come across in days.

"I wonder if the other's are going," Yugi mused, putting his hand to his chin thoughtfully.

Yami smirked, not able to resist the temptation.

"Why not call Tea and ask he if she'll go with you?" he asked casually, as if he had merely suggested peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.

Yugi immediately blushed a deep crimson as he gasped, looking up at Yami in outrage.

"Yami!" he cried, embarrassed as he put the flyer down on his desk. "That's not funny!"

Yami shrugged, still smiling casually.

"I didn't say it was, aibou," he replied with a wink. "But you know you want to go with her, so why not call?"

Yugi sighed, leaning over the side of his chair. Suddenly, battling an evil from the past seemed like an easy task compared to calling Tea and asking her to the dance.

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

Seto sighed as he leaned back in his chair in his office at the top of the Kaiba Corporation building, admiring his work. He'd been redesigning the website for the company, and was rather pleased with the way things had turned out. He'd used various different codes to make the letters and boxes just right, and was now taking a break.

The last few weeks had been rather quiet since they'd defeated the Vampire Lord in Egypt, and Seto wasn't complaining. He'd had quite enough of the spiritual and magical involvement for a while, and was enjoying just running his company smoothly.

The door to his office suddenly opened and his younger brother, Mokuba, ran in, smiling.

"Hi, niisama!" he cried, taking off his shoes and flopping down on a chair in the corner. "What's up?"

Seto smiled.

"Nothing really," he replied calmly, watching as his brother rummaged through his backpack, apparently looking for something. "I redesigned the website."

"Mm-hm, that's good," Mokuba muttered vaguely, pulling out math worksheets and notebook papers filled with doodles. "I got this cool invitation at school today..." he muttered, pulling out a brightly-colored flyer. "Here it is!"

He hurried up to his brother's desk and put it down on top of the keyboard, Seto looking down at it curiously.

"It's an invitation to a winter dance," Mokuba announced, smiling. "And I was thinking that we could go."

Seto sighed, narrowing his eyes skeptically at the black-haired boy. Mokuba ALWAYS seemed to be finding Seto's invitations, or getting one of his own, to events that Seto had no intention of going to. Yet somehow or another, he always managed to talk to the CEO into going.

"WE?" Seto asked, raising an eyebrow at Mokuba, who nodded.

"Yeah!" Mokuba replied, looking down at the ground, still smiling. "It SHOULD be a lot of fun, you know."

Seto raised his eyebrow higher.

"Why?" he asked, looking down at the sheet. "Are you interested in dancing, the food, or asking a girl to come?"

Mokuba fell over, looking embarrassed.

"Well, the food is good," he admitted, pushing himself up off of the floor. "And dancing is okay, and there's definitely no GIRL I want to ask, but I just thought it might be a relaxing, fun time."

He smiled his cutest smile at his old brother, who sighed.

"You really want to go to this, don't you?" Seto asked, looking down at the sheet of paper.

Mokuba nodded eagerly.

"Yeah, but I want you to come too," he added quickly, not wanting Seto to get any ideas about just dropping Mokuba off. "Come on, Seto. You need a break!"

Seto sighed, opening his drawer and putting the flyer in, then opening his planner and scribbled something under the Friday slot.

"All right, we'll go," Seto sighed, replacing the cap on his pen.

Mokuba grinned.

"Yay!" he cried, sprinting over to his backpack.

"But you have to finish any homework you have beforehand, okay?" Seto added, looking over at the boy.

Mokuba nodded, still grinning.

"Sure thing!" he replied.

* * * * * * * * * * *

It was a quiet day in Domino Museum, especially in the Egyptian department. Since Battle City and the Anubis attack back in October, not many people were interested in the temporary exhibit. However, a pale outline of a man, unseen by most, was wandering down the hallways, floating a few inches off the floor.

Priest Seto was now spending most of his time floating around the Egyptian wing of the museum, having had nothing else to do as of lately. The Millennium Items, with the exception of the eye and the scales, both of which were still missing, were all in good hands, and there were no evil spirits of people to worry about. So now the priest's main focus was trying to think of ways to help Yami get his memory back.

"If only Bastet hadn't forbidden me to tell the Pharaoh," Priest Seto murmured, glancing up at the stone tablet, which depicted he and the Pharaoh, and their strongest monsters. "That would have made things a lot easier."

A noise behind him made him turn around, startled. He sighed when he realized it was only a man snapping a photo of one of the exhibits, despite the sign that said "No Pictures, Please" on the wall in front of him.

Priest Seto still didn't quite understand the functions of the camera, but he had figured out that it wasn't a weapon, at least. The man turned and walked straight through the spirit, getting in position and snapping a photo of the tablet as well.

Priest Seto raised an eyebrow, slightly suspicious now. Why would this man be using to take pictures of the tablet? Was he working for evil? Or just a common man interested in the subject?

Narrowing his eyes as the man walked away the priest floated back toward the upstairs wing, still watching the man closely.

* * * * * * * * * * *

"I want to go with someone!" Pearl Lark whined, sitting on the end of her cousin's bed.

Amber Johnson sighed, pulling the brightly-colored flyer out of her white-haired cousin's grasp. Pearl had been in Japan for over two weeks, long past Christmas Vacation, seeing as how it was February, and Amber, as much as she loved her, was beginning to become irked by her.

"Pearl, there's no one for you to go to the dance WITH," Amber sighed, putting the paper in her desk drawer and returning to her math homework. "Go downstairs and play on the computer or something."

Pearl huffed crossly and folded her arms across her chest.

"Am-ber!" she whined, leaning over her cousin's shoulder. "You'll have Duke all to yourself starting next week, so PLEASE let me..."

Amber's eyes widened and she turned around so quickly that she sent Pearl falling to the ground, having lost her balance.

"No, Pearl! You can't go to the dance with Duke!" she replied in an irritated voice. "Go ask someone else! Go bother someone else," she added, turning back to her work. "Besides, Duke already asked me."

Pearl huffed, stalking out of Amber's room and down the hallway toward Duke's room. Amber, who was staying at Duke Devlin's place as an exchange student had her own room practically, her own boyfriend practically, and her own set of tight friends. She was a good duelist and was liked by a lot of people.

"Okay, scratch that," Pearl muttered with a laugh, remembering how most of the kids at school couldn't stand Amber, and even Tristan and Joey hated her for the most part. "But still."

It was hard not to be jealous of the brown-haired girl after a while. Especially when her boyfriend was SUPER cute and a certain ten-year old cousin of hers had a crush on him.

"Who else IS there?" Pearl huffed, sitting down on the stairs and putting her chin in her hands. "I mean, there's that Kaiba guy, but he's too...too something. Yugi, he's got Tea. Bakura? No. Taerro? Definitely NO. Tristan? He likes Serenity. Joey? He likes Mai!"

Pearl let out a sigh of exasperation.

"Sheesh, isn't there ANY decent guys left to go with me?!" she cried, feeling irritated.

So irritated, in fact, that she didn't notice Duke walk up behind her, an amused expression on his face.

"How about you go with Kaiba's younger brother?" Duke suggested, looking down at her, causing Pearl to jump, startled. "Mokuba. He's about your age."

Pearl scrunched up her nose.

"Ew, no," she muttered, looking down at the stairs, hoping she wasn't blushing. "I like, mature people, if you know what I mean. Most ten-year olds are, well, immature. You know?"

It was old Duke could do to stop himself from laughing as he nodded, a twinkle in his eye.

"Yes, I DO know, very well," he replied, grinning.

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

Bakura sat at the dining room table of Tristan's house, a chess board set up in the center, Tristan and Taerro in the middle of a heated game, which had been slightly interrupted by what Bakura thought of as a staring contest between the two boys.

"Um...whose move was it again?" Bakura asked, grinning as he scratched his cheek, looking embarrassed.

Tristan stopped glaring at Taerro and blinked, scratching his head.

"You know, I'm not sure anymore..." he muttered, turning to the black-haired boy across from him. "Taerro, do you remember?"

Taerro adjusted his glasses, trying to think.

"Well, we can just count the moves backwards starting with white to find out," he replied, doing the work mentally in his head, his finger tracing where the pieces had moved on the board. "Hm..."

Tristan sighed, leaning back in his chair.

"Okay, you do that and let me know when you're done," he chuckled, looking over at Bakura. "Man, I think it's been about ten minutes since the last move. We must have gotten a little side-tracked," he muttered.

Bakura sweatdropped.

"Um, actually it was twenty-five minutes since the last move, Tristan," he corrected the brown-haired boy politely. "But anyway," he continued quickly, changing the subject. "Are you going to the Winter Dance with anyone?"

Tristan smirked, nodding proudly.

"Yep," he replied calmly, putting his hands behind his head and sighing contently. "I managed to call Serenity's place when Joey wasn't around and she said yes."

Bakura smiled, chuckling.

"I don't think Joey is going to be very pleased to hear that," he reminded the boy, but Tristan shrugged, Taerro suddenly speaking up.

"Aha! Just as I thought," he said smartly, grinning and adjusting his glasses again. "It is black's turn."

Tristan nodded and moved his knight over to attack Taerro's queen, no longer interested in the game. He was too busy daydreaming about the dance and Serenity.

Taerro clucked his tongue and took a pawn with his queen, attacking the king.

"Sorry Tristan," he sighed, tipping Tristan's king over with the tip of his finger. "That's checkmate."

Tristan let his shoulders slump, his good mood slightly deflated.

"Ah, great," he muttered, narrowing his eyes as Taerro smiled proudly. "Good game, I guess."

Bakura sighed, just glad SOMEONE had finally won.

"Honestly, we need to remember to put a clock on you two next time," Bakura muttered with a smile, picking up his backpack.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Meanwhile, in a dark location of some sort, purple beams of light flashing across the room every few moments, a dark-haired women sat in silence, her eyes closed in concentration.

"The moment of truth is arriving," she murmured to herself, her eyes opening and narrowing as she grinned malevolently. "And those foolish children will forfeit their powers, and their lives to the TRUE master of the ancient arts."

Smirking, she laughed calmly to herself, her perfect plan almost at its commencement.

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End of Chapter One


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