MMMG: Hey everyone! I'm back with the next chapter of 'Why did it come to this?'!
MMMG: I know! I know! I got caught up in 'Chīsana Ichi', 'Egyptian Nights', and am writing a co-written story inspired by 'Shrek' with Ranko twin called 'I Know it's Today'. I've also been going over my past stories and re-editing them, but the only one I have re-done online is 'The Little Merman', I should be getting the others redone soon as well. And I had to wait for my Yu-gi-oh! Season 1 DVDs to turn up after my internet got cut. Again.
Yugi: We're just glad you're updating. And it's your first update of 2014!
MMMG: I know! And I got 67 reviews during the last wait, raising the total to 710! 34 of which were for Chapter 28. That a lot! And my 700th reviewer is... FireWing Pegasus! This chapter is dedicated to you!
Atemu: This chapter is a combination of Yu-gi-oh! Duelist manga ch. 4 & 5 (ch. 63 & 64 if you're following online at kivmanga or mangakong), Season 1 Ep. 3: Journey to the Duelist Kingdom, & HDICTT Ch. 27 (part).
Yugi: MMMG is sorry about the wait, does not own Yu-gi-oh, and never will. Enjoy!
Wordsorcereress: Yeah, Yugi did need lots of Yami cuddles, the guy stuck really close to Yugi after what happened. Bakura is still doing full body possession, but he will start making his own some point during Duelist Kingdom. Tea will start getting mean once at Duelist Kingdom, I've got tons of ideas for her. Still thinking about the plot for that one. I don't know if I want Yami to go that far, but we'll see once I get there. Yeah, it makes sense, but it's only teasing. Pegasus is not interested in Yugi in this story, he's only for having his deceased wife back.
s2Teennovelist: I like long reviews, they tell me what people like about my story, but I'm bad at giving them. Anyway, yeah, Grandpa is a drill sergeant. You have to be if you're going to be a champion at any game like he is. Thanks for noticing that I had nothing on how Yami showed up, made a small edit so he did show up. Honestly, who doesn't love Tomoya? He's awesome! Bakura almost had his own body. He possessed Ryou's during that shadow game, guess I wasn't that specific. Move aside VCRs, Skype is taking over! Yep, I've got plans for that little Blue Eyes White Dragon, and they're awesome. Thanks, I'm actually more of an anime fan myself, but I won't say no the manga either. Yeah, developing the cast is hard, and I'm glad someone appreciates the differences between the anime and manga and the real life duels notes that I put up. That's hard work!
FireWing Pegasus: Yeah, Yami feels sad, but he doesn't close himself off from Yugi. And Pegasus is straight in this story, not like in 'How did it come to this?' when he was interested in Yugi. Nice chapter details that you noticed. Téa bashing coming soon, but not in this chapter.
Animesaki: Tell me about it. Not exactly... well, maybe they do. I know that these types of TVs are used in state-wide college conferences and over sea business transactions, so they do exist. No, we still keep Téa for a little while longer. I know, it's a tough wait.
Lunarius-Chibi: Silence from the peanut gallery. LOL! And thanks for the plushies! -give them hugs-
Guest: Hmm. Maybe. It would be funny to see Yami's and Bakura's jealous sides.
Kearitona Sjachraelgil: Yeah, Pegasus is a bit of a jerk, and Yugi is one smart cookie so he'll know what to bring. Still considering what to do with Kaiba. Don't worry, Yugi doesn't naively trust Weevil like he does in the show/books, and Téa is ill prepared for this excursion. Yami, Yugi, and Atemu thank you for that little 'present' you gave them, (hands over secretly recorded DVD of their activities for KS to enjoy). Still working out Rebecca's and Vivian's roles. Well, Vivian is obvious, I'm just trying to figure out what to do with Rebecca.
Aqua girl 007: You're Skype idea was wonderful! Yeah, LOL Bakura's 'help' during the duel.
MistyDuskDark: The questions are okay, let me answer them. Akefia basically has Yami Bakura's role from the anime and manga. Akefia is Zorc, Zorc is Akefia, there is no hope for redemption for him this time. Maybe. No, Weevil does not get his gross hands on Exodia or the Blue Eyes White Dragon. Yugi is smarter then that. And 'Chīsana Ichi' got updated from the time you asked, and I'm currently working on chapter 4.
Great: Uh, no. Ryou and Bakura aren't dueling. I'm not that great at making up my own duels.
koobre: Mainly anime with manga and my own twists. I have some of my own plot added in this chapter as well. And relax, I'm back. It just takes a long time for me to get chapters typed and posted thanks to my home life.
Kimberly: I don't know if I'll have Yami stay or not. I want to, but I'm still not sure yet.
Ash the Maverick Hunter: Sorry, they're gay. That's why there's a Puzzleshipping notice in the story description, it means that I'm doing a Yugi x Yami Yugi pairing.
luvcatz941: Aw thanks. I don't like Téa clinging to Yami/Atemu either. Glad you like Ryou and Tomoya having bigger roles. I mean, what's the point in mentioning them if they just disappear to randomly show up again? Still working out details on Téa finding out Yugi is Yami's boyfriend. -evil laugh- I'm open for ideas though. And yes, Ryou and Tomoya take over Téa's role.
midnight rose112358: During Duelist Kingdom, after Mai joins the group for the night. The original story plot had Téa go talk with Yugi, so I'm going to dash all hopes of her dating Yami then.
anonimous: Yeah, we all experience the burned out feeling. And Pegasus will be following the anime/manga plot on wanting his wife back. The only reason he was after Yugi in HDICTT was because he had never met her.
DeadlyRose123: Yes, Mai will be at Duelist Kingdom, no she won't hit on Yugi. She has an amazing gaydar, (gay radar).
Goddess Alexandria: Yep, same pairings.
Chapter 29: Fate on the High Seas
A few days had gone by since Yami's duel against Pegasus, and they were no closer to figuring out how to get Grandpa Mouto's soul back then they were the last time they had thought about it. Yami had his own body whenever Yugi was out of school and kept really close to Yugi, afraid that Pegasus would send someone after his hikari next. Yugi didn't mind, he was actually scared that Pegasus was going to do that as well.
Joey, Tristan, Téa, and Tomoya were all being as supportive as they could, but none of them had ever had a friend or relative suddenly go into a coma before. Only Ryou could really relate to how Yugi was feeling at the moment. The British boy stuck close to Yugi whenever he could, staying to sleep over when Yugi's mother, Miyuki, stayed at the hospital with her father, but gave him enough space so that Yugi and Yami could catch some alone time.
Right now was one of those times. Yugi had used the ladder next to his house to climb up onto the roof where he could watch the sun set over the horizon. Yami sat next to him. Neither of them spoke, it was enough that the other was there, but the occasional emotion filtered through their bond. Yugi missed his grandfather and was scared that he was going to be targeted next, while Yami was upset that he had lost to Pegasus, thus causing Yugi's emotions of scared and missing his grandfather, which also made Yami feel guilty.
Suddenly, Yugi felt the urge to talk with Yami. He was also sure that even if Yami didn't want to talk, he would be a good listener as Yugi voiced his worries and frustrations.
"This is a good mess we're in." Yugi sighed. "It's hard to believe Grandpa's actually gone. One minute he's right there beside us, and the next, Pegasus uses shadow magic to take his soul away. But why? What could Pegasus possible want from me? From us? Could it have something to do with the Millennium Puzzle?"
"I don't have any of the answers we seek." Yami replied with a sigh of his own. "Pegasus is going to be one tough opponent. His Millennium Eye can see into our minds and know which card we're going to play before we even do. We have to beat that to get Grandpa back, but I don't see how we're going to do it."
"We're going to get Grandpa back." Yugi vowed, wishing he was as confident as he sounded. "We'll beat Pegasus at his own game."
"Yes." Yami nodded with a smile. "We're definitely not running. He'd better watch out now, because the master of the Puppy Dog Eyes trick is coming after him!"
"You know the Puppy Dog Eyes trick?" Yugi asked.
"No." Yami shook his head. "You do. And it's you he's going to see when he get to Duelist Kingdom. I won't be able to make my own body their without causing confusion and mayhem, something I think that Bakura wants me to do. I'll have to take over your body again."
"So we'll do what we did when we dueled against Seto Kaiba?" Yugi asked.
"Yes." Yami nodded.
"Yugi, Yami!" Ryou called from inside the kitchen, the kitchen window right under the two. "It's time to eat dinner."
"Coming." Yugi called as he and Yami stood up.
Climbing down the ladder, the two went inside and washed their hands. Tonight was one of Ryou's favorite foods from England, Steak and Kidney Pie.
"Thanks Ryou." Yugi said as he finished putting the dishes on the table.
"No problem." Ryou replied. "Bakura wants to try some thought, so be prepared for him to pester you two to have two separate bodies when we go to Duelist Kingdom."
"Duly noted." Yami chuckled. "Has he had any success in making his own body yet?"
"Nearly." Ryou nodded. "I pass out before it actually happens though. And it seems that one of the rules is 'no making a body using your partner's energy while their unconscious'."
"The first time Yami made a body of his own, I was conscious." Yugi noted. "I don't think there's ever been a time I was unconscious when he made a body. I was fading in and out of awareness when Yami confronted that watch thief, but I was awake."
"Well, before Bakura takes over, I've been thinking about something I'd like to share with you two." Ryou said as they sat down. "Pegasus has the Millennium Eye, and seems to have a lot of experience with it. I personally think that if you go do Duelist Kingdom, you'll find out more about the Millennium Items, perhaps even their secrets."
"Their secrets…" Yami hummed.
"Ryou, where did you get your Millennium Ring from?" Yugi asked. "You said it was a gift from your father, but do you know where he got it from?"
"From a vendor in Egypt." Ryou replied. "To my knowledge, neither Bakura or Akefia spoke with him, or were even stirred by his presence."
/We weren't./ Bakura replied, and everyone turned to see him leaning against the wall as a spirit. /We both were active inside the ring, but it wasn't until Ryou touched it that we became aware of what was going on in the outside world again./
"But I want to find out the secrets of those items." Ryou said passionately. "Like, who made them? How do they really work? What are they for? I'm willing to bet that Pegasus has some of the answers."
"It's an interesting theory." Yugi admitted as he fidgeted a little.
"But you're more concerned about your grandfather." Ryou smiled. "I understand."
"Thanks Ryou." Yugi smiled back.
Elsewhere, Joey was back at his apartment. His father actually had gotten a job as a nighttime worker at a car factory, so he wasn't there this evening. Joey was currently looking at a DVD that had come in the mail for him. He felt a tad bit worried that an old enemy, (tax collector, Hirutani, etc.) had sent a warning to himself or his father via video recording. But he wouldn't know unless he watched it. Putting it in the DVD player, Joey sat down and waited.
"Hi there Joey, how's my big brother doing?" Serenity, Joey's younger sister, asked as she waved. "I really miss you."
Serenity had long auburn hair that fell to her waist and chin length bang framing her face. She had grey-hazel colored eyes and a healthy complexion.
"Serenity." Joey whispered, wondering why his sister was sending him a video message now.
"I can't believe it's been six years since we've seen each other." Serenity continued. "I'll never forget the day mom took me to live with her. So I'm sending you this video so you don't forget what I look like. Actually, I really wanted to see you in person instead of by video, but you're so busy and we live so far apart. It seems like I'm running out of time. I was hoping to see your face, for one last time before… well, uh… you understand. Well, that's all. Take care of yourself. Good-bye… big brother."
"Running out of time?" Joey whispered, a feeling of dread twisting his stomach. "It can't be. Serenity."
Joey missed his younger sister very much. Ever since his parents had gotten a divorce six year ago and Serenity was forced to go with their mother, he hadn't see her since except by the occasional video messages and school picture Serenity managed to send to him. Mrs. Wheeler refused to have any contact with her ex-husband, and Joey due to that decision, but part of their divorce agreement was to not ask for child support since each of them had a child to raise.
Serenity had always had eye problems ever since she had been born. The doctors had told her that she would go blind eventually if she didn't have a special surgery before it was too late. But the operation was expensive, and Mrs. Wheeler couldn't afford it by herself. Joey had sent some of his prize money from the 'Get a Million Yen!' game he had won, but it would only cover a portion of the surgery expenses.
This video message was Serenity's way of telling Joey that the doctors had told her that her time was nearly up. If she didn't have the surgery soon, she would go blind.
The blaring alarm clock got Yugi and Ryou out of bed the next morning. Neither of them had slept very well. Yugi had lay awake half of the night with worry about what Pegasus was going to do next, and Ryou thought he had heard someone outside. Bakura had checked and found no one, but Ryou's nerves had still been shaken.
Miyuki, Yugi's mother, had come back around an hour ago since she knew that Yugi had trouble getting out the door recently. She figured he was worried about his grandfather, but he still had a high school education to worry about.
"Hurry up boys!" Miyuki called down the hall as she glanced at the clock. "You're going to be late."
"We're coming!" Yugi called as he ran down the hall with Ryou hot on his heels.
"Here are your lunches." Miyuki said as she gave each of them a bento box. "I expect your homework to be done by the time I get home Yugi."
"Yes mother." Yugi replied as he checked to see that his assignments were all in his backpack.
"Thank you for letting me spend the night, Mrs. Mouto." Ryou said with a short bow of respect.
"You're welcome." Miyuki smiled and then brandished her soup ladle at them. "Now get!"
"Yes mom!" Yugi yelped as he ducked the kitchen item while pushing Ryou out the door.
"Does she always do that?" Ryou asked as Yugi closed the door.
"Only on the days I'm running late." Yugi replied, and then stopped short. "What's this?"
"What's what?" Ryou asked.
Yugi picked up and envelope from off of the ground. His name was written on the front, and the Industrial Illusions symbol (I2) was in the return address section of the envelope. At once, Yugi knew who it was from.
"It's from Pegasus." Yugi whispered and started to open it.
"You'll have to wait until break to open this." Ryou said as he snatched the envelope out of Yugi's hands. "We have to run."
"Hey!" Yugi protested and ran after Ryou, who tauntingly held the letter just out of Yugi's reach, making Yugi think that Bakura was in control. "Give that back Ryou! Or Bakura… Whoever you are!"
Yugi and Ryou did reach school on time, just barely. But it felt like it took forever for break to finally reach its start, and took even longer because Yugi kept glancing at the clock and not paying any attention to what the teacher was saying. But once it did, Ryou gave Yugi back the envelope. Joey, Téa, Tristan, and Tomoya all gathered around, confused at the actions.
"What's going on?" Tomoya asked.
"Pegasus left a message." Yugi replied staring at the envelope. "I wanted to look at it this morning, but Ryou took it from me so we could get to school on time."
"Well, we have another 13 minutes of break, so open it." Joey said as he turned his chair around to he could sit next to Yugi.
Yugi nodded, and made sure that Yami was watching over his shoulder in his spirit form. This was so nerve wracking, and Yugi really hoped that it wasn't a letter with insane demands, like giving up his Millennium Puzzle. Never in 10,000 years would that ever happen. With trembling hands he opened the envelope. Inside were…
"Duel monster cards?" Téa asked. "Why would he send you those?"
"I don't know." Yugi replied and flipped one of the five over.
The title read "Duelist Kingdom" and on it was a picture of a castle on an island. That told Yugi that he was officially invited to Pegasus' Duelist Kingdom Tournament, the one that he had announced at the end of Japan's Duel Monster's Regional Championship, and that it was also on an island.
"So you've been invited to participate in the tournament at Duelist Kingdom?" Tristan asked. "And it's on an island?"
"That's what it looks like." Yugi replied. "And Pegasus invited me when he sent me that letter with the repaired Blue Eyes White Dragon card. I guess he's just making it official."
"So… this is where Pegasus hangs out in his spare time?" Joey asked. "You think maybe he knows what happened to your grandpa?"
"Maybe." Yugi said. "But the only way to know for sure is to become a contestant."
The next card was titled "Voyage to the Kingdom". On it was a picture of a luxury ship, one that you would see being used for week long tours down in the Bahamas. It was one of the three cards that actually had words in its description area, telling Yugi the time and date, as well as the location he needed to be at if he was going to participate.
"I need to be at the Domino Pier 7 days from now at 9:00 PM." Yugi read. "That's when the boat for the tournament is going to be leaving. At least it's over MEA weekend*. Mom will let go because I won't miss any school."
"But you can't go." Tomoya protested, worry evident on his face. "It could be dangerous."
"I have to." Yugi sighed. "It's the only clue I have on how I can help my grandpa. Pegasus knows something, and I need to find out what."
"I just wish there was some way we could help." Joey admitted. "But without invitations, we can't go with you."
"Hmm." Yugi sighed as he looked back down at the desk.
He wished his friends could come along as well. They all supported him when he needed it most, and he was going to need it more than ever at Duelist Kingdom.
The third called was called "Duelist Glove", and it held a picture of the glove and star chips that Yugi had received in the mail with the Blue Eyes White Dragon card. It was also a card with a description written on it, stating that a duelist must have one start chip on their wrist at all times, or else they were disqualified.
"That's the glove you got before, right?" Joey asked as he looked at the picture.
"Yep." Yugi nodded. "I think the star chips are proof that you're a duelist, and you bet on them during your duels so you fill up all of the star-shaped slots."
"That makes sense." Ryou nodded his head.
The fourth and fifth cards seemed to go together. One was titled "Honor of King's Left" and the other was "Honor of King's Right". "Honor of King's Left" was blank, no picture and no description. Yugi had half a mind to toss it, but had a gut feeling that he would need it later. "Honor of King's Right" had a picture of treasure, gold, jewels, a treasure chest, fancy cups, etc. It also had a description stating that the grand prize winner would receive 3 million USD** as their prize!
"3 mill?" Joey whispered, knowing full well that all of that money would be enough to cover his sister's eye operation, and he'd have enough left over so he could go to college for 4 years.
"That's a lot of dough." Tristan commented as he looked at the picture.
"Who cares about money at a time like this?" Yugi questioned with a sigh.
"Hey, give me that." Joey said as he took the card from Tristan's hand. "3 million."
"I guess Joey does." Ryou replied.
Later that day, Joey sat on the roof of the school once he was done with his after school clean up duty. So many things seemed to be happening. Yugi beat Seto Kaiba at Duel Monsters, Grandpa was in a coma at the hospital, Serenity needed her eye surgery soon, and Yugi was going to head off to Duelist Kingdom to see if Pegasus had done something to his Grandpa.
"Joey?" Yugi asked as he came up onto the roof. "What are you doing up here? You were going to meet us at the arcade over an hour ago."
"Sorry." Joey grinned sheepishly. "I've got a lot of stuff on my mind."
"I know the feeling." Yugi sighed in agreement as he sat down next to his friend.
"Yugi, you do know that I care about your grandpa, right?" Joey asked. "I mean, he taught me about the Heart of the Cards."
"Of course I know." Yugi replied.
"I'm mean it." Joey said seriously. "And one way or another, I'm going to help you beat Pegasus!"
"That really means a lot to me Joey." Yugi smiled, and Joey smiled back. "I'm glad we're friends."
"Remember how it all happened?" Joey grinned.
"How could I forget?" Yugi giggled. "I believe it was all because of the Millennium Puzzle. My grandpa found it in an Egyptian tomb, and kind of dared me to solve it. While working on the puzzle, I kept making a wish, that I would be given real friends, and I think it came true. I met you and Tristan not long after. But of course, you two sure didn't act like friends at first."
"You mean when we were playing keep away with the Millennium Puzzle?" Joey asked with a grin. "It was for you, man. We were just trying to toughen you up so you could stand up to the real bullies. I guess we were just teasing you."
"Teasing?" Yugi let out a stuttering laugh. "You took a piece of the Millennium Puzzle and threw it out of the window! And I was the one who stood up to Ushio when he decided to make you and Tristan into pancakes."
"Yeah, he was a mean one." Joey sighed. "At least he's locked up in that mental institution. But you stood up for us Yugi. I'll never forget that. That day, Tristan and I learned what it was like to have a true friend."
"Well, at least you retrieved the lost puzzle piece." Yugi grinned as he held the puzzle in his hands. "If you hadn't of done that, I would have never solved the Millennium Puzzle."
"The truth of the matter is, you're one of the greatest friends I've ever had." Joey admitted.
"You to." Yugi replied before slumping in sadness. "It's just too bad that you can't come with me to Duelist Kingdom."
"Don't worry." Joey said with his normal grin. "Somehow, someway, we'll do this together. I promise."
"Thanks Joey." Yugi smiled briefly. "But how can you go without an invitation?"
"Hmm." Joey hummed in thought, a plan forming in his head.
As a spirit, Yami watched the interaction between the two with his own smile. Yugi and Joey both had come a long way in 9 months. First they were bully and victim, and now they were close friends, like brothers even. Yami knew that Joey would keep his word to Yugi, and he would get on that ship heading for Duelist Kingdom.
Yugi doubled checked the backpack he was bringing with him to Duelist Kingdom, not wanting to get there only to discover he had left something behind. He had some basic toiletry supplies, a hair brush, (definitely couldn't leave without that), a change of clothes, some high energy food bars, canned food and a pot to cook it in, a bottle of water, along with some tablets he could use to get bacteria out of any water he found on the island, his sleeping bag, and a basic survival kit that contained first aid supplies, matches and a flint stone, some road flairs, and an emergency blanket.
Miyuki wasn't too happy that her son had wanted to go to the Duelist Kingdom tournament, so Yugi decided it had been time that he and his mother sat down to have a long overdue talk. Needless to say, his mother had been very shocked that Yami was actually a spirit in the pendant around her son's neck, but agreed that if her father's soul had indeed been stolen, Yugi and Yami did have to go and beat Pegasus at Duelist Kingdom. But she would need a tad bit more time to process everything.
So now Yugi stood at the Domino Pier at 8:58 PM, trying to find the fancy luxury cruiser that would take him to Duelist Kingdom, and Pegasus. So far, he hadn't been having any luck, and even Yami in his spirit form wasn't able to locate the ship. How hard could it possibly be to spot a boat that was bigger than 3 football fields? Very hard.
-It's awfully quiet out here.- Yugi commented as he checked the 'Voyage of on the High Seas' card again. -The date on the ticket card is tonight, so that ship has to be around here somewhere.-
-Yugi, I see lights over there, and they weren't there a couple minutes ago.- Yami said as he pointed to his right.
Yugi looked to see that Yami was right. Apparently Pegasus knew that some people would struggle to find the boat, and had some lights turned on towards departure time. All you had to do was hope that you were close enough to get to the boat in time or risk being left behind.
-There it is.- Yami said solemnly as Yugi rounded a corner and stopped. -The ship that's bound for Duelist Kingdom.-
Yugi wandered over to the crowd of people, and saw that each of them had a duel deck. They were all duelists, like he was. In other words, they were rivals, and he couldn't lose to any of them. Joey had helped him train all week long, and they had improved their decks as well. But Joey wasn't with him right now. He and Yami had to face all of these people… alone.
"Attention all duelist!" a deep voice resonated.
A man dressed in a suit, sunglasses, and had a black hair spike, kind of like Tristan, was standing on the ship. Everything about him screamed, 'high paid employee who doesn't really want to be here, but wants his paycheck more'. The man's name was Kemo, and he was one of Pegasus' security members.
"Industrial Illusions welcome to this tournament that they are sponsoring." Kemo continued once all of the duelists in the area looked up to him on the main deck of the boat. "With your invitation, each of you received the star chips that will allow you entry into the contest. And if you don't have them with you, you'll have to leave. Tough luck.
"We have researched your tournament records and even unofficial duels to have picked the best duelists in Japan. You are all elite, chosen after close observation. You each have a fair and equal chance to win. It all comes down to how well you've chosen your cards, and then how well you play. And now then duelists, cross the seas, and enter the Duelist Kingdom!"
Most of the crowd cheered, and Yugi found himself thinking that it was like a high school pep rally. Everyone was loud and screaming for no apparent reason.
"It's like a pep rally for little kids." a woman's voice said from behind Yugi. "But then again, I guess it pretty much just kids here."
"I know what you mean." Yugi said as he turned to look at the young woman. "And my name is Yugi."
She had long wavy blond hair that fell to her waist and a serious yet playful attitude about her. She was wearing a short-sleeved purple coat over her white tube top, which showed her stomach and cleavage off very nicely, along with a dark purple mini-skirt and recurring purple high-heeled boots. She also was already wearing her Duelist Glove, and had a large brown knap-sack slung over her shoulder, indicating she was ready to take on the unknown. That is, as long as she hadn't tried to bring along her entire bathroom, complete with hair dryer and extension cords.
"Mai Kujaku." Mai replied as Yugi got a good look at her. "Hey, aren't you that Yugi kid everyone is talking about?"
"I guess so." Yugi chuckled.
"Well what do you know." Mai smiled playfully. "But I'm amazed that a little boy like you actually defeated Seto Kaiba."
"I get that a lot." Yugi replied with a sigh. "And I'm eighteen years old, a high school senior."
"My mistake, and I know how you feel." Mai giggled. "A lot of people mistake me for a teenager when I'm really 24."
"At least you're not asked if you want a kids menu when you go out to eat." Yugi huffed.
"You're cute." Mai laughed when Yugi glared, which only made him look even cuter. "You're famous, you know."
"Now I know." Yugi replied. "And thanks… I guess."
"Please present your star chips as you board the vessel." one of the security men said.
He stood behind a table, his job to make sure that all the people boarding had been invited. Those who didn't have the star chips were taken away by other security members. So far, there hadn't been any issues.
"Hey you, get out of here!" another security man yelled, drawing everyone's attention. "Only official contestants are allowed on board!"
"How do you know I'm not official?" Joey's familiar voice answered.
"Because the official contestants aren't trying to sneak aboard though the lower hatches." the security man replied as he and another dragged a struggling Joey passed all the duelist in line.
"Joey?" Yugi whispered, making Mai look to him as he slipped out of line. "What the…?"
"Stop your struggling!" one of the security dragging Joey away ordered. "We're going to have to throw you out."
"No way." Joey replied. "I came here to duel, and I'm going to duel."
"Leave him alone." Yugi said as he ran up, making the guards stop short.
"Hey Yugi." Joey greeted.
"Joey, what are you doing here?" Yugi asked.
"Did you really think I'd let you do this one your own?" Joey answered with his own question and familiar grin.
Yugi couldn't stop the smile that came to his face. Joey had made a promise to him, and now he was doing everything he could do to keep it. He just needed some help first.
What Yugi didn't know was that further down the pier, Tomoya, Ryou, Tristan, and Téa were all hiding behind one of the large cargo crates. Aside from picking up duelists, Pegasus was also making a supply run, and they were planning to use that to their advantage. Originally, Joey was going to sneak on board with them as well, but security had almost found them. While Bakura, who was in control of Ryou's body, picked the lock on one of the crates, Joey distracted them by 'trying' to slip into the lower hatches.
"Alright there, bring it up!" one of the maintenance men called up to the other guy who was operating the winch system.
"They're distracted." Tristan whispered.
"Let's go." Tomoya replied and slipped into the crate, wishing he could help Joey and Yugi somehow.
"He's with me." Yugi told the security men. "You have to let him on."
"Only people with a star chip can get on board." the security man replied. "There are absolutely no exceptions. Understand?"
-Yami, what can I do?- Yugi asked, trying not to panic.
-Remember Yugi, people with a star chip can get on board.- Yami replied. -It was never said how many you needed to have.-
Yami felt a bit sheepish as he said that. He'd been trying to figure out a way to get Yugi's friends on board all week, and had only just now figured out that small loophole with the star chips. Yugi immediately felt relief as he focused on the security men again.
"But Joey has a star chip." Yugi said with a smile. "Didn't he tell you?"
"I do?" Joey asked, wondering if he had missed a package somehow.
"See?" Yugi asked as he held out a closed hand to Joey, who also held out his hand while the security let him go, and Yugi placed one the star chips in his hand.
"What's this?" Joey whispered.
"According to this card, a star chip is proof that one is a duelist." Yugi said as he held up the 'Duelist Glove' card.
"That may be, but all the other participants were given two star chips." the security man replied. "You'll both be at a disadvantage."
"Maybe." Yugi said firmly. "But I'd rather take that risk than be without my friend when we get to the Duelist Kingdom tomorrow. I need him."
"Yugi." Joey whispered as his hand closed around the star chip.
Yugi had just shown how much he valued their friendship by giving him one of his star chips. He had also unknowingly handed him the answer to another problem. The grand prize was 3 million USD, and he could use that money to pay for Serenity's eye operation.
"What do we do?" the second security guy asked the other.
He wasn't replied to as the first security man dialed a number on his phone. This sort of thing needed to be sorted out by the man in charge, his boss… Pegasus.
"Mr. Pegasus, we've got a problem, sir." the security man said after Pegasus answered his phone.
Meanwhile, the crate that Ryou, Tomoya, Tristan, and Téa were in was being loaded onto the ship. As the crate settle to the deck of the ship, it rattle and shook, sending Téa into Tristan with a sudden yelp of surprise.
"Shh!" Tristan hissed.
"Don't shush me Tristan." Téa growled back.
"Pipe down." Tomoya whispered. "If we're caught, we'll get thrown off of the boat."
/I'm bored./ Bakura complained through his link. /If the girl whines again, can I hit her?/
/What?/ Ryou questioned, trying to keep his face neutral. /Why would you want to do that?/
/She bothers me for some reason./ Bakura replied as he viewed the brown haired girl with a frown. /I don't know what it is, but something is telling me not to trust her./
/Then we'll keep our distance./ Ryou replied, making it look like he was making himself comfortable while scooting as far away from Téa as he could.
At 9:30 sharp, the whistle on the ships horn blew, signaling that the boat was leaving. Pegasus had allowed Joey to come along, stating that he had no problems with it. The two were the last in line to board the boat, but they got on as fast as they could and stood next to the railing as the boat left the pier and Domino City behind.
'Joey and I will win.' Yugi decided. 'I'll beat Pegasus, no matter what it takes.'
'Hang on Serenity.' Joey thought. 'I'll put my life on the line to save your eyes.'
"I'm glad they let you on board Joey." Yugi said as he glanced up at his friend.
"Only because you sacrificed one of your star chips for me." Joey replied. "But if the other players find out we only have one star chip each, they could really try to take advantage of us."
"Then keep quiet about it." Yugi giggled.
"Okay." Joey said as he turned to face the open ocean. "The view is kind of nice, isn't it?"
"Yeah." Yugi nodded.
"Well, what do we have here?" Mai's voice came from behind the two young men, making them turn from the railing.
"Mai." Yugi greeted. "Sorry I ran off like that."
"You had your reasons, none of which are my concern." Mai relied with a shrug.
"Hi miss." Joey greeted, trying to keep himself from sounding like an idiot. "Nice to meet you."
"You too." Mai said flatly before turning her attention back to the shorter of the two. "Yugi, I'd cut this guy loose if I were you. He's fashion challenged and deserves to get crushed in the game."
Mai turned to walk away, leaving a dumbstruck Yugi and Joey behind. Well, it was mostly Yugi trying to understand why Mai wanted him to ditch his best friend. Joey was still trying to recover from the sight of the strong-willed woman.
"Please, crush me." Joey whispered without thinking.
"I'll crush you all eventually." Mai replied. "In a duel, it doesn't matter who my opponent is. They all get crushed."
"How arrogant." Téa huffed as the group watched the exchange, having snuck out of the crate. "There's no one better at Duel Monsters then Yugi."
"Quiet!" Ryou hissed. "They'll hear you."
"I don't care." Téa replied. "Yugi is still the best."
"If you keep talking like that they'll find us." Tomoya growled glared at Tea. "And it's quite a long swim back to Domino."
Téa fell silent as they watched Kemo call the attention to the duelists again. He was telling them to follow him so they could be shown their rooms.
"With a ship this big, the rooms have got to be awesome!" Joey commented.
"Will the finalists from the Regional Championships and Yugi Mouto please stand over here?" Kemo asked as he pointed to another doorway. "The rest of you will be sleeping out in the common room."
"What?!" Joey protested. "Is that a joke? This is a luxury cruiser! There's plenty of room for all of us to have a bed, even if we do have to share!"
"Calm down Joey!" Yugi said with a hand on his friend's shoulder.
"Excuse me, but aren't you Yugi Mouto?" a new voice asked, making Yugi turn so he could reply.
"Yeah." Yugi said and then realized who he was talking to. "And you're Weevil Underwood!"
"And Rex Raptor, the Dino-Duelist!" Joey added, seeing who was standing next to Weevil.
"You're wasting your time, demanding a better room." Rex smirked. "The private rooms go the finalist from the last championship, like us."
"And the duelist who defeated Seto Kaiba as well." Weevil noted.
"Congratulations of winning the Regionals, Weevil." Yugi said.
"It was nothing." Weevil replied.
"He only won because I went easy on him that time." Rex added.
"Well this time, Yugi and I are going to take the tournament." Joey grinned. "Right Yugi?"
Yugi nodded in reply. To be honest, he didn't really know why Joey wanted to duel in this tournament so badly, but figured his friend would tell him when he was ready to.
"To tell you the truth, winning that last tournament didn't feel like much of an achievement to me." Weevil said, drawing Yugi's attention again. "I can't really call myself the champion unless I defeat the duelist who beat Seto Kaiba."
Yugi kept himself from shifting. Many duelists, a lot of them people he didn't even know, had come up to him at random times, like when he was working at Burger World, helping out in the game shop, even ambushing him after school, just to demand that he duel them. All of them wanted to defeat Yugi so they could have the title on #1 ranked duelist, and it was very unsettling.
"I'm sure we'll probably duel once we get to Duelist Kingdom." Weevil continued, not noticing Yugi's nervousness. "I'm looking forward to it."
"Me too." Yugi replied.
Yugi found himself wishing that Yami could take over and scare Weevil away. There was just something about the young man that gave Yugi the creeps.
"I'm looking forward to some dino demolition." Rex butted in, but was ignored.
"By the way Yugi, have you heard that there are going to be a set of new rules introduced at Duelist Kingdom?" Weevil asked.
"New rules?" Yugi questioned.
"I don't know the details, but the rules require even more strategy than before." Weevil replied.
"Who cares about the 'new rules' that are for wimps?" Rex scoffed. "That's all just a bunch of hype. In dueling, it's smash or get smashed. That's all there is to it."
"Strength is good, but you also need to combine your monsters with magic and trap cards." Joey replied, remembering what he had learned from Yugi's grandpa.
"Who asked you?" Rex sneered as he exited the common room to follow Kemo to his private room. "Just stay out of my way, or you'll get stomped like everyone else."
"We'll see who stomps who when we get to the island." Joey growled as his fist clenched in anger.
"Ignore him and let's scope out the competition." Weevil interjected.
"What do you mean?" Joey asked.
"Check out those guys over there." Weevil replied as he pointed to the other duelists sitting in the common room.
"The players are trading their cards." Yugi noted.
"It's the one thing about the common rooms that better than the private rooms, and I'm willing to bet the sponsor knew that when he assigned our quarters." Weevil explained. "The people in the common room can swap cards to improve their decks. They also get a peek the cards their opponents have."
-I can't believe he saw all that in once glance of the room.- Yugi hummed down the link.
-I bet this is how he gets so much insight on his opponent's strategy.- Yami replied.
"And you're friend fits right in." Weevil said, bring Yugi out of his thoughts to see Joey jumping from person to person, seeing if they wanted to trade.
"I guess Joey's trading." Yugi took in the sight of his bouncy friend. 'Sometimes I'm jealous of Joey's ability to adjust in an instant.'
"If you've come this far and you're still trying to improve your deck, you've got to be desperate." Weevil said as he exited the room to follow a security man to his rooms. "Well, I'll see you later."
"Hey Joey…" Yugi snagged his friend's elbow. "I'm going to find my rooms, and then I'll come back. So you can keep trading before bunking with me tonight."
"Thanks pal." Joey smiled.
Joey turned back to the guy he was trying to trade with as Yugi left the room. He had no desire to trade the cards in his deck, which had been constructed to look like his grandfather's duel deck, but was different since most of the cards he had found himself. Following Kemo down the hall, Yugi reached his private rooms.
"This is outrageous!" Mai's voice came loudly from the hallway, and Yugi paused in the doorway of his private rooms to watch as the young woman bore down on one of the security. "You're putting a young lady like me, in a… a… a room, no… a dorm like that, without even a shower?! And with all of those other boys in there?!"
"Those are the rules miss, there's nothing I can do." the security man replied.
"Call your superior and get him on the phone!" Mai demanded.
"Chill out girl." Rex called from the door of his room. "If you keep acting up like that, they'll throw you off the ship."
'That boy is Rex Raptor, the runner up from the last tournament, and he is certainly ripe for the picking.' Mai realized.
A scheme formed in her mind, one that Mai had used many times before. Girl pretends to be clueless and helpless and is a tad bit flirtatious, and the guy was nothing more than putty in her hands.
"Who do you think you are you?" Mai asked.
"A champion with a luxury room." Rex replied as a blush started to spread across his face. "You can crash with me if you want."
"Really?" Mai squealed. "That's so sweet! Let's go!"
"Su-sure!" Rex stuttered out as the blush spread.
"Oh please." Yugi muttered as he rolled his eyes, knowing that Mai was really after the room, not Rex.
Mai noticed and winked at Yugi, Rex not noticing since he too busy was celebrating his 'score' with a hot babe. Mai knew how to play her cards, and knew that Yugi somewhat understood how her game was played as well. She'd steer clear of Yugi for now, and maybe they'd duel in the finals. Mai and Rex entered his room, and closed the door behind them.
Back on the deck, it was definitely cold. Téa was shifting around, trying to keep warm and ignore the fact that she had to use the bathroom, and stood up.
"Téa, keep down or we're busted. " Tristan hissed.
"I can't keep still, it's freezing out here." Téa replied. "And I have to go."
"The sun will rise in a little over six hours." Ryou replied as he took in the fact that Téa was wearing nothing more than a tank top a skirt. "Poor choice of clothing for this outing Téa."
"As for the bathroom, just go over the rail." Tristan snickered as he pointed to the edge of the ship.
"I'm not a boy!" Téa hissed back in anger as the sound of a door opening caught everyone's attention.
"Get down." Tomoya ordered.
Tristan forced Téa to lay down on the deck, and Tomoya, who had the next darkest colored hair, peaked over the top of the lifeboat he was next to. It was to his great relief when he saw Yugi step outside and look around, and if he was looking for someone. Which he was…
Yugi had been told that Joey had gone outside to see if there were and duelists out there who wanted to trade with him. Slightly annoyed, but getting that Joey was excited, Yugi went on deck to see if he could find his friend.
"Psst!" Tomoya hissed.
"Huh?" Yugi glanced around, wondering who had spoken but didn't see anyone.
"Psst!" Tomoya hissed again. "On your left."
"Tomoya?" Yugi asked as he spotted his friend and quickly walked over. "What are you doing here? If the security catches you…"
"Catches us, you mean." Ryou grinned as he popped up next to Tomoya. "Joey was going to sneak on with us to, but security nearly found us, so he caused a distraction."
"We're going to help you win the tournament." Tomoya said with a grin as Tristan and Téa sat back up. "Even if all we do is offer moral support."
"Thanks guys." Yugi smiled back. "Have you seen Joey? He got excited about trading cards and I was told he came out on the deck."
"He's right there." Tristan pointed.
Yugi glanced up to see Joey run by on the other side of the boat. Joey didn't look over at the group, he was too busy chasing down a duelist to see if they wanted to trade.
"Thanks." Yugi nodded, and slipped between some crates to follow his friend. "Hey Joey, wait up!"
"What do you think of my digs?" Rex asked Mai as he sat down on one of the sofas in the room.
The room was definitely luxury style. The walls were a rich light brown color trimmed with gold lines, and the carpet was a deep red. A queen size bed with light blue sheets was in one of the corners, along with a tan coffee table, and a dark grey sofa and love seat. There was also a bathroom attachment, complete with hot tub and shower.
"Wow!" Mai squealed. "It's so pretty! I hear you're quite a strong card player."
"You could say that." Rex replied smugly.
"Hmmm." Mai hummed, knowing it was time to move on to the next step in getting the room all to herself for the rest of the trip. "I like strong guys… as long as they're stronger than me."
"Who do you think you're talking to?" Rex asked with a chuckle. "There's no way you could beat me."
"But I love duel monsters." Mai said in an innocent tone as she sat down in the loveseat across from Rex. "Can we play a game? Let me try?"
"Well…" Rex drawled out as if he was in thought. "You'd never win. I don't want you to get your feelings hurt."
"Tell you what, if you win, I'll do whatever you want." Mai promised. "All night long."
Rex felt his heart beat jump and start thumping faster. This beautiful babe would do anything he wanted? All night long? Hot dog! Rex nodded his head as he blushed like crazy, his voice stuck in this throat somewhere.
"Can you shuffle and cut my cards?" Mai asked as she placed her deck on the coffee table, Rex doing the same with his deck. "We could do the 'body shuffle' if you win."
'Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!' Rex had to keep himself from screaming like an idiot as he and Mai shuffled each other's decks. 'Looks like all of my card game playing has paid off! This is going to be easy!'
Mai had to keep herself from laughing. It was so easy to dupe hormonal sixteen year old males, and Rex was no exception. She had charmed him, and he was definitely going to lose.
"Done." Rex grinned as set Mai's cards on the table, and took his cards from her. "What if you win?"
"If I win, you clear out of the room for the rest of the trip." Mai replied. "Deal?"
"There's no way I'll lose." Rex shot back confidently. "You're on."
Mai chuckled and closed her eyes, making Rex wonder what she was doing. After a few seconds of silence Mai pointed to her deck.
"The first card is Shadow of Eyes." Mai proclaimed.
Rex was stunned. What was she doing? Curious, Rex picked Mai's deck back up and flipped over the top card to reveal the Shadow of Eyes trap card. Rex was floored.
"How'd you do that?" Rex demanded.
"The second card is Harpy's Lady (1300/1400; LV 4), then Elegant Egotist, followed by Cyber Shield." Mai continued, her eyes still closed.
Rex flipped the cards from the deck and lay them down on the table. The monster card and two magic cards mockingly stared up at him. Rex's gut twisted uncomfortably, and he started feeling horror.
"She's right again." Rex whispered hoarsely.
"I always know what cards I have." Mai said as she opened her eyes and her voice lost the innocent tone. "It's my special talent. Do you still want to duel me? If so, go ahead and deal 'em Rex."
"I… I'll do it." Rex nearly yelled before lowering his voice. "I think I'm in trouble."
Yugi had finally managed to catch up with Joey, who was trying to get a duelist on the main deck to trade with him. Pulling his friend away to the other side of the deck, Yugi shook his head at Joey's enthusiasm, but understood why he felt that way. It was Joey's first tournament, and he really wanted to do well.
"Hey Yugi, I think I got some pretty good cards trading." Joey said as he looked over his new cards.
"Let me see." Yugi demanded and Joey lowered his hands. "Salamandra, Kunai with Chain, Baby Dragon (1200/700; LV 3), and Shield and Sword. That's great! With these new cards you'll really strengthen your deck."
"Alright!" Joey grinned. "So now I'm ready to win every duel I play!"
"I think you'll find it's a bit harder than that Joey." Yugi replied as he fished a card out of a duel deck pouch he wore on his belt. "Here, add this one to your deck. It can be helpful in a tight spot."
"Thanks." Joey grinned as he took the card, which was called Time Wizard (500/400; LV 2). "I can't get over how you're always helping me out."
"You've helped me out a lot to." Yugi replied as Joey checked out his new card.
-Yugi, there's something that keeps bothering me.- Yami spoke to the younger down their link.
-What is it Yami?- Yugi asked as he leaned against the boat railing.
-Why is Pegasus gathering all of these duelists?- Yami voiced his worry. -There has to be something he wants, so this event seems fishy to me.-
-I feel the same.- Yugi replied. -But we have to do this and save Grandpa.-
-You're right.- Yami agreed with a small smile before frowning and looking over Yugi's shoulder. -Someone's coming.-
"We meet again, I see." Weevil said as he exited the lobby.
"Oh, Weevil." Yugi greeted.
"I got bored sitting in my room, so I came out to feel the nice evening breeze." Weevil replied. "Did you get any good cards trading?"
"No, I didn't do any trading." Yugi replied. "I'm going to duel with the cards I originally picked and brought along with me."
"I figured as much." Weevil nodded his head. "The cards you used to defeat Kaiba, correct?"
"Yeah." Yugi answered, trying to figure out what Weevil wanted.
"You have Exodia the Forbidden One in your deck." Weevil noted. "The most powerful set of all duel monster cards. And one of the rarest as well. Is there any chance I can see them? I've never had a chance to."
"Sorry Weevil." Yugi shook his head. "I left Exodia at home in a safe. They could get lost to easily at Duelist Kingdom."
"Fair point." Weevil admitted, trying not to show how disappointed he was.
Weevil had wanted the chance to see the Exodia cards since they were very rare, before he would toss them over the side of the boat so Yugi wouldn't be able to use them anymore. But since Yugi didn't have them, he didn't have to worry about Exodia stomping him out of the tournament, and the chance to win the 3 million USD prize.
In all honesty, Yugi did have the Exodia cards with him, but Weevil gave him the creeps. Yugi didn't want anyone else except himself, Yami, his family, and his friends, to ever touch the cards.
"Too bad." Joey sighed. "Those would have been an awesome way to beat Pegasus."
"True." Yugi giggled as his imagination pictured the look on Pegasus' face as Exodia got summoned attacked, and heard a chuckle come from Yami.
"Good night then." Weevil said as he turned to head back inside. "Tomorrow, we're rivals."
"I guess that means we'll duel first." Yugi replied, wanting to get Weevil kicked out of the tournament for some reason.
"Yes." Weevil replied and entered the cabins.
"What was that all about?" Joey asked.
"I'm not exactly sure." Yugi admitted. "Something about Weevil in person gives me the creeps. I just want him as far away as possible, and the only way to do that is to knock him out of the tournament."
"I think Tristan and I have rubbed off on you a little too much." Joey grinned.
"Oh hush." Yugi stuck his tongue out at him.
The two headed back inside to crash in Yugi's room. Joey loved Yugi's room and claimed the sofa as his bed. Yugi shook his head before heading into the bathroom to change into his pajamas. After the two climbed in bed, both found that they couldn't sleep, both having their minds occupied by the thought of the tournament tomorrow.
"Hey Yugi, you awake?" Joey whispered.
"Now I am." Yugi sighed, having been startled from his dozing state. "What's up?"
"I'm scared." Joey sighed as he propped himself up on an elbow. "This is such a big tournament, what if I lose? I won't be able to help anyone then."
"You're helping me right now Joey." Yugi replied as he sat up.
"Yeah, but I meant that I wouldn't be able to help my little sister, Serenity." Joey said, figuring he might as well tell Yugi the other reason why he was there.
"I didn't know you have a sister." Yugi gasped in shock.
"I do." Joey nodded. "Our parents got a divorce six years ago, and mom took Serenity to live with her far away from Domino. Ever since she was born, Serenity's had bad eyes, and the doctors have told her she would go blind eventually. She sent me a message, telling me 'I was hoping to see your face, for one last time before…'."
"Oh no." Yugi whispered, understanding the message.
"The doctors told her that her time has come." Joey continued, slumping over in sadness. "Soon her eyes will be impossible to repair, even with surgery. There are specialists now that can perform the operation now before it's too late. But even with the most advanced medical treatment, it only has a 50% chance of restoring her eyesight. The longer she waits, the less likely it will work. And it's really expensive. More than all of my 'Get a Million Yen' winnings."
"Oh Joey." Yugi didn't know what else to say.
"I have to win this tournament for her Yugi." Joey said passionately. "Winning in Duelist Kingdom and winning the prize money is the only way I can help Serenity."
"I understand Joey." Yugi nodded as he got out of his bed and put his hand on his friend's shoulder. "We'll both do our best. You for your sister, and me for my grandpa. And if I win, you can have the tournament winnings. I won't need it."
"But Yugi…" Joey whispered in shock, but backed down at the stern look that Yugi had learned from Yami. "Thanks."
Down the hall, Rex was unceremoniously kicked out of his ex-luxury room, his duel monster cards and the rest of his stuff landing all around him.
"Get out of here you twerp." Mai snapped as she shut the door. "And thanks for the room."
Mai smiled as she reclined back on the bed. Rex had fallen for her 'psychic' act, and couldn't even concentrate on dueling, so it was easy for her to win the luxury room.
"Boys are so easy." Mai chuckled as she kicked off her shoes and fell asleep.
'Mai.' Yugi thought.
He still hadn't seen his cousin. Where was she anyway?
"Yugi?" Yami whispered in his fiancé's ear. "Are you okay?"
"Just wondering where Mai is." Yugi whispered back as he and Yami waved to the crowd.
"Your cousin?" Yami asked as they turned to head back inside.
"She wasn't here yesterday." Yugi explained. "I really would like to see her again."
"I bet you would." Yami nodded in understanding.
"What's up?" Joey asked as he stepped up and started to walk next to them.
"Just wondering where Mai is." Yugi sighed.
"I heard the servants saying that she's trying to make peace with China." Joey said. "No clue when she'll be back."
"If you would turn around you would find out." a new female voice said, making them spin around.
The young woman stood at Joey's height of 5' 10", had long blond hair that fell to her waist, purple eyes, pale skin, and a body language that said 'mess with me, and you'll be submissive for the rest of your life'.
"Mai!" Yugi squealed and hugged his cousin, who hugged her back.
"It's good to see you again Yugi." Mai smiled over the top of Yugi's head. "I do seem to recall you saying something about you were going to be taller than me when we were older."
"Oh shut up." Yugi blushed as his friends and fiancé chuckled.
"Just teasing cuz." Mai winked as they moved into the lounge room. It was a lot like the one in Egypt, just had a more Japanese twist to it.
"Mai." Yugi's face turned serious as sat down with Yami and looked to her.
"What is it?" Mai asked. Yugi only got that face when he wasn't joking around. "Is something wrong?"
"You did hear what Ji-Chan said, right?" Yugi asked nervously. "That I would be living in Japan after marring Yami?"
"Of course I heard." Mai nodded. "Our people are loud when excited, but not that loud."
"Well," Yugi glanced to his hands, "are you okay with being the empress?"
"Yes Yugi." Mai nodded. "I was to be trained to the empress in case if something should happen to you and you didn't have an heir. When we couldn't find you, security around here doubled and I spent every spare moment I had studying on how to be a wise ruler."
"Okay." Yugi sighed. "I just didn't want you to feel forced into this."
"The people of Japan thought I would be their next ruler, Yugi." Mai said. "We couldn't find you, Ryou, Malik, or Joey. Many had given you up for dead. I always gave them a lesson if I heard them talking about it though."
"The old below the belt?" Joey asked with a slightly pained look on his face.
"If it was a guy." Mai nodded. "The girls I threatened with losing some chest weight."
"So we don't want to get on your bad side." Bakura clarified.
"Yep." Mai nodded.
End of Dream
A sharp rap on Yugi's door made Yugi and Joey startle awake. A quick glance at his mystical premium D-shock watch showed that it was only two in the morning. Not knowing what was going on, Yugi pushed his dream aside and padded over to the door as Joey watched with sleepy eyes. Pulling the door open, Yugi was greeted with the sight of a breathless Ryou, Tomoya, Tristan, and Téa.
"What's going on?" Yugi asked. "Get in here before the guards see you."
"Guys?" Joey blinked and rubbed his eyes. "What's happening?"
"Security almost nabbed us." Tomoya explained. "I'm just glad that we were able to get away and find you guys."
"Yikes." Yugi grimaced. "Well, looks like we'll have to rearrange sleeping arrangements."
It was quickly decided that Yugi and Ryou would bunk on the queen sized bed, Joey and Tristan would share the pull out bed that was in the sofa, and Téa and Tomoya would use the sleeping bags they had brought and sleep on the floor.
"Night everyone." Joey called, receiving some mumbles in replied before he dropped off as well.
The next morning, at 7 AM a sharp pound on the door woke everyone with a start. Yugi rubbed his eyes, wondering who was interrupting his sleep now.
"This is you wake-up call!" Kemo called through the door. "We will be docking at Duelist Kingdom in half an hour. Breakfast is being served in the dining room."
"At least they're giving us food." Joey sighed as he rolled out of bed.
"Téa, you can change in the bathroom, the rest of us can manage out here." Yugi said as he dug around in his backpack of his change of clothes.
"Thanks." Téa nodded and went inside the bathroom.
"You think they'll notice that we're not duelist?" Tomoya asked as he pulled on a fresh shirt.
"I doubt it." Joey replied. "They only checked for star chips last night, not look at faces as they looked at the chips."
"Make sure you have all of your things." Yugi said as he made sure he had everything, getting the feeling he wouldn't be able to come back to this room. "Let's go."
"Hey look!" Ryou pointed off the front of the ship. "The island."
"We're almost there." Yugi sighed.
Yami watched with Yugi as a spirit. The next part of their task would be a challenging one, but they were ready for anything, as long as they remained together.
*MEA weekend is known as a 5 day vacation for kids in the USA. It basically three days, (the Wed. Thurs. and Fri. of mid-October), of teacher workshops that the teachers have to be a school for, but no kids.
**As of December 10th, 2013, 3 million USD (Untied States Dollars) was about 308,640,000 JPY (Japanese Yen)
Okay, I know that lots of people are curious about Mai, whether or not she's Yugi's cousin like she was in 'How did it come to this?', so I'm going to answer that now. Yes, she is Yugi's cousin from his father's side, but they don't know it. Mai's parents where in and out of the house a lot on business, even when Mai was very young, and they didn't see their other family members at all. Since Mai was six when Yugi was born, and her parents had already cut family ties, the two had never met. They don't even know that the other exists. Yet.
MMMG: End of chapter.
Joey: At least Yugi was smart enough to pack the essentials and to not hand over the Exodia cards.
MMMG: Yep. And if you've probably noticed, I've changed the spelling on Tea's name to Téa. Yes, that was intentional.
Seto: Review and let MMMG know how you like the chapter. Likes, dislikes, spelling/grammar mistakes, questions, etc.
MMMG: See you later!