Wow, I actually went back and revised this sorry excuse for a fanfic. :o Yay for me!
I wrote this a long time ago and on a whim gave it to a friend to read. She said she really liked it and I should continue, but I didn't feel comfortable posting it until it was fixed up a bit.
So, here it is in all its edited glory, my first vampire fic ever written:D
Notes: There will be two couples in this story: Bakura/Ryou and Marik/Malik. Have you guys figured out they're my favorite couples? xD Originally I had Yami/Yugi and Seto/Jou in here too, but decided to cut them out. I just don't want this story to turn out as long as (or longer than) Opal. That would just kill me. x.x
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Yu-gi-oh or any of its characters and I make no profit from this story.
A young boy with long ivory hair raced through the dark forest around him, his tattered cream colored tunic flaring out behind him, while his bare feet pounded against the dirt and his thin, pale arms pushed the underbrush away from his face.
Ryou's breath came in desperate gasps as he made his way through the dense brush, the trees around him closing in and bringing with them a feeling of claustrophobia. He was tired, cold, and could not recognize where he was, but at the moment he didn't have the energy to waste thinking about it.
Ryou pushed himself onward, even as his body screamed for air and the blood pumped in his ears. He couldn't be caught, not now, not when he had gotten so far. That place, that prison that had held him captive for far too long was finally behind him. He would not go back. He could not go back. Just trying to escape was an immediate death sentence, but actually going through with it…well, he didn't want to think about the tortures that would be bestowed upon him if given the chance.
The boy let out a cry as he felt his foot catch in the roots of a twisted tree nearby and fell face first into a patch of muddy water connected to a swamp a short distance away. The intensity of the putrid water's stench hit his nose full force as he lay there, causing him to retch loudly.
Moaning in pain and panting quietly, Ryou allowed himself to finally glance at the surrounding woods.
The night sky barely showed through the mess of limbs and leaves from the numerous trees around the fetid water. The darkness of the forest pressed in around him and as he got to his knees he found himself wrapping his arms around his thin frame, desperately searching for comfort.
These woods seemed evil, full of hatred and death. Shivering, he pulled his clothing closer for warmth and looked down along the ground, but could see nothing except the mist which rose from the water's surface nearby. It had completely covered the dirt surrounding it, giving the whole scene an eerie feel.
His breath finally slowing down, the boy stood shakily and listened intently for sounds of approaching feet. Ryou was deathly afraid of the demons trailing behind him, making sure to look back over his shoulder for any sign of their approach. In his mind, he kept imagining that he saw them closing in on him, snarling and panting in rage, their eyes rolling at him and fangs bared.
Yet as he stood there, listening, he heard nothing except the rustling of leaves and the bubbling of the swamp. Shoulders slumping, he allowed himself to relax for the time being.
The boy pushed his hair behind his back and wiped the remaining water from his chin. How had he gotten into this situation? It all seemed such a blur now that he thought of it.
He remembered his friend, Malik, explaining how he and Ryou were to escape from their prison, the hell hole they had been born into. Ryou still didn't know why he had gone along with Malik, a boy who always tended to go too far whenever it concerned those important to him. It must have been due to his utter desperation to escape from his current slavery, to stay alive and not resign himself to his destined fate of being a meal for one of those monsters.
In his head, he heard Malik's explanation clearly. They were supposed to wait until the two guards came to choose the prey for the night from the lot of humans in the barracks, and then they would strike. Malik, who was the strongest of the two, would rush them and take the demons by surprise while Ryou slipped through the doors leading to the outer hallway during the ensuing chaos.
The white haired human had to run down the concrete pathways and through the difficult and seemingly endless maze of rooms until he reached the doors leading to the outside courtyard. Thankfully, he and Malik had been collecting information about the passageways over the last few weeks from those human's who had been lead to the outside, only to be brought back due to selection error.
Of course, not only would he be dealing with the path, but the likelihood of meeting demons on the way. Ryou just had to hope he'd either run into no one else during his journey or if he did, they'd be slower and less agile than him.
His blonde friend would then meet him outside after pushing his way through the hordes of people and creatures who were sure to scatter during the escape attempt and following him on the path. Once they had reached the courtyard, they were to run flat out towards the fence hugging the contours of the prison and climb without looking back.
Ryou was to pause at the forest's edge beyond the fence to see if Malik was following. Whether he saw his friend or not, he was ordered to continue onward.
Of course, this plan immediately went awry once Ryou had gotten outside. He and Malik had not expected so many demons to come to the guard's aid and so were forced to split up, Ryou heading towards the eastern portion of the camp and Malik continuing forward into the southern woods. The white haired boy had climbed the fence and gotten away unscathed, but he did not know the fate of his tanned friend.
Without spotting Malik, he continued into the forest, followed closely by sentinels. After minutes of running, he had lost them during the chase, landing himself so deep in the forest he couldn't tell one direction from the other.
Away from the noise of the prison and the demons, he could take the time to wonder why on earth he had even considered such a plan. Come to think of it, he had never done something that stupid before in his life. Yes, back in the prison he faced a life of fear, wondering when he would become food for the demons or their pets, but out here he was without his captor's protection from the other inhabitants of the world.
Out here, without the aid of anyone or anything, he risked being torn apart by some hellish animal which lived deep in the wilds. At least in the prison he knew what was coming and could prepare himself for his fate. He knew that whatever lived out here wouldn't give him time to come to terms with his grizzly death.
Ryou sighed to himself and started trudging around the putrid smelling water, his feet making a slopping sound in the mud. Why had he been born into such a world? A horrible place where humans like him were merely bred for food, sustenance for those he feared and hated with all his being?
He remembered back to his childhood spent in the dingy, overcrowded rooms with other humans. Most were dying from either illness or decay, and it was these that would be fed to the demon's monsters. The other healthy and beautiful humans were to be given to the demon masters.
Ryou's family was one of many that had been dragged away and fed to those beasts, leaving him alone and without the luxury of a surname. He was haunted nightly with nightmares of his kin, who were always faceless and nameless, except for one. The only relative he remembered vividly was his younger sister, Amane, yet his memories of her didn't offer him any type of solace from his miserable life. In fact, all he could see of her in his mind was the image of her face as she was dragged from his arms, kicking and screaming, to her death, the leering smiles of the guards holding on to her staring back at him.
Thinking back to that time, Ryou felt a boost of energy surge through him. He would make it out of these woods alive and he would find somewhere he could live peacefully, away from the things that had filled his dreams and his waking hours with terror.
A loud snap to his right made the boy's heart skip a beat and he turned his head toward the sound. A dark figure began to emerge from behind the trees across the water, moving closer and seeming to realize it wasn't alone. As it turned to him, the dim light breaking through the trees illuminated its dark cloak, the hood casting its face in shadow. The boy let out a horrified whimper as the monster stepped into the clearing and made a low rattling sound as it locked onto the white haired intruder.
Ryou's mind screamed at him to move but his feet refused to listen, remaining rooted to the spot. He was too caught up in shock and surprise at the monster's sudden appearance to do anything rational.
The boy's eyes widened and his heart leaped to this throat as he saw a fleshless, bony hand reach up and slowly remove the hood of the cloak, revealing a skull underneath, the eyeless pits looking at the shaking figure before it as the skeleton took another step forward. Ryou heard the rattling sound again and realized it must be the thing's bones jostling against each other as it moved.
His hands flew to his mouth to hold in his scream and at this movement, the monster moved forward with startling speed, barreling through the murky water with its arms outstretched.
Screaming, Ryou pulled himself from his stupor and turned quickly, running from the clearing. His footsteps could be heard as he rushed for the trees, his ears picking up the sound of the monster behind him. Terrified, Ryou doubled his pace and began to pray to any god that was listening to take pity on him and aid him in his escape.
It was as he was being chased by this nameless skeleton that the fact he still had no idea where he was slammed into him with the force of a sledgehammer. He panicked, beginning to lead the beast through random patterns through the trees and underbrush. Hell, he was already completely lost, why not try and lose the thing in the darkness? Maybe he'd get lucky and it would lose interest.
Fear gripped his heart as the forest only seemed to grow denser the further he ran. How far into the woods had he traveled? How long would it be before he reached the edge of the trees and was able to see the light from the stars and moon? Would he even survive the night in this place? This one monster couldn't be all that lived within the cover of the trees.
Suddenly, the noise behind him stopped and the boy looked behind him quickly. The skeleton had disappeared! Ryou ran another few yards before he stopped and listened intently through the trees around him, but nothing reached his ears. Had his pursuer actually given up? Panting for air, he looked around him, seeing nothing but bark and the ever present darkness.
Not only was this confusing him, but Ryou thought of it as a bad sign. Why would the creature leave now after it seemed so intent on catching him?
A low, masculine voice behind him made his blood run cold. "Well, what do we have here?"
Ryou faced the man, his heart pumping in his ears and sweat breaking out over his skin. His eyes widened to the size of saucers as he took in the man's appearance.
The other had dark black hair that cascaded down to his shoulders in waves, his piercing yellow eyes watching Ryou intently. The man wore pants made of a black, heavy material and a shirt that seemed like it had been made from the finest blue silk. Beautiful polished black boots could be seen adorning his feet and Ryou suddenly became aware of just how dirty he must have looked next to this man.
Shifting his weight and swallowing audibly, the human noticed the final and most frightening features this man possessed. Huge ebony wings sprung from his back, their sides brushing against his shoulders and hips as he unhooked the deadly claws which had been holding them together.
"W-Who are you?" Ryou asked quietly, his fingers grasping his tunic unconsciously. What was he? Was he some new form of demon Ryou had never seen before? He couldn't have been from the camp, seeing as how all those demons were gnarled and ugly, and they lacked wings.
"The better question, little human, is why are you in our Lord's woods?" The man asked, stepping closer, his breath running along the boy's skin. Before Ryou could step back, a clawed hand shot out and grabbed his upper arm, pulling him flush against the other's chest. If he weren't so panic stricken, he probably would have blushed.
The white haired human watched as the man's wings spread out behind him, their wing span almost reaching from one tree to the next. He squeaked and grasped the other's shirt as they were lifted in to the air, the black leathery appendages stirring up gusts of wind as they moved.
Reaching the top of the branches, the man paused, holding his position and addressed the human. "To answer your earlier question, I'm a demon of the first class, one who serves the vampire lord ruling over these lands." he grinned, showing his short fangs. "We're lucky that servant didn't get a hold of you, pretty one, or else you would have gone to waste. My master will appreciate a fine gift such as yourself."
Blinking dumbly, Ryou stared into the demon's eyes. He had escaped one prison only to land himself in another. Whatever god existed must be laughing at him.
"Why did it stop chasing me?" He found himself asking, his voice containing a slight waver and as he waited for the answer the arms around him tightened.
"The beasts in these woods know to stay out of sight when we demons are around. They are only to come before us when they're called upon."
Looking away, the demon made it apparent the conversation was over. With a flutter they tore off into the night, the wind howling in Ryou's ears. He wound his arms around the man's neck, gripping the back of the other's shirt firmly while he wrapped his legs around the other's waist to keep from falling below to his death. He didn't know which was worse, being chased through the forest by a moving skeleton or flying through the air with a demon.
The cold rushed into him during the ride and he wished he had some sturdier clothing. These prison clothes were no good when it came to the elements.
The journey seemed to take hours, Ryou spending the time wondering and fearing where he was being taken. The demon had said something about being in his Lord's woods, so that meant someone owned this ghastly land. What kind of man or beast would make a claim to it?
Slowly, the sound of laughter and cries made its way to his ears and Ryou risked a quick glance below them. What he saw made him press closer to the demon and his breath catch in his throat.
Demons. Hundreds of them were in the plains below, leading along terrible monsters as if they were harmless pets. Ryou hadn't noticed the trees thinning during their flight, but could now see the forest had cut off several yards back, looking just as sinister as they had before.
Raising his eyes, he looked further toward the horizon and saw under the moon's light that the plains expanded far outward and were lost in the shadows of the mountains beyond. Rocks and boulders were strewn here and there along the dirt, but it was mostly a clear path. His eyes moved from the mountains to the castle nestled between them which towered above the ground, its towers appearing to touch the sky. A huge field of dead grass led up to its gates and as they came closer, Ryou took in the building's appearance with apprehension.
It seemed like it would house someone who was obsessed with death. The walls were black with dust and grime and some spaces in the stone were chipped and cracked from time's assault. From what he could make out, there were few if any windows, all of which were shut tight and covered with black tapestries to keep out the light. The scene almost stopped the boy's heart.
"We're almost there, little human." The deep voice startled Ryou from his thoughts and he looked up at the handsome demon's face. The yellow eyes stared back at him and the lips curled into a smirk.
Ryou gulped quietly.
The demon pulled his wings back and they began to drop from the sky. Air rushed past them as they plummeted toward the ground, the human crying out and holding tighter to the other's neck.
Their descent ended suddenly as the man opened his wings, catching an air pocket and gliding gently the rest of the way to the grass. His boots hit with a dull thud, the wings hooking back behind him. Ryou was then placed on his own two feet and turned around in the demon's arms, forcing him to look forward. The man behind him began to walk, shoving the boy in front of him. "Move along, human. Our Lord will want to get a good look at you before daylight."
As they walked through the field toward the Lord's castle, other demons had noticed their arrival. Their eyes rove over Ryou's for, making him feel uneasy as he quickened his pace. Though he did not wish to meet the master of these fiends, he also didn't feel comfortable being so close to the monsters themselves. Seeing the faces looming around him proved to be too much and the human opted to just watch the path instead.
Ryou stuck close to his guide for safety as they walked. He didn't trust the mob of monsters around him for even a moment. They'd probably tear him apart and eat his entrails before he had a chance to scream, let alone explain that he was supposed to be visiting their master, whoever it was.
The boy had never heard about any vampire lords in the regions close to his old prison. Vampires were always thought as a fantasy to him and the other humans trapped within the demon's hold, something that was never seen but was still talked about. Now that he was going to meet one, the old stories rushed back to him full force and he had to swallow the lump forming in his throat.
He was noticing less and less feet near him and chanced raising his head, surprised to see the demons and their pets were leaving, going back to their usual business. Ryou watched them over his shoulder with awe, but a rough jerk on his arm made him turn his head forward.
The black haired man pulled him up to the tall double doors that led into the castle, releasing his arm in order to force the heavy doors open. Ryou could see the muscles of his arms and legs straining and couldn't imagine something that required a demon to put forth that much effort.
With a creepy squeak of their hinges, the doors swung open and revealed the main hall of the castle. It was jet black, but from the little light flooding in from the outside Ryou could make out pillars to the sides of the path in front of him. They were painted a deep crimson while their gold trim glinted in the moonlight. He tried to see further, but the darkness consumed everything beyond a few meters.
The winged demon took his arm once again and brought him past the threshold and into the hall of the castle, the doors giving an ominous groan behind him as they closed once more, trapping him in.
Hrm, not the best (to me, at least) but still better than it was before. I'm not sure if I'll finish this story. Like I said, I started it awhile ago and pretty much forgot the plot. o.o;
If people like it, then I'll force myself to continue. I guess I'll just write this along side Opal.
Want me to continue? Leave me a review and tell me you enjoyed the fic. .