Author's Notes: This is usually the result when Darth goes and watches television, cartoons even: She gets the oddest and strangest fanfic-ideas around. This story is a mix of the Columbia TriStar's Swan Princess animation and Disney's Mulan but, like "The Little Sprite", has many features that are my own creation. ZombieBlinky has already written a similar story called "War of Hearts", which I enjoyed reading very much, and I highly recommend the story to everyone.

The main pairing is going to be YamixYugi but there is also going to be SetoxJou, and BakuraxRyou if I can fit it in.

Dream Prince

Chapter 1

The Dream

Their story was almost like it had been decided by destiny, but in reality it had been decided by their parents. The ruler of Egypt, the great Pharaoh Akhenamkhanen, once made a deal with the "Dream King", Lord Arat, that their eldest children would wed once they reached full age. This would assure the union between Egypt and Arat's kingdom, the realm beyond. The magical kingdom has many names but the most commonly used ones are Ateru and "Land of Dreams". The latter name comes from the only known pathway to the country, which is through the Pass of Illusions. It is said that the pass is the place where restless spirits of those who have died in the desert roam freely, driving anyone passing through without clearance insane. The name Ateru is the name given to the country by its inhabitants.

The position of the kingdom is of little importance to the story of these two families, however. What truly is relevant to this tale is that these two kingdoms could grow stronger with teamwork. The two countries both had different kinds of magic and once united through the marriage of their future leaders, they could share knowledge of this magic with each other.

The pact between the two kings was made when Akhenamkhanen's son was two years old. This young man, with the mark of the gods upon him, was named Atemu. At this time Lord Arat's wife, Lady Mia, was pregnant with the couple's first child. A few months later Lady Mia gave birth, the child shocking their whole kingdom. The reason behind the incredible amazement was the fact that, for the first time in a thousand years, the first child born to the royal family was a boy. Up until that point all the queens had first given birth to a daughter, and that daughter would marry and make her husband king. But now something had caused an unexpected change.

Lord Arat was horrified with how this new development would affect the relationship with Egypt, so he and his wife made the journey to the pharaoh's palace as soon as the child could travel.

It was not difficult to reach an agreement with Akhenamkhanen. The pharaoh had at first been shocked when, despite Arat's and Mia's assurance, the child had not turned out to be a girl. The man soon recovered, however, saying that their agreement would not be broken by such a 'minor inconvenience'. The couple would not be able to get children between them but the pharaoh was positive that they would bring prosperity to the two kingdoms despite this setback.

Even as the parents were willing to continue with the courtship between the two kingdoms and heirs, young Prince Atemu was sceptical. He did not see it fitting for the pharaoh to marry another male instead of a beautiful princess. But, since he was but a mere child, he had no say in the matter and he was forced to get to know his new fiancée better, a child two years younger than him named Yugi.

Even though still a baby, the small prince had some very distinct features. He had the same mark as Atemu did upon him. The mark was the dark hair that rose up to the skies to meet the gods with golden bangs in the front that gave the prince a natural crown. Still, Atemu's crown rose higher, the golden tresses splitting into three sharp spikes that ran through the otherwise deep crimson hair.

Even though the two princes shared the same hair, there were no other similarities. Atemu's eyes were a deep red color while the smaller prince's were a bright amethyst. And as the two heirs grew, meeting each other once a year after the great Nile was finished flooding, it came apparent that when Atemu matured to look strong from his facial features, the other prince's face stayed childishly round.

The two princes grew up to have different natures as well. Atemu, whose mother had passed away, grew to be a strong young man with great leadership skills. Yugi grew up with his mother, as was the tradition in their kingdom, and became a sweet person with a soul more beautiful than any other person's who had yet to walk on Earth.

Atemu had been very reluctant to give his fiancée a chance to prove his ability of being a good life's partner for Atemu. The prince of Egypt preferred to spend his time running off every time Yugi was brought to visit. Still, every time Atemu made the mistake of taking his cousin Seto with him on his escapades, and the young priest-in-training always ruined his plans of escape. The brown-haired boy had even been forced to drag Atemu back to palace kicking and screaming when the prince had been eight years old. Seto was a year older than his cousin, and a lot taller than the prince, who was very short for his age. This proved out to be an advantage to Seto, one which the brunet abused openly whenever force was needed to make Atemu see sense.

There was no change in the relationship between the two princes for years, until Yugi's fifteenth birthday. The way Yugi had approached Atemu when they had met again, with perfectly elegant movements and with his brilliant eyes shining as he smiled at the older prince was something Atemu had never seen the formerly clumsy boy do. Something inside Atemu seemed to click when he set eyes on the beautiful young man in front of him. That year he had been a lot kinder to Yugi and had also been sad to see him return to his own kingdom for another year.

It seemed that Atemu had learned to love Yugi during that visit. All it had taken to make the change seemed to be a will to give the younger prince a chance. Atemu had looked forward to seeing Yugi again a year later. This had been before everything came crashing down.

To be continued…

Ending Notes: Sorry about the narrative chapter but I really wanted to get the background of the story into a single chapter. The next one will be a lot more interesting to read, I assure you.