The Dark One and the Forbidden One
Chapter 39The Dark One and the Forbidden One
Atem had to admit he was expecting more when he reached the Thieves Hideout. He wasn't exactly sure what he was expecting, large hundred foot tall monsters, darkened clouds and lightning maybe, though that would be extremely out-of-place in the middle of the day in Egypt, but he certainly didn't expect a bright sunny day and nothing in sight when he reached Kul Elna.
It made him nervous.
He knew what he saw wasn't a mistake. Everything he leaned from the Books led up to this one battle, and yet there was nothing.
"Search the place. At the very least the spirits should still be here. Perhaps they are still in the middle of summoning the creature of darkness. If we can seal him before he awakens we may not even need much of a fight," the Pharaoh said hopefully, though he summoned Kuriboh and Kings Knight anyway. The others followed his lead summoning their own spirit monsters only Mana and Mahad summoned their Ka.
They were careful to stick together throughout their search, no one relished the thought of the spirits finding them alone. They left their horses outside of the village where they were safer, no one liked the idea of being abandoned here and forced to walk back either.
As they walked though the village Mahad's Ring began to pick up hints of activity, though each time they found the source it was gone.
Kuriboh was the first one to find the basement of a collapsed building that the spirits hid in. Being a dark, fiend creature was very helpful when searching for other creatures of darkness, they tended to have a talent for it. It also didn't hurt that there were about twenty of him on any given street. Kuriboh's ability was extremely useful. Though Atem wished that Mana would stop it with the cute overload she was showing. She had decided that as she was supposed to protect the Pharaoh it was her duty to keep one of the Kuriboh with her at all times... and as none of them were fond of the idea of being on the receiving end of one of her hugs they tried to avoid her. Of course Atem kept one of them with him at all times so she just decided to use his.
Atem couldn't help but wince every time he looked at her and saw her squeezing a part of his soul so tightly he could sware it's eyes were going to pop out. And yet a part of him could almost feel her hug, and he didn't mind in the slightest. It made him sure that there was something very wrong with his head.
As they approached he sent a Kuriboh in to see what was going on. What he saw there made him quicken his pace. They were indeed using the portal to bring Zork into this world, and from the looks of things it wasn't going to take much longer. He intended to go straight in when they arrived but Mahad held him back as the others went in first, only after the guardians made it down did Mahad let go and allowed him to follow. Atem forced himself to be grateful and entered the basement with Mahad, Mana and Shimon following behind. By the time they reached the others the Spirits had already begun to fight them off. Learning from the last time they didn't bother trying to fight them themselves, and rather used the Spirit monsters to do so instead. They attempted to get closer to the stone the Spirits worked harder to keep them away. None even came close to touching the Pharaoh but Seto had a pretty good scratch down the side of his arm and one of them had managed to grab a hold of Mana, causing a Kuriboh to give it an explosive headbutt forcing it to release her. The Pharaoh kept Mana very close to him after that.
"This is not working." Karim called holding his chest from a hit on his spirit monster. "If anything they are driving us back, not the other way around.
"We have to stop them!" The Pharaoh replied as his King's Knight got a decent hit on one of the spirits, not that it made much difference though. "We cannot let the free that creature!"
Suddenly the whole room seemed to shake with the sound of laughter.
"And you think you are strong enough to do that? Little Pharaoh." A voice rang bold after the laughter. Atem froze, they were too late. The laughter began again as the shadows grew.
"How dare you insult the King of Egypt! Show yourself you coward!" Seto called back the creature was already beginning to push his berserk buttons.
The laughter ran louder and the shadow darkened, the portal to the world of shadows seemed to glow, though no light could be found. It was enough to allow them to see at least.
Suddenly the spirits fled, all flying at them in an attempt to get to the exit behind them. As the guardians moved to protect him Atem could only stand in shock at the familiarity of the seine.
As a child he saw them as animals, his frightened young mind unable to handle the truth behind what they genuinely are. When he'd grown stronger and wiser he saw them as they were, frightened men, women, and children running from a fate that should not have been theirs. Now he saw them as they really were, cruel, tortured spirits drowning in their hatred and unable to be free from their need for vengeance.
And what they fled from was crueller still.
The earth shook and the roof above them began to collapse. There was no time to escape. Their only hope rested with the strength of Mahad's magic shield, which was strong enough, for this purpose at least.
Mana clinged to Atem as the rubble fell on top of them. Mahad lowered the shield when the dust began to settle and their spirit monsters worked to create a way to get them out of the pit they were now trapped in. Shields were simple magic, but creating a shield large enough for them all and strong enough to hold of a falling building had taken more energy then Mahad liked.
When they finally made it out the laugh began again.
"Foolish mortals, you think you can stand against me! I created the shadows in which you hide, I CONTROL THE DARKNESS!" The creature called out as they turned towards him. All but the Pharaoh were almost frozen in shock and fear. How was one to stop a creature a hundred times the size of any of their spirit monsters. The creature seemed invincible.
The Pharaoh however did no such thing.
"Take a good look Zork, we are not hiding!" He yelled back at the creature. He told his monsters to distract them while they dug out the tablet.
The others responded to his confidence and gathered up the courage to do the same, Mahad summoned Shadow Ghoul to aid his Illusion Magician.
Zork was not hindered in the slightest, he destroyed three-fourths of the Kuriboh as well as one of Shada's monsters in one blast. Even Kuriboh was unable to protect the other monsters.
"This is not working!" Shada said as he knelt to the ground clutching his heart in pain.
The Pharaoh knew he was right when he felt the loss of his knight. Mana dropped the Kuriboh she was 'guarding' and knelt beside him. At this rate they wouldn't even have time to find the tablet, let alone cast the spell.
"Karim, give me the Millennium Key." Shimon said suddenly reaching out to the guardian.
"What?" Karim asked, but did as he was told.
"What are you doing?" Atem asked standing up again with a little help from Mana and Seto.
"Buying time." He answered and closed his eyes using the power of the Key. It took a moment for that to sink into the Pharaoh's mind.
"No!" He yelled causing Shimon to look at him. "It will not work, he is to strong you cannot beat him, all it will do is put a strain on your body."
"It will give us enough time to seal him." Shimon replied and continued anyway.
"No, it is too risky. He will destroy you!" Atem argued, Shimon didn't reply, he just continued. The Pharaoh could see he wasn't going to convince him, and if he couldn't convince him he was going to force him.
The moment he moved Seto knew exactly what he was going to do. He made a split second decision that he wasn't proud of, but knew was necessary. He restrained the Pharaoh.
"If he can hold it off we have to trust him, your Highness. It might be the only way." He had no idea what Shimon was going to do, but he seemed confident it would work and they needed all the help they could get.
"No!" Atem screamed. Trying his hardest to break out of the stronger man's grip. "You do not understand! It will kill him!" His struggles were worthless Seto had a good grip and wasn't letting go anytime soon.
"And if we do not stop this creature we will all die." They understood the Pharaoh's pain. Shimon was easy to get close to, and the Pharaoh had grown up with them man all his life. Shimon had been the young Prince's friend before Mahad had even arrived in the palace. He'd grown up with the man, Shimon had taught him almost every thing he knew.
The Pharaoh only struggled harder. A five-pointed star began to form in front of the vizier, and the Pharaoh got desperate.
"Kuriboh!" he called to the monster Mana had dropped. Kuriboh perked up and made to finish what the Pharaoh could not.
"Mahad!" Seto called, as Mahad was the one closest to it now. As well as probably the only one who could stop him.
Mahad looked torn for only a split second before common sense won out over guilt. He created a force field around the flying creature, with the unfortunate effect of it running straight into it. It tried to multiply and get out, but the shield was too small, and it could not multiply outside of the shield. It was trapped.
The look of pure betrayal on the Pharaoh's face was torture, but he knew it was the right thing to do. Tears began to spill from the Pharaoh's eyes as an enormous creature tried to make it's way out of the pentagram. Atem stopped struggling, and Seto let go of him, when the creature reveled itself completely.
"Exodia, stop the Dark One! In the name of the Great Pharaoh, and all the Pharaohs who came before! Protect this land!" Shimon called out. The creature moved to obey. "Now, you must find the resting place of the Millennium Items! I can only hold him off for so long." He gave the key back to Karim and turned towards Exodia.
"But we need you." Isis said, knowing full well that in order to control a creature this powerful Shimon was going to need complete concentration. "All the Millennium Items are needed, you have the Eye."
"Yes, all the Items are needed, but it matters not who holds the Items. There are eight of us in this company." He said pulling out the eye.
"What do you mean?" Karim asked, Shada didn't answer. Not verbally anyway. He looked away from his Ka long enough to throw the eye before returning his gaze.
Mana let out a slightly surprised sound as she struggled to catch the golden eyeball tossed in her direction.
"Go, now before it is too late!" Shimon ordered Atem, with an authority in his voice they didn't know he had.
"I-I" Atem knew what was right... but to leave him seemed little more than condemning him to death. Not that staying was much different.
"Go." Shimon gave one last order. Atem closed his eyes not bothering to hide the tears and obeyed. Running off to where the tablet should be without looking back . The others followed leaving Shimon to concentrate on controlling his monster.
"You fool! You think you can defeat me, just because your monster is bigger! Fine then you shall be the first to DIE!" Zork growled out as Exodia came at him focusing all his energy at Exodia just as Shimon had hoped he would.
"Exodia! OBLITERATE!" Shimon yelled as his Ka began to fight.
The rest of the monsters just backed away from the fight, now only the Ka were left as the others summoned their own Ka rather than another spirit monster. It was far more dangerous to use their personal Ka rather than a another spirit monster, but do to it still being attached to a Ba, or a human soul, it was more effective to use your Ka. They were stronger when connected to their master.
Mahad was able to identify where the tablet was despite it being buried under rubble. They were able to use their Ka to get it dug it up.
She knew this is serious and the world will be destroyed if we fail, and the mood Shimon's summoned monster still hung heavily in the air... but Mana couldn't help but smile when she saw about ten Kuriboh floating passed her with a large chunk of building in tow. And as a part of her soul Dark Magician Girl openly laughed, betraying her feelings to the others. No one commented, thankfully, though Mahad did roll his eyes a little.
Finally the tablet was uncovered and the guardians, and Mana, were in position. The Pharaoh climbed on top of the giant stone tablet and the guardians, except Mahad and Isis who's Items were around their necks, pointed their Items at the Pharaoh. Mana followed their lead, rather excited to be apart of the group, though a little sad at whom she was replacing. The Pharaoh began to speak, though none of them could understand what he was saying. She wondered if he had the spell memorized, that would take a great deal of effort. It made her feel bad, her nonmagical friend could cast better spells then she could. As her thoughts ran off on her the eyes on the Items began to glow and circle formed under them and she watched transfixed as what seemed like an invisible hand began to write on the circle in a language she didn't know. Perhaps it was the same language the Millennium Spell-book was written in.
"Mana! Pay attention!" Mahad barked at her, and her attention went back to the spell. When the writing appeared all the way around the circle the wadjets glowed brighter and began to connect with each other, shooting a line of light at the Item across from them and bouncing it off onto another one to create a six pointed star. The Eye was the last Item to be touched by the light and connect it with the others... except it didn't seem to want to connect.
The Pharaoh's eyes snapped open for a split second in surprise before concentrating harder unable to find the problem.
Mana got scared. What if it didn't work? What if it didn't work and it was all her fault? Was it because the Item didn't belong her or because she wasn't strong enough? The whole world was about to be destroyed and it was all her fault.
The terror on her face must have been evident because Mahad called her name.
"Calm down, Mana, it will be alright," he told her reaching his arm to touch hers. She looked at him.
"But I..." She trailed off, before looking back to the ground unable to look him in the eye.
"Mana, look at me." He ordered and she did her best, though she still avoided looking him in the eye. He gave a small sigh. "Mana, I believe you have every potential to be just as powerful of a Magician as I am." He grabbed her arm gently, not moving from the spot he was in. "That is why I am so strict with you, because you have that potential. You cannot lose faith in yourself. I take special interest in your lessons above all the rest because I trust that one day when I am not around you will be able to protect our king. It is a task I would entrust to no other, you know that."
"Is this really a good time for this?" Seto called out to them, Isis shushed him. "What?" He asked but no one answered.
"But I-I" She stuttered ignoring Seto.
"You are young, and still learning. You do fail a lot of your spells, but in every failure I see the potential for strength. You just have to concentrate and trust in yourself."
She finally looked at his eyes and saw a gentleness she'd never seen in them before. A tear slipped from her eye and she closed her eyes concentrating her hardest in getting that light to connect with the others. She knew when it had, she could just feel it inside her mind, she opened her eyes in excitement as the circle under their feet rose up and encircled the six pointed star. When it connected, the Ka of all those that created the star circled around Zork as Exodia wearily moved out of the way. The Ka pointed their weapons at Zork who was being distracted by the near endless amount of Kuriboh surrounding him thanks to the large amount of time Kuriboh has had to multiply while the spell was being performed. The same beam of light that bounced around the Millennium Items did the same with the Ka's weapons, from Spiria's hands, to Illusion Magician's staff and continuing until it reached Dark Magician Girl's staff. Mana was pleased when her magician was able to bounce the light back perfectly. As the light connected all the Kuriboh scurried away, so that they did not get caught in the bindings.
Zork could not escape the bindings. He tried desperately to free himself in vain.
"What!" He called as he looked back at the humans he'd neglected to monitor. He knew this spell, it had sealed him in the first place, but that wasn't possible, these were mere mortals. They cannot command the power of the gods!
The Ka dragged him back to the stone tablet as the Pharaoh and the others moved away from it. He tried to resist but to no avail. It just wasn't possible, he looked at the at the Millennium Puzzle, an object of his own power, that was hanging around the Pharaoh's neck. It couldn't be, was this tiny mortal the one destined to kill him. He wasn't even impressive when compared to his own kind, let alone compared to the gods. He couldn't be, and yet he was still being dragged to the tablet by the spirits of the Pharaoh's followers. Determination flared in the Dark One, he would not go down by this mortal!
"DIE!" He yelled as his dragon head, being unbound by the circle, attacked the Son of the gods.
The Pharaoh didn't even flinch at the attack, easily placing all his faith in the two magicians on either side of him. Instinctively they stepped forward to shield their king, their best friend, from the fiery blast. The attack was strong, stronger than anything they'd defended against before.
But they were stronger.
The two magicians and their Ka were able to block the attack, and the temperature around their friend didn't even rise.
"NOOOOO! THIS IS NOT THE END! I WILL BE BACK! AND I WILL DESTROY YOU!" he cried as they sealed him back into the shadows.
For a moment they could only stare at where the Dark One had gone, as they had done with Bakura previously. And as before, Atem was the first to move. He placed a hand on Mana's shoulder and smiled at her.
"Good job." he said.
She gave an excited laugh and hugged him.
And now he knew exactly how Kuriboh felt.
A/N) Almost done! I'm excited. ^_^