You would think the gods would know better. Because of the meddling of the gods, two children would have their destinies changed.
Whether for good or ill had yet to be seen.
Ba-Ku-Ra was doing his usual daily routine. Leave the village, steal from overpaid merchants for food, escape from merchants and/or guards, and make it home to share with family.
You know, the usual.
But today was different.
Today a rare storm with actual rain would occur, so he had to cut his intake down.
At least, that was the plan.
Did anyone kill that horse that hit me?! He thought irritably. Something hard had impacted on him without warning.
When he sat up, he heard a soft thump, and a whimper. He turned around to find himself looking in the eyes of a child. A young one at that.
He had the most stunning green eyes he had ever seen. Almost like he had real emeralds for eyes. And that hair was so dark that it could have come from a noble's head.
He was also skinnier than him, which was saying something. Any child that pretty would have been sold off to the highest bidder in a heartbeat. Or kept very, very close to their parents to marry off to some rich noblewoman.
"Who the hell are you kid?" he asked finally.
The way the boy (he figured that much from the voice) talked spoke of beatings. Many, many beatings. Which made absolutely no sense at all.
You don't beat a child with looks like that. It would label them damaged goods.
"Where are you from?"
"I don't know."
He sighed. Great, the kid had no memory.
He looked at the sun, and made up his mind. At the very least, he couldn't leave the kid here. To the annoyance of his parents, he had a tendency to bring back strays. Though even he had never brought home a child with him.
"Stick with me then, and for the love of Ra try to keep up!"
The boy nodded. He seemed like the eager to please type.
Ba-Ku-Ra, started his usual ground eating lope. To his relief, the boy was faster than he looked. It only took him a minute to catch on to running on hot sand. The kid didn't even have thin sandals!
The more he learned about the boy, the more confused he became.
The kid looked like a noble's child, and had eyes greener than an a gem. He had been beaten often, and was definitely underfed. He had thin garments, which meant his parents were either poor or disliked him. And he was fast...almost as if he was used to running away.
All of it spoke of a bad house. And the kid couldn't remember his own name.
They made good time to the market. Though he didn't like calling his new...friend...kid all the time.
He noted a merchant with trained falcons for the nobles, and an idea occurred to him. He was named Ba-Ku-Ra, or Spirit of Ra (not really sure if that's true, but I read in another story it was).
Why couldn't the boy be named after a god as well?
He looked at the boy, who was only slightly out of breath. Probably from the heat.
"Since neither of us have any idea what your name is, from now on I'll just call you Horus."
"After the God of Light?"
So the kid new about the local gods. That was a good sign. He nodded, and the kid brightened up.
"Right, so my job right now is to steal food from those merchants and get as far away as I can before they catch up. The trick is to run like hell."
"I'm good at running. Which ones do you look for?"
"Normally I try to take the ones which are closest to the edge. Sometimes they're bruised, but that can't be helped."
Horus nodded. It was a sound plan.
"Can I help?"
"Let's see how good you are before we try for anything hard."
Bakura was waiting patiently. He had allowed Horus to try his own luck at thieving. If he was any good, he would consider having the kid help him. If not, then he would have some work to do before he would bring the kid back.
He heard yelling, and grinned. Sounded like the kid had his first chase!
Then he blinked when he realized that Horus was walking along without anyone running after him. With a full load of fruit and bread.
"How the hell did you...?"
"I found some dumb noble woman who took a liking to me, and convinced the stall owner that I was her son. He bought the lie and handed me more food than I can eat."
It took three seconds before he laughed. This kid was good!
"Right, I'll go steal a basket and we'll try our luck again. You are more amusing than I thought."
Horus grinned sheepishly. He wasn't used to praise.
By the time they headed back to his village, Bakura and Horus had stolen more food than even he had ever managed to get in one day.
Horus had such an innocent face that the merchants couldn't believe he was lying outright. Even with Bakura, a known thief, standing right beside him.
He had little doubt his father would adopt the boy outright. Horus was too cute to let go.
His father looked at Bakura with disbelief. Not only did he bring a child home with him, but he acted as if the boy was one of the many strays that he forbid his son from bringing back!
Then the kid turned the puppy eyes of doom, and he almost relented.
"We can't afford another brat."
Then Bakura pulled out his best gambit. Two whole baskets of food, all of it fresh.
"Horus here is a better liar than he looks. He conned six merchants of their best wares and they never caught on," smirked Bakura.
"...Fine you can keep him. But he stays with you, understood?"
Bakura's smirk widened. He had hoped that would happen.
It had been two years since Horus crashed into Bakura, and they had quickly become as close as blood siblings. Horus was a natural thief, able to move his slender body in ways that made his brother wince.
During those two years, he had filled out. He no longer looked half starved or beaten. He wore comfortable and cheap clothes, and had learned how to use knives from the best in the village.
His puppy eyed look had become the most dreaded thing in the village, because with it he could get all but the most cold hearted to cave to whatever he wanted.
Even his brother, who had developed something of an immunity to it.
Everything was going fine for the brothers...until that night when the Pharaoh's men came.
At first, he thought they had finally come for Horus. He still believed the boy had to be the son of a cruel noble, if only because of his looks.
But the men didn't even once start asking about a green eyed boy with black hair. They just started killing people without mind or reason.
Horus was right beside him, horrified. He didn't even try to use his look on the men. They weren't acting like they normally would. It was as if they were wild animals.
When they saw a few of the soldiers go into their house, they followed. They knew full well they had no chance of saving anyone. The only thing they could do was hide and pray that they wouldn't be found.
Neither of them saw the large night black cat that stalked alongside them, eyes as bright as the moon.
Bakura kept his brother from watching the horrific scene before them. These...creatures...were enacting a forbidden ritual that would forge seven mythical items of power.
Horus saw the entire scene anyway, too scared to even move. To his credit, his body refused to alert the people before them to their presence.
Suddenly, the two came face to face with a large black cat. Bakura went to defend his brother, only to have the feline's eyes bore right into his own. The knife fell to the floor, silent.
"You two have seen far too much. It is time to leave."
The cat...was speaking to them. It was Horus who put the pieces together first.
The cat purred, and laid down for them to climb on. They didn't hesitate, and soon the burning village was far behind them.
"Why?" asked Horus, trying not to cry.
"The Pharaoh was foolish enough to allow his brother to create the Seven Items of Darkness. Now the entire world could fall because of it."
"But why our village?!" growled Bakura.
"In order to forge the items, ninety-nine souls must be sacrificed and enslaved to the Darkness. Their bodies will become the Items, never to rest in peace until the foul energy created through the ritual is cleansed."
"Why did you save us?" asked Bakura.
The cat gave it's equivalent of a laugh.
"Surely you didn't think Horus fell on you by accident? I have always been watching you two, ever since I kidnapped Horus from his small room."
Bakura looked at his brother.
"I always wondered why I heard a cat purring right before I fell. That was you?"
"The old man is a meddler. He took a prophecy too seriously, which is why you are an orphan. Besides, this way Horus owes me one."
"Wait, Horus has been watching him too?"
"Your...brother...is a rare child of Light. All of the more friendly gods have been watching him since he was born. The dark ones too, if only to either corrupt or kill him."
Bastet paused. Standing before them was a small oasis, not too far from the village to return, but far enough that none of the possessed soldiers would find them.
"I will leave you two here. It is up to you how you move forward. Just know that Horus and I are always watching you two."
And with that, she vanished.
Bakura looked at his brother and said "Who knew you were the favored of Bastet?"
"Don't forget Horus," quipped Horus, grinning.
"Bah... At least this makes things interesting. What do we do now?"
Horus shrugged. He mostly followed his brother's lead when it came to the big stuff. Bakura was older than him by a year.
"Right. We need to go home just before the sun rises, and see what's left. We'll start from there."
Horus nodded. It was a sound plan.
Besides, all their knives were in the house.
Kul Elna was as quiet as a pharaoh's tomb, and just as friendly. The only indication that there had even been a village there was the scent of freshly spilled blood. All the bodies had been melted into the cursed gold.
Bakura's look darkened the more he saw. The only thing that kept him from chasing the men who did this was the fact that his brother was right beside him. If anything, Horus looked even more angry than Bakura.
"We...are going to kill the bastards," said Horus coldly.
He nodded. For now, they had to get better, stronger.
Horus had learned through Bastet that he had a unique power that few had.
Which explained why his former relatives had banned the word from his hearing. Obviously they had known exactly what he was, and were determined to keep it from manifesting.
Bakura, on the other hand, wanted him to practice as often as he could. Horus (the god) had decided to be mischievous since he stole several important scrolls from the palace, and had dropped them right on his head.
Needless to say, the boy wasn't too happy with the hawk god, since those scrolls had been hard and very heavy.
On the plus side, Horus was learning very quickly how to use his powers.
He also found a very useful trick that he practiced repeatedly. He would steal some very expensive items (without bothering to con anyone) and disappear without a sound.
Usually by landing on his brother, but Bakura forgave him every time he saw what Horus had nicked.
By the time Bakura was sixteen, the two were already well known in the surrounding villages.
Horus, for his disappearing trick and innocent seeming eyes, and Bakura for his ruthlessness. Whenever the two became surrounded by guards, Horus would escape and leave his brother to fight.
Mostly because the one time Horus had been captured, they had almost killed him in an underground arena.
One of the slave traders recognized his powers, and had taken him bound and gagged to an arena full of hardened criminals. The men would then fight using their shadow beasts, usually grotesque monsters.
Horus had his own favorites, but some of the monsters were the wrong attribute.
To Bakura's amusement, his brother had a magician type monster as his Ka beast. Maha Vialo was the perfect Ka beast for his brother, considering any spells meant to augment the beast only made it more powerful.
Horus was dragged onto the platform. The loser would be sent straight to the Shadow Realm. No exceptions.
The beast before him was huge...but it was also of the Dark attribute.
He tried not to grin.
"Dharc, come forth!"
His second favorite Ka beast, Dharc the Dark Charmer, burst out of the Shadows with a scowl. He took one look at the beast before them, and had it fighting it's own master.
Horus heard the angry shouts from the slavers, and sneered at them. Then they unleashed two other attribute monsters. He glared, and summoned another beast.
The small (and highly annoying to his enemies) beast multiplied without ending, giving him a perfect shield. He had ten of them attack one monster, and fifteen on the other. They self destructed, causing the Overseer to cry out in agony.
Seeing his chance, he tried to vanish as usual. Unfortunately, the Shadows devour all magic but it's own. So he went to plan B.
The screams of the men he killed would haunt him for days, but the poison he got hit with would usually block the memories of it with pure pain.
Probably because it was scorpion venom. The mere fact he survived the poison spoke volumes about him.
Mana was a happy go lucky student of magic. While her spells didn't always work (sometimes they worked too well and she had trouble reversing them) that never stopped her.
Though she did wonder why all her training scrolls vanished right after she had read them. And why her teacher kept trying to find the more difficult ones.
So when a black haired boy falls unconscious before her, radiating clear signs of magic, she does the only thing she could.
She takes him back to the palace for treatment.
It took her teacher a good hour to realize the boy had been poisoned with a rather potent scorpion venom. A normal human would have died by then.
It took him four more hours before he was even conscious.
"Ow...fucking slave traders."
Startled by the rather strong word, she gave him a look Mahado used on her whenever she swore out loud. (Though he would pretend not to hear if she actually had a good reason to curse.)
She couldn't see his eyes from where she was standing, but she knew they had to be adorable. Even if he did have a mouth on him.
Sensing she was there, he gave her an unamused look. She could just barely catch his eye color.
Why didn't he want anyone to know he had green eyes?
"Where am I?" he asked.
"You're in the infirmary!" she chirped. When Mahado walked in, she certain didn't expect such a dark aura to emit from the boy. Or to find him looking right at her master's Millennium Item with such anger.