Chapter Eight - Who Faces Who?

The present Digidestined stared at the older boy in shock. The Shadow Realm? What in the hell was that supposed to be?

"Okay, listen up" Seto said, snapping them out of their reveries. "I am going to tell you tell you how it was told me when I was small and I don't want to be interrupted. As you all know, there are other worlds - other dimensions - that overlap each other. Right now we in within the Digital Realm"

Ken frowned. "So your saying this 'Shadow Realm' is just like the Digi World?"

"That's exactly what I'm saying. Each realm, whether it be the Human, the Digital, or the Shadow - all three, and more, have coincided for thousands of years. The Shadow Realm is the home of darkness, nightmares, demons, true monsters, and the sorts of things that you always thought were irrational to fear. And let me tell you, its not a pretty place - I was banished there for a time once before"

"Now as of three thousand years ago, during the reigns of the great pharaohs in ancient Egypt, the Shadow Realm nearly engulfed the Human Realm. Had certain things not happened to prevent it, then our home world as we know it wouldn't be as it is today. It would have been consumed completely, and that is what it is trying to do to the Digital Realm right now. Back then; it was thanks to an ancient ritual and seven items of magical Shadow power that saved everyone. These items still remain with the world today, and they are known as the Millennium Items. If we are ever going to stop this decay, then were are going to need their powers"

Everyone was silent, gazing at Seto in awe. Tai raised his hand.

"And how do we go about getting them?"

The taller boy nodded, having already taken that into account. "Now that's hard part. Each item has an owner and they will not be easily parted with tem. As of last, I have only seen three"

Matt's face deadpanned. "Then how are we going to find the other owners?"

The older brunette growled in frustration, glaring at the 'new' boy as he fisting his knuckles to he calmed himself - now he knew why T.K. was just a pain in the ass.

"This is the Digital World kid; as I've come to learn, you can find out just about anything when it comes to tapping into the mainframe. So that means we get to the use the last of the uncorrupted recourses to locate the others. Once we've found them, we'll have to engage their owners in a Shadow Game - one in which the playing field is set so there is the chance that you could die"

"DIE?" Kari squealed, latching onto Gatomon like she was a stuffed toy and began to straggle the poor cat Digimon. "What do you mean die?"

Davis and T.K. nodded frantically.

"Would you prefer not trying and have and have this world consumed by the Shadow Realm, then ours next?"

"N-no"

"Very well then. Yes, I know that the task at hand is perilous and hell I knew thought that I'd be spouting out this leader crap, but in the end it all comes down to a promise I made my okaa-san the night she died. I have to protect my otouto for her and if we don't win, he'll be in danger. So think about your own families and know that they'll be affected as bad, if not worse"

He paused and looked at the six younger kids in front of him, each with varying shades of green coloring their faces. The Digimon were holding out far better, or maybe that was just because of their fur and skin color. They had since recently added to their numbers - Wormmon having showed up for Ken and ------- for Matt.

Rolling his eyes, Seto turned away from them and set to work summoning up one of the still working digital mainframes. After making a connection, it only took him a few extra seconds to call up the locations and owners of all seven Millennium Items.

"So," Davis asked, a weakly grinning Veemon at his side. "Who has to fight who? I don't think I have what takes to fight a champion…"

Seto sighed. "You'll see"

As if answering the boy, more data appeared along side what was already there.

1. The Millennium Eye: Yugi Motou - Domino City, Japan / Compatible: Ken Ichijouji

2. The Millennium Key: Shadi - Cairo, Egypt / Compatible: Matt Ishida

3. The Millennium Necklace: Ishizu Ishitar - Domino City, Japan / Compatible: Kari Kamiya

4. The Millennium Puzzle: Yugi Motou - Domino City, Japan / Compatible: Tai Kamiya

5. The Millennium Ring: Ryou Bakura - Domino City, Japan / Compatible: Davis Motomiya

6. The Millennium Rod: Marik Ishitar - Domino City, Japan / Compatible: Seto Dyama

7. The Millennium Scales: Shadi - Cairo, Egypt / Compatible: Takeru Takaishi

Seto raised an eyebrow. "Does that answer your question?"

Ken smiled.

"I've played Duel Monsters before, but I never thought I'd get the chance to duel Yugi Motou!"

"Be careful kid. His item just so happens to contain the spirit of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh - the one that saved the Real World from the Shadow Realm the first time around. Oh yeah, and the spook also happens to be the brat's pre-incarnation"

"Any other items like that?"

"Well… Davis has to deal with the kid who's pre-incarnation happens to be a crazy tomb robber, but he'll do fine - I was teacher after all"

Davis went green again.

"I think I'm going to be sick…"

-.ooOoo.-

- Domino City, Japan, The Real World -

It was ten in morning when Yugi Motou stumbled out of his grandfather's game shop and head off to go find his friends. The mystery as to where Seto Kaiba had disappeared to still remained and so did Mokuba's poor sleeping habits. The tri-haired boy had done everything in his power to help his young friend find his brother, but so far nothing seemed to be turning out.

Kaiba had truly vanished.

((Don't give up hope yet abou))

Yugi smiled softly. (You know I haven't Yami. Not after finding out all we have in the last two months about Kaiba. I think it's trying to tell us something)

((It very well could be)) the pharaoh nodded. (Fate and destiny have a funny way of playing their games. I too believe that the Millennium Items have something to do with all of this. We might as well tell Joey, Tea and Tristen what we think - it might uncover something else))

The younger boy yawned, turning a corner and heading down an ally that would bring him one step closer to friends and the arcade where they had promised to meet the night before.

(Hey Yami! Do you think that - )

His question was cut short as a blinding explosion threw him bodily backwards. ((What in the name of Ra?))

Yugi and Yami sat dumbfounded upon the ground, staring with gapping mouths at the center of the ally, which was currently glowing. The light blinked and vanished, leaving a pair of boys standing before them.

The younger of the two, a blue/black haired kid with a serious expression that reminded them of Kaiba stepped forward.

"You are the keeper of the Eye and Puzzle are you not?" he asked.

Yami's eyes narrowed.

"Great. More evil dictators out to steal the Millennium Items…"

The older brown haired boy glared. "Hey, hey! Ken here might have been a dictator once," those words earning him a glare from the younger boy. "But I'm not! And we're not here to steal your items - we're here to challenge you for the right to use them"

"Why?" Yugi asked, more then just a little bit bewildered. "Why do you need to use them?"

"Umm, well how do I pit this? We need them because they are the only thing that help us stop the Shadow Realm from trying to devour us all, again"

"WHAT?"

The dark haired boy frowned.

"Can we just get this over with? I haven't got all day"

Yugi turned to the pharaoh, looking for help.

"Fine, we'll fight you. But first tell us who you are and who sent you" the spirit asked, crossing his arms.

The brown haired teen grinned.

"A good start as any. I'm Tai Kamiya and this Ken Ichijouji. As for who sent us, you know him as Seto Kaiba"

The tri-haired pair gasped. "You know where Kaiba is?"

Ken snorted. "Of course we do" he said. "He's currently going after a Marik Ishitar in order to get the Millennium Rod. I'd say the others have their work cut out for them in trying to get the Key, the Scales, the Necklace, and the Ring though. I read their owner's files before we left"

"Left? From where?"

"The Digital World!"

Tai grinned, and then he and Ken retrieved a pair of cell phone-like devices from their belts, put a finger to their lips, and whistled. The space in front of the two boys glowed brightly, then separated in a flair of electronically light as two pintsized creatures - one looking like a miniature dinosaur and the other an overly large worm - appeared.

Yugi and Yami gapped in awed shock at the two monsters. These were defiantly not Duel Monsters from the Shadow Realm!

"Hiya!" the orange dinosaur smiled. "I'm Agumon, this Wormmon. On behalf of partners and rest of the Digidestined - we challenge you to a Digital Shadow Game!"

-.ooOoo.-

Okay, I know I'm terrible! I should have finished this chapter ages ago, and it should have been longer. I feel bad that I just can't seem to focus on getting this story done, since it has been nearly two years and a month since I started writing! I guess I just lost my focus with newer, neater idea - it's a curse!

But at least I know that however is reading this - new reader or older patiently waiting one - that there are others out there that have it harder then me. No complaints there - after all, I could have abandoned this story! Anyway, thanks for reading. If you have any suggestions on the upcoming duel and what not, please let me know. Later!