A/N: My first solo YGO fan fiction ever. Yu-gi-oh! and its characters belong to Kazuki Takahashi, not me. However, the characters Keren Olivero and Victoria Lennox do belong to me, so do me a favor and don't steal them. This takes place during the Battle City saga, and will not follow the saga very well in all places. There will be twists of events here and there, so don't hassle me about events not happening the way they did in the anime'. Will be using dub names, but there will be a mixture of North American dub and original influences (scenes, background stories, quotes), taking what I like best from each. Some dialogue from the show will be used here and there. Rated T for mild language and violence. Feel free to give helpful advice, but rude, hateful comments are not welcome.

Chapter 1


One day in Egypt, Marik was in his secret hideout with his Rare Hunters, making evil plans. He had made up his mind that he would not protect the tomb of the Pharaoh anymore. It was a task that he had resented and feared ever since he knew it would be his mission. Eventually, he sought for a way to escape that destiny and he finally found one.

"What plan shall we aid you with today, Master Marik?" asked a man dressed in a robe, and hieroglyphics tattooed on the left side of his face. This was Odion, Marik's best rare hunter and older adopted brother.

"I know the perfect way to dispose of Yugi Mutou," replied the corn silk haired young man, grinning evilly.

"And which way is that, Master?" another rare hunter asked.

"I will seize the three Egyptian God cards and use them to devastate that foolish Pharaoh's vessel. With the combined strength of these cards and my other rare cards, Little Yugi wouldn't stand a chance against me!"

"Excellent idea, Master Marik."

"Of course it is a good idea, you imbecile." It never ceased to amaze Marik that his servants could be so dense sometimes and liked to state the obvious so much. "And then, I will snatch that puzzle. After all, he would have no more use for it after he's dead."

Odion knew that Marik still thought it was the Pharaoh's fault that his father was dead, and that was the reason he felt that the Pharaoh didn't deserve his powers. It pained him to see his master so different, and he wanted so much for him to know the truth about what happened, but was somewhat afraid to tell him. He didn't think Marik would believe him and besides, Marik's mind wasn't very stable."Would you like one of us to get them for you?" he asked.

"Don't bother. It's time for the other tomb keepers to put themselves to better use," replied Marik, smirking.

"All right. Let us know how we can serve you."

"Oh trust me. I will." Marik left the hideout and made his way to the room where the Egyptian God cards were locked away. And he would not hesitate to use his millennium rod on the tombkeepers if he had to.


While all this was going on, Ishizu and Odion's female companion, Keren, were in the bedroom, underground. They were discussing the latest events regarding Marik. Both of them were troubled.

"I suspect that Marik and his rare hunters are up to no good at this very minute," said Ishizu. She couldn't help but notice how the rare hunters liked to steal all the rare cards from all of the other duelists. There was no telling which card they would get their hands on. But something was telling her that she had better go and check to see if the Egyptian God cards were still in their hidden location, because she had a bad feeling that her brother planned to get his hands on those, too. That was her greatest fear since their powers were quite perilous when abused or placed in the wrong hands.

Keren was in total agreement. This was a living nightmare for her. It was so stressful for her that her dark hair was thinning out. Not exactly ideal for a 22 year old. "I am especially scared for Odion…he doesn't seem quite like the same person I always loved. I remember when I first met all of you like it was just yesterday, even though it was six years ago."

Flashback

Young Keren had just finished bidding her father farewell at a private funeral service, and finally felt some closure. She felt like she had cried all of her tears. There was still a hole in her heart that could never be filled. She had told her mother that she needed some time to herself, and decided to take a walk.

She was so lost in her thoughts that she had bumped into a young boy with shoulder length cornsilk hair and violet coloured eyes. This boy couldn't be any more than ten years old. And with him was a girl with long black hair and bluish green eyes. Marik and his sister Ishizu. They looked as if they were in a hurry. Keren was so embarrassed about being in such a daze. Not like her at all.

'That was real smooth for a sixteen year old,' she thought sarcastically. "Oh, I'm so sorry. I wasn't looking where I was going," she said sheepishly.

"It's quite all right," said the black haired girl.

Keren felt more at ease.

"Hey sis. Who is she?" asked the blonde boy.

Before Ishizu could answer, Keren introduced herself. "My name is Keren. Keren Olivero."

"My name is Marik, and this is my sister, Ishizu."

"It is a pleasure to meet you." She had to admit, they seemed very nice. For the moment, she forgot about her problems.

"We also have an older brother, well, actually, adopted brother. His name is Odion," Marik told the older girl. "Would you like to meet him?"

Keren was pleasantly surprised. "Yes. I would like that very much," she answered. It wasn't like she had anything better to do, anyway. "Where is he?"

"He's at home. Come. I will show you where we live."

So Keren followed Marik and Ishizu, not really sure what to expect.

End Flashback

It was a day she would never forget. However, the experience wasn't all sunshine and roses. She also had to meet Mr. Ishtar, and he wasn't nearly as friendly. In fact, he was very furious. He was very gruff with her. His anger was very terrifying. And what Marik had done that day was even more frightening. It reminded her to never get on his bad side. But all that aside, she was glad she met Odion, and gradually, he became an important part of her life. She understood that he vowed to always protect Marik, but she feared that he was going to such an extreme length to do so.

Ishizu gave her an understanding look. "I know that Odion is trying his best to protect my little brother. However, in case anything should happen to him, something must be done to bring out Marik's good side. Otherwise, the evil within him will grow stronger."

"Of course." Judging from the moment when Keren first met the Ishtars, Marik certainly did have potential for good. Now she was walking on eggshells, pretty much. "So, what are you going to do?"

"First things first, we must retrieve at least one of the Egyptian God cards. I will give it to Seto Kaiba. I will be going to Domino City, Japan in a few days to show off the Egyptian exhibition."

The older woman thought that was a good idea, though she wasn't sure of giving it to Seto Kaiba. From what she heard of him, he was very power hungry. But on the other hand, it could help. Not to mention that she always wanted to go to Japan. "Wonderful idea, Ishizu. Let's do it."

"Thank you for your support." They left the bedroom.

Meanwhile, Marik had found Slifer the Sky Dragon, and was now in the room where the Winged Dragon of Ra was. He used his millennium rod on one of his servants—a man with a turban cloth around his head, just in case he were to refuse. "Open the lid, and unlock the safe, my servant," he commanded.

The man did as he was told. Sure enough, there was the Winged Dragon of Ra card. He grabbed it and smiled an evil smile. "Excellent," he said. "Just one more card and I'll be unstoppable. He left that room and was on his way to get the third card, only for his way to be blocked by none other than his sister, Ishizu. Keren was with her, too.

"Don't take another step," Ishizu ordered.

Marik was slightly annoyed, slightly amused. "Ishizu."

"Brother. My millennium necklace warned me that you would betray me and it appears that you have. Don't you realize that your destiny is with serving the Pharaoh?"

"Why should I protect him? He is not worthy of being the Pharaoh. He is a despicable murderer, so fate has chosen me to take what should have been mine from the beginning, sister."

Keren was very upset by what she was hearing. Not only because it was malicious, but because it was completely false. She didn't personally meet the Pharaoh, but from what she heard of him, she couldn't believe that he would kill someone from a family that was very loyal to him. Boy, did she miss his gentle, kind soul. She nearly started crying, but she caught herself. He would see it as a sign of weakness.

Ishizu wanted so badly to tell Marik the truth about what happened that fateful day. But she didn't think it was the appropriate time yet. "If you want to carry out this madness, then you will have to FIND the last card."

Marik realized that he was too late. It angered him that someone would DARE to oppose him, even if it was a family member doing it. He held out his rod warningly. "I'm warning you. Do not interfere with my plans."

Ishizu was very surprised, and terrified, too. His evil side had grown even more. She couldn't believe he would think of hurting her. "You'd use your millennium rod on your own flesh and blood, Marik?" she asked incredulously.

Keren almost ran away from there. Marik was not acting any better than what he accused the pharaoh of doing. It was painful to see him being so ruthless.

"If you continue to stand in my way, then yes, I will have to." He emitted a blast from the rod. Keren knew she was in trouble, for she didn't have a millennium item.

Ishizu shielded her face and looked away. The rod had no effect on her, for her millennium necklace shielded her. "The pharaoh's power isn't yours," she protested. She looked in front of her and saw that Marik was no longer there. She wondered where he could have gone. She was relieved, though, because for a moment, she was scared out of her wits. Now she knew what she would do. But she couldn't do it alone.

"Let us go, Keren. There is work to be done."

Still a bit shaken, the dark haired woman went with Ishizu to help her make plans.


(In Domino City)

Tèa and Yugi were walking home from school together. It had been a very busy day for them, with a pop quiz in Algebra. Also there was a new transfer student who had just moved to Japan from Scotland. Unlike the other new students who transferred in the past, she was very outgoing, even though it was her first day. It didn't take her long to open up to Yugi, Tèa, Bakura and Joey.

"So do you think you did well on the quiz?" Tèa asked Yugi.

"As well as I could have done, considering that we knew nothing of it," answered Yugi. "It was a good thing that I took a quick glance at our notes, otherwise I probably would not have understood anything. "

"Yeah, I know what you mean." In a way she preferred tagging along with Yugi when he had to duel in tournaments. She thought school was a drag at times. "What do you think of Victoria, the new girl?"

"She seems like a nice, friendly person."

"She sure does. Hey, if we hang out on Sunday, I was thinking, maybe we should ask her to come along with us."

"Good idea, Tèa. It would be great to get to know her better."

The two teenagers were about half-way to Yugi's house when they saw a man dressed in a robe, sitting behind a table. He was waving his hands around a crystal ball. Something about him seemed sinister.

"Hey, Tèa, it appears to be a fortune teller."

The brunette girl rolled her eyes. "Don't tell me you want your fortune told. We're both a little too old for that. "

Before Yugi could answer, the man dressed in the cape interrupted them.

"Step right up if you want me to predict your future."

Yugi recalled his conversation with the spirit of his puzzle that morning, about how he was unsure of whom he was and what his future held. He had no interest in having his future told before, but now he thought it might not be such a bad idea. He really wanted to help the spirit of the puzzle.

The robed man looked up. "What are you waiting for, young man? Step up if you need me to tell your future."

"Don't do it. Something about him gives me the creeps," Tèa whispered to Yugi. She had every right to be suspicious. There was more to that man that met the eye. He was controlled by an evil force.

"I'm sure it's just a coincidence. I must do this," Yugi whispered back. He hesitantly walked up to the man sitting at the table.

'Excellent. The fool is walking into my trap! Soon he will be nowhere but oblivion and his powers will be all mine,' thought Marik.

"To predict your future, I will need your most valuable possession," the robed man continued.

"Huh? And what might that be?" He sure hoped that it wouldn't be his puzzle. Not after what happened with Pegasus. The last thing he needed was someone else who wanted to get their greedy hands on it. This was why he had decided to let his puzzle hang from a thicker chain.

"That necklace would do nicely," the man said, smirking. As hard as Marik was trying to sound friendly, it was becoming quite difficult. He couldn't wait until his mindslave showed his true colors.

Darn it. Just what Yugi was afraid of.

"Be careful, Yugi. It could be a trap," Tèa warned.

"I'm sorry, but I cannot." He just couldn't take a risk.

Marik was furious about the fact that his plan looked like it wasn't going to work. But he kept his cool. "If you do not give it to me, I cannot predict your future."

Finally Yugi relented…but only because he wanted to help the spirit. "All right...but just for a little while." He handed the robed figure his puzzle, not knowing that he was falling into a trap.

'Perfect. My plan is working. This fool is so gullible, it's pathetic,' thought Marik.

The man dressed in a cape proceeded to wave his hands around the small crystal ball. He changed his tone of voice into a sinister, electronic sounding one. "Ah yes. It's coming to me. I see now that your millennium item belongs to ME!" He grabbed the puzzle and ran away with it, knocking the table over.

Now Yugi was really horrified. Mentally he kicked himself for falling for this scheme. "My millennium puzzle!"

The man laughed and continued to run.

"Get back here!" He proceeded to chase after the man. There was no way in hell he would allow him to get away with this, whoever he was. He turned back briefly to face Tèa. "You go on to the game shop. I'll deal with this." He continued running.

"Yugi, wait!" she called after him. It always drove her crazy when Yugi discouraged her from helping him in a potentially dangerous situation when it wasn't something he could handle alone. Well, she would help him, whether he liked it or not. She ran down the street, but didn't see him or the faux fortune teller anymore.

However, she bumped into Bakura and…Victoria. What was she up to?

"Hi Tèa," Bakura greeted.

"What's wrong, lassie? Why are you so frantic?" asked the Scottish girl.

"No time for chit chat you two. But if you want to come with me, I will fill you in on the way."

Yugi was still trying to track down the thief. He followed the arrows that the thief left. It seemed strange to him that he would do something as generous as that, but he knew it could only mean one thing—that the thief must want him to follow. Chances were that he would be falling into a trap, but he was willing to take that risk. He followed the arrows to a rundown warehouse, and entered, sensing the spirit of his puzzle inside. He heard diabolical laughter, and some lights came on, showing that the millennium puzzled was fastened to the wall, as well as a dueling arena. "If you want your puzzle, you will have to duel me for it!"

"Show yourself!" Yugi ordered. He wondered what this man could possibly want with his puzzle. And he didn't see why he had to duel for it if it was already his.

The robed man revealed himself, and laughed again. "Are you going to accept my challenge? Or are you too afraid?" he taunted.

"Never! I'm not afraid of you, whoever you are. But I will not duel you for something that is already mine!" He was obviously angry at being blackmailed this way.

"If you don't, I will smash your puzzle into smithereens, and the spirit of the pharaoh will be no more!"

Yugi was horrified now. He knew that if the puzzle was destroyed, it would be the end of the spirit inside. There was no telling if this man would follow through on his threats or not. He couldn't let his friend be killed.

"All right. You have yourself a duel," Yugi conceded.

"I knew you would see things my way. Very wise choice. " He and Yugi took their places at the dueling arena.

The spiky haired boy didn't think he would be able to fight this duel alone, under circumstances like these. He thought that even though he was not wearing the millennium puzzle, maybe he could still connect with the puzzle inside. He tried connecting, but the bond was very weak.

"I cannot help you, because the bond is too weak and I can feel someone watching me. You will have to fight this duel alone," said the spirit.

"But I don't think I can duel without you when the stakes are so high," Yugi protested.

"You can. Just believe in yourself and in the heart of the cards." With that, the spirit faded away.

Yugi vowed to save the spirit, and he ascended the dueling platform.

"Prepare to lose everything, Little Yugi! This duel will be your last!"

"We'll see about that!"

"We will indeed. "