In ancient times, a human was chosen to become the Dragon King. Now watch, as his story unfolds.
I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! It belongs to Kazuki Takahashi.
Rated T for some violence, minor coarse language, or minor suggestive adult themes.
Rated K+ for minor action violence without serious injury or mild coarse language.
Atem was a dragon.
The sentence vibrated in Yugi's mind over and over again.
"But . . . you were born in Egypt." The look he gave Atem was pleading, pleading that Atem would go, 'Ha ha! I'm just kidding. I'm not a dragon!' But no such response came.
"Yes, I was," Atem agreed, looking at Yugi calmly.
"Then what do you mean you're a dragon?" Yugi yelled at him.
Atem's eyes widened as he stared at Yugi. After all, Yugi had never yelled at him before. In anger, anyway. He finally sighed. "I promised you I would explain, but I must take you somewhere safe," Atem glanced back in the direction of the city, "and away from prying ears."
Getting fed up with not getting his answers Yugi glared at him and asked, "And where exactly is that?"
Atem's determined expression faltered as he turned to look at the ground. "There is only one place I can think of where you can be safe, but it is also more dangerous."
"And where is that?" Yugi asked.
Atem looked back a Yugi with a sad expression. "I should take you to Eyllisna (1), the home place of the Tiathro and Seltherathem. As I said, taking you there is taking you right into the enemy's home turf. They will have a huge advantage. Even though I am familiar with Eyllisna's terrain, you are not."
"Will they really find us?" Yugi asked softly. "No matter where in the world we go?"
Atem looked over at him with a sad and apologetic look. "Yes. They can sense my magic at all times in this world. But in Eyllisna, they can not. Yugi," Atem's hands clenched. "I don't know what to do."
For a while, Yugi didn't answer. Two minutes passed before he spoke. "Let's go."
"What?" Atem's eyes flashed up to meet Yugi's. The determination in those amethyst orbs stunned him. "Yugi," he whispered, stunned.
"Come on," Yugi said as he stood, pulling Atem up as well. "Let's get going then."
Atem just stared at him with no expression on his face.
After a few minutes as watching Atem stare at him, Yugi said, "What?"
Atem just chuckled and closed his eyes. "I had forgotten how . . . unusual you are, how brave." He opened his eyes as he chuckled again. "I'm beginning to remember just how brave you are."
Yugi pretended to glare at his best friend. "You're the dragon here, and you're calling me unusual."
Atem just laughed at him. "Sure am!" When he had calmed down he asked, "Are you sure?"
"I trust you."
"Sometimes you are too trusting as well." Atem rolled his eyes as he spoke. With a sigh he said, "Are you ready then?"
"Yes," Yugi said as he picked up his bag again. He started to walk off in, what Atem thought was, a random direction, when he stopped at turned back to Atem. "How are we getting there again?"
"I shall create a portal that we can pass through." Atem tried to keep his amusement from showing in his voice, but, judging from Yugi's glare, failed miserably. Atem walked forward until he was beside Yugi, and waved his hand through the air.
For a second, Yugi though that Atem was picking on him again, because nothing happened. Then, slowly, a glowing circle of light appeared in front of them, before expanding until there was a eight foot tall, eight feet wide portal in front of him.
"Show off," Yugi muttered as Atem walked toward the portal.
Atem laughed, having heard him quite well, and stopped just before the portal. He held a hand out toward the portal. "After you," he said as though he was an early 1990s gentleman.
"Thank you, kind dragon," Yugi said, playing along while messing with Atem, which earned him a light glare. Slowly, Yugi walked forward until he stood one step away from the portal. He looked back at Atem, the question in his eyes.
Atem had no problem reading the question out those eyes. "Trust me, Yugi."
With a nod, Yugi turned back to the portal, squeezed his eyes shut, and stepped through.
The first thing he noticed was the sound.
The second thing he noticed was the smell.
And the third thing he noticed was that he was on a cliff.
"AH!" he screamed as he quickly moved away from the edge of the biggest cliff he had ever seen. He was distracted when Atem stepped through the portal and, with a wave of his hand, made the portal disappear. He glared at the man and yelled, "You could have warned me!"
Atem looked at him, exasperated. "You have faced monsters, psychos, cranky men, and the lord of darkness himself without a second glance. I didn't think a waterfall would bother you."
"Waterfall?" Yugi asked as he looked to his right, and saw the source of the noise. A waterfall, so large and vast it made Victoria Falls look like a small trickle. (2) Yugi could barely see land on the other side.
Atem chuckled when he saw Yugi jaw-dropped expression. "In all my years, I have never seen a waterfall as wide or as tall as the Verraeal." (3)
"That's the name of it?" Yugi asked as he stepped up beside Atem, and stared at the river with his friend. "What does it mean?"
"It's name means 'The God's Peace' when translated directly. The legend is that long ago, the land was void of life, because there was no water, because the river didn't exist. So, the gods created this river as a kind of peace treaty, and would keep the river forever flowing as long as the people remained faithful to them."
"Oh," Yugi murmured as he stared at the water. Then he remembered what Atem had said about it being the widest and tallest waterfall. His curiosity getting the best of him, Yugi carefully crept to the edge of the cliff. He didn't worry too much about falling though. Atem would make sure he didn't go splat at the bottom.
Finally, he crouched down at the very edge and peered down.
"Oh my fucking god!"
Yugi never had been good at telling distance in miles, but he was pretty sure that the ground was several hundred miles down. If he fell, it would be a very very long drop to the bottom.
"Yugi," Atem scolded. "When did you start swearing?"
"Forgive me for getting a tiny bit shocked at the size of this freaking waterfall!" Yugi looked back down, and watched the water fall that large distance. "How tall is this thing?"
"I do not have the faintest idea," Atem shrugged as he walked to the edge and looked down as well. "I once thought about seeing for myself, but decided against it. It would take me several hours to fly down this thing, and several more to fly up."
"I don't doubt you on that, I promise." Yugi looked at Atem with a smile before looking back down to see where the ends of the waterfall lead to.
Apparently, the waterfall continued on into a river. At this height, the river should be a tiny little line, or maybe even invisible, but a wide river curved throughout the land below and continued on into the distance.
Then Yugi noticed the other major landmarks.
The one that was the closest looked like a huge flower. It kind of reminded Yugi of a sunflower, because it had a flower head. (4) It had eight petals spreading around the head.
He also noticed a large golden bridge that crossed over the river. If it looked big from where Yugi was then it had to be big.
There was one building that looked like a big gray dome, but it had big holes in it spread out across the surface.
In one of the bends of the river, there was a large, Yugi couldn't tell if it was a building or not, octagon with lots of smaller trapezoid spread out inside of each face of the octagon. In the very center of the octagon, there were four squares each with a path or a road to connect them together.
In one big patch of land, there were little shapes. Yugi couldn't pick out what they were, but he assumed that it was a city. Lots of these were spread out around the other big landmarks, but they were small and spread out, which made Yugi think that it must be the largest city, and probably the capital, if they had such things in this world.
And finally, in the far distance, straight slap in front of Yugi was an enormous building. It looked like a castle. It had several different spikes, maybe towers, and different sections so that the entire castle was spread out over a wide distance.
Atem pointed to each landmark as he spoke.
"The flower is a rock formation is the Koehoro (5). It means 'Earth's Flower.' The Tiathro (6) nearly destroyed it when they explored the land, but when a rather . . . unique Eyllisnan (7) happened to take a glimpse of the stone from the air, he rushed to have the stone preserved. Now it is a treasure to the Tiathro and Seltherathem (8)."
"The bridge is called Arya, 'The Golden Bridge.' (9) It was a tribute to the gods, so it was covered with a metal similar to gold, only not near as soft and much more durable."
"That big dome shaped building is the home for the Seltherathem, the Airathem (10), called the 'Dragon Home' naturally. It has those holes in it so that the dragons can get in on the ground and in the air."
"The big octagon is, well, it's essentially a big pen. It's where the livestock are stored. They call it Mairah (11) or 'Death to the Beast' because it's where they slaughter the livestock and store it for emergencies."
"That is Naihar or 'Wise Oak.' It is the largest city in Eyllisna and is one of the few places where the Tiathro and Seltherathem can live together without conflict."
"And the palace over there is Ferarretyn, the 'Heaven's Champion.' (13) It was named that when a war ended between the Tiathro and the Seltherathem. The war ended because the Tiathro leader would not surrender, no matter the odds. His determination gave the Tiathro victory and since then, there have been no wars."
Atem turned to Yugi and smiled. "Any questions?"
More preoccupied by the on-slot of so many foreign words, Yugi didn't even bother to attempt to think of a question. "Nope. I'm good."
"Alright," Atem said with a laugh and turned away from the land in front of him. "Follow me."
It took Yugi a second to comprehend his words. "Wait. What?" He stood and turned to Atem. "Where are we going?"
"Away from the river and away from the Ferarretyn and away from the river. We shall be safer in the forests."
"Okay, I can understand why we need to get away from the river, but why the palace?" Yugi asked, but he followed Atem anyway. "If they have a palace, they must have some kind of ruler, right? Why don't we just go to him or her for help?"
"Because there is no ruler on the throne."
"Why?" Yugi asked, confused. "Did they stop with monarchy? They got a democracy or something?"
"No," Atem sighed. "They simple have no ruler at the moment."
"At the moment?" Yugi asked, and Atem flinched as Yugi noticed the key words. "Then where is he?"
Atem didn't answer.
"Yami! Answer me!"
"It's not important. No one at the palace can help us," Atem didn't even glance at Yugi while he spoke. He simply stared ahead. "Besides, the palace is full of Tiathro. If I were to bring you there they would kill you."
"Yami," Yugi scolded as he ran ahead of Atem and stopped in front of him, making Atem stop. "Why aren't you answering me?"
Atem stared at him. Yugi had that expression on his face. The one where he looked like he was trying to look into his very soul. But there was something else as well on the boy's face. In his eyes, Atem could see a small amount of sadness brewing.
Atem sighed before looking around. He smiled when he could make out the shape of a cave about a hundred feet away. He turned back to Yugi and said, "Come with me."
Yugi followed after Atem as the elder led the younger to the cave. Yugi almost asked Atem to watch out for bears, then caught himself as he realized that there were probably no such thing as bears here.
Thankfully, though, the cave was cold and empty, with no signs of any recent visitors. Still, Atem walked deep into the cave before he finally sat against the wall.
He looked up at Yugi, who remained standing, and patted the spot next to him.
Yugi slowly sat down and looked at Atem with an all-right-tell-me-what-the-fuck-is-going-on expression.
Atem took a few deep breathes before smiling sadly at Yugi. "Alright, ask me anything."
It took Yugi a moment before Yugi could decide which of his questions to ask first. "Are you human or a dragon?"
Atem chuckled. "I am neither human nor dragon nor elf nor man nor woman. I am one of a kind."
Yugi shook his head, not in denial exactly, but more in shock. "So, we're you ever human?"
"Yes," Atem answered with a smile. "I was turned into this creature when I was thirteen years old, in human years anyway. Time moves faster here."
"Why?" Yugi asked softly.
"Because the different branches of the Seltherathem argued and argued over which one should rule Eyllisna. There are six different branches for six different elements: fire, water, earth, metal, wood, and wind. Of course each branch wanted one for their own to rule, so there was never a compromise. Finally, an older, wiser dragon proposed an idea for who would be the next ruler. He proposed that they take a human and 'gift it', as they put it. Turning it into a creature neither dragon nor human, and stronger than both."
Yugi had no trouble figuring out just who they had chosen.
"That's why they were after you, isn't it?" Yugi asked as he began fitting together the puzzle. "That's why you have wings and eyes are slit like a reptile's! My God, Atem, why did you bring us here if that's exactly what they want?" Yugi was yelling at him by them. He stood as he yelled the last question at Atem.
Atem looked back at him with a sad smile. "Because I must rule again, but I must also keep you safe. I couldn't protect you in your world, where they can track me at all times, but I can protect you here until it is safe enough for me to send you home."
"You're not sending me home!" Yugi turned and walked to the other side of the cave. He leaned forward and rest his forehead on the cold rock. "Why are you so stubborn? Why do you always try to get rid of the people who just want to help you?"
Yugi didn't hear Atem move, but, suddenly, Atem was there leaning his own forehead against the back of Yugi's shoulder. "I just don't want you to get hurt. You are my closest friend in the world, Yugi. I just want you safe."
"Figures," Yugi muttered, and heard Atem chuckle behind him. "Five thousand years in a puzzle, four years in me, and then five years in the afterlife and you still haven't changed. You would think at least one of those would have some influence on your personality, but no. You're still just as stubborn as always."
Atem laughed as he laid his chin on Yugi's shoulder, wrapping his arms around Yugi's chest. "My dear friend, you are just the same way."
Yugi rolled his eyes, but didn't answer.
"So, Atem said after a few seconds of silence, "anything else you want to ask?"
"I got one," Yugi said hesitantly.
When Yugi didn't continue, Atem prompted, "Yes?" but Yugi still didn't say anything. "You can ask me anything."
"I know," Yugi reassured. "I'm just trying to figure out how to say it . . . Yami, do you remember when you appeared in my dream?"
"When I tried to warn you, yes." There was a pause before, "Why?"
"You referred to yourself as 'bearer'. What did you mean by that?"
"Oh, that's what you mean." Atem released Yugi and turned to lean his back against the wall of the cave beside Yugi and crossed his arms. Yugi mimicked him, leaning against the wall, but didn't cross his arms. "When I sealed myself away in the Millennium Puzzle, I didn't not want my other life here in Eyllisna to have an affect on the spell I used to seal Zork. So, I sealed my human memories into the tablet you saw and my memories of this realm into another tablet."
"Back then, I ruled as Pharaoh during the day, and at night, I ruled here in Eyllisna," he explained seeing Yugi's confused expression. He continued, "That is why I had no memory of this when I memory was returned in the Memory World. It was stored in a different place. I don't know why or how I'm back and have all my memories back, but I know it must be to rule here again. If the gods wish it, then I must."
"So, which one is the real you?" Yugi asked softly, his gaze down toward the ground.
Atem reached out and grabbed Yugi's closet hand, his right hand, and held it up to his own heart. "I am human no longer, Yugi., but I promise you, I am still me. Not matter whether I wings or tail, I am still me. It is the same heart you feel beating within me." He smiled at the boy. "The halves that make up me are growing ever closer. I am remembering more details about my human life, and my human self is remembering about this world."
"Yugi," he said seriously, "during the day, I will be panicked and scared as my human self slowly remembers. Please, you must keep me calm and prevent me from doing anything too stupid." He smirked. "Which, as you can guess, is likely to happen."
Yugi burst into laughter at the comment. As he calmed down he asked, "Why do you change at morning and night?"
Atem hummed before he answered. "It is only until I am whole again. I am usually like this," he gestured to his eyes and wings. "I believe I am my human self during the day because that is when I ruled as a human, and at night—"
Yugi finished his sentence for him. "—you turn into this you because this you ruled at night." Yugi looked at Atem with a mocking smirk. "You are messed up."
This time, Atem burst into laughter. "I already know that, trust me. How do you think I felt for a few weeks after I was changed? I pretty much just sat in my room all day, in both worlds."
Atem suddenly blinked, and his expression became blank. He turned toward the opening of the cave, Yugi turning also, and saw the glow of the sun over the horizon. "The sun comes. I will turn back soon."
"I'll take care of you, I promise," Yugi said earnestly, looking deep into Atem's eyes.
Atem looked back. "I know you will."
Then, the sun burst over the edge of the land, its glow shining on the two. Yugi had to cover his eyes at first, but uncovered them when he heard Atem drop to the ground.
"Yami!" Yugi yelled as he dropped to his knees next to Atem. "Are you okay?"
"Don't—worry," Atem managed to gasp. "N-Nor-mal!" The last half of the word cam out as a scream as Atem started to scream in pain.
Yugi could only watch, knowing he could do nothing but simply be there for his friend.
Shortly, though, thankfully, Atem stopped screaming.
"Yami?" Yugi asked softly.
Atem slowly opened his eyes and looked up at Yugi. His eyes were back to normal, well, Yugi's normal. "Yugi?" he asked softly. He sat up and looked around at their surroundings. "Where are we? Last I remember, we were walking home and—"
Yugi cut him off. "Everything's fine, Yami, I promise. Please, you must be tired. Go to sleep." He smiled as best he could at the moment to try to convince Atem that everything was fine.
Atem's eyes softened. "Alright Yugi." Atem rested his head on his arms, and immediately, the snores started.
Yugi just sat there watched Atem sleep and worried.
He worried about how he was going keep stubborn Atem in the cave all day.
(1) Eyllisna; meaning "Land of the Ancients." Pronounced "eh" like someone goes eh?, "ya" like how in Spanish double L's make the ya sound, "is" just like that is awesome, "nah" like when you disagree with someone you go nah. "Eh-ya-is-nah."
(2) Victoria Falls is the widest waterfall in Africa and is one of the widest in the world.
(3) Verraheal; meaning "The Gods' Peace." Pronounced "ver" rhymes with air, "ah" like a doctor tells you to say ah, "L" like the letter L. "Ver-ah-L."
(4) The flower head is what is commonly referred to as the flower part of the sunflower when it is actually made of lots of small flowers.
(5) Koehoro; meaning "Earth's Flower." Pronounced "ko" rhymes with hoe, "eh" like someone goes eh?, "or" like you ask sweet or unsweet tea, and "O" like the letter O. "Ko-eh-or-O."
(6) Tiathro means "magic sage"; "tia" meaning "magic" and "thro" meaning "sage". Pronounced "tea" as in the drink tea, "oth" like moth without the M, and "row" like you row a boat. "Tea-oth-row".
(7) The name of a person from Eyllisna. Like a person from America is an American. I just added an N at the end. Pronounced the same except that instead of the "nah" at the end, it's a "nahn" rhymes with dawn. "Eh-ya-is-nahn."
(8) Seltherathem; meaning "The Dragons of the High Sky." Pronounced "sell" like you sell goods, "there" like I'm going over there, "ah" like a doctor tells you to say ah, and "thém" like look at them, but put emphasis on the E. "Sell-there-ah-thém."
(9) Arya; meaning "The Golden Bridge." Pronounced "are" as in are you ready for dinner, "E" like the letter E, and "uh" as in when you go uh I didn't do it. "Are-E-uh."
(10) Airathem; meaning "Dragon Home." Pronounced "air" like the word air, "uh" as in when you go uh I didn't do it, "ah" like a doctor tells you to say ah, and "thém" like look at them, but put emphasis on the E. "Air-uh-ah-thém."
(11) Mairah; meaning "Death to the Beast." Pronounced "my" like how the Yu-Gi-Oh! character Mai and "rah" like the Egyptian God Ra. "My-ra."
(12) Naihar; meaning "Wise Oak." Pronounced "nai" like the Japanese word nai and "har" rhymes with tar. "Nai-har."
(13) Ferarretyn; meaning "Heaven's Champion." Pronounced "fair" as in fair play, "ah" like a doctor tells you to say ah, "ret" rhymes with pet, and "yen" like the Japanese currency. "Fair-ah-ret-yen."
I'm going to put the meaning of all the foreign words here at the end, at least for a few chapters, so that you guys can, hopefully, be able to remember what they mean. I still have to keep looking up the meaning of some of them so don't feel bad if you can't remember right off the bat. Let me know though when it gets annoying.
No, I did not get the name Arya from Eragon. On the website I used for the names "Ar-" means "gold" and "Ya-" means "bridge." No plagiarism.
Oh, you guys are probably wondering why I keep calling the pharaoh Atem when Yugi calls him Yami. Well, Atem is his real name, so I call him Atem when not in dialog, but I like to believe that after Atem got his memory back, he told Yugi to call him Yami, not Atem.
I can't remember if I put this on the last chapter or not, but whatever. If I did I'll say it again. I am rewriting this story but instead of Yugi, there will be a female OC named instead. I have titled it Dragon King—OC Version so it's hard to miss. I had mentioned somewhere that Yugi would not be in that story, but while I was rewriting Chapter Three: "Attack" I had an idea, you'll have to read to find out, but anyway, Yugi is in it. I haven't finished that chapter because when I was rewriting I have added about ten pages to the chapter, so check it out!
If you guys have any other questions, legitimate ones, don't ask how the story ends, that I haven't covered, ask me in a review and I will either edit this chapter or add it in the next, depending on if I can fit it in to the next.
And I am sorry for all the unfamiliar words. Honestly. Trust me, it was confusing for me two.
Started: Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Finished: Friday, July 29, 2011