"Why are we here?" demanded Hiei, blunt as ever. "And does it by any chance happen to have anything to do with the energy waves that we've been sensing for…like, a year?"
"Yes, actually, it does," replied Koenma matter-of-factly. "Now, would you all do me a favor and raise your hand if you have ever heard of the seven Millennium Items?"
Kurama's hand shot up immediately—no surprise there. Hiei looked blank, and Yusuke and Kuwabara just looked angry about being spoken to as if they were still in elementary school.
"Kurama, why don't you explain? You'll do a better job than I ever can," said Koenma.
"There isn't much to explain," said Kurama. "I was barely three when they were created. There are seven or them, as you mentioned. They were created three and a half millenniums ago, in the reign of the king that is now called 'Tutankhamen.' Or was it his father?…I don't remember. Anyway, they were created by sacrificing ninety-nine souls, melting their bodies down into gold. I met a survivor of that massacre a long time ago, when I was barely into adolescence. An amazing thief, he was."
He smiled wryly. "To be honest, he was the one who inspired me to be a thief in the first place—but he was actually fighting for something. I never did find out what happened to him."
"Well, I don't know what happened to him either, but I do know that recently, the Items have become quite active in a town known as Domino. We have traced the magic down to four adolescents, two of whom have spirits within them from the Items. We still don't know much about them, but we can tell you what we do know. Botan, if you will?"
"I'd be glad to," she replied, bright as ever. She clicked a button on a remote, and an image appeared on the screen of a tall, slender man dressed in blue. He was handsome, in a cold sort of way, quite pale, with brown hair and sapphire eyes. She clicked another remote, and a close-up image of his face appeared. Above the image were the words Seto Kaiba, and next to it were some statistics, such as race and age and gender.
"His name is Seto Kaiba. He is an orphan, and the owner of a multi-million-dollar business known as Kaiba Corp. Cunning, ambitious, remarkably intelligent, arrogant, fiercely competitive, and very cold, the only one he seems to care about is his little brother Mokuba. He goes to the same school as the other three, and he has had several brushes with magic, but only recently accepted even a little of his powers. He also seems to have a thing for dragons, and he recently received the Millennium Eye from Bakura."
"Sounds like a regular teacher's pet," muttered Yusuke, sneering at the image. "He probably alphabetizes his books and doesn't have enough personality to fit on the head of a pin."
"What he sounds like is a smart version of Hiei," said Kuwabara.
"Ah, well, you would know a lot about intelligence, now wouldn't you?" retorted Hiei sarcastically. "I think not."
"As I was saying," said Botan, wanting to avoid any more conflicts. She pressed a button, and another image appeared on screen. This time it was the image of a boy's face, kind and beautiful, with huge emerald eyes and soft flowing white hair.
"Holy shit!" Yusuke cried.
"Damn, Kurama, he kind of looks like you," commented Kuwabara, tilting his head from one side to another in order to inspect the delicately lovely features more carefully. "Just, you know, with white hair."
"He does not look like Kurama you ignorant—oh, wait…" Hiei tilted his head slightly. "Yes he does."
"His name is Ryou Bakura," Botan said. "Nice kid, good grades, rather shy, has lots of girls who think he's cute—and he is." She blushed and giggled, and Koenma scowled.
"Can you get on with it?"
"Okay. Anyway, Ryou is one of the kids who has a spirit living inside him." She clicked another button, and the face changed. The hair became less soft, as did the features. The eyes turned blue and narrow and went from sweet to wise and cunning and haunted. Jaws dropped.
"Holy shit!" cried Yusuke for the second time.
"If that doesn't look like that Yokou Kurama guy, I don't know what does," Kuwabara cried. Hiei and Kurama didn't say anything. They just stared at the screen in wide-eyed shock.
"We don't know his name, or age, or anything. He resides within the Millennium Ring, and possesses dark powers of an immeasurable vastness. He is able to manipulate souls, and he seems to have a knack for cheating death. He wants to gain all seven Millennium Items, for reasons that are unknown as of yet. Ryou's friends know about him, and refer to him as 'Yami no Bakura', 'evil Spirit of the Millennium Ring,' or simply 'Bakura.' If Kaiba is cunning, he is brilliant. He has few friends of his own, though he is semi-friends with Kaiba and with Malik—who I don't think I've mentioned yet."
She pressed another button. Now the image changed into the face of another young man, with a tanned complexion and lilac eyes and long hair that was the palest of blondes.
"This is Malik Ishtal," she said. "He used to be a Tomb-Keeper for a king known commonly as the Nameless Pharaoh, but after several rather life-shattering occurrences, he decided he wanted revenge, but that was a bust. He recently went to the same school as the others, and seems to be adjusting fine to regular life. He possesses the Millennium Rod, and has a sister named Isis and a brother named Rishid. His parents are both dead. And, last but not least—well, height-wise he actually is the least, but…"
She pressed the button for a final time, and now an image appeared of a small, slender man in black leather, with garnet eyes and wild hair, his expression rather cold and haughty.
"Kuwabara, if you say anything I swear I'll slit your throat," Hiei threatened.
"He is called 'Yami,'" Botan said. "He resides within the Millennium Puzzle, and lives inside a boy named Yugi Mutou. He is the one I mentioned before, the one known as the Nameless Pharaoh, and he has no memories. He is very loyal and protective—but also unforgiving and judgmental. His title is the King of Games, and it is well-earned. Yami is a master strategist who can be sadistic and unfair, and often cheats in order to gain the upper hand. He and Bakura despise each other, and he and Kaiba are rivals. His other half, Yugi, is this sweet shy friendly kid who rarely speaks up and is often bullied—though less nowadays, as he has two tough-guy friends and anyway Yami essentially destroys anyone who bullies him anyway."
"So…what are we supposed to do?"
"Find out more," Botan replied. "Hiei and Kurama will have to go undercover to their school and befriend them, though befriending all four may be hard, especially in Kaiba's case. We have given you the entire school year, and you must reconvene with us every weekend using these." She held out those mirror-thingies she had given Yusuke.
"Are you mad, woman?" Hiei demanded. "You expect me to go to school—a human school?" He said the word 'human' as if it was a disease—then again, this was Hiei.
"Come on, Hiei," said Kurama, accepting the mirror. "How bad could it be?"
They had no idea.