Card 53: Soul Room
Shadii's Point of View
I, Shadii, have the mission of protecting the millennium items forever. I know where they come from and I must follow where they go for the good of the world. Upon searching for answers, I find that the path of the millennium items may change, so I seek an answer to this question: why? If the millennium rod was once in the hands of Seth, the high priest, why is it that his present incarnation refuses the item?
I hope to find at least a clue in the Soul Room of Seto Kaiba. That is the room I'll be visiting today, as for tomorrow, it all depends on what I find today. Finding Kaiba was no problem. He is working in his office at Kaiba Corp. My millennium key makes me invisible, so I approach without him knowing and appear only when it's too late for him to stop me. I point the millennium key at him and enter his Soul Room. I am surprised to find myself at a hallway with two doors. Seto Kaiba does not have a yami, so why does he have two soul rooms?
I decide to enter the one on the right first. The metal the door is made of is very thick, making the door heavy and hard to open. When I finally manage to open it, I feel like I have entered the future, I've never seen so much technology in one room. I can't even tell what color the walls are because there are computers and other strange machines I do not recognize covering them. The ceiling is like one large screen that displays many computer programming codes that I do not understand.
Unlike in must rooms, in this one there is no bed which means sleeping and resting are unimportant for Kaiba. There is nothing much more than computers here, except for one object in a corner of the room. I approach the desk where a laptop computer is. Next to it there is a locket that's shaped like a duel monsters card. Maybe I will find some clues in it; it is the only thing in this room that appears to be out of place.
I reach for the locket but stop when I hear a strange sound. As I turn around I see a trap door opening up on the floor and from it a robot about 7 feet tall comes out. The machine is mostly metal, except his face that looks human-like. He has short black hair and metallic long elf-like ears. His silver eyes glare at me, "intruder."
"Please, I do not wish to fight, I come in peace." I try to speak to it, but the robot does not listen. He raises his arm and points a laser cannon attached to his arm at me. I move quickly out of the way and the shot he fired hits the locket. Something tells me that locket was an important part of this soul room and now it's destroyed by another part of the soul room itself, there is a certain symbolic meaning to it I believe, but I have no time to analyze it now.
I try to jump into the trap door. This is where his true soul room lies, but when I step closer to it, I feel a thousand bolts of electricity hit me all over my body and fall back near the main door. With no time to waste, I quickly exit the room and close the door. My hands are still touching the metal door when I feel it become hot. I quickly remove my hands, burned by the heated metal and conclude that that robot must have fired a laser at the door.
I think about leaving now, before I mess things up here, it would appear that the balance within his soul room is much more easily upset than I thought. But I'm here to search for answers and so far I've found nothing related to the millennium items at all. Maybe I should try my luck in this other room. The door is also made of metal. Both doors are identical, which is very unusual. As I open the door, I notice that even if from the outside it looks identical, this one is much lighter due to the metal being thinner. Unlike the first door, I open this one without much effort. I prepare myself for a well armed robot to jump on me any second, but soon I realize that it will not happen.
This room is very different from the other one. There is a large computer and next to it a desk with a laptop. Two computers are very few compared to the many I saw in the other room. There is also a bed with plushies on it. One is a Blue Eyes White Dragon, the other looks like Mokuba. The walls are a light blue and unlike the cold metallic floor of the other room, this one has a carpet in a shade of blue a little darker from the walls, but still relatively light.
This room looks like it's a safe place, but it's always the dangerous places that hold the clues. I feel something poking my foot and look down to find a small golden colored robot. It's almost round and only about 10 inches tall. It doesn't look like the one in the other room at all. That one was large, built for battle obviously. His expressionless human-like face made him look more dangerous. This one is clearly all machine; no human-like aspect anywhere. It looks like a harmless toy rather than a machine of destruction.
I bend over to look at it and it seems to be looking at me. The green lights he has for eyes flash a few times as if he where blinking. "I see you met my friend," I hear a voice behind me, followed by the sound of the door, which I had left open in case I needed to run, being closed. The voice is that of a young boy, no older than ten years at the very most. I look at this new guest and find a younger version of Seto Kaiba. The boy looks exactly like him, except of course for the age difference. The little robot runs to the boy. It's a funny little machine.
"This is my robot friend, he's the only one here who plays with me, I build him myself." The boy picks up the golden robot toy. "You're in my room; have you come to challenge me at a game?" The boy doesn't sound angry that I'm here, he sounds like he wants me to challenge him. He looks like he just wants to play for fun, but he will try his best anyway.
"Who are you?" I ask the boy.
"I'm Seto, are we going to play yes or no?" He's getting a little impatient now, but something tells me that this boy knows more than he's showing so I agree.
"Very well I will play a game with you, but you must answer some questions."
The boy laughs. "Only if you win! Let's play chess first! What's your name?" He gets a chess board and a box with chess pieces from a pile of board games in a corner of the room and we both sit on the carpet as he sets the game.
"Shadii," having completed the task of putting each of the chess pieces where it should be, he tells me to go first so I move my piece. I must win this game to find the answers I seek.
xoxox xox xoxox
I lost the chess game, but the boy is willing to give me another chance to win some answers. This time he offers to play Duel Monsters but I do not have a deck so I must pass. He asks to play a videogame instead and again I pass, I was never good at modern day games such as video games and I have to time to waste, there must be some game I can beat him at.
Right now he's searching for a game in the pile of toys. Perhaps I should go investigate in the other room after all and come back here later. I turn around and head for the door, but he runs in front of me and stands in front of the door. "Don't leave!"
I look at the playing cards in his hand. "We can play poker or crazy eights, we could even build card castles!" We sit in the carpet again and play and again he beats me. This is not my day. He seams very happy about having won, though he looked like he knew he would win all the time. I'm starting to think that something in this room is making me lose.
The boy smiles, apparently he thinks he found a new toy, that's what he thinks I am, just another piece of a game, a game he can beat. Tired of this, I tell myself that I must get some answers now and try to do just that. "I've played with you, now please tell me about the other room."
The boy looks at the floor with sadness in his eyes, then he looks up at me and glares. "You didn't win, so I won't tell you!"
I'm growing very tired of this. "I must know!" The boy ignores me and goes to sit on his bed. He hugs the plushies, Blue Eyes White Dragon and Mokuba. I sigh and try to sound calm; obviously I'm not the best at dealing with children. "It's alright," I sit down at the end of the bed. "Please tell me." The young Kaiba holds the plushies closer and shakes his head. He looks like he's holding back tears, what could be in that other room that made him so upset. "Tell me, whatever it is you're worried about, I can help." I try once more to get him to trust me with whatever information he's holding back but it's useless, he just sits there in silence. I sigh again and get up, I'm not going anywhere like this, I might as well try to explore that other room again and hope I don't get captured by any robots. I get up and head for the door.
"Wait! Don't go! I don't want to be alone when he comes!" The boy calls me.
"Who is he?" I inquire.
"He wants to make me disappear," I nod as if telling him to go on. "He hates me, even if I didn't do anything to him. He wants me gone and he will come after me again soon, I can feel it! He stole my other plushie too, he said I already had too many so he took it."
"It's alright, tell who this he is."
The boy looks at me with fear in his eyes, "Seto Kaiba."
This is getting very confusing, even for me. Someone who is supposed to have only one soul room has two. A boy who looks exactly like him but years younger now tells me that Seto Kaiba is who he's afraid of. Isn't this boy also a part of him? How is any of this possible? "Tell me more," I wait for him to continue but he doesn't. "I might be able to help, just tell me, please."
The boy just closes his eyes and hugs the plushies. "The end is near," then the room falls silent.
"I can't help if you don't tell me more," I insist.
He looks at me again. "He stole my locket. He came in here and took it from me," I give him a confused look.
"What locket?" Apparently this item is important to him, but why? "My card shaped locket." Oh no, it must have been that locket I saw, but it was destroyed. Before I can say anything else, the door opens and there stands that robot from before. His silver eyes glow projecting a holographic image. In it I see myself jumping out of the way of the laser, I didn't avoid it fast enough; the laser did hit me and went through me, changed from red to blue and destroyed the locket. Is this what truly happened? I felt no pain so I assumed I had dodged it.
"It was you!" The boy points at me. "You destroyed my locket! I knew Seto couldn't do it alone, it was impossible!" I did not mean to cause this. How could I have known? I failed to enter and leave someone's soul room as I should, without changing anything.
I understand now, the laser used my energy to destroy the locket. I use the power of my Millennium Key to leave the room. I cannot fight this robot but I'm certain that he cannot hurt the boy. I'm starting to understand what's going on, but what I don't know is how this will affect the real Seto Kaiba. They are both a part of him and only he can decide which one stays and which one disappears.
xoxox xox xoxox
My millennium key makes me invisible, so Kaiba is still unaware of my presence. He blinks a few times and looks around the office before resuming his typing. I understand now... From the hall in the middle of the two rooms they both look the same because they are the same. It's actually one room divided into two. Each room represents certain characteristics of the owner of the soul room.
If there was a version of Kaiba in one room, there must be another version of him in the other room also. Both are the same person, two different aspects of him fighting for control. I conclude that the boy's room is who he was in the past, so the other room must be who he will become in the future and the two of them combined are his present self. This situation is very rare and I only saw it once before, long ago in the mind of a man called Kenshin Himura.
His situation was a little different, but in his soul rooms I found a boy who said was called Shinta and a man who was called Battosai. Both of them were part of Kenshin and were constantly fighting for control. I recall that they each had an item that connected them to the vessel. The locket must have been the boy's item and now that it's gone, he cannot contact Kaiba or have any influence in his behavior, only the other can. This is not good. If I don't restore balance, who knows what might happen. Yet I have a feeling that at this point, only Kaiba can restore balance to his own soul room.
End of Shadii's POV
That day everything annoyed Seto, even the smallest detail in anything. Clearly he was in a terrible mood today. The day went by very slowly for Kaiba Corp, everyone was afraid to cross Seto's path. Ending his day of work, Seto turned off his laptop computer after saving his work and put it in his briefcase. He exited his office and got in the elevator, where he literally punched the buttons to go to the first floor. He quickly left, glaring at anything that was in his presence and headed for his limo that, as always, was waiting. He yelled at the driver for no apparent reason and then they headed home.
The change from having the young Seto fighting the other Seto for control to having only the other, had made him cranky beyond belief, though he didn't know why he felt that way. He was completely unaware that anyone had been in his soul room. In fact, he had never been there himself, as those who don't have yamis are always in control of their vessels, so there is no way for him to end up in his soul room under normal circumstances.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Big brother!" Mokuba happily ran to Seto as he entered the mansion. "Welcome home Seto!"
Seto, who wasn't in the mood to deal with even Mokuba, simply pushed him away. "I'm busy kid." He walked into his home office and continued working. Mokuba stood there speechless.
Shadii appeared in front of Seto's desk. He had been watching and it was obvious everything needed to be fixed. "Who are you?" Seto sounded like he wanted to shot Shadii on the spot for coming into his house and bothering him. How did he get in anyway?
"Kaiba, there is something you must fix once and for all, you must make a choice." The millennium key glowed a bright golden light and soon Seto found himself in the hall between his two soul rooms.
"What happened? Where am I?" Seto looked around confused. He felt like he didn't move but his surroundings told him otherwise.
"You are in your soul room," Shadii's voice echoed. "I am sorry I caused an imbalance, but you would have to face this sooner or later anyway. Only you can fix this, I will make sure no one interferes from the outside, now go and explore your own mind. Certain doors will only open up for you," the voice faded away.
Seto never believed in any of this, but somehow he knew it was true. First he entered the younger Seto's room. He found what looked like a young boy's room, but this just wasn't any room. This was his room before he became an orphan. Everything was the same except the games and toys where broken now and there were two plushies on the floor. He recognized the Blue Eyes White Dragon but he didn't have a plushie of Mokuba in the past.
He heard the noise of metal against the floor and turned around to find a large robot at the door. "Come," The robot started to walk away. Seto followed the robot into the other room. A door opened on the floor and a platform came up, "enter."
Seto stood on the platform, it was lowered and he found himself in a place that looked like a futuristic technology arsenal. Computers, robots, cars, helicopters and machines that not even he had any idea what they were, all very high tech and futuristic, were everywhere. He was beginning to like this place, it could be great to play around with all those cool machines, to take them apart and put them back together again. There was so much technology, almost as much as in his dreams.
"Do you like this room?" A voice came from a dark corner of the large room. He looked around for it. There was little light, but it reflected on the silver walls, so the room was quite clear except for that corner. The man who spoke came closer, the darkness moved with him, surrounding him always, as if it was a part of him.
"Who are you?" Seto asked.
"I am your true self, Seto Kaiba. Upon taking a closer look at him, Seto realized that this man looked just like him, but he was older.
"My true self?" Seto was still surprised by the look alike.
"Yes, you are the vessel of both rooms and I am a projection of you." The man had a serious, cold and emotionless expression, yet he could almost see a little bit of sadness in his eyes as well.
"How is this possible?" Seto questioned.
The older Seto looked at him; it was as if he was always glaring. "Not I or that boy, are supposed to exist like this. Your soul is divided and that cannot be. You must choose one and become one with your choice."
This was getting very confusing for Seto. "What do you mean by that?"
The older Seto was clearly trying to keep his temper in check and not to hit the present Seto. He didn't have much patient, but his existence depended on the vessel's choice. "Choose either me or the boy to join with. I think your choice is clear. This was not to happen for a few years, you were not to come here so soon, but thanks to a strange visitor, it was possible to make the process faster." The older Seto began to walk and the present Seto followed him. They left the large room full of technology to enter a smaller, much darker room. "I will leave you now; I think I'll let the boy go first." The older Seto left the room, closing the door.
"You're here!" The young Seto ran to the present Seto, he jumped on him and hugged him, just like Mokuba would. "I get to go first, huh? Good this is all you'll need." A light blue light surrounded Seto and the young Seto. The light only lasted a few seconds, but Seto felt as if he lived his life all over again. He remembered everything so clearly; he remembered who he used to be. "You're always trying to leave me behind. You're trying to replace me with him, but I was there from the beginning. Only the locket, which represents your little brother, kept me connected to you. The locket has been destroyed now, so you can't depend on Mokuba anymore. You need to make a choice to bring who you used to be into the present and future or to replace who you used to be with who you might become and you have to do it for yourself, not only because of Mokuba. You have to want it to happen, not just do it because you feel your should."
The door was opened again and the older Seto returned. "Are you finished? It's my turn now." Darkness surrounded him and the present Seto. This time Seto felt like he was living his possible future, he was seeing who he might become; did he want to be that way? "You'll have power, you'll have technology, you'll have all you've ever wanted. So choose me now Seto, you know I'm the best choice"
Seto looked at both of them for a moment. "No, that isn't everything I want, there's more, I might have forgotten for some time, but I remember now." The older Seto looked surprised and the younger one was happy. "You're not who I want to become, as much as I tried to put my past behind, now I realized it wasn't the past I was leaving behind, it was myself."
xoxox xox xoxox
In a flash of bright blue light, Seto was home, again in control of his vessel. "You have chosen well," Shadii spoke before disappearing. Some souls where free spirits, souls that did not always follow the path before them. Those souls could experience conflicts within themselves sometimes, until they found a new path to follow, one that they had chosen on their own free will, not necessarily the destiny initially intended for them. Shadii received his answer after all.
For a few moments, Seto wondered if everything he saw was real. He still hung on to logic and didn't fully believe the stories about spirits and soul rooms, but for now he had more important things to think about. He had many things to fix in Kaiba Corp tomorrow, but right now he had to talk to Mokuba.
xoxox xox xoxox
Now there was only one room in his soul. The young Seto watched all the vessel did from there. He was a part of Seto, a part that he wanted gone but now accepted, a part that he would learn to like about himself, who he used to be, his true self. The boy smiled, it looked like everything worked out between the brothers after all and soon everything in Kaiba Corp would be fixed as well.
"Come my friends; let's go see what cool technology we can play with." The boy told the little toy robot and the plushies. Now he had all his plushies back, all three Blue Eyes White Dragons and Mokuba and all his toys and games were repaired. A passage opened on the floor and the little boy jumped in. He smiled as he looked around his true soul room.
This room was much larger than the other secret room had been and much more futuristic. The boy grinned, his technology was far more advanced and powerful then the other Seto had been. This boy, didn't settle for just good enough, he had more ambition and determination, it wasn't about appearing powerful but about being trully powerful while remaining playful.
"Let's play the take over the world with technology game." If only Shadii knew the true nature of the boy's being, he might have worried more than with the older one. Yet this was indeed the best and happiest choice for Seto, the world would just have to deal with it. Appearances can be deceiving sometimes and sometimes it's the most innocent ones that can create the most chaos. "Life is a game and I'm here to win!"
End of Card 53
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! or Rurouni Kenshin. The big robot was designed after Wren from Phantasy Star IV: End of the Millennium and the small golden one was designed after Robo from Chrono Trigger.