Seto Kaiba held his breath once the limo made its final turn through the open gates and onto the large estate that was what would always be known as, the Kaiba Mansion. Inside the mansion were his future, his career, and ultimately his new life. Seto was neither happy nor sad about this, only determined. Determined to be the best, and rise above all that was ever expected of him while he inhabited that horrid orphanage. He was going to live the life that he was born to live. Seto Kaiba was ten years old.
His brother sat beside him in the backseat of the limo, restless and nervous. He kept shifting his weight, and changing his sitting position, only one thing remained. His hand was always locked to Seto's, and he held onto Seto as if his short-lived life depended on it. The boy's name was Mokuba Kaiba, and he feared the life that now lay ahead of them. Seto was his only lifeline, and the only family he truly had. Not only that, but the only person in this world he felt he could trust and the one person who seemed to care.
The limo calmly came to stop, and Mokuba's body froze just as it did. It was going to happen, their new life was about to begin. And he wasn't ready. Mokuba was five years old, and everything but ready to take on this challenge. He turned his head towards Seto, his eyes big with desperation and fear. Seto's face was unchanging, almost emotionless. Everything but scared. Mokuba didn't know if this made him feel better or worse.
The door clicked open, and a short, toad-like man appeared holding the door open for them. The man had tiny glasses sticking to his head, and his expression was the least bit inviting.
"Boys, this is your new home," he said, holding out his hand as if to present the mansion to them. Seto stepped out of the vehicle, ready to take on whatever came to him, and Mokuba was quick to follow behind. "My name is Hobson," Hobson stated, before shutting the car door from behind the two boys. The sound of the door being shut made Mokuba jump and twist around. His nerves were getting the best of him, Mokuba didn't know what to expect.
"Now, now, there's no reason to be afraid. Come, follow me," Hobson instructed, leading them into the house. Mokuba took hold of the back of Seto's shirt, looking around the huge mansion with nervous eyes. Everything was so new and different, but the worst part was, there was an eeriness in the air and sent shivers down Mokuba's back. Seto made no signs of weakness or fear; he followed Hobson at an appropriate pace even with his brother clinging to his shirt.
They walked through the long hallways in silence for a long time, no one spoke a word, and everyone seemed to be lost in their own thoughts. Hobson suddenly came to a stop in front of a room, almost causing Seto to run into him, but Seto managed to catch himself just in time. Mokuba, however, walked right into Seto and made a small whimper of pain before rubbing his nose.
"This is where you will be sleeping, Seto," Hobson said, opening the door and revealing the extremely large room. Mokuba's eyes widened with wonder, he hadn't seen a room this big in his entire life. It was nearly three times the size of the room they shared with two other orphans back at their orphanage. Seto barely glanced at the room before turning his attention back to Hobson.
"Where will my brother be sleeping?" Seto asked. Mokuba looked up at his brother, and his grip on Seto's shirt tightened. He had never slept alone in his life, even when their parents were alive they had shared the same room and had always been together. Anxiety welled in Mokuba's mind, and he shut his eyes tight to keep his emotions from taking over.
"Follow me, please," Hobson said, closing the door behind him and starting down the long hallway again. Seto began walking after him, but felt Mokuba was walking at a slower pace, as if to hold him back. Seto wanted to turn around, to try and reassure him with his eyes that everything was going to be okay. But Seto knew that if he did look into Mokuba's face, he wouldn't be able to hide such emotions, so he ignored Mokuba's tiny attempt to stop him by walking faster than Mokuba intended.
When Hobson stopped after many minutes of walking, he turned and faced the brothers. His eyes fell upon Mokuba with curiosity. "What's the matter, Mokuba? Don't you like your new home?" Suspicion was floating in his voice. Mokuba cringed and hid himself behind his brother, concealing his face behind Seto's shoulder. Hobson ignored him and opened the door. Seto and Mokuba followed Hobson into the room that was equally as big as Seto's. "This is where you will be staying, Mokuba. Master Kaiba has certain rules for this household, but that will all be explained later tonight during dinner. Until then, you may stay in here."
Hobson turned and left them alone in the giant room. Once Hobson's steps were no longer heard in the hallway, Mokuba let himself fall to his knees on the ground, his hands still gripping his brother's short.
"Nii-sama…" Mokuba said in a quiet voice, looking up at his brother in hope that he would finally speak to him. "Nii-sama… I'm…" Mokuba felt many things, but he felt he didn't have the strength to say all of them. Seto turned his head, facing Mokuba for the first time in hours. His eyes didn't shine as brightly as they had earlier that day. Mokuba looked up at his brother in total desperation.
"It's going to be okay, Mokuba," Seto said. Mokuba was just happy to hear his voice again after so many hours of silence between them. Mokuba looked down, shaking his head.
"How can you be so sure? How are you always so sure?" Seto placed a hand on Mokuba's shoulder, causing him to look back up into his older brother's face. A small smile was displayed, and his emotions suddenly out in the open for the entire world to see.
"Because we're together… and that's all that matters." Mokuba smiled back, before getting to his feet and standing by his brother.
"You're right… I'm sorry…"
"Boys, it's time for dinner," Seto and Mokuba turned around to find Hobson standing in the doorway. The smile was wiped immediately from Seto's face as he started walking towards the doorway. Mokuba quickly ran to catch up with him. "You will be dining with Master Kaiba tonight, so I'd advise you to be on your best behavior," from behind his oddly colored glasses, he eyed Mokuba, "Especially you, Mokuba."
Mokuba stopped, a little surprised to be called out. "…What did I do?"
"The only reason you're here is because of that little deal your brother made with Master Kaiba. If it weren't for that, you'd still be in that orphanage, searching for a family to actually take you in," Hobson grinned at the thought. He had never cared much for children, and rather liked the thought of the two brothers suffering. After all, Seto had played a dirty trick on his master, but it was nothing that he couldn't use to his advantage. The only thing holding him back had been the additional adoption of Mokuba.
Seto stopped as well, glaring at Hobson. "You shut up," Seto said in a controlled voice, trying to keep himself calm, "That isn't true."
"Oh really?" Hobson turned to face him, "Is that why all the other parents wanted you and not your brother? Face it; the only reason your brother is worth anything is because of you and the fact that you care about him, something that will end up hurting you in the future." Hobson began walking again, leaving Seto confused. What did Hobson mean by that? Was danger going to befall Mokuba if he continued with his plan that he had set for so many years back in the orphanage?
Seto turned around to look at Mokuba one last time, before walking again and catching up to Hobson. Mokuba, in turn, did the same and came up right behind Seto just as the double doors opened revealing a long table and a huge dining room.
"Master Kaiba." Hobson bowed in Gozaburo's presence before stepping to the side and revealing the two brothers. Gozaburo's face was stone cold.
"Good evening Seto, Mokuba, glad you could make it. Why don't you have a seat?" Seto said nothing; the tensions between father and son had already begun to burn the playing field. Seto had always had a bad feeling about him from the start, as well as Mokuba. The only difference between them was the fact that Seto saw this man as a challenge, where as Mokuba saw it as a threat.
Seto and Mokuba sat down at the table side by side. Two servants came up from behind him and placed a plate in front of each boy. They both lifted the metal top of the tray at the same time, revealing a delicious assortment of turkey, corn, and potatoes. Gozaburo already had his meal set out in front of him, as well as a glass of wine in his hands. Seto lifted a fork by his side and directed it towards the plate just as Gozaburo spoke up.
"Not so fast, Seto. We still have much to talk about." Seto looked over at him, and slowly placed the fork back down. "I'm sure you boys have lived a carefree life for the past couple of years, living in that dump of an orphanage… but rest assured, this will be nothing like that horrid place. There are rules in this house that will and shall be followed at all times."
Gozaburo eyed the boys, observing their reactions. Seto looked the same, only reminding him more of Gozaburo. Angry, determined, and unmoving; those were the words that could describe Seto's reaction. This only pleased Gozaburo more; reassuring him that he had made the right choice. But it quickly went away when he saw Mokuba; scared, unsure, and insecure. Mokuba was obviously the weakest link, but Gozaburo knew his part could be used for another purpose.
"The first rule is that both of you will not see each other during the day, you will only see each other every night during dinner." Seto and Mokuba's eyes widened.
"But… why?" Mokuba asked. Gozaburo raised a finger and shook it in Mokuba's direction.
"That brings me to my second rule; no speaking unless you are spoken to." Mokuba shut his mouth and looked down at the table. "The next rule is that you are both to do whatever I ask of you. This is my house, and my word is law. If you disobey any of these rules, punishment will be severe."
"Severe?" Suddenly a small plate smashed against Mokuba's head. Mokuba let out a cry of pain, putting his hand to his head where the plate at collided with his skull. Seto turned from Mokuba back to Gozaburo. His hand was still held out forward from when he had tossed the small plate across the table as if it were a Frisbee right into Mokuba's head. It was a blow Seto hadn't even seen coming.
"This is only a taste of what REAL punishment will be like." Seto looked at him with wide eyes; this man was more of a lunatic than he had first thought. Maybe Mokuba was in real danger of this guy, or maybe this was a bad idea all together. But if he ever wanted to make anything of himself, he would have to do what he said and take what he had to offer. Seto wanted power, and the only way of getting that was through Gozaburo.
Gozaburo looked at Seto, enjoying his look of worry and regret. This made him smile with pleasure. "What's the matter, Seto? You're not going to back down after getting so far, are you?"
"I don't back down from anything."
"That may prove to be your greatest downfall." Mokuba was still rubbing his head, trying to hold back the tears that were fighting to surface. Mokuba wanted so desperately to appear just as strong and in control of Seto, but he hadn't realized it would be so hard. Mokuba bit his tongue and tried to hold back as much as possible.
There were a few moments of silence, before the conversation picked up again, ignoring the past incident as if it never happened.
"Moving on; I suppose I shall tell you what to expect in the next couple of years. Seto, you are my son now, and as my son, you will be educated more efficiently than most other boys. I have hired all the greatest teachers and tutors in the world to come and teach you the core subjects you'll need to survive," Gozaburo stated, "You'll be home schooled from this day forward. Are you a smart boy, Seto?"
"Many people have claimed me to be a prodigy," Seto said with the utmost seriousness. Gozaburo grinned. "Good, but… are you willing to learn at an intense level? Your learning and standards will be much greater and be on a much higher level than most boys and girls. Are you sure you're up for this?" Seto narrowed his eyes.
"I'm willing to do whatever it takes." Gozaburo gave a little chuckle.
"I sure hope so, because you're in my house now." Mokuba didn't like the looks of this situation. He didn't think any of this was a good idea at all, but Seto wasn't about to step down. He was truly ready to take whatever Gozaburo was willing to throw at him. Mokuba felt his head once more where the plate had crashed against his skull and winced. This could only mean bad things.
"Well now… I suppose I shall allow you to eat." Gozaburo rose from the table and began walking towards the door. Seto looked up and watched him. Gozaburo stopped. "Get lots of rest Seto… for your training begins tomorrow at the break of dawn." Gozaburo then left the room.
It didn't mean a thing that Gozaburo was no longer present, because his words and threats still lingered in the air of the room. Seto thought he knew exactly what he was up against, while Mokuba didn't have a clue. But it wouldn't matter, because the sun would set that night on a day that marked the beginning of the end.
They were all in Gozaburo's world now.
A/N: Hey guys! So, I bet you all think I'm crazy that I'm going to take on yet another multi-chapter since I already have 2 other ongoing stories right now. I couldn't help myself, though. This'll only make things more fun and more challenging! Not to mention give me more freedom (I'm sure that makes no sense, but somehow it did in my head) Anyway, this is yet another story from my past that I rediscovered on my old computer and had an inspiration to publish and continue. I liked it a lot and thought I'd give it a go. I'm not giving up on my other stories at all, so don't think such silly thoughts! Hope you liked the story and thanks for reading!
P.S: I've now officially written 80 stories! Can anyone say hell to the yeah?:D