Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-gi-oh. You can tell by the way this is hosted at fanfiction dot net.

A while ago, before the hiatus, I was contemplating the fact that Forgiveness would end soon and came up with two projects to do after it, Utopia, which I also did a sample chapter for, and this one.

After the hiatus, I decided to not do either of them. Well, I changed my mind. I'm doing both of them, just less long than originally planned. Six real chapters each. I don't know exactly when I'm getting started now, but I thought this prologue might be a good thing to give you guys. Enjoy.

Oh, and this is very AU.

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Ages ago, humanity lived in an era of peace and plenty, ruled by the virtuous lords of shadow. Their powers punished evil-doers and created an golden age without war or hardship.

But even in the midst of this time that some now would consider the kingdom of heaven, there was dissent.

The shadow mages were suspended between light and darkness. The light gave them their virtue and the darkness flawed them, made them human and gave them restraint and mercy as well as final justice.

But darkness hides itself, and so people did not realize this. They thought the occasional cruelty and harshness of the shadow lords to evildoers was caused not by the hatred of evil felt by their light, but the cold hearts of their darkness.

Some are never satisfied, no matter how just and kind a rule is.

If only they were all of light! Some said. Then we would have a perfect era of light, with no injustice or death! Truly the gods would descend among us, and an even more golden age would endure forever!

And so, these people banded together and sought a way to separate the dark from the light. To imprison the dark, so it would never break free and be the bane of their golden age.

To accomplish this, they created a set of seven talismans so steeped in darkness that when they were completed the strongest darknesses in the world would be drawn to them. In order to do so, they sacrificed a village. These talismans were named the millennium items, for their magic would last for millennia.

The ends do not justify the means. They were damned from the start.

When the talismans were completed, the spirits of the strongest shadow mages were split in half, and the dark sides drawn to the talismans. In order to ensure that their darknesses would be imprisoned alone in the talismans, never to again corrupt the light, the Puzzle of Unity, one of the talismans, was shattered.

The conspirators had hoped that with the strongest Shadow mages, the virtuous lords of the earth, cleansed of their darkness, in their gratitude and purity those lords would forgive them their crimes and aid them in subduing all other darkness. Raising them above all others in the land in recognition of their great deed in service to the world.

However, when they returned to the capital city, in what we now call Egypt, they heard the rumor spreading through the marketplace. The shadow lords had collapsed, weeping. Someone had stolen halves of their souls.

They had not thought that darkness was of the soul! In panic, they fled, but were hunted down.

But not before all of the seven shadow lords had willed their own death.

And while they fled, the peaceful land collapsed around them, fear and suspicion spreading like wildfire, innocents killed by mobs on the merest suspicion that they had done this horrible thing.

The remaining shadow mages struggled to restore the peace, but with the balance between light and dark destroyed their powers waned fast.

The shadow lord who judged evil was the last to fall, the need for justice keeping them alive. He wished to tear them limb from limb, so they would know some of the pain of rending, but he chose to keep them alive.

They were imprisoned underground and given the task of undoing what they had done, so the balance would return, magic would again have power, and peace would be restored.

They labored. And studied, and strived, knowing what they had done.

But it was all for naught.

Without the firm justice of shadow, those with evil in their hearts and those with fear who wished to find someone to give them security banded together and created new kingdoms, fragments of the realm that had once covered the earth.

Fragments that warred and starved and wove legends of gods that had once walked among men, gods that brought peace and justice and the harvest, gods that suppressed the evil by their might.

The quest for redemption and peace of those imprisoned lasted for millennia.

Until the light souls of the most powerful of the seven shadow mages were reborn, and the one who was half of the leader of them all, the one who brought them together, solved the Puzzle of Unity.

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As the last piece of the Puzzle he had tried so hard to solve for so long clicked into place, a smile crossed Yugi's lips. Finally.

He knelt before the figure that appeared, somehow not surprised at all, and nuzzled his hand. Finally.

He knew, somehow, that now everything would be all right. "Lord of Darkness." How did he know to call him that?

His darkness raised him up to stand in front of him. "Lord of Light." A smile that wasn't the same as his. Understanding shone in those eyes, and calculating intelligence. The one thing that was the same was the need.

The need that had driven him to solve the Puzzle no matter what, when he should have given up years ago. The need that had thrilled in him when Grandpa warned him it contained darkness.

The need that crushed their lips and bodies together, yearning to become one.