The Era of Darkness

Notes: This is sort of a mini-sequel to Ancient Lies, but it isn't necessary to have read that one first. If you haven't read Ancient Lies, this is set in Ancient Egypt, just after the defeat of Bakura and the death of the Pharaoh and his priests. Anzu is Tea's ancient self, and Ryuji is Duke's ancient self. ^^;

"We don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! Or any of its characters, but we do own Amber and Pearl. And if you read our series, this story might fill in some gaps and answer a few questions, particularly about the modern Pearl and her pearl. ^_~

The beginning paragraph is from Amber's point of view. Enjoy!

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Chapter One: Memories

It's been three long months since the death of the nameless Pharaoh and his priests...and the evil Bakura, but life hasn't become peaceful for we, the villagers of the nameless Pharaoh's former kingdom. With his death, and no priests or relatives left to take over, a proper new Pharaoh has not yet been chosen, and neighboring countries are attacking our now weak kingdom.

And now...we struggle against a new evil...

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"Amber!"

Amber looked up from where she had been trying to patch a hole in one of the skirts she owned as a young white-haired girl came flying into their small house, teary-eyed. Amber raised an eyebrow.

"What's wrong, Pearl?" she sighed, addressing her younger sister, who sniffled as she ran over to Amber, lifting her skirt up over her knee.

"Some man ran his cart by really fast and I tripped!" she sobbed, pointing to a ground-burn on her knee, a pearl she wore around her neck swinging back and forth over her shirt.

Amber sighed.

After her parents had mysteriously disappeared a few months before, Amber and her husband, Ryuji, had taken in Pearl to care for her, as well as a young boy from the streets named Mokuba.

"Wasn't Mokuba with you?" Amber asked, surprised Mokuba would let Pearl wander around by herself, especially considered the times...

There was a panting noise from the door, and a young, black-haired boy staggered in, looking worn out.



"I was with her, but she was running ahead," he replied, gasping for breath as he collapsed on his mat on the floor.

Amber turned back to Pearl with a sighed.

"You need to be more careful, Pearl," she said sternly to the girl, who sniffled. "I said you could go out and play IF you listened to Mokuba."

Pearl bowed her head slightly.

"Sorry, Amber," she apologized. "But Mokuba's no fun. All his does is mope around."

Amber cast a silencing look at her sister. She'd taken Mokuba in after his best friend, one of the Pharaoh's priests, had died, leaving the boy rather lonely, despite his cheerful and caring new guardians and Pearl's company, if it could be called that.

"Sorry, Mokuba," Pearl sighed, sniffing.

Mokuba shrugged.

"It doesn't matter," he muttered, looking out the window as a few soldiers walked down the streets, swords attached to their belts. "Has a new Pharaoh been chosen?" he asked Amber, as he did every day.

Amber sighed.

"No, not yet," she replied, standing up and finishing off the patch over the skirt. "It seems they are afraid to elect a leader before all the evils from the attacks before the Pharaoh's death are defeated."



Mokuba blinked.

"Like that man with a mask you were talking about to Ryuji earlier?" Mokuba asked, tilting his head curiously.

Pearl's eyes watered.

"Man with a mask?!" she cried, turning to Amber. "Amber! What's Mokuba talking about?!"

Amber sighed, patting Pearl's shoulder.

"Pearl, go play with the other children near the house, all right?" she told her, looking into her sister's brown eyes seriously. "And don't wander off again."



Pearl put her hands on her hips.

"What is Mokuba talking about?" she demanded, but at that moment, Ryuji walked in, carrying his basket of things that did not sell at the marketplace.

Ryuji was a goldsmith by trade, but lately had taken to selling things at the market place rather than making new ones due to lack of sales. It seemed that most were staying off the streets during the past few months.

Ryuji sighed, setting the basket down in the corner of the house, Pearl sighing and stomped out the door. No one would answer her question now that Ryuji was home, she thought to herself. Secretly, she was a little scared of the man, since she knew nothing about him except that he had married her older sister, which was very little.

"Bad day?" Amber prodded softly.

Ryuji sighed.

"It wasn't the best," he replied, looking around. "And the word on the streets is that Arkana is back, and near the village, too."

Mokuba's ears perked up.



"That magician who helped kidnap the Pharaoh, and stole some of those Millennium Items?" he asked eagerly, turning to Amber and Ryuji.

Amber nodded. She seemed to think Mokuba was mature enough to hear the scary news from the village. Pearl, however, was a different story. Having led a sheltered life up until recently, Amber doubted the young girl needed to hear these kinds of things, despite the fact she and Mokuba were very close in age.

Ryuji nodded.

"Yes," he replied. "He seems to be trying to get the remaining items..."

His eyes wandered over to one of the only pieces of furniture in the whole house, a small table, on which lay a golden box with the eye of Horus on it. Inside were the shattered pieces of the Millennium Puzzle, the item that had once belonged to the Pharaoh.

Try as he may, Ryuji had never been able to piece it back together again and form the real Millennium item. Both he and Mokuba had tried at it, to no avail. Now it simply sat on the little table in their little house, collecting dust.

Mokuba followed Ryuji's gaze and understood what he meant.

"You mean he's going to come for the puzzle, right?" Mokuba asked, tilting his head to the side.

Ryuji sighed, picking up the golden box carefully, as if it were still the Pharaoh's.

"Yes..." he murmured, running his hands over the golden surface of the box. "I think he will indeed come for the puzzle."

Amber hissed, standing up, smoothing down her white skirt.

"Well then we'll defend it," she declared, looking at Ryuji seriously. "After all, that's what we said we'd do when we accepted it, right?"

Ryuji sighed, placing the box back on the table. He looked up at Amber and Mokuba seriously.

"Sometimes I wish I'd never taken the puzzle," he told them honestly, looking over at it. "We can't put it together, and we don't have much to protect it with."

Amber narrowed her eyes.

"We have our Ka," she pointed out, knowing that both she and Ryuji had learned over the years how to summon out the Ka in their souls to protect them with.

Mokuba and Pearl hadn't been able to summon their Kas yet, making them even more vulnerable. Ryuji, however, didn't look convinced.

"Yes, but we're dealing with an insane magician master," he replied, sighing. "It's not so much the puzzle I'm afraid for. I don't want anything to happen to you two or Pearl."

Amber sighed, letting his head shoulders sag.

"Then what do you propose we do?" she asked, Mokuba sighing and turning away from the conversation, although still listening attentively.

"Well," Ryuji began, sounds of Pearl and the other children of the village playing outside coming in the windows. "The young embalmer started the Gravewatcher's association, for protecting the items. They currently are protecting the rod and the necklace, and perhaps they'd take the puzzle as well."

Amber bit her lip as Ryuji put a hand on her shoulder.

"I know we could give it to them..." Amber sighed at last, looking out through the window at the village. "But we have to take a part in this battle too. And besides," she said sadly, looking up at Ryuji. "You're bound to be attacked while delivering the puzzle. Those magicians know where Millennium Items are and can detect them, I've heard."

Ryuji nodded, looking back over at the box on the table.

"I suppose you're right..." he murmured at last, walking back over to his basket that he'd brought home. "We'll just have to keep our eyes open, I suppose."

Amber nodded, trying to put on a smile again.

"True," she agreed as Ryuji pulled out a few flat loaves of bread that he'd brought home for dinner. "Mokuba, go call in Pearl and tell her it's time to eat."

Mokuba nodded, heaving a sigh and walking outside. As he stared up at the orange summer sunset, he felt his eyes prickle again, just as they had off and on for the past few months.

"It's silly," he told himself sternly every time it happened. "Crying won't bring him back to life."

But all the same, the sunset reminded him of the few days when he and the priest walked along through the papyrus, just talking, laughing, and being together. Living on the streets, Mokuba hadn't had many friends, but the high priest of the Pharaoh had taken a liking to him, and the two had become good friends.

"But now..." Mokuba began, but cut himself off as he swallowed hard, trying to block out the memories he loved. "Pearl?" he called, looking around, not seeing the white-haired girl. "Pearl? It's time to eat!"

A man hurried by, holding a basket of bread, and a few women were running toward their own homes, holding baskets of laundry over their heads, hoping to get home before darkness fell and the streets became no longer safe.

"Pearl?" Mokuba asked again, blinking.

There was no sign of the girl, or any of the other children anywhere. Mokuba shivered, wondering if she'd run off again...or if something worse had happened to her.

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End of Chapter 1

^_^ Okay, what did you think?

"Review, and let us know! And we'll have the next chapter up in a few days, okay? ^-^"

Red: Yeah, don't yell at us if we're a bit slow. XP We're working on our main YGO fic at the same time here.