Chapter 1: The Carnival
Seto walked around the dirty grounds as Mokuba munched happily on a ball of cotton candy. Mokuba had convinced Seto to go to the carnival with him. The place was littered with trash but nobody seemed to notice, they were too busy laughing, going on rides, playing games, and watching performers. Seto watched as a girl twisted her body around a pipe like a snake, another lift a plethora of weights, another breath out impressive burst of flames. Seto really didn't want to go but he wanted to be with Mokuba and Mokuba wanted to go. So Seto went and was glad his brother was enjoying himself.
"Brother look! Look!" cried Mokuba as he ran to a cage labeled Centaur.
Mokuba ran to the cage and peered eagerly inside. Seto walked up to the cage.
"Come on Mokuba. You know this is some trick," said Seto.
"But Seto it looks so real," said Mokuba in awe.
Seto looked up at the creature. He had to admit it was an impressive illusion. The horse's furry body was beautifully merged with a human's torso. The supposed Centaur was leaning against a wall, his long gray hair clung loosely around him reaching to his mid back where gray fur climbed up his back to the nap of his neck, his skin was sickly pale, and sweat beaded his forehead, and dark circles clung under his eyes. He did not look well to say the least.
"Brother is it just me or does he look like he's about to kick the bucket?" said Mokuba in disappointment.
"Yeah," replied Seto.
The centaur looked up at Seto and Mokuba for the first time. As it's eyes wandered to Seto they grew wide with fear. Its muscles pulsated throughout its body as it struggled to get up. Finally it got up and walked over to Seto it's hooves clanking on the floor. It went up to the bar as if to say something but all that escaped its lips were horse neighs. A truly anguishing despair twisted the centaur's face as he grabbed his throat, tears wielding in his eyes. Seto felt a little sorry for the poor guy, though his face was as impassive as ever.
"Come on Seto!"
Seto looked up to see Mokuba waving at him to come on. Seto gave the centaur one last glance. The centaur went a little ballistic as Seto left. It continued to neigh; trying to say something desperately it's hooves dancing around.
"What's the matter Takemaru?"
The centaur looked up at the speaker fear saturating his entire being as he looked at him. The speaker wore black boots, and trousers, a white button up shirt, with a red tailed coat. His hair was neatly trimmed all slicked back, and his goatee with a sharp mustache gave the man a refined look.
"Ring Master!" cried the centaur, but grabbed his throat the moment he realized he could speak normal again.
"Takemaru…" silenced Ring Master.
The man stared at Seto's retreating back. His dark eyes narrowed as his face twisted to a sneer. Takemaru uneasily back away form the man.
"Ring Master! Please! You have enough!" begged Takemaru.
"There is no such thing as enough. Why do you think billionaires and mass production exist? There is never enough," answered Ring Master, "but I'm going to have to have a closer look."
"Ring Master, please don't?" murmured Takemaru.
"You tried to warn him didn't you, Takemaru."
Takemaru backed away further. He tried to say something back but his voice went back to horse neighing.
"I'll deal with you later," said Ring Master as he walked away after Seto.
Seto continued walking with Mokuba both unaware of the stocker. They were on their way to try the roller Coaster, and were walking by various game booths. Ring Master lifted on hand and began to fiddle with a black ring a purple inscription on the band, just as Seto walked by the Dunk booth. Whoever threw the ball must have hit a bull's-eye because water came out splashing all over Seto.
"What the-?!" cried Seto mopping wet.
"Oh! I'm so sorry sir!" cried the woman that was doing the dunking as she ran to Seto handing him a towel.
"Lily. What's going on," demanded Ring Master as he walked up to the group.
Lily stuttered as she explained herself to the Ring Master. Seto looked up at the two glaring at the man. Mokuba looked at them a worried expression on his face. He then turned to Seto and whispered,
"Please Stop don't be anger. We're here to have fun! It was an accident!"
Seto's expression calmed down dramatically he remembered the promise he made to his baby brother. Taking a deep breath Seto began to calm down.
"And that's what happened Ring Master," concluded Lily nervously.
The Ring Master looked down on Seto for a second, make evaluation on the teenager.
"He eyes are fine, his hair color will be alright, but we might need to grow it out. He's a tall boy, pretty skinny but that's alright it makes him appear more like the display I want, but I need a better look at his muscle tone,' thought Ring Master. He then turned to Lily then back to Seto, he then turned to some other co. workers. He nodded his head and they closed their shops and ran off. Ring Master then turned to Seto again.
"I truly am sorry for this sir. Lily take him to my dresser room and help him get cleaned up. I'll be there in a second I need to go check upon Takemaru, he doesn't look very well."
"Centaur boy?" questioned Lily as she helped Seto up, whom refused the offer.
"Yes," replied Ring Master as he went off.
Seto stared after the man. He was getting a bad feeling about him, but promised Mokuba a good time and getting sick would not give Mokuba a good time.
"This way sir," stated the woman as she led them to a trailer.
The trailer was fairly big inside one could easily move around. Red velvet carpet and trinkets lined the walls. But what was the weirdest was the mirror was covered in a thick white blanket.
"Here," said Lily handing Seto as pair of jeans and T-shirt. "Come on let's give your brother some privacy."
Lily ushered Mokuba out as Seto waited for the door to be shut then began to change into dry clothes slipping of the wet ones that clung to his skin. Ring Master stood outside just outside of Mokuba's and Lily's line of sight. Holding his ring out and looking through it he saw Seto. Seto had and impressive body; it was well chiseled with muscles, but it wasn't' so full of muscle that he looked like he belonged in Dragon Ball Z. It seemed perfect. Ring Master smiled as he put the ring back on and went to his trailer.
"Ring Master sir?" asked Lily.
"Will you take his brother on one of the rides and be back in five minuets. I'll go talk with his brother for a while," said Ring Masked as he headed in.
Seto looked up the moment he heard the door open and close. The Ring Master coming into his line of sight, with a smug look on his face.
"I truly apol--" began Ring Master but he was cut off by Seto.
"Spare me the lectures," hissed Seto.
Ring Master jumped back in surprise, but he continued to listen as he heard Seto out.
"I'm the CEO of Kaiba Corp. And if I hadn't promised my brother Mokuba a good time your carnival would have been shut down."
"So your Seto Kaiba," muttered Ring Master as he smirked at Seto's threat, "Well Mr. Kaiba I too am an influential man, as much as yourself. Although my influences are much more different than yours."
"Influences? You? Get real. The only influences a third rate manager has is 'hoaxing' money out of peoples pockets."
Ring Master smirked all the more as he went to the covered mirror and unveiled it. The small mirror appeared to be made out of stone with Latin inscriptions all along the sides.
"Mr. Kaiba, when you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror what do you see?"
"Is this suppose to impress me or are you just trying to get off topic."
"Neither Mr. Kaiba I'm just curious."
Seto looked at himself in the mirror that the Ring Master revealed, while Ring Master was watching him fiddling with his ring as he was. Seto starred at his reflection long and hard for a glimmer of a second the image seemed to change but before Seto could be sure it changed back. A headache began to drum in the back of Seto's mind, but his eyes couldn't look away form the image, something was very captivating about it. Ring Master smirked as he went up to Seto, his reflection not even playing off the mirror and Seto was too busy to notice his presence. Ring Master lowered his head till it was just below the neck and collarbone. Opening his mouth Ring Master revealed four sharp fangs that seemed to be growing bigger a slimy black transparent liquid coated them, different than saliva. Ring Master bit down on Seto's neck drinking only a few gulps of blood and replacing it with the black ooze. Seto was only faintly aware of the prick he felt in his neck. Finally after a minuet or two Ring Master let go fiddling with his ring more Seto's wet clothes instantly dried. Seto's headache began to sharpen as pain pricked his neck, but he was unable to turn away form the mirror.
"When I look at myself in the mirror. I see a man of… opportunity. I see that you are also a man of opportunity," drawled Ring Master.
Seto snapped out of his trance and turned to Ring Master, headache still there. He was completely off guard. Seto quickly regained his composure as he glared down on Ring Master.
"All I see out of you is a washed up manager, that tricks the public out of their money with cheap imitations, like that centaur of yours," hissed Seto.
"Mr. Kaiba if there is one thing I hate its imitations. I try to make sure I get the real thing. Takemaru is as real as you or I."
"Please, there is no such thing as centaurs."
"Mr. Kaiba there is magic in the world. It reveals itself in its smallest form but it is there. Perhaps one day you'll understand, but for now I have some business to attend to. I'm sure you'll understand," said Ring Master as he headed for the door, but he stopped for a second. "Oh… your clothes are dry now. So you can change back if you want."
Seto watched as Ring Master left. He was now alone in the trailer. A heavy scowl on his face, as his headache pulsed through him Seto picked up his clothes, but quickly gasped. They really were dry, but Seto couldn't have been there for more than 5 minuets. Confused Seto changed back and left the trailer. Mokuba was standing outside, a stuffed animal in his arms as waited for Seto. The sun beginning to set.
"Where'd you get that?" asked Seto as he walked up to Mokuba.
"Lily gave it to me while you were talking to that Ring Master," explained Mokuba.
"I see…" muttered Seto. "Listen Mokuba, the suns' setting before we go lets go on one more ride."
"Really!" exclaimed Mokuba in excitement.
"Yeah," confirmed Seto smiling down on Mokuba in his special way.
The two went through the grounds, the crowd lessened form before. Finally they reached the ride Mokuba wanted to go on last; the Fairs Wheel. Seto looked out at the sunset with his brother Mokuba. It was a beautiful view.
"So did you have a good time?" asked Seto.
"Yeah," answered Mokuba, but he continued, "… Seto?"
"I'm glad you could spend time with me, even though you're busy all the time."
"I might be busy a lot, but that gives me no excuse not to spend time with you."
"Thanks… Hey Seto?"
"Do you think Mom and Dad are happy for us in heaven?"
Seto shifted uncomfortably for a while in his seat. He remembered the day his and Mokuba's parents died, the day he and Mokuba were adopted. The cruel acts of his stepfather, when he inherited Kaiba Corp. When he was little remember missing his real parents a lot.
"Yes, I think so," answered Seto.
"Do you think they miss us?"
"… All the time."
The Kaiba brothers rode in to the Kaiba mansion. Mokuba had long since fallen asleep, with Seto gently rubbing his back. The headache that rang through his head a while back was now replaced with a dull throb behind Seto's shoulder blades. When the door opened Seto lifted Mokuba up and carried him into the house and to his room. Toys littered Mokuba's room and duel monsters posters covered the walls. Capsule monsters, comics, books, and other figurines were all over the shelves; Seto lifted the covers and placed Mokuba in the bed, tucking the little guy in. Seto smiled when her saw the small stack of Duel Monster cards on Mokuba's dresser.
Seto closed the door as he strayed into is own room. There was a desk with his laptop on top of it a file cabinet next to it, his dresser had pictures on it most of Seto and Mokuba, but there was one of Seto's parents. Seto walked up to it and picked up the little photo. Mokuba and him were so small back then but they looked all so happy. Seto had apparently inherited his father's looks whereas Mokuba looked a little more like their mother. Seto had earned his mother's blue eyes, while Mokuba got fathers brown eyes.
Pain shot through Seto catching him off guard. Seto dropped the portrait and began to clutch his back as best he could. He wobbly walked over to the side bathroom removing his shirt as he went. He examined his image in the mirror. Two lumps were on his back a rash circled them. The lumps weren't small either they were the size of a softball and looked slightly scaly.
"What the…" muttered Seto as he reached back a hand and touched the lumps.
The lumps were rough to touch, and there was some type of bone behind them, but what was worse was not that they hurt but they itched like crazy. Seto's mere brush against them, practically inflamed them, and he soon was scratching them.
"What are they?!" muttered Seto as he continued to scratch.
The lumps began to bleed as Seto continued scratching it. 'Maybe I eat something,' thought Seto as he left the bathroom. ' Yeah… I'll be better in the morning.'
Seto slipped off his shoes and jumped into his bed. He let exhaustion consume him as it lulled him to sleep, much as it had every night.
"Are you Seto?"
"I'm Sorry to inform you, but your parents have passed away."
"It was a car accident. No one survived."
"No! Dad promised to play me a game of that new card game 'Duel Monsters'! Daddy never broke his promise!"
"Father…" muttered Seto as he slept on. Hand still placed on his back.