Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh belongs to Kazuki Takahashi, not me.

This is written in Yami Yugi's POV.


He often dreams about the pyramids: the endless sand stretching out before him, blazing white in the heat of the sun. It hurts his eyes, the dreaming; it forces him to squint and raise a hand to his face, trying to shade this view of his homeland.

A huge shadow spreads itself out on the sand before him--the wings of the falcon embrace his form as he feels the weight of the bird settle upon him, and its sharp talons dig into his shoulder. Horus whispers no guidance into his ear this day, for he has already heard and heeded.

The falcon stays but a short time; soon he hears the flap of great wings, and the bird flies away. He catches a brief glimpse the Udjat-eye, Horus' black eye, but the sun burns on the sand and dazzles his sight.

When the darkness of the Shadow Realm closes around him, it almost comes as a relief. The light here is cool and dim, and he can open his eyes fully. But the simple pleasures don't last long--soon the battle begins, and he takes his place among the other damned.

None of them know what is to come after this battle, save Shadi. He has been entrusted with the secret. He is not here.

The others take their places, the game old and rote even before it became his recurring dream. The arrogant grave robber calls forth the first monster, and the priest counters. The two do not like each other.

He watches the entire battle, even though he has seen it a thousand times before and will see it a thousand times again. He studies each movement, each attack, each weakness that the five strive not to reveal. He does not take part himself, however. There is no need--he has already won.

One other is watching the battle. The second of the fellahin, the mad one, stands across and to one side of him, content to watch the rest contest. He offers no help to the grave robber beside him, and the thief needs none. He successfully destroys the priest's demon.

The priest traps him with magic, however, and the fey finally joins the battle. Only those three are actively fighting; the last are using their demons to defend. Their power lies not in the strength of the monsters they control, but in the farsight of their minds. On the battlefield, however, they are the weaker; and all know this.

The skirmish lingers on; it could end quickly if he stepped in, but he chooses to remain an observer. One defender glances at him, and as he always does in the dream-and did in the reality-he wonders whether she knows what he has planned. She cannot see into minds, as the other is capable of doing, but she sees the future. These two have been his biggest threat, yet by joining the battle today they have fallen into his trap. He will succeed.

The spell crosses his mind again as he watches the two fellahin tear through the priest's defenses, the words thick and dark and threatening. Even after his study of every possibility, he has found only this one-terrible as it is-to be viable.

The priest withdraws the remaining monsters, but he knows better than to think the move defeat. The priest is merely waiting for the time to make another attack. The tomb raider turns to him, and glares upon finding no opponent. Though he watches, he is not on the field, and is not a part of the battle. The thief and the fey turn upon the seers then, and their defenses cannot last against the pair. The woman falls first, withdrawing after suffering grievous wounds. Once off the field, she watches him, never again turning her gaze.

The mind-reader takes longer, but is at last brought down by the thief's demons. He withdraws, and takes his place next to the sibyl. She, never turning her gaze, lashes out an arm and leaves him unconscious. The blood from her injuries smears across his face. He has seen all this before.

Sometimes, when he is awake, he wishes to find her again and ask if she had known his plan. Her sight did not reach far, and she could not have seen the ultimate end they all would come to; yet her action fixed the last possible threat. None of them had known what would occur these five thousand years later, not even himself. Shadi might have, but he had said nothing.

With all other players removed, the fey attacks the thief. He watches their struggle intently, though he knows it is futile. He has known in all the dreams before, and he will know in all the dreams to follow. He had even known on the day it happened, though he had not been as certain.

The two are near matched, and each wound that one inflicts is echoed back by the other. When both are wounded yet still standing, the priest returns to the field and attacks. As he had suspected, the withdrawal was not defeat but a gathering of strength. Soon the fey is forced down. The grave robber stands longer, but can not hold beneath the weight of his injuries. He retreats as well.

The priest draws up and gazes at him, clearly expecting his victory to make him worthy of battling the Game King. The priest, still strong, is a danger. He has no choice but to fight--he must weaken him.

He takes his place on the field and sends the same monster as always. It is blown away by the priest's magic, but he remains unfazed. It has happened before. He forbears.

The priest is arrogant and confident, and he has reason to be. He is the strongest opponent here, to him at least. Their battle is strained, and he takes injures that he did not want.

But he wins. At last, the priest withdraws, his pride and demons mutilated, blood beginning to pool at his feet. He refused to surrender until his life became at risk.

All the other players have been severely weakened, and he, though wounded, is still the strongest. It is time.

He sends a silent prayer to Maat, asking that his judgment be true and effective. Then he begins to chant the words, and completes the section to seal the Shadow Realm before they realize the purpose of his actions.

The priest, bleeding and astounded, only watches him at first. The mind-reader remains unconscious. The sibyl continues to gaze at him, her expression unchanging. The fey laughs, throwing his head back so the sound spreads out all around them. It travels on until it disappears--there are no echoes in the Shadow Realm, for there is nothing to echo from. And the tomb raider struggles to his feet, and begins to run toward him. His chanting does not pause.

The priest jerks on his feet and stalks toward him as well, but is stopped by the sibyl. It is a statement to his weakness that she manages to deter him even a moment; if the priest had not fought so hard with him, nothing would have stood long in his path.

The tomb raider lunges at him, but he has completed the second part of the spell and all are frozen where they stand, held in place by the magic.

Before he can begin the third and last section, Shadi materializes beside him. There is a cloth bundle in his arms, and the Guardian lays it out at his feet. Though he does not need to look down, for he has long ago memorized every Sennen Item there, he gazes anyway. Seven golden objects lay upon the cloth, each crafted by Shadi, and the Guardian slowly picked up one shaped like an eye.

He focuses his gaze upon the mind-reader to his right and chants the final words. There is a glow, eerie in the dimness of the Shadow Realm, and light spills from him, enveloping the other's body. The mind-reader fades, and the light enters the eye. It gleams for a breath, then becomes dull again. The body disappears.

"What have you done?" asks the priest, his voice thick with shock and anger.

He ignores him and focuses his gaze on the sibyl as Shadi picks up a golden tauk. She only watches him with her dark eyes as the process repeats itself, and her soul is locked away within the item. With her powers and soul removed, the Shadow Realm devours her body as it had the mind-reader's.

The rest, though they are still held fast by his spell, do not promise to go as quietly. The priest glares down at him, the strength of the servant of Ra's magic contesting that of his own. Shadi's hand hesitates over the objects, before picking up an ankh.

He stares at the priest as he chants, and he can feel the man's magic resisting his own at first. But the priest is weaker, and he prevails. It takes longer for the light to overtake him, however; and the Item glows for a greater time once it is sealed than the first two had.

He gazes at Shadi after this, but the Guardian gives no answers, instead only picking up a golden rod.

He turns his gaze to the fey, who watches him with a smirk on his face. This one is resisting too, but not to the extent that the priest had. He is sealed away as well, the madness never leaving his eyes.

He turns at last to the left, and the tomb raider glares at him with murder on his face. Shadi lifts an ornate ring from the cloth. The thief eyes it, then the other items.

"How foolish of you, Pharaoh," he says. "When I've taken all those, I'll have more power than you can dream of!"

He chants the spell, and the thief fights hard to remain alive. At last the light takes him, once he has been greatly weakened. The ring glows briefly, then begins to point to the Items upon the cloth.

"What is this?" he asks. He cannot move either, but he may speak.

"The Items will echo their powers," Shadi answers him. He sets down the ring. "This will be capable of the thief's talents, and able to find other objects. It may do more, I know not." He waves a hand over the objects. "Because the seers did not fight, their items will be weaker and hold only their powers. The rod will have the madman's gift for charming others, and will most likely be a weapon of sort when needed. The ankh will be holy, and know others' hearts, as the priest could."

"The other two?" he asks.

Shadi holds up a scale. "With this, I judge those who will bear the items in the time to come." He sets it down next to the ankh. "And I shall use that to find them." Then the Guardian picks up the pyramid, and hands it to him. "This is your fate. The others have already gone to theirs."

He wishes to escape this, but the only way to end the rampage of the monsters upon his Egypt is to remove all who dealt in the Shadow Realm. To save himself is to undo all he has wrought.

He gazes at his hands holding the object, which he realizes is a puzzle. Shadi's sense of humor is curious. He chants the spell for the final time, feeling the heat of the light envelope him. Then it is as if he disintegrates, and darkness more black than the Realm wraps him close. He is last conscious of a sharp crack as Shadi breaks the puzzle.

He knows not how long his entrapment lasts while he suffers it--that darkness and the silence that follows becomes all. When he was freed for the first time, he knew not who he was. The silence removed his memory.

The dream ended there, with the quiet.