Title: Living in Death

Rating: PG-13 to R (depends on where I'd post: some NC-17 smut moments…)

Genre: Action/Adventure/Romance/Tragedy/Drama/Suspense/Angst

Main Pairing: Seto x Yami

Other Pairings: None sure… just… others…

Summary: Everyone lives his or her life for a purpose. There is one who lives for revenge and there is another one who lives to squash the evil inside him. In the furious dance of death, is salvation even possible to be able to reach out the deepest cold depths of a frozen soul?

Disclaimer: I don't own anything.

Warnings: YAOI, shounen-ai, fluff, sap, jealousy, betrayal, swearwords and cursing… OOC… blatant flirting… hormonal teenager thoughts, very, very long love-chains... slight sexual innuendo… strong AU… Naruto crossover…

Yu-Gi-Oh! Spoilers: none

Naruto Spoilers: uh, some character borrowing some spoilers can't be helped during crossovers, right?

Notes: Companion fic – as in similar with the Ninja-Naruto-ness – to "I Don't Need Promises" umm, it is rather similar…

Inspired By: Naruto!

Status: Incomplete

I do NOT tolerate flames (especially, but not limited to those who bash the pairing SetoYami) because if I happen to read a fic, which features a pairing I greatly dislike, I don't flame it. I consider it a responsibility of the reader to read the warnings, pairing specified, the summary (which still includes the pairing in parenthesis) and the Universal Rule For Reading My Yaoi Pieces (which is posted in my bio)

If you do NOT like fanfiction, Yu-Gi-Oh, Yaoi OR shounen-ai AND/OR the pairing SetoYami (or YamiSeto), LEAVE. It is NOT too late to press the BACK button.


Chapter 1: The Start Of A New Way Of Living

START

Notes: I would screw up some of the names of the characters and I'd screw up their blood/family relations hope you don't mind… it's fiction, after all…

Warnings: lovesick and not-that-confident Yami; asshole Kaiba; saint-like Anzu cough; too innocent Yugi; uh, others as well; language…

Story Style: part of the fun is discovering Yami's characteristics in this AU that made him act differently with the Yami in YGO… so, he is acting… OOC… well, most of the characters are OOC, because of the twists I made in their abilities and pasts… uh, yeah… Oo

Point Of View: Third person semi-omniscient but this fic is rather Yami-centric, since I don't feel like explaining Kaiba all that detailed…

"Talking"

'Thinking'

Flashback
History, in all fairness, had always been biased.

It was never accurate, truthful and honest, for it was always affected by the persons who wrote it, by the people who read it, by the government who regulated the publishing and the forecasting, by the culture and society, by the conquerors and the conquered, and by the steady flow of time.

One ambitious man, not so long ago, seized his chance of destroying everything that got along the path of his ambitions. He led his small, insignificant and unacknowledged army from the far-away village of the Sound, into a march of destruction, conquer and death.

Ten years has passed since Sound had attacked every country that didn't bend to its will, every village that didn't give up their food and livestock for the soldiers, every organization that didn't consider them as an ally in the war it raged.

The Fire Country is the Sound's most formidable enemy, being the largest and sternest amongst the group of countries that are planning of a way to counterattack the force that rose out from the shambles of dirt and mud, from the torn pieces of pride and blood.

That one man was spurred on by his hatred for the Fire County, and devastated the whole area, taking lives of all – innocent, children, women and soldiers. That one man took their lands, their wealth, and their territory – their lives.

The scarce number of survivors vowed to avenge their fallen country, and sought the defense of their still un-destroyed village: Konoha, better known as Hidden Leaf for formalities, or Domino City for the village's occupants.

The last part of Fire Country, Konoha, fought against the Sound's attacks, but the losses were too great. Their best soldiers perished in the raging war, and their casualties increased dramatically as the time of war was prolonged.

The tried so hard to keep the enemy out of the borderline, and even that is extremely failing. They needed to have more soldiers, and the adults are all depleted in supply. The remaining people are the ones that provide them with food and water, the medics and the soldiers.

There are no people left to guard their village.

The current leader of the Fire Country, Sandaime or the Third Hokage, decided that the children must also share the responsibility of protecting their beloved village. The law was harsh, uncaring, but the desperation in the times of chaos isn't to be met by gentleness and comfort.

It is time to fight.

That is why, the elders and the Hokage decided to form a Domino Academy – a special training school specialized to train the children of Konoha as soldiers.

The hands of destiny began moving, as the gears of time started their endless motion.

The children's destinies have been weaved.


Frankly, he didn't know why he passed the exams and made it to Domino Academy. He isn't exactly frightening, nor is he violent. He didn't possess any special qualities or techniques, but he passed. His parents had been positively proud of him, and he liked the feeling.

He hadn't pictured himself to become a soldier. They all tell him that he is too meek, too shy, too naïve and too innocent.

Being a soldier is something so entirely foreign to him. It is so… uncharacteristic of him to be able to wish bad things to fall upon their enemies. That is why; he wanted to become a soldier. Not only so that he could make his parents and grandfather proud of his courage and abilities, but also so that he could protect Konoha and change his usual naïve and childishly innocent personality.

Only a few of his graduating class passed the exams, and even less was able to receive letters from the Hokage himself. All the letter told him is to go to the Hokage Tower on the first Sunday of the month, and there he would receive all the other instructions on how to go to the buildings meant for their special training.

Yugi Mutou, a young teen of sixteen, gazed at the wide training grounds before him with large, wide, innocent violet eyes. His purplish orbs took in the surroundings, and his breath hitched in awe but there is still that tinge of fear about his uncertain future. But then again, he is a very optimistic teen, and he easily found happiness in his new 'profession'.

He hastened his steps, bringing along his duffel bags, and scampered towards the building that indicated a boys' dormitory.

He thought that it would be better if he immediately got to know the members of the 39th battalion – the persons that would be accompanying him during the times of war.

Briefly wondering about the others that could have passed the exams, he decided that if he arrived faster, he would soon know his teammates.


Anzu Masaki, the lovely vision of youthful beauty and utter goddess-type qualities, sat not farther than three rows away from devotedly vigilant crimson irises, her dazzling smile radiating enchanting spells and her bright blue eyes sparkling with cheerfulness.

If the person watching her – for eight long years – had the slightest idea of what caused the brunette beauty's radiant smile, he wouldn't be too fond of that smile.

The ever-observant male, Yami Mutou, made a happy sigh, as he thanked the deities above. They were kind enough to bless him to spend his training as a soldier in the same Academy – and same battalion as her.

It is his dream-come-true.

Anzu did her best to go to the Academy, and she did it by striving hard enough in tests, medical expertise and fighting styles, and eventually passing the obstacles in his way and going into Domino Academy.

Yami also did his part – even though being a failure seemed to be inherited in his veins. Now, all the wishful stares were paying off. Yami is going to the same Academy as his crush, and also in the same battalion!

He had been smitten by her beauty and intelligence ever since he is nine years old, and he continued to try to impress her by his bravado and style. Yet, the brown-haired girl turned him down ever since he could remember, and he was always sneered at, mocked and underestimated.

He hated it, and he continued to bear the pain of being ignored and not acknowledged. He is blamed wrong for something he didn't even know and he couldn't even remember.

'What's wrong with the people anyway?'

However, the thoughts of self-pity were crashed into waste when a girly, high-pitched shriek resounded in the room.

"Kaiba-kun!"

Yami again drowned himself into an Anzu-centered reverie, not minding the presence of the 'Ice Prince' – or at least, trying to ignore 'Kaiba-kun'. He was so focused in watching Anzu, and loathing Kaiba. He didn't notice the weird stares of shock thrown towards him.

He mentally blamed Seto Kaiba, the Ice Prince of Konoha, for stealing Anzu's heart – every single girl's heart and some boys as well, single or married, for that matter – and resulting to the pretty brunette to be blind to Yami's obvious efforts to gain her admiration.

Then, Seto Kaiba had the audacity to sit in front of him!

'Calm down, Yami,' he told himself, 'he's just an asshole who has a stick shoved up his ass,' he inwardly forcefully shuddered as he forced his mind not to go through thoughts about what exactly is shoved up Kaiba's ass.

Then, nobody seemed to have taken the precaution as particularly loud squeal resounded from the edges of the room.

"Kaiba-kun!"

A blur of people – Kaiba's fans club – ushered towards the seat directly to the front of Yami Mutou – squealing and squeaking with all their high-pitched voices. Sadly enough, Anzu Masaki is one of the most eligible honor members of the highly dedicated fans club.

Yami continued to sigh in resignation, as he watched Anzu fuss over the uncaring, emotional bastard.

He furrowed his brows, deep in thought. Just what did they see in Kaiba?

Sure, he is handsome, with his chestnut-brown hair framing his face, with his tantalizing, pink lips, with his high, pronounced cheekbones, with his irresistible blue eyes… Yami stopped himself before pursuing that train of thought, but his desperation for attention trudged the muddy path of thinking further.

Sure, he has that lean, hot body to die for. Sure, he is the smartest teen in the whole class. Sure, he is the best in sports and ninja exercises they did. Sure, he is the last of the prominent clan of Kaiba. Sure, he is wealthy…

'Argh, I am not helping myself,' Yami decided, before allowing a ray of hope shine through his muddled thoughts. Being in the Domino Academy meant that at least, he had managed to come through Kaiba's elite level, right?

Even his mental voice isn't agreeing with him.

'Fine,' he decided, wanting to show his worth to his loved one.

Gathering his courage and confidence, Yami walked proudly towards Anzu – who is currently screeching at someone with green eyes and long brown hair – so enamored by watching the brunette, that he didn't notice the pile of suitcases blocking his path.

So, his foot was caught by the obstacle, and he continued walking. He immediately braced himself for a terrible impact with the floor – probably resulting with a purple bruise on his forehead, nosebleed or smashed nose – but it didn't come.

His face fell upon something rigid, but at the same time firm and soft. It is warm, Yami decided with a dreamy sigh.

Then, after a few seconds, he recognized the surface he hit to be a lap.

A blush rose up his cheeks, as he suddenly thought of the possibility that he is facedown on Anzu's lap.

Then, he noticed a rather, noticeable, firm lump just below his right cheek. He dismissed it with vengeance, still believing that this is Anzu's lap.

Then…

"Get off my lap, Yami." The voice is cold, commanding, gruff and –shaking? The person sounded as if he is repressing something but Yami is too caught up with trying to process his absolute shock and horror as he realized whose lap did he end up with.

"Kaiba!"


A/N: Hmm, I wanted to end the chapter here, but I decided to be good! I also didn't want to end the chappie with trouble on Yami's part – he's my favorite character! So, continue with the second installment of the first chapter!


The tension that hung in the air is so thick, and sparkles of electricity cackled between crimson and blue as they stared at one another: one with the look of horror, and one with the mixture of shock and some other unidentifiable emotion.

"Much as I hate to disrupt your lovey-dovey and see some action, I need to start with the orientation," An amused voice floated from the doorway, where a white-haired man stood lazily, one eye peeking from the ridiculous face mask pleasantly. He absolutely loved watching the drama between his would-be trainees and soldiers – especially if it involved romantic entanglements.

He already dedicated the two boys – the crimson-eyed boy, the container of the secret shadows – and the blue-eyed boy, the prodigy of the Sharingan-wielders clan – to each other, as he sensed the sparkling chemistry between the two.

"WHAT!" Distinct shouts from females reached the white-haired commander's pitiful ears, and he chuckled with mirth. Yami, however, didn't find the situation too amusing.

"Geez, you people are so energetic," He noticed with the still-present mirth, and Yami pulled himself to his feet, ignoring the looks of venom thrown to him by the other students and teachers. Again, he is blamed for the thing that he possessed.

Stupid plain humans.

"I am Kakashi Hatake, your commander-in-charge," he said cheerfully, before droning on about the specifics of their academy. Frankly, Yami didn't care – as long as he could get away from Kaiba – and the venomous glares he received – and from the teasing remarks and glances he kept receiving from their teacher.

Honestly, why would they think that he and Kaiba have a thing for each other!

The soft white building named boy's dormitory stood still until one person desired to test Seto Kaiba's temper. A blonde male, with deep, brown eyes made it a habit to always pick a fight with Seto Kaiba for no good reason. To anyone merely observing them, it would appear that he is simply looking for trouble – as Kaiba always defeated him, in verbal matches, sparring, or battle of wits.

But then again, his friends know the reason for his weird behavior.

Jounouchi Katsuya loves Seto Kaiba.

He settled – not for the fangirl-ish behavior – but for the opposite, showering Kaiba with attention in a subtle way. Though his friends knew his real intentions.

The verbal abuse escalated to a rising of voices, a black eye in Jou's part, and an irritated look on Kaiba's face. Jou panicked; what if Kaiba isn't that amused about their tirade and fighting anymore?


Yami Mutou settled himself on the balcony, not minding if the position he's in is dangerous or not. He sat up on the railing, with his leather-clad legs dangling towards the ground. He is three floors away from the soil and the garden plants below, but any supposed nervousness was taken away by his apparent staring at the twinkling lights on the deep black sky.

He sighed, as he recalled the looks the elders and the teachers shot him – looks of hatred and venom. He didn't know what to feel anymore.

He is an orphan, and all his relatives were dead or missing. He guessed nobody wanted to be identified as the relative of the keeper of the demon. Not many people knew of the tragedy that befell him, even before he was born. He was chosen as a vessel for the demon that destroyed the Fire Country eighteen years ago. Then, a year after, the Fourth Hokage was able to seal the demon inside a young infant.

It was him.

The Fourth wanted the village people and everybody else to view Yami as the savior – the hero – of the whole village and country, for if the demon wasn't sealed inside Yami, the village would have undergone more destruction. Yet, as the death of the Fourth Hokage passed, the townspeople regarded Yami Mutou as the demon himself, not as the vessel that sacrificed his life to contain the dangerous creature.

The other Hokage made a rule that said that nobody of the elder generation must talk about the demon and that is sealed inside Yami, so as not to spread the hatred for him to the younger generation. However, since the parents and the grandparents of this time showed so much hatred – without explaining a word for their actions – the children also hated Yami, even if they don't have any reason. The hatred was still passed through the younger generation, the teens that are of the same age as Yami.

Everybody loathed him, and the village people have blamed him for the extremely bad luck that befell the whole Fire Country. Sneering at him, the adults told him in taunting words that he is the cause of all the deaths, and he should die, in order to retain the peace and order.

He thanked the Third Hokage – secretly, of course – for allowing him to be admitted to the Domino Academy. This is the only way he could prove his worth; this is the only way the townspeople could see that he is not the bad luck, and that he is willing to protect and die for his village at all costs.

Sighing again, he waited in the balcony until sleep claimed him, as his mind focused on the training tomorrow.

He vowed never to let anybody underestimate him.

Even the ever-famous Seto Kaiba.

Especially Kaiba.


Across the boy's dormitory, lay the sanctuary for the females of the academy. It is relatively smaller, but better-kept, seeing as girls are mostly under the obsessive-compulsive streaks. There are lesser females that become soldiers, but they are not to be underestimated.

One room with the brightest light is filled with arguing noises, high-pitched squeaks that are battling against each other for the affection of someone who couldn't care less about them.

Anzu Masaki is currently brushing her shoulder-length brown hair, fuming as her roommate boasted that Kaiba-kun likes her better than her. She scoffed, telling Shizuka Wheeler that it is way too early to be hallucinating from lack of sleep.

"There is absolutely no way that I would let you get Kaiba-kun," Anzu vehemently declared, narrowing her pretty blue eyes at the jade-green eyes of her roommate. They both didn't care that it's supposed to be lights out, for their argument would probably decide their whole future of happiness with the famous prodigy of the whole Konoha.

"Why don't you just stick with the dork, Yami?" Shizuka let out a derisive snort at Anzu's horror-stricken face. Even if the Hokage implemented the laws sternly, the members of the elder generation still spread the information regarding the demon contained inside the crimson-eyed teen. After all, who would heed such command if even the highest-ranked soldiers and the special-class assassinators are talking about Yami behind the Hokage's back?

"Eww!" Anzu made a disgusting face, her face contorted into a painful grimace. "That-"

"Girls, go to sleep," The stern, firm voice of Yuuhi Kurenai, one of the most elite female commanders, spoke from the slightly ajar door. Her bright red eyes held gentleness, but the two girls knew that she is being serious. Then, it struck to them that they almost 'talked' about Yami out loud, a serious violation of the rule.

Realizing their mistake, Anzu made a vow to make Yami's life a living hell. He deserved it after beckoning bad luck to fall upon Fire Country.


She is inwardly worried about the rookies of the 39th battalion. Then, the whole of the 40th battalion is also composed mostly of rookies. She didn't want to think about what would happen if the Sound would strike early. The rookies are not prepared for seeing the battlefield, seeing battle, and seeing death.

She wanted to keep them here in the Academy longer, so that their chances of survival would be definitely increased.

"Don't worry too much," Kakashi Hatake told her, appearing behind her back. She sighed and offered a small smile, letting Kakashi know that she is troubled by her thoughts.

The white-haired Jounin is too carefree amidst the battle. He didn't look concerned about the rookies, nor did he look concerned about fighting. He honestly looked like someone who's weak and not serious with battle, but his skills are renowned and are truly remarkable.

She guessed it to be the power of the Mangekyou Sharingan gracing his covered left eye. Kurenai feared the sight of the malevolently spinning black wheels of the Sharingan; it is truly a sight that could make your knees weaken and your resolve crumble. The appearance of the bloodlust is present in the spinning eye technique, and it is enough to make you fear the holder.

Then again, not only Kakashi has the Sharingan in their lot.

There is also the famous, ice-cold prodigy of Fire Country, which, according to the Third Hokage is vital for their victory against the Sound.

Seto Kaiba.

The last remaining member of the Kaiba clan.

The last true Sharingan user except for his missing brother, the murderer of their prominent clan.

"You're thinking too hard again," Kakashi said lightly, his nose still buried in his favorite book, 'Come, Come Paradise', a book that made Kurenai blush and duck her head. She guessed that Kakashi's strength had something to do with his interests in perverted things and yeah… books.

"I'm wondering about the Kaiba kid," Kurenai said, a bit surprised that the blue-eyed kid still didn't sport the red irises that were a trademark of the Sharingan. She watched the teen go to sparring matches during his graduate academy, and never did her eyes see the color of red flaring into life within his deep blue depths.

"I'm sure he'll be able to use Sharingan soon," Kakashi assured her, his tone still cheerful. She hesitated; knowing that it would probably piss the Copy Cat ninja off, as she wanted to ask why is his Sharingan spinning. Nobody wanted to tell anybody about the whole mysteries of Sharingan, the Kaiba clan, the Demon-Kid, and everything.

"Hmm," Kurenai said instead, and silence befell the two Jounin that stood near each other inside the conference room. The Hokage wanted to meet with all of them, giving them instructions regarding the training of the new rookies of the Domino Academy.

Also, the muted points included Orochimaru and his real plans behind the invasion of Sound, the Sharingan user in the Academy, and the Shadow-Demon vessel also present in the same battalion as Seto Kaiba.

Honestly, Kakashi found the two teens fit to each other. They seemed similar, and he knew that if they gave it a chance, they'd become close friends. Then again, he wanted drama. It would be fun to watch the students fiddle with their emotions. The thought brought a slight grin in his masked face, but Kurenai didn't need to hear the slight chuckling sound to know that Kakashi is amused by his new rookies.

She recalled the words the Third Hokage told them before they assigned the teens to their battalions, rooms and teams.

"Placing them together could be the key to our victory."

Or… Kurenai had been expecting the catch in the statement, knowing to some extent the damage that the Shadow User could inflict upon anything it wished.

"Or it could bring ultimate downfall to all of us, including Fire and Sound."


End Chapter 1


A/N 1: Sorry for the character OOC!

A/N 2: Kaiba is the 'best' person here and the one with the endless fans club members trailing after him – not Yami – because of some… reasons. Think of it as how Yami beat Kaiba and 'stole' the title of being the 'King of Games' yeah, something like that would happen…

Drop a review, mainly because I'd like to know what you think.

Installment! Second Chapter as well!


Chapter 2: The Makings Of The Perfect Rivalry

START

Notes: I would screw up some of the names of the characters and I'd screw up their blood/family relations hope you don't mind… it's fiction, after all…

Warnings: lovesick and not-that-confident Yami; asshole Kaiba; uh, others as well; language… more shounen-ai hints in this chapter… a bit of angst…

Story Style: last chapter, a bit about Yami's past is revealed… in this chapter, the highlight is Kaiba's past…

Point Of View: Third person semi-omniscient but this fic is rather Yami-centric, since I don't feel like explaining Kaiba all that detailed…


Perfection.

It is the quality or state of being complete or correct in every way, conforming to a standard or ideal with no omissions, errors, flaws or extraneous elements.

The village of Konoha, especially his mentors and ever-present loyal hordes of adoring females, liked to label Seto Kaiba as the person who achieved perfection.

At such a young age of seventeen, he is the sole holder of the powerful technique, Sharingan; he is the only survivor and heir of the prominent Kaiba clan; he is the wealthiest person in the whole of Fire Country both before and during the war; he is the best student produced from the graduate ninja academy; he is the brightest and smartest student Konoha has ever seen in a very long time; he is the most popular person, followed and worshipped by everybody, causing a huge flock of people to be always on his trail, backed-up by his breathtakingly good looks.

Now, isn't that perfection?

No.

The townspeople neglected to remember that Noa Kaiba is still out there, lurking in the shadows, watching Kaiba's every move. They ignored the fact that he survived his clan massacre not because he fought and won against Noa, but because his older brother spared his life. He surely had a big group of people always fawning over him, his wealth and his looks, but he doesn't have any friends. Nobody cared to know him, and if it happened, Seto is sure that his secret of being a power-crazed avenger would spill throughout the whole town.

Though being aloof and cold-hearted had its quirks. He didn't need any attachment for his life's goal to become real. Nine years ago, Noa had changed his life, turned it from a bright, certain future into a revengeful, avenger's way of life.

He didn't know what he's going to do next. Even if he beat Noa, what would he do next? Is there a future that awaits a darkened soul and a frozen heart?

He mentally berated himself, forcefully sitting up in his comfortable bed. His blue eyes roamed around the room, and he felt a surge of panic when he saw the bed next to him unoccupied. Their other roommate, the person who is sadistic enough to like finding himself in embarrassing situations, Jounouchi Katsuya, slept at the bed next to the vacant one. He rolled his eyes at the sight of the tangled body in the sheets, mentally insulting the blonde's antics.

Then, he opted for an evening stroll, just to calm the quick fluttering of his heart when he saw the empty bed next to him.

Continuing with his former train of thought, Kaiba let his body take an autopilot, his feet leading him somewhere.

He shouldn't worry about his future after he defeated Noa yet. Many, many things could happen in-between his goal and the execution. He wouldn't want to speed things up that much. After all, he isn't confident with his skills as a soldier yet. Noa is undoubtedly strong, possessing the deadly, fearsome Mangekyou Sharingan.

"Hate me… perhaps, if you hate me enough, you'd be strong enough to beat me…"

He remembered those words; he could recall them so clearly, as if they are spoken to him at this very moment by Noa, as they are both littered by dozens of bloodied corpses. 'Damn it, I'm doing it again.'

He quickly erased those past nuisances in his mind, but he still pursued the same train of thought. He is an avenger, therefore, any type of emotional attachments: friendship or love is a big no-no. Then again, it wouldn't hurt if the avenger's lover or friend is useful in a certain sense.

He quickly banished the thought, knowing that there is nobody in the village that is possibly strong enough to help Kaiba in his goals, or anybody patient enough to try to understand him and his goals in life.

As popular as he may be, nobody wanted to get to know the real Seto Kaiba.

He already knew it; he isn't perfect.

His perfection is an allusion to the Seto Kaiba they would have wanted to fawn upon. Nobody cared enough for him, that's why nobody could ever help him and understand him.

He is so deep in his angst-y thought festival that he didn't notice that he already made his way towards the wide balcony. Then, he stopped.

Somebody, it didn't take a genius to know who, is sitting in a dangerous position in the railings. He thought that it could be Yugi Mutou, but the figure in front of him is leaner, and more trimmed, so that could only mean that the other person containing the spiky crown of hair is the same person scaring the wits out of Kaiba right now.

'What to do if he's startled and he pummels down to the ground?'

Kaiba decided to walk stealthily towards the figure, and he casually leaned towards the cemented railing.

"Can't sleep?" Yami asked him with a deepened voice, the tone husky and capable of sending chills down his spine. His angsting mind provided traitorous images of their encounter earlier in the conference room, along with the familiar feel of Yami's cheek rubbing against his… stop doing that musings, stupid mind-of-Kaiba.

"Hn," he replied instead, mentally congratulating himself for even recalling how he usually answered the inquiries of unimportant people.

Yami, unlike the groupies that followed him wherever he went or the teachers that monitored his status and progress, didn't talk some more. It made a surge of relief pass through him, as if all the while knowing that Yami isn't like any other useless idiot.

It made Kaiba feel… nice.

And he pointedly ignored – using his avenger-one-track-mind – the mental voice that insisted on observing how the pale moonlight enveloped Yami's form from all angles. The crimson-eyed teen bathed in the silver moonlight, looking by every inch an ethereal, otherworldly creature.

"You?" Kaiba asked, though he didn't know why his mouth disobeyed his orders of staying quiet. In his years in the academy, he couldn't see anyone hanging around the teen beside him, and he always knew why. Townspeople blamed him for the war – absurd, yes. Then, the blame is because of being chosen as the vessel for the Shadow Demon; people saw him as the demon himself, not as Yami Mutou, a separate entity – the hero the Fourth Hokage wanted.

"Same as you," Yami answered in that same melodic voice, and Kaiba was satisfied with the answer. He considered giving a biting remark that would make him more in-character with the Ice Prince everybody knew, but somehow, in his mind, he knew that Yam understands.

They may be more alike than they thought.


Hyuuga Bakura had always felt that animosity towards the members of the Main Branch of their clan. But, when he saw the heir of the Main Branch, the person a Side Branch should despise, the anger he felt dissipated into the air surrounding him. The young teen, who looked remarkably like him as well, Hyuuga Ryou, is the only son of the leader of the Main Branch.

Throughout the years, the Hyuuga clan experienced terrible fights because of the Main Branch's abuse of power over the Side Branch, mostly resorting to slavery of some kind. The Side Branch didn't like this particular treatment, and Bakura's father launched a wide scale attack against the Main Branch Family members.

The war ended as a stalemate, and resulted with dramatically lesser members of both branches. He was only seven years old when it happened, and so, he couldn't understand the politics that much. But, when an angry group of Main Branch members sneaked into their house at that time, he activated his inherited advanced technique, Byakugan, at such a tender age. Because of his obvious prowess in battle, he was taken into the Main Branch's care. Of course, because of his tainted family branch, the Main Branch members didn't treat him as a normal child. The training had been almost enough to kill him – but he endured them all.

Now, his efforts have paid off – he was accepted to the Domino Academy. Along with the heir of the Main Branch, Hyuuga Ryou.

His dark brown eyes roamed along the said teen's sleeping frail body, and his mind treacherously whispered the code of law ingrained into the Side Branch Family members ever since their birth.

The Side Branch's duty is to protect the members of the Main Branch at all costs.

Hyuuga Bakura has no problems with following that particular law.


Early morning sunshine crept up the mountains and the trees. Soon, it also reached the curtains and the windows of the dormitories of the Domino Academy.

Mai Kujaku is currently tying her hair in a bun, intent on training first before engaging in breakfast or any other activity. Her long blonde hair is still partially wet from the quick shower she took, and she smoothed them down firmly with a brush.

Her roommate, Ishizu Ishtar, is currently using the shower right now, explaining the hissing sound of water tackling the tiled floors.

It is not yet six o'clock, and the first meal of their day isn't due until seven-thirty. It would give her ample amount of time to train. After all, she didn't join the military forces of Konoha just to give her life away freely.

She needed to brush up with the finer points of fighting, if she wanted to stay alive a little longer.

"Good morning Ishizu," Mai greeted in her unique, classy voice, her purple eyes glinting as she greeted her roommate. Ishizu replied her own greeting, her voice thick and still hazy from sleep. Blue eyes quirked in question at her attire and at her immediate preparation.

Mai didn't bother with the soft tendrils of hair that were loosened in her bun, and she grabbed her weapons holster and strapped it to her bare legs.

"See you later, Ishizu," Mai called out, dashing out of the room, leaving Ishizu smiling to herself inside. She decided to take training more seriously today too.


"Hey, you! I should be the first to take a bath, because Kaiba-kun likes girls who takes a bath early!"

The other females who aren't awake yet – unlike Ishizu and Mai – were surely awake now. The feminine screeching awakened everyone from their well-deserved slumber, and they all groggily woke up and stretched their muscles.

The two girls fighting over something ridiculous yet again escalated their fight to a serious insulting match, along with the catfights.

Shizuka Wheeler and Anzu Masaki cursed each other creatively and colorfully, adding to the delight of two females – along with many others listening.

Kisara and Mana, two graceful and meek females listened on to the battle of words for Seto Kaiba's affections. Kisara herself is a faithful worshipper of Kaiba, though Mana had her sights only on one certain person…

"They're energetic," Kisara said in a solid voice, her blue eyes cold. Mana is immune to her roommate's aloof behavior, and she somehow tolerated it. They are opposites, for Kisara is silent and cold, while Mana is jolly and friendly. Still, such a little thing like personality differences didn't deter them from being each other's best of friends.

"It's entertaining to hear how many insults they could hurl towards each other," Mana chirped, slipping the standard metal forehead protector with the symbol image of Konoha in her temple. Her blonde hair fell to past slightly her shoulders, a fact that Kisara had always pointed out. The silver-haired female didn't like the idea of fighting with the hair loose, but Mana insisted that she loved the feeling of the wind brushing against the strands of her wavy blonde hair.

"Hmm," Kisara said, wrapping her weapons holster in her right leg, and the scroll holster in her left leg. She turned to Mana with her silver-hued hair kept in two huge braids.

"Ready," Blue eyes stared at Mana as the jovial female finished combing her hair in its usual wavy form. The sun has already streaked the sky with its brilliant yellow morning rays, but the time hasn't been that later than six o'clock.

Mana grinned at her roommate, and pulled a pale arm belonging to Kisara, dragging her out of the hallway, avoiding the lecture Kurenai would most likely give away, especially at the two girls residing in the room directly beside theirs.

Kisara didn't protest at being dragged away to the training grounds. She just hoped that Seto Kaiba decided to train this morning as well.


Breakfast had been a happy affair, with all the rookies, mentors and other 'upperclassmen' mingling with one another, it's as if they are not caught in the middle of a war. But then again, it isn't so bad to pretend that everything's peaceful every once in a while.

Jounouchi Katsuya sat with Tristan Hiroto, Otogi Ryuuji, Yugi Mutou, and Mokuba Kaiba. He made it a resolution to befriend as many people as possible, though of course, old friends are always better companies than new friends who you know nothing about.

The blonde male munched his meal with vigor, chatting with his tablemates, and along the conversations, he quickly moved into the hamburgers. It had always been a blessing to him to know that the Domino Academy is prepared to dish out eat-all-you-cans while they are still here, and Jou is very much willing to participate in such open invitation. After all, if he is going to risk his life in battle, why not die as a happy, full and satisfied man, as much as possible?

Tristan Hiroto ate the food with enthusiasm almost rivaling Jou's. He is slightly better off compared to his blonde friend, for he is more careful with the food stains, and at least, he has some dignity left intact as he devoured the tasty meal. He rolled his eyes at the incident of Jou spilling ketchup over his plain white shirt. It really wouldn't surprise him if his friend managed to spill soup all over his jeans too.

Otogi Ryuuji ate silently, while his lips moved in synchrony with words that taunt both Tristan and Jou with their eating habits. Of course, the jibes were mostly directed at Jou, but Tristan is an added bonus. His pet dog, named 'Joey' – in commemoration of Kaiba's first-ever-nickname towards their smitten friend – is perched on top of the table, feeding on the plate independently.

Yugi Mutou chatted with the others in the table, though his attention is mostly focused on the younger teen sitting beside him, Mokuba Kaiba. People have long wondered why are their surnames similar with the Demon vessel's and the Sharingan user's. Frankly, they both didn't know. They all chalked it up to the period of life in Konoha were surnames weren't that much varied from each other.

Thankfully, Yugi didn't receive any of the sneers and mockery directed towards the person who looked remotely like him. And, Mokuba wasn't chased by the fangirls that flocked around the prodigy and pride of Fire Country.

Tristan's eyes roamed the cafeteria, and Yugi giggled in an all-knowing fashion. Of course, they all knew the reason for the roaming gazes. He is looking for Shizuka Wheeler, one of the louder members of Kaiba's fans club. It broke Tristan's heart to see his crush chasing after someone else, but what can they say, love is love.

Argh.

Otogi had once mentioned that Tristan should just use his shadow manipulating technique to control Shizuka's actions, and it earned a hearty laugh from the group and a light punch to the emerald-eyed male's shoulder.

They were so caught up with eating and finishing their meals, and they almost didn't notice that the there is someone who stood in the center stage, a microphone in her fair-skinned hands. Uncharacteristic light red eyes looked at all of them, and Yugi realized that this is Yuuhi Kurenai, one of the more elite soldiers of Konoha.

Her black hair settled on her shoulders, and she cleared her throat loudly, gathering the attention of everybody in the cafeteria.

"All rookies and upperclassmen," she said, her eyes firmly backing up her words, "proceed to the training halls at ten o'clock sharp."

Then, she jumped off the stage, and the soldiers and would-be soldiers resumed their eating, along with their own conversations.

"So, what do you think are we going to do?" Mokuba asked the person beside him, as he stabbed a French fry with his fork, and promptly stuffing it inside his mouth. He stared at Yugi at the side of his grayish eyes, clearly seeing the nervousness and excitement in his friend's facial expression.

"I don't know," Yugi answered – typical, "but I think it would be fun," again, typical answer. The teen surely knows how to phrase everything to sound as optimistic as possible.

Then again, whatever it may be, Mokuba also had no doubts that it would be fun.


"Why aren't you with your sister?" A voice floated across the hallways towards the training halls. The man addressed turned around and glanced at the intruder of his silence, and his gaze softened a bit at the sight of familiar ashen hair. "Hyuuga," he greeted the pale-haired man, and he turned around again, pursuing his interrupted walk.

"Ishtar," the albino greeted back, and even if said 'Ishtar' didn't turn around again, he could see the smirk that graced the other male's face. "Hmm, going to the training halls as well, Bakura?" He asked the Hyuuga Branch Family member, and slowed down his pace until they both walked side by side.

"Yeah," Hyuuga Bakura replied, not bothering to tie his waist-length white hair yet, and also not bothering if such long hair would probably impair his movements. Malik Ishtar glanced at his side, and shrugged nonchalantly. He decided that it wouldn't harm to answer Bakura's earlier question. "My sister's training right now," he replied in a way that led Bakura to believe that he truly didn't care much for his older sister's welfare.

The other didn't speak, and they walked in companionable silence. They arrived at the end of the tiring hallway, only to find out that it won't open until ten o'clock. They guessed Kurenai really meant the words about coming at ten in the morning sharp.

"What do you want to do?" Bakura asked, a strangely feral glint in his eyes, causing sizzle of anticipation to course through Malik's spine.

He decided that he wouldn't mind a bit of entertainment for the moment.

Training could screw itself.


The tension seeping in the air is too damned high for comfort. Electricity is practically waving from one girl to another, and it is all because of the fight for someone they practically worshipped.

Anzu Masaki, one of the most prominent members of Seto Kaiba's fans club, stared – no, glared – hard at the rival closest to her, in this case, it would be her roommate, Shizuka Wheeler. Her baby blue eyes yelled the words, 'Kaiba is mine', which was effectively countered by her roommate's mellow green eyes.

The particular episode earlier is still fresh in Anzu's mind, and that lead the teachers to think that meeting in a crowded place, full of hormonal, giggly teenagers is such a bad idea. A fight broke out, evolving from mere side-comment-throwing to a full-scale battle, which almost involved into a fight of kunai and shuriken, if they were not ordered by Kurenai to promptly enter the training halls.

Anzu and Shizuka's battle of words had been heated, but one tanned female joined in the fight, her eyes sparkling with a definite air of superiority over them. She had the nerve to call them 'children', but she also joined the claims for catching Kaiba's eye. Ishizu Ishtar, Anzu believed that was her name, had said that only feminine and well-kept soldiers would ever gain Kaiba's attention and catch his heart.

Then, the most obnoxious female in the group, though it wasn't that noticeable, Kisara, joined in the battle of wits and words. Her voice had been always meek and silent, but when she staked her claim on Kaiba, she sounded, at the least, venomous.

Anzu thought that it is a sign that either Kisara is an undercover killer, or Kisara is just passionate about her heart's interests and willing to compete in the race if needed. The brunette hoped it is the latter. She wouldn't want to sleep in a room directly beside a killer's room by any chance.

"Only strong females would catch Kaiba-kun's heart," she said with a chilly voice, and the fight between the three female ninjas was halted. Her blue eyes looked positively deadly, and they all stopped their movements and listened to her words. "I propose that whoever wins in the training battles, would be the one to sit next to Kaiba-kun during lunch and dinner."

They – including the other less violent members of the fans club – all thought that the proposition is fair enough, and that brought a blaze towards Anzu's passion to getting victory. Of course, fighting against Kaiba and touching him discreetly isn't a very bad possibility.

Now, Anzu – as well as almost all the girls in the training hall – is determined to win, no matter what.


She silently walked towards the other set of stairs, Mana following her path shortly. After lining up in the training grounds below, they were ordered to come up in the spectators' place, and wait for their names to be drawn out in the randomized computer.

The training matches would soon start, and it would measure how strong the rookies and the other soldiers are, based on their performance against their enemy. She remembered the wager she proposed earlier, and that brought her determination to win ablaze again.

An opportunity to sit with Kaiba-kun at lunch and dinner is very good to pass up, especially if said opportunity includes not being bothered by the other whiny members of his fans club.

She is looking forward to battling that tanned woman with silky black hair. Ishizu Ishtar had been cool, calm and collected during their outbursts earlier. If Kisara hadn't known better, she'd say that Ishizu had been as good in being icy cold at treating people as her. Of course, she's the best. Kisara had always prided in herself in treating everybody below her status as miserable as she could.

She determinedly believed that lower-status-people are fools. There is absolutely no need to keep them alive and believing that they still have any worth to the world.

Kisara just smiled tightly at Mana's cajoling grin, and the golden-haired female gave her a satisfied smile. She resumed her thoughts and she engaged in her most important work and hobby.

Kaiba-kun-sight-seeing.

Seto Kaiba had been at the opposite set of spectator place, and his position gave the silver-haired girl enough opportunity to observe him from a satisfactory angle.

Then, Kaiba-kun did something she didn't expect.

Kaiba-kun is staring at the Demon-Bound teen, Yami Mutou.

'Why?'

She blinked endless blue eyes, and when she opened them, Kaiba-kun is still staring at the weird-looking, monster teen.

'Why would Kaiba-kun stare at the useless, monstrous brat?'

Could it be… that Kaiba-kun is interested in the kid?


Black leather pants hugged his slender legs, as he walked calmly towards the top of the stairways and unto the spectators' place. The first person that he met is Seto Kaiba, who is currently leaning against the cemented wall with his arms crossed across his chest. His crimson eyes gazed at the spot far-off Kaiba's position, his mind utterly clear of the encountered they had last night.

Last night, Kaiba had been almost… sociable. Of course, it could be blamed on to the fact that he himself is sleepy and he might have not noticed Kaiba's true colors and actions during their silent, tolerable conversation.

The standard Konoha protector is wrapped around his waist, almost acting like a belt to his shiny, leather hipsters. The winds outside had been slightly chilly, and he hugged his navy blue jacket closer to himself, covering the black tight, sleeveless top underneath better.

He passed Seto Kaiba, and he didn't spare the blue-eyed brunet a second glance. He is well aware that the people here are watching his movements with watchful and scornful eyes, and he is intent on showing them his capabilities in fighting.

He vowed never to let them mock him again. If he showed his real capabilities, they'd never see him so lowly and treat him badly ever again.

Ever since he had the encounter with the Konoha prodigy last night, one thought became his main priority.

He'd be the best – and they'd all acknowledge him, no matter what.


Seto Kaiba is contented to watching the fights from his position here, leaning comfortably against a wall. He didn't want to go closer to the majority of the soldiers, who were cramming themselves together in one corner of the spectators' place.

The training ground below is spacious, and there are absolutely no obstacles to the fights. He is looking forward to fighting; this is the first step of knowing how strong he truly is. These preliminary fights would tell him his weaknesses, and hopefully, if he fought someone strong enough, his dormant Sharingan would awaken at last.

He needed his bloodline limit to activate, so that he would be one step closer to beating Noa. Acquiring the Sharingan would also enable him to study and copy all the techniques that he could come across, and it would definitely boost his skills exponentially.

Hopefully, he wouldn't be assigned to fight a girl. Ugh, not that they are weak, it's just that they'd probably be more concerned in ogling him senseless rather than showing off their techniques and fighting him seriously.

A beeping sound captured everybody's attention, as the randomized computer started selecting the names of the opponents in the first match. Anticipation sizzled in his veins, and excitement coursed through his nerves. He closed his deep, blue eyes, and calmly hoped that if he is going to fight, he would be graced with a strong enemy.

A louder beeping sound indicated that the random selection is over. Loud gasps and cheering had been heard, along with mocking sneers and jibes. Kaiba's eyebrow twitched, and he opened his eyes reluctantly, slowly.

His eyes read the names flashed in the screen of the big, flat, television on top. The names were taunting Kaiba, as they displayed the names of the soldiers that would be involved in the first match.

Kakashi Hatake, one of the most popular elite Jounin soldiers, called cheerfully from his place in the referee's and the other mentors below, near the training ground, "For the first preliminary match: Come down here:"

A pause separated the names of the participants, and the members of the special training academy stood in fervent excitement.

"Seto Kaiba and Yami Mutou!"


End Chapter 2


A/N 1: Sorry for the character OOC!

A/N 2: Haku, Zabuza, Gaara, Temari, Kankuro, Kakashi, Iruka, Tsunade, Orochimaru, and some others would also appear in this fic just wait!

A/N 3: I don't like Kisara all that much XX she reminds me of Kikyou of Inu-Yasha, and I don't like her either… I am basing Mana from the picture of Dark Magician Girl, though I am using a different set of clothes for her XP

A/N 4: Uh, huh, it would be a Kaiba VS Yami fight… I wonder who will win… will it be Yami, or will it be Kaiba…?

Drop a review, mainly because I'd like to know what you think.

Part I of Chapter 3!


Chapter 3: The Discovery Of The Key To Ultimate Victory

START

Notes: I would screw up some of the names of the characters and I'd screw up their blood/family relations hope you don't mind… it's fiction, after all…

Warnings: lovesick and not-that-confident Yami; asshole Kaiba; uh, others as well; language… a bit of action/adventure… betrayal… battle tactics… hmm, more shounen-ai and yaoi… hmm, more of Seto + Yami, rather than Seto x Yami in this chapter…

Chapter Highlight: Seto-Yami fight and a bit of fluff over there… mild violence as well…

Point Of View: Third person semi-omniscient but this fic is rather Yami-centric, since I don't feel like explaining Kaiba all that detailed…


"Seto Kaiba and Yami Mutou!"

Scarlet eyes tensed slightly, but his gaze never wavered. He eyed the fighting arena with a mild amount of mixed disdain and excitement, and he didn't even glance at his opponent. Weapon holsters were wrapped snugly around his leather-clad legs, and he didn't arrange his leather jacket so that it maneuvered out of the way.

Spiky hair swooshed a bit with the wind he made, as he jumped from the top of the spectators' area and into the arena. He waited patiently for his opponent, watching with some amusement as Kaiba-sama tossed off his white trench coat towards his former position on top.

Impassive blue eyes regarded him, as they faced each other fearlessly in the battlefield. Equally impassive crimson eyes stared emotionlessly at his enemy, both players waiting a signal from the referee to start their match.

From the sidelines, Kakashi Hatake watched the fight with barely concealed glee. He loved watching those two interact, and this match is the best chance to see how well they fought, their special abilities, and, well, how would they handle each other.

The referee, one of the Chuunin watching the match, situated himself in the middle of the two opponents. He cleared his throat loudly, catching the spectators' undivided attention.

Yami's gaze remained focused on his opponent, and the vow he made ever since he arrived at the academy rang clearly inside his mind.

He'd be the best – and they'd all acknowledge him, no matter what.

The referee's right hand rose slightly above his waistline, and he made the final countdown gestures, accompanying his loud voice, vocalizing the countdown before their fight started.

3…

Yami crouched down slightly, fingering the kunai knives inside his holster.

2…

Crimson eyes watched how Kaiba placed his left leg backwards, advancing his right feet even more.

1…

Yami's right hand grasped one kunai, preparing to launch an attack already, as soon as the match formally started. Kaiba's hands were in a position of plain Taijutsu, smirking mockingly at him while the right hand faced him with open palms.

ATTACK!

The leather-clad teen ran swiftly towards his opponent, left hand already digging for some more weapons, while the right hand viciously targeted Kaiba. His leather boots didn't make any sound, however, despite the frantic steps.

The tall brunet caught his right wrist on time, just before the sharp kunai hit him on his left-side, upper chest. It could have been a fatal hit, but he blocked it just in time. He tugged the smaller teen forward, and his left hand proceeded to grasp the other hand, when Yami's left fist collided with his right cheek.

Kaiba winced slightly in pain, and Yami kicked him in the knees, before jumping slightly backwards, gauging the distance between the two of them.

Mild panting was heard across the silent arena, disbelief easily spotted on all of the viewers' faces. They never thought that the Demon-Bound monster would have the bravery to launch the first attack and hit Kaiba, not only once but twice. After all, they expected anyone to surrender when matched against the powerful, popular brunet being the prodigy of Konoha.

Then, after a few moments of pause in their fighting, Kaiba crossed the three huge tiles separating them and he jumped just before he reached Yami, two hands – carrying three shuriken each – emptied their contents, showering the star-designed weapons upon the spiky-haired teen.

The Yami below didn't flinch or move, and he took the injuries, puzzling his opponent still mid-air. Then, the shuriken-embedded body of his opponent disappeared with a 'poof', and was replaced by a small chunk of log. "Kawari-mi technique," Kaiba whispered with irritation – how could he fall for such a trick?

Then, a slight shadow fell upon Kaiba's still-floating form. The brunet turned around abruptly, cursing himself for not noticing Yami as he sneaked up behind him. Yami's right foot found itself kicking Kaiba's left leg, as the crimson-eyed teen intended for his opponent to pummel down the ground.

He'd be the best – and they'd all acknowledge him, no matter what.

Then, as Kaiba took a defensive stance, Yami willed himself to float up in the air slightly higher than his opponent. After accomplishing that task, Yami focused his chakra towards his right foot, and he aimed a kick at the side of Kaiba's chest, sending them both downwards back to the floor of the fighting arena.

Kaiba grunted as he hit the ground, thankful that he didn't seem to injure any vital organ or break any bone. Yami's figure stood angrily in front of him, absolute fury fearlessly displayed upon the stoic features. Ruby eyes hardened upon the sight of him, and his mind came up with a blank at why his opponent is acting like that.

"Am I that weak to you?" The question radiated off anger, and Kaiba continued to stare back defiantly into crimson eyes. Yami's deep voice sounded scary as he asked, "Is that why you're underestimating me?"

Kaiba didn't reply, unknowing about the things he should say.

"I don't need your pity."

As soon as the words left Yami's lips, a chillingly cold aura filled the tense air, evident even to the old Hokage, to every Jounin, Chuunin and every other spectator.

Kaiba frowned, uncertain about the next course of action. Yami is obviously upset, and his body is certainly lunching a rebellion against his commands. He couldn't control his actions, disabling him to fight Yami satisfactorily.

Yami's eyes darkened some more, as his tone deepened and sounded even more terrifying and commanding. Kaiba got the horrible inkling that Yami isn't the one in front of him, as the ruby-eyed male didn't sound or look like the one he's fighting before.

"I'll show you; I'd be the best."

He felt an uncontrollable surge of chakra, filling his insides and all his chakra channels. How dare Kaiba underestimate him!

He'd show him who's the best – really.

He'd be the best – and they'd all acknowledge him, no matter what.

He didn't need the blue-eyed male's pity; he didn't need Kaiba giving him a consolation that he hit the man's face, knees and chest, before the brunet would finish off the battle.

He wouldn't let Kaiba do that to him.

He'd be the best – and they'd all acknowledge him, no matter what.

An eerie glow placed itself in the middle of Yami's forehead, shaped vaguely like a stretched golden eye. Shadows crept steadily around the arena, and to those with sharply trained eyes, they knew that the realm of shadows has already completely surrounded them.

It only meant one thing – they wouldn't be able to escape as long as the match is still unsettled.

Crimson eyes glowed brightly, deep red color enlightening inside the pair of orbs known as Yami's alluring irises. Kaiba stood, wary of the events, as purplish-bluish hues misted around the arena. The hokage looked grim, and the brunet took that as a bad sign.

And to top it all, Yami is acting decidedly strange.

The glowing in Yami's forehead didn't cease, and Kaiba is sincerely confused. What's happening to Yami? And why are all the Jounin and Chuunin huddling in one corner, whispering confidentially between one another?

"I'll show you; I'd be the best, Seto Kaiba."

Yami's deeper-than-normal voice crept out of the solid, glowing, ethereally evil-looking figure standing in solitude.

Again, the brunet confusedly wondered what the heck did he do to piss Yami this badly.

"Ready to lose, Kaiba?" Yami spat his name like venom, and Kaiba fought another frown. The new attitude surrounding Yami is really creeping him out. Well, the only thing that slightly comforted the Ice Prince is that everybody else seemed deeply frightened by the ruby-eyed teen.

The shadows continued to advance closer to the arena, hugging the whole dome-shaped area with their black, murky trails.

Kaiba prepared six kunai – three, again, on each hand – and waited for a chance to release all his weapons. His blue eyes watched how the leather navy blue jacket seemed to flap wildly with the wind that somehow blew inside the arena. Though as cold as the wind might be, Yami's eyes remained the most arctic among all the things in the arena.

Yami raised both leather-clad arms, the sleeves of the jacket slightly lagging with some space. The opened palms faced Kaiba, and in the next split second, a sharp, red blur went out of Yami's sleeves, attacking Kaiba's both wrists.

Then, as the red, pointed 'rope' grasped both his wrists, Kaiba watched Yami's next move with apprehension. He is almost sure that he heard collective gasps from the elite Jounin in the group. The gasps were more of remembrance rather than from fear, but the terror is still obviously present in their faces.

The red-colored whip that bound his wrists seemed way too thick and strong for an ordinary rope, and Kaiba's bewilderment about the binds' uncharacteristic strength was answered when a red-tailed dragon erupted from the ground, and its movements moved the binds tied on the pair of Kaiba's hands.

The chocolate-haired brunet recognized the scarlet-hued dragon to be the legendary Dragon God, Slifer: the Sky Dragon. Legends and myths about how powerful and destructive the flying dragon were retold over and over in Fire Country, rendering the last of the Kaiba clan speechless.

What is Slifer doing here!

Then, a sudden jolt swept across Kaiba. Slifer is a monster of shadows – and Yami is the Shadow-Bound Demon. The shadows are sealed inside of the spiky-haired teen furiously standing in front of him.

"Everybody, move to the spectators' boxes! NOW!"

The brunet recognized the voice to have belonged to Yuuhi Kurenai, but he didn't particularly care about that at the given moment.

His body sizzled with anticipation. This is the perfect moment to activate his bloodline, Sharingan! With the shadows to back Yami's strength up, the crimson-eyed teen would surely be the most formidable opponent in their lot!

"Seto Kaiba: the fight is over; we'd handle him." Anko, one of the female Chuunin, said to him, and as Kaiba whirled around – still with the red tail wrapped around his wrists – he saw all of the Jounin and Chuunin behind him, ready to fight Yami and the legendary dragon.

'The fight's… over…?'

"I lost!" Incredulity is apparent in Seto Kaiba's voice, and Kakashi shook his head in a nonchalant gesture. "He's too strong when Shadows threaten to overwhelm him inside his body." The white-haired Jounin explained, though the so-called explanation still lacked sense to the stubborn brunet's mind.

"The fight is not yet over." The demanding voice pierced through all of their souls, the freezing quality of the tone stilling all of them in their places. Kaiba hesitantly glanced at his opponent, with the Eye of Ra still glowing brightly in his forehead. "Watch and see," he suggested, a sinister edge caressing the statement with ease, causing desperate uneasiness in Kaiba's part. However, the burning desire to be able to activate Sharingan overwhelmed any other sort of fear, and the brunet stood by his decision to finish the battle with Yami.

Then, a shaking tremor broke the floor into cracks, as a blue-skinned beast erupted from the ground. Again, Kaiba recognized it as another one of the Legendary Gods, this one being the God of Destruction, Obelisk The Tormentor. A furious, evil-looking face greeted all of them, as the monster roared an animalistic sound, decidedly looking like he wanted to annihilate someone's existence from the planet.

"Behold, my power."

End Chapter 3: Part I

A/N 1: Sorry for the character OOC!

A/N 2: 'Kawari-mi technique' – changing of body technique; chakra – sort of like body energy;

Drop a review, mainly because I'd like to know what you think.