Literally came up with title 5 seconds ago. Ok, like a minute ago. It's a play on the translaters name for the 5th season: Millennium world.
I refuse to use the word "millennium" in this story. Thus the title. Thus why the Items are either called Sennen Items or Thousand Year Items. That ok with you guys?
Usually I have some clever thing for the chapter titles… I'll have to think of something better than "Chapter 1" Oooo, could I take the chapter titles from the actually manga? That might get confusing if they don't match up… I should check this out…(in the 30 seconds that have passed since writing the above statement I have pulled out my YGO mangas and yes! They do have chapter names! It's so obscure, it's perfect!)
By decree of the author (which is me), I… decree that this document, formally "chapter 1", be henceforth be called:
Chyaputa 1: The Truth of the Artifact!!
Chyaputa 1: The Truth of the Artifact!!
(seriously, this is the name of a chapter in volume 1 of Millennium World, (damn, millennium...))
The Thief King was definitely not in the best of moods that day. It was nearing sunset and he had just come back from fighting off several of the Pharaoh's tomb guards. He certainly wasn't looking for a prostitute that evening. And he didn't get one. Instead he got Malik.
Not that Malik hadn't been up for the job.
The Thief King first saw the boy when he entered his usual Inn that night for food and rest. He had found the youth sitting cross-legged on top of the Thief's specially reserved table. Malik. The creature he would regret meeting for the rest of his life, and his continued existence thereafter.
The first thing he noticed was that this youth was not-unattractive. Extremely not-unattractive. Like a treasure in the muck of the Inn. His hair, the color of aged camel's milk or yellow sand, caught the Thief's eyes in seconds. There was a fascinating oddness about him. His clothes were foreign, strange. Too brightly colored for this rotten desert city. The youth was drawing exactly the wrong kind of attention from all the Inn's criminals.
Before the Thief even reached his table, the youth's bright violet eyes locked onto him. Like they had been following him all day.
His sculpted brow arched, as though the Thief was something to be approved. "Well… you're better than I expected." He examined the Thief in a very unsubtle way.
The Thief settled himself at the table. "And you are?"
The strange youth flashed a grin. "Food and drink, handsome?" and he slid a mug and a plate of bread and meat forward. "You must be tired."
Poison, was the Thief King's first thought. No, the approach was all wrong. This youth wanted something from him. The Thief King took a large swallow of the drink. It was good.
The stranger watched him. His eyes were so clear and, despite their odd color, the Thief knew exactly what they wanted from him. Money in return for services. There were plenty of women prostitutes, males were rare. The prostitutes that scrounged the bars were the diseased ones, temple prostitutes were much clearer, and as a perk they got you in good favor with the gods. This stranger fell into neither to category.
"Name's Malik," the youth said, still smiling. "I am already aware of your identity, Thief King."
"You seem to have gone through a lot of trouble seeking me out," the Thief gripped his drink. "So eager to get to know me."
Unashamed, Malik placed both hands on the tabletop so that he could lean closer. "That I am." His confidence was admirable. "I find you impossibly fascinating."
Playing with this youth would be fun. "And we've never even met."
Malik blinked. It was an odd motion. "Yes. Of course."
That sounded like a lie. But the Thief King didn't let it ruin the moment. It was clear what was going to happen next.
"I have a proposition for you." Still leaning on an arm. Malik took a piece of the bread from the plate between them and slid the food between the Thief's teeth.
The King of Thieves tasted the tips of Malik's fingers, scratched them with his teeth as they moved away. He didn't know why and he didn't care. He wanted this youth tonight. And he wanted him writhing beneath him. "How much?"
Malik's eyes laughed at him. "Nothing." And he tilted his head, as though weighing the Thief King for all the gold he was worth. "I don't want money."
"What do you want?" The Thief grabbed the front of the youth's tunic, dragging him forward.
For a second Malik seemed unprepared for this action, but mischief was fast to return to his expression. "You. In private."
The Thief could arrange that with ease. But for now. He got greedy, he was a thief, after all. It was his nature. He stole Malik's head, finishing the last foot so that their mouths could work together. And they did. Malik, perhaps startled by the Thief King's action, was slow to start but he was a fast learner. He brought friction to their movement.
After a few moments, Malik released himself. "Not exactly what I had in mind..."
There was no stopping the Thief's heat now. Without a word, he took Malik off the table, carrying him bodily to a backroom, the kind specially reserved for prostitute services.
The room was little more than a clay cave with a clothe shift for a door and a papyrus mattress on the floor. But it was all the Thief needed for his fix.
Malik was dropped on the floor, his body heaving. "Fuuuck," the boy moaned, his hands on the side of his head. "Oh no…"
The Thief slipped off his scarlet coat and joined him, smoothing Malik backward onto the floor and climbing on top of him.
"Hold it," Malik said, though his body was acting otherwise. The Thief tackled his neck. Malik's words weakened. "Hold…" his breathing increased, despite himself. "Oh."
The Thief was winning. His hands slipped down Malik's sides.
"Ok." Malik's eyes worked their way open. "Ok, this wasn't the plan." He pressed his hands up on the Thief's shoulders.
The Thief, annoyed that the youth was talking while he was trying to concentrate on his work, did not stop. He shoved the boy's arms back to the ground. "Thought you wanted to get to know me," the Thief urged his prey.
But Malik was annoying insistent. "I said, hold on."
The Thief was kicked, hard, in the gut. But it wasn't by Malik. Some other force had flung him off of the youth and slammed him into the opposite wall.
Needless to say, fury exploded in the Thief's brain.
He thrust himself off the floor to see Malik sit up, looking rather disappointed. "Here, we go."
"What the fuck are you playing at?" the Thief demanded, pissed.
Malik sighed and grumbled something under his breath like, "Why does this shit always happen to me?" Then he faced the Thief King with a crooked smile. "Very sorry. I think you got the wrong message, well not the wrong message—from me it wasn't—But I said I had a proposition for you."
The Thief couldn't believe this. His intuition was never wrong. "The private room?"
"I couldn't very well show you this in front of the other criminals." And, reaching behind him, Malik yanked out a solid gold stick, emblazed with the Pharaoh's eye.
And with that simple treasure the Thief's evening was ruined. And all he had wanted was a good fuck.
"This," Malik presented with the some pride, "Is the Sennen Rod. Listening now?"
Ridiculous. What this kid called the "Sennen" Rod was the legendary Thousand Year Rod. To have gotten a hold of the Item, this clean conspicuous youth would have had to kill its previous wielder, one of the Pharaoh's priests. And the Thief King would have known if that had happened. The whole city would be afire with the scandal. "Don't speak blasphemy."
The Thief was suddenly filled with the overwhelming sensation to kill the youth.
"Sorry," Malik smiled, so unnatural, like his reaction, his garments, his fickle moods. "I just never thought you'd…" He dropped his copper fingers to touch the length of the Rod. "Nothing…"
This was not what the Thief had wanted for this evening. How could a kid get his hands on a Thousand Year Item, when the Thief King had spent years simply devising how to get one? It was impossible. Enraged, the Thief fingered his robes for one of his hidden daggers.
But he couldn't find any. The Thief searched all the usual spots. Not a single one. Now he was pissed.
"How the fuck…"
Malik had turned disgustingly casual about the whole thing. "I had hoped I wouldn't have to use it on you. Your head is so pretty too."
Damn kid was a trickster. "What did you do?"
Malik breathed, getting his ill-placed composure back. "Simple memory modification. Made you forget where your daggers are."
"Is that the power of the Thousand Year Rod?" the Thief King questioned.
The kid shrugged. "Some of its powers."
"Where did you get it?"
"It came to me, from my father."
Father? The Thief frowned. "The priest of the Thousand Year Rod is young. He has no heir yet."
"Well, maybe the priest of the Thousand Year Rod isn't my father," Malik corrected, impatiently.
The Thief didn't understand the inflections of the youth's statement.
"Is that not the Thousand Year Rod?" the King of Thieves barked, irritated now.
"No… and yes," Malik rolled his eyes. "As I said, this is the Sennen Rod." He twisted the golden Rod in the air, displaying it before him. "I'm not trying to fight you. I'm supposed to be helping you out."
The Thief did not move. He hated riddles. He hated complications. This youth made no sense.
"My proposition is this," Malik lounged on the papyrus mat as though he owned it. "I can get you a Sennen Item."
"The one in your grasp would suffice," the Thief snapped.
Malik's smile flickered back. "Not mine. One that will benefit both my cause and yours."
What did this foreigner presume to know about his cause? "And how do you plan to acquire me this treasure?" Not to mention why.
"I will tell you where and when you can find the person with the Item." Malik shuffled his sandy bangs out of his eyes. "All you have to do is take it."
"Why?" the Thief demanded. He was sick of this game. "Why would you get me such a powerful Item and not take it for yourself?"
"Cause I don't need another one," Malik announced, reeking with pompousness. "This isn't about me. It's all about you. You and your destruction of the state." Now it was like the youth was mocking him.
The Thief was only getting more pissed. "What are you talking—"
But Malik jumped to his feet. For a second his eyes were mesmerized by the shaft of orange light lying between the curtains, a sign of the dying sun outside. "Sorry, don't mean to cut this lovely meeting short but I've got places to visit. If you're interested in my proposition, meet back here, tomorrow, early afternoon."
"Wait a fucking second," the Thief ordered. But as he turned to chase after the youth he found Malik's finger pressed against his mouth. How he'd let the kid get so close to him? The King of Thieves fumed.
Malik looked up at him, and there was a look in his eye that was far from cocky. "I really would have slept with you… just so you know."
And when the boy couldn't get more frustrating, he left.
The Thief remained with a sour taste in his mouth. He really hated riddles.
The news ran fast, for as soon as the Pharaoh had seen that bright star fall from the sky right outside the city he had sent his guards to investigate its fall. They came back with news of strangers, foreigners of odd-colored skin and strange powers. Though they had been spotted all around the city, they had so far eluded capture. Still… strange powers? This was a threat. Perhaps a sign from the gods?
Three days had passed since the star had fallen and still the Pharaoh's servants on the streets were bringing him new stories of strange encounters, sights of these pale-skinned demons.
It must be a sign. But what could the gods be trying to tell him? With the old Pharaoh so recently dead and now an increase of tomb robbing? Though the Pharaoh himself was only of 18 flood cycles, he had been trained all his life for this position, and no amount of broken tombs and assassination attempts would intimidate him into hiding just yet.
The Pharaoh leaned against the cool stone of his palace, the gold and lapis of his adornments glowed in the night. He was distracted, not even his dancers or his harem could take his mind off that fallen star and those stories…
'What will happen, father?' the Pharaoh asked the sky. 'Is this to test me?'
There was one aspect of the stories that was particularly troubling. Several times, these new demons were said to have "golden items"…
The Pharaoh held up Thousand Year Puzzle, studying it as he had never before.
'They cannot mean the Thousand Year Items,' the King decided. Those tools of justice were all accounted for, held by him and his six priests. The Pharaoh's fingers traced the corners of his Thousand Year Puzzle.
He had no choice but to wait for the answer to his questions.
"He's close," Malik announced.
A muscle in the Thief's brow twitched. Malik, was his impossible conspicuousness, was the last thing he needed on an important mission.
The youth, Malik, had been a mistake. After last night's disappointment, looking at Malik's flawless face only made the Thief angry, and when he was angry he did careless things. He could not afford to be careless, not when there was a Thousand Year Item to take…
He didn't know why Malik had insisted on a surprise attack during the day. It was illogical. At least screams and scuffles frequented this part of the city so no one would notice.
Malik scrambled for a fresh footing; the rattle gave away their position.
The Thief glared at Malik, conveying: Silence or death.
Malik rolled his eyes.
The Thief hated having a partner. It made things complicated. The only associate he ever needed was the ever-loyal, ever-silent Diaboundo, who really wasn't another person anyway… But then Thief also hated the dryness of the air. He hated how the bright sun lit the disgusting the city, illuminating the filth of the clay houses and stick huts, the hunchbacked villagers.
How it fell on the obelisks of the palace…
Malik tapped him vigorously on the forearm as two figures rounded into the alley.
One of them had hair paler than Malik's, as white as the moon. A shade that matched the Thief's. But the skin was as white as the hair. Foreigners? With Thousand Year Items? This person had tried to cover its paleness with a wrap of coarse wool. And the smell of gold was ripe in the air…
Then there was another figure, shorter, also covered in a ragged cloth. His skin was also lighter than any native to the land of Egypt. In the few seconds that the Thief had time to examine them, the two unsuspecting targets exchanged words in an unknown language.
Malik was hissing something at him but the Thief did not listen, he knew which of these two foreigners was his target.
Diaboundo pulsing in his chest, the Thief broke free of the roof and pounced upon them.
Before his feet had reached the ground, he heard the cry from his target, "Abunai!" His silver prey jumped in front of the other, his pale outspread arms flung his outer garment away, revealing more pale skin and odd colored clothing. The dagger was out, at the Thief's side like a good companion, like his Diaboundo that thudded away in his heart.
His pale prey screamed, "Nigette, Yugi-kun!"
The Thief jumped forward, grabbed the prey, twisted him around, and held a dagger to his pale throat.
"No!" Malik cried, stumbling clumsily down from his spot on the roof. "You've got the wrong one!"
But the Thief wasn't about to release his prize. The prey in his hold was shivering with fear. Finally a foreigner who obeyed. The other prey had disappeared.
"M-Malik-kun?" the Thief's captive choked, with lots of fear.
Malik had finally gotten down from the roof. And then he dared to gotten to approach the Thief's captive, reassuring him in the same foreign tongue. "Daijoubu, hontoni daijoubu da, Ryou-kun."
The Thief hated complications.
And even though the last two days had been full of unusual occurrences, the Thief could not have expected what happened next.
The air changed. The smell of gold exploded in a flash of yellow light from inside the Thief's captive's shirt. And a second later the Thief's arms were ripped open as he was thrown backward, smashed into the dried-mud wall behind him.
The golden Thousand Year Ring melted through the silver prey's tunic. But when the Thief looked at the prey's face again… it… was… changed? A cruel face. Eyes that had seen- no- that spoke death. Not at all like the face of the boy that had stood in terror as he protected his companion only a second ago.
This was not the same face. It was not the same…
The Thief was ready to fight, but with another bright flash from the Thousand Year Ring the Thief found himself paralyzed. A curse? Undoubtedly.
Malik ran up to this new pale death-guy, foreign phrases pouring out of his rapid lips. This new opponent snarled back in the same tongue.
Diaboundo was not happy with being confined, but that problem was easily solved. With a snap, in which the very air complained, the invisible binds were ripped apart by Diaboundo's invisible fangs. The Thief was at his feet, ready to kill both of these strangers and take their Items…
But when the Thief charged forward to punish these foreigners- WHAM! Malik whacked his skull with the head of his Thousand Year Rod. The Thief's brain matter cracked, opened by the Rod. And white light poured out. Diaboundo was not happy. And something burning was being forced into his mind, something alien…
"…I said keep him occupied. Couldn't follow that simple instruction."
"I didn't know you'd be here! You didn't trust me with the whole plan!"
"You wonder why I don't?"
The Thief opened his eyes. The scene was the same, neither stranger was taking notice of him.
"I was in a perfect position," the pale intruder growled, vibrating with rage. "The host trusted me. I could have kept them in line."
"We weren't aiming for you, I told him that! We were aiming for Yugi, his Puz—"
"Fool!" his words burned. Even the Thief knew this was no one to cross carelessly. "And if he had gotten the Item? Can you comprehend what that would do?"
Malik retreated, pouting immaturely. He rotated onto the Thief, changing the topic to save himself. "Can you understand us now?"
"Unfortunately," Thief growled. Knives were at his fingertips, he counted them three times. He would not take chances with this new arrival. He was far more dangerous than Malik.
Malik grinned at the death-guy. "Ain't he amazing?"
The death-guy twisted fully away from the Thief King. "I don't want to see him."
The Thief frowned. "Did I kill an acquaintance of yours?"
The new opponent ignored him, and that pissed the Thief off.
"Aww, don't hurt his feelings," Malik cooed, a copper hand touching his dangerous companion on the shoulder.
There was no mercy in the death-guy's voice. "I told you. No contact. You have ruined our mission."
"Calm down! God, man. He hasn't done anything yet!" Malik cried.
The Thief was sick of this. Hated being talked about like he wasn't there. Like he was safe.
The exact moment the daggers jumped into the Thief's hands, the death-guy, without even turning around, barked, "Don't think about it. You're no match."
The Thief scoffed. "Care to test that? Don't underestimate me."
"I am fully aware of your capabilities, thief."
And then the death-guy dared, dared to once again turn away.
This curt dismissal was too much. The Thief would not tolerate such disrespect, someone who would not acknowledge his power. He had been promised a Thousand Year Item after all…
With a violent burst of energy, Diaboundo, as instructed, pounced upon Malik, invisible clawed hands pinning the youth to the dirt street.
Malik cried out, in pain, in fear, which was all good. His Rod had been knocked out of his hands out of sheer surprise. Now Malik would die and that Item would be his…
The death-guy reached out and fearlessly his fingertips brushed Diaboundo's invisible hide, as though the spirit were nothing but a colleague. Then, even more impossible, Diaboundo shuddered in discomfort and shot back into the King of Thieves self. The shock stunned the Thief into silence.
Malik gasped. "Fuck!" He snatched up his Thousand Year Item and jumped to his feet. "Why is it always me?"
The Thief would not answer. How. How had that death-guy… Diaboundo should not- could not respond to anyone but him. Was this guy that powerful? Diaboundo had shuddered, had felt revolted. Something was odd and the Thief didn't like it.
Malik breathed. "Ok." Both hands on his Thousand Year Rod, grip tight, Malik took a step in between the two opponents. "This is all too confusing." He turned to the death-guy. "We've got to tell him—"
"No," and the death-guy didn't budge when he said this, facing away from the conversation.
"But he's got to understand—"
The Thief was pissed.
Malik crossed his arms over his chest, an immature pout on his lips. "And what about Yugi, huh? You know where he's headed. You know he's going to help—"
"Do you think whoring yourself to him last night helped the situation?" the death-guy snapped.
Malik recoiled. He knew about Malik's lack of performance the previous night? How? Did the death-guy know everything?
Still clutching his Rod with unnecessary need, Malik leaned toward his fellow. "Bakura…"
Bakura? But Malik had called him- what was it- Ryou before? Hadn't he? It wasn't something that the Thief usually missed.
"We have no choice," the death-guy snapped. His pale arms, the same color as his hair, were tense. "I was arrogant to believe I could change this."
"You speak in riddles, senile fool," the Thief responded.
The death-guy twisted, granting the Thief King for the first time with his attention. And now the Thief could study his angular face. It was a cruel expression with black eyes. He was too skinny, his physical body too weak to support that golden Ring around his neck. "We will have to watch him."
"Watch me? I thought you were going to serve me?"
The death-guy was immovable. "We're here to make sure you don't screw up your destiny, thief."
"And what," the King of Thieves snarled, "Is my destiny?"
The death-guy smirked. "To collect all of the Sennen Items."
"All of the Egyptian Sennen Items," Malik added. "Not ours."
The Thief resisted getting excited just yet. There was a catch. There always was on something this good. "Wouldn't it be easier to take them if I used your Items?"
The death-guy was not amused. "You don't need them. You're strong enough."
"Then how are you two supposed to help?" the Thief demanded. "By watching?"
The death-guy looked uninterested as if he were explaining something to a child. "There are some new, unwelcome players in this game."
"And?" the Thief demanded. He didn't understand and he was angry that he to keep questioning this irritating person.
"They will be helping the other side," Malik explained even though it wasn't his place.
"We're the balance," the death-guy clarified.
"How?" the Thief snarled, his hands making fists. He didn't understand, this was too complicated, there were too many players, too many accomplices to screw up.
The death-guy turned away. "Do you care? You are guaranteed all of your Items. That's all that you should worry about."
The Thief snarled, "Who are you?"
The death-guy, sometimes called Bakura, sometimes called Ryou, just stared. "No one that you should worry about."
Malik opened his mouth but was shut up by a look.
The Thief King let his anger wash through him. For now he would let the matter go. Once he got close to these two foreigners, he'd find their weakness and dispose of them, taking their Items for him. This death-guy's riddles were useless. The could be no important reason why his eyes were so black.
OOOoooo! Doesn't this look interesting??? Intrigued???
And you all thought I had stopped writing... silly readers.
Yes, I do take Japanese. Yes, I'm shitty at it. There will not be a lot of Japanese in this fic. If you want the translations I can post them next chapter, but really they're not essential.
I'm not expecting a lot of reviews (since I have been gone for so long), but I would appreciate the feedback!
So poor Pharaoh only got a narrative scene. What a waste of his talents. Don't worry, Yugi's the star of the next chapter. There's no need to cry. Seriously
REVIEW!! DO IT! IT'S FUN! (for me… and for you! But mostly for me… and you…)