Chapter 12: Before the darkness falls
"I just can't believe that asshole. All he does during the day is barking orders at me. And to think he has the guts to call ME dog. Aghhrr!!" Jou cried desperately while Yugi had been sitting quietly next to him. They were in a small room that was next to the one Seth was staying in and connected with a solid wooden door. The door - as Seth commented earlier – should stop any barking sounds coming from Jou. A comment that only resulted into another long argue between the brunet and the blond. Yugi couldn't really understand why but he had a bad feeling about Jou's constant arguing with the bad tempered priest.
"Ne, Jou... do you ... by any chance... like him?" Yugi dared to pipe out of his corner of the bed he was sitting on. The storm was of course about to come.
"LIKE HIM? ARE YOU JOKING? HE IS ABSOLUTELY INSUFERABLE, DISGUSTINGLY BRATTY, BOSSY, ANNOYING, GORGEOUS, PAIN..." Jou stopped death still in his yelling and googled at Yugi unbelievingly.
"I didn't just say that. Please tell me I didn't just say that."
Yugi tried his hardest not to laugh at the bewildered expression on his friend's face. It was no use; after all, the whole situation was way too hilarious to be true. He started sniggering only to change it into full laugh.
Jou's face was beat red in the instant both from embarrassment and from anger. Not to mention that admitting something like that made him question his own sanity as well. But the most important thing at hand was hard laughing Yugi and Jou quickly changed from embarrassed to divine punishment in making.
The wrath of tickling descended down on Yugi making him momentary forgot why he was laughing about in the first place only to start laughing again for a whole new reason his merry voice fully stretching in the room filling it with warmth and happiness.
Jou was now grinning ear to ear only to tease his friend completely till he forgot about what he said about the blue eyed priest.
Or at least that was what he wanted ... even thought it was true what he said about him.
He was a gorgeous pain in the ass.
"Tyr, I don't think this is a very good idea! What if he sees us?" whined Yugi for tenth when he let the tall Phoenician drag him through the gardens. For some reason Tyr decided that he needed some excitement in his servant life. Yugi liked his servant life. Most of time it was same like doing chores back home.
Besides the high priest was in excellently foul mood that day and the young boy didn't feel like making him angrier then he already was. After his conversation with the blond Seth arrived from the main temple and of course the first thing Jou could do was to make him even angrier. The blond had an incredible talent to tick Seth off. So Yugi excused himself only to be caught by Tyr who had too much of free time on his hands.
"Oh come on, Yugi. This is an opportunity of the lifetime!"
"That lifetime may be surprisingly short if he founds out!" pointed Yugi out but Tyr just rolled his eyes at such pessimism.
"Yugi, everybody in the palace knows that Seth has soft spot for you. If he's gonna kill somebody then it's gonna be me and not you." Tyr grinned. "Not that I'm gonna let him catch me, of course."
Yugi sighed and defeated followed the older one. This just couldn't end up in a good way. He would be the first one to admit that he was quite bored since Jou was too busy that day arguing with Seth and doing only gods know what but trying to sneak on the pharaoh's private conversation with the Hittite emissary was a bit too risky.
"But Tyr, Seth's gonna kill us if he finds us here." Yugi was more and more worried. Tyr and himself were crouching next to the door leading to the thrown chamber where was the pharaoh having a privet presentation with the said ambassador of Hittite and Yugi was sure that he wouldn't like anybody to interrupt. Especially, since he was already stressed enough and Yugi didn't want to make him even angrier that he was in those days.
"Yugi, everything is going to be fine. You worry way too much. Have some fun, would you?"
Yugi was about to say something but his face went suddenly completely pale. Tyr looked around and gulped high priest Seth was standing there completely pissed his blue eyes narrowed into thin slits.
"Tyr, the son of Macruss. Should have known that you will be up to something. You can't stay out of trouble for too long."
The cold fury in Seth's eyes was the scariest thing Yugi could think of.
"As much as I know that you simply love to test our patience how about you stop dragging others into it?" Seth turned his eyes on Yugi who quickly bowed his head.
"Yugi, why don't you go to see your friend? He is in my library."
It wasn't suggestion, Yugi was sure that Seth wanted to have few heated words with Tyr and for that he didn't need his presence. But even though he desperately wanted to be somewhere completely else he couldn't just abandon Tyr either.
"Go Yugi. Now!"
Knowing that this time he surely crossed the line Yugi's shoulders dropped and he slowly headed to find Jou. He really hoped Seth wouldn't do anything to Tyr.
"You know Seth, Yugi. He will probably just scare him shitless but nothing else. As long as the pharaoh's not endangered he doesn't really care." Jou nonchalantly brushed Yugi's worries away successfully lifting his friend's mood.
"So you think Tyr won't be in too much trouble?
Jou gave him a cheeky grin before answering. "That depends how badly his holiness took the morning doze of insults from me!"
"Don't worry. It's after lunch I'm sure he got over it by now."
Yugi heavily sighed. "Do you always have to rill him up like that?"
"It's not my fault. He deserves it! I would be civil if he was as well, but no, he always has to call me a dog, mutt or whatever he can think of."
"I'm sure he has a good reason to be so aggravated lately."
"Yeah, he may be born like that."
"Or maybe it's because some street mutt that goes constantly on my nerves!" the sneering remark came from the door and Jou didn't waste any time to locate and verbally attack the source.
"Nobody asked for your opinion, high ass."
Yugi cringed at the rising tension that was in the air. The worst for him was the fact that there was nothing he could do. Those two just loved insulting each other and didn't hesitate do let the other know about it. Seriously, sometimes he wondered why the pharaoh was so determined to keep them together. Speaking of which...
"Is the pharaoh still with the ambassador?"
"No I believe some of the other priests have come to him with some news and things that needed to be discussed. He shouldn't take long. Go ahead if you want to speak with him."
Yugi nodded his head and quickly took off before the heated argument between Jou and the high priest started all over again.
"My pharaoh, there is something you should know…"
Yami could feel the cold chill that ran through veins at Isis' words. There was no way this could mean a good thing. With gritted teeth he waited for her words to come forward. No, there was definitely no chance he would like this. After all it wasn't often the gentle priestess would wore such a serious expression.
"What is it Isis?"
"There was another vision, pharaoh. It's about the young boy."
Yami's breath hitched in his throat when he heard this.
Yugi was in the palace for almost three weeks and everyone got more or less used to the fact that his clumsiness usually ended in a painful collision. Of course nobody bothered to explain this to the ambassador of Roma – Semptimus. That could be the reason why he was so flustered when he turned around a near corner only to have something small hitting him into his stomach. That something small was – to the ambassador's utter shock – a young boy.
"I'm so sorry sir. I wasn't looking where I was going." The two big amethyst eyes that focused at him took all his thoughts away for a second. The boy looked just like the pharaoh but the golden jewellery recognized him as a servant. Before he could say anything one of his advisors rudely scold the poor boy.
"What a slave! Don't you have any manners? You should be whipped for such insolence!"
Into those big bright amethyst eyes immediately appeared fear and guilt. Not even knowing why Semptimus raised his hand and gently put it on the boy's head. A gesture that silenced the advisor and greatly surprised everybody else.
"It's alright, boy. I'm sure you didn't mean for that to happen. Alestus, there is no need to be so harsh. Why don't you and the rest take some time to relax? I'm sure it was a long day for everyone."
Alestus stiffly bowed to Semptimus and along with the rest of advisors and servants took his leave. Yugi who was hiding behind the Romanian nervously looked up at the older man and blushed in embarrassment.
"I'm really sorry for bumping into you like this." He added with a timid voice. Yugi had never met the ambassador and Yami never gave the impression of him being a nice person. The dark eyed man smiled surprisingly softly.
"As I said before, my boy, no harm done. Alestus can be harsh when tired which I'm sure was the case just a moment ago." Seeing the boy still fairly troubled Semptimus nodded towards the gardens.
"I was hoping to get some relaxing time in the gardens, will you accompany me?"
Yugi didn't hesitate and nodded eagerly. The ambassador seemed to be nice enough and besides the pharaoh was still busy with the priests. Smiling widely up at the ambassador he began to lead both of them towards the gardens he himself was so fond of.
"I'm sure I haven't seen you around the palace yet."
"I'm usually with my friend Jou when the pharaoh is busy. Jou is a servant of the high priest Seth." Added Yugi when he saw Semptimus's raised eyebrow. He didn't mind such conversation, he was sure that there was nothing wrong with it. The ambassador chuckled a bit.
"That must be quite an exercise to be running all the way from the high priest's chambers back to the pharaoh's. I heard a rumour as for why they have chambers so far from each other." When he saw Yugi's red face he continued. "Something about them killing each other if left together for a long period of time."
At this Yugi murmured something incoherent that dangerously sounded as an agreement. Semptimus smiled as he was lead through the stone path and deeper into the wonderful garden of Egyptian palace.
Seth took a VERY deep breath and silently counted to six. His headache had become worse and he blamed it fully at that stupid mutt. The said stupid mutt who was standing in front of him with his face red from yelling and expression full of ultimate stubbornness. They were arguing for what seemed to be just a few moment but now Seth realized that it went for two hours. It seemed to be way too easy to get lost in rage, especially when that damn dog was concerned. But for now he had things to take care of first.
"Look, I don't care how stupid you really are or why can't you learn the basic of trained life," before Jou could shoot another venomous reply Seth continued," but the fact is that in two days we are heading to Roma along with the ambassador and his escort. As the pharaoh ordered, so be a good dog and go pack your things."
"I don't care about YOUR orders, I don't want to go to Rome!" truthfully, Jou couldn't care less about the whole trip idea but spending two months with Seth as only company was a sheer torture he refused to endure.
"If you think I'm thrilled you are sorely mistaken. The chances are that in two days from the palace I get your flees or whatever you currently have." Sneered Seth back getting into another argue with Jou.
Behind the closed doors the other servants silently excuse themselves as a precaution that would get them unnecessary involved. After all why to provoke the dragon more than he already was.
"Seth truly is an unforgettable character." Agreed Semptimus with adequately sour expression. The high priest absolute refusal to be tactful was widely known and the ambassador wasn't the only one who suffered under the sarcastic blue eyes.
They both were sitting in the cool shade in the middle of the royal gardens just killing time talking about nothing neither important nor complicated. The high priest attitude problem proved to be a good topic.
Yugi giggled bit embarrassed. To be completely honest to him Seth may be distant but never snappy as he was towards everybody else.
"Your friend must be a persona himself if he managing Seth so well."
"Managing isn't the right word, your Excellency. He is just as stubborn as the high priest."
"I feel bit concerned for the pharaoh. To have two such people around him must be stressful." Even though he didn't laugh outright Yugi knew that the ambassador was joking. He smiled widely at him and then cheekily added.
"That's probably why he paired together, so they would take it on each other before they come to him. Though, they can be pretty funny when they arguing over something completely stupid."
"I may only guess that the pharaoh think same about me. After all I can be stubborn as well."
Yugi found it safer not to answer that but Semptimus didn't seem to be insulted by his silent agreement.
"It's alright. I understand that. Even though I must admit you definitely don't seem to be too taken back by that."
Yugi felt himself blushing at this. The ambassador surely wasn't as bad as he got the impression from Yami's long and usually very heated speeches.
"The problem with being an ambassador," continued Semptimus, "is that I always have to keep in mind my own country." The corners of his mouth twitched. "Unfortunately, it means you sometimes end up annoying the people around you."
Yugi smiled brightly at the Roman ambassador and nodded.
"You know there is something that my people and the Egyptians have common. Do you know what it is?" asked the ambassador and winked at Yugi. The boy tried to think about it but he couldn't find anything.
"It's games. How about we played something before you have to go and my people came to drag me away towards my duties as well." The bright smile that Yugi gave him warmed the older man's heart with joy he didn't feel in quite some time.
Yami forcefully hit the wall next to him in childish rage. He refused to believe it. He refused to listen.
"You must be wrong, Isis." His voice was hoarse and sounded strangely off. Isis bowed her head. There was nothing she could do to calm the raw hurt in her pharaoh's heart.
"I'm sorry, that's what I saw."
"I REFUSE TO LET IT HAPPEN THEN!" screamed Yami as pain filled his heart and very soul.
He wouldn't let Yugi suffer.
He wouldn't let him die.
Ok people, here is the next chapter. I apologize for the absolute delay but as write in some other note I was working 63 hours per week and was half dead from exhaustion. Trust me too much of overtime can seriously kick your ass.
Second thing, I lost my beta for this, so if you find too much of mistakes in it please bear with me.
I hope you liked this chapter, though I'm fairly disappointed with the outcome. The next one should be better and I already started to work on it. So wish me luck.
Also if you have any creative comments or useful information I obviously overlook please don't hesitate to let me know.
Thanks you all who stick with this story so far :)