Cries of the Forgotten
The crescent moon glittered on an endless, starry night with only a few dark clouds floating by.
“I can’t believe how long that movie went.” Yugi mumbled dully to himself. He proudly wore his Puzzle around his neck along with his typical school uniform.
He walked home alone, passing by city-kept trees, metal benches with gum underneath, and many stores selling brand named items. The streetlights and buildings’ neon signs of burning colors lit his path.
“Next time we should definitely look at a newspaper or something with a review…”
He and his group of friends went out to view a newly released sci-fi film. He caught someone near the plaza on his way to the theater. He heavily insisted Ryou join them. He hadn’t seen him often, and he held a theory why. He was happy a member came along in the end. Although the gang was together, the movie was excessively cheesy with terrible acting and poor effects, but they had fun either way. The popcorn was fresh, and their seats in the center were fine. Yugi didn’t know the exact running time of the movie, but he suspected the plot only dragged because of his disinterest.
He grew blissful spending time with his friends. He competed in enough tournaments, both with magic and without, and he wanted a little relaxation time. The Puzzle keeper often faced great challenges; he had plenty of obligations to withhold. He was even tested a few times with Shadow Games for his worthiness.
“I dunno what’d be worse: Playing a Shadow Game or seeing that movie again.”
He withdrew his phone from his pocket for the time. The device wasn’t the latest touch screen; it was a basic flip phone in a leather case that could only dial and text. He was given it by his family so they could keep in touch with him while he traveled for tournaments.
“That’s odd.” he mumbled curiously, the luminous screen flashing against the darkness around him. “I should have gotten a phone call or something from someone by now. We all promised to let each other know when the other got home.”
He noticed he had no bars. He didn’t have the best of service either.
Assuming that was the culprit, he searched for something to increase his height. His eyes crawled around, but all that stood were café shops with closing doors. There were no benches in sight either. Searching for anything, he vaguely spotted a crate within an ally.
“Maybe that’ll help!”
He dashed inside. The wooden crate appeared sturdy. There were only a few scratches on it, and no foul order surrounded it.
Yugi stepped on and did not fall through. He held his old-fashioned cellphone above his head, his eyes staring into the tiny screen with a Dark Magician background. The bars increased, but he had yet to receive a message from anyone.
“I guess everyone’s still making their way home. I hope they’re ok.”
He stepped down from the box and took in a deep breath of cold air. He felt great for having a little peace and quiet.
A glimpse from the Puzzle caused by the moon caught his attention. He gazed down. He grasped his necklace with one hand, the cold sensation rushing through as heat and ice exchanged spots. He closed his eyes pensively.
He may act as a hero from time to time, but he was still a teen. He craved fun days. He loved spending exciting moments with friends, but he always feared for their safety. He needed their encouragement for conquering any games in his path, yet they had been used as pawns in the past. His heart ached thinking about those earlier events. He never wanted to lose them because of him. He didn’t know what he would do if he lost them due to destiny.
He wondered if Ryou felt the same, carrying a gold pendant around his neck.
A sudden chill flooded the air.
Yugi shot his head up upon hearing an evil cackle.
“Who’s there!?” he asked bravely as he turned on his heels.
He searched all around him. He knew thieves were drawn to his Puzzle for its gold value. Despite the fear of gang members wielding sharp knives or other weapons, he stood his ground. He was chosen to solve the Puzzle, and he vowed to protect the Item and his friend who resided inside. He developed his courage from watching his loyal comrades, and he yearned to practice the same faith.
He heard boots clacking against cement.
His relaxed for a moment seeing someone he just recently departed from immersing from the shadows, a person with white spiky hair and brown eyes. Looking closer, he picked up a different aura. His friend Ryou was a gentle soul, just like himself, yet this new spirit gave off strong, wicked vibes.
His eyes widened realizing who the person truly was.
Before he spoke even a word, he felt a strong sensation tugging on both his body and spirit. An influential glow secreted from a strange, gold pendant, a triangle holding a mysterious eye in the center while encased in a gold circle. He held little chance of fighting the familiar magic off. He shut his eyes and cried out in pain. He couldn’t call out for help, for his body skidded backwards on its own and smashed into the grey wall. The impact of the shock was great.
He rebounded from the momentum and dropped to his knees and palms. He panted tiredly.
An evil laugh echoed.
Yugi knew who was around.
//Yami, are you ok?//
He didn’t receive a response.
//Yami! Are you there!?//
His mind was silent; no one was calling back to him.
“Bakura!” he cried angrily, bolting to his feet. “What did you do to Yami!?”
“You both should be happy I didn’t harm him this time.” the named man smirked. “I merely left him a game to play.”
“Yes. While he’s busy solving a puzzle box that acts like a lock on his door to his Soul Room, I can talk to you without him interrupting.”
“What!? How did you do that!?”
“That’s not important right now.”
Bakura had everything preplanned, and the sudden shock he bestowed upon the teen worked successfully.
Yugi grunted, for now he was on his own. He figured the malicious spirit was no stranger to Soul Rooms. He asked in a low but firm voice, “What do you want to talk to me about?”
“The Items.” Bakura replied, taking on a serious demeanor. “There’s a secret hidden in them that the pharaoh can’t find out about just yet.”
“What are you talking about?”
“There may be a few things you are already familiar with, such as their origin in Egypt. You know a few who possess the Items, like yourself and my host.”
“How can he treat Ryou like that? Why didn’t he cause any problems during the movie? Was it so the two of us can talk now without anyone interrupting?”
He permitted his enemy to continue.
“You certainly are an interesting host for the pharaoh.” Bakura added, recalling his first appearance at Duelist Kingdom. “Who would’ve thought little Yugi could keep the Puzzle out of the hands of common thieves and duelists? Consider this information a reward you have earned.”
Yugi’s eyes narrowed. He didn’t like how his toughest opponent had acted so observant. He ordered firmly, “Just get on with it.”
“Grown a spine, have we?” Bakura mocked openly. “All right, maybe it’s not so much as a chat as much as it is to show you something.”
“Show me what?” Yugi questioned suspiciously, raising an eyebrow for inquisitiveness while his eyes endlessly emitted his newly grown courage. “And how?”
The Ring glowed powerfully once more.
Yugi’s heart battered troublesome as another powerful strain infected him once more. His body jerked as he was violently forced against the cold wall once more.
“Wha!?” he gasped shocked. “I… I can’t move!”
His arms were glued near his sides, his back mounted behind him. He was a mere fly trapped in sticky paper.
Bakura chuckled impishly as he took his time stepping to his opponent.
Yugi proceeded with his futile struggle, grunting for any possible escape. He held no true control over the Puzzle; he could not summon any magic to free himself. He had also yet to hear from his other half. He did not know how Yami’s game advanced or if he needed any help, even it was just cheering. He could only watch as Bakura sauntered closer like a clever cat.
The tall man with snow-colored hair positioned one hand firmly on the cold wall as he leaned closer. He used his other to hold the rope of his Item.
Yugi’s heart pounded tensely. He was a statue, and his enemy was only a few inches from his face.
“Look at the Ring.” Bakura taunted.
Yugi knew he couldn’t obey the command. His heart raced as he fought for control over his own body. He earned experience through changing places with his partner, and the Shadow Games prepared his own spirit. He grunted, moving his pupils elsewhere. His pure heart battled the magic scheming him. He found he could only move his head and his features. He at once glanced away.
“Look at the Ring!” Bakura instructed angrily. He never suspected just how strong the teen had developed.
Yugi shut his eyes and bravely stayed in place. He refused to follow the order. He heightened his other senses in case of an assault.
“What… whatever you have planned… It won’t work!” he barked bravely.
Bakura had enough. As much as he enjoyed torturing souls, specifically any friends of his enemy, he must progress with his plan, least the pharaoh finishes his game. An idea sparked in his execrable mind.
“How would you feel if I went after your little friends?” he teased calmly. “You know I hold such powers to do so at this very moment. I‘ll use my Ring to envision where they are. I can summon monsters from beyond and attack them one by one until you‘ll all that‘s left.”
Yugi knew it was a trap. But he couldn’t risk those he cared about. His heart thrashed anxiously. No one in his crew had mastered techniques against a shadow monster on their own.
He obediently cracked one eye open.
His head immediately turned forward, and his eyes widened. In the back of his mind he heard faint wails. The abnormal cries progressed: They grew louder, heavier, even more painful than before.
Yugi became detached from reality. His world darkened as all he heard and felt were cries, a choir amid adults, adolescents, and even children. They sounded agonizing and lonely. The groans were conceived between torture and betrayal, torment and suffering, distress and misery, woe and grief. The weeping and mourning were ever present yet remained hidden in the background, buried from time, kept a secret from the world.
Salty water developed around large, innocent eyes.
Bakura smirked satisfied.
“Now you know, little Yugi, the great pain harbored in every Item.”
His malicious grin faded as a dreadful memory returned to his mind, a piece of time that was forever burned inside of him, a part of his old life that haunted him, a bit of him that would never settle until…
Released from his spell, Yugi dropped to his knees. Tears plummeted down his face as he wrapped his arms around his shoulders. He had never felt such deep despair before. He bore through his terrible days, yet the new anguish was nothing like he had faced before.
Though he stayed in his position, he was soon only a spirit; Yami had finally taken control. He stood up and stared at the Thief King.
“Ah, it looks like the pharaoh finally won his game.” Bakura observed composed. He had completed his mission, so he had no problem with the other spirit arriving—protecting the small teen once more.
“What did you do to Yugi!?” Yami asked directly, his tone demonstrating his attitude for no nonsense.
“I only shared with him information.” the malevolent spirit replied coolly. “Information about the Items that maybe one day you’ll know.”
Yami looked back at his partner. The teen held no physical affliction on him, but his heart was greatly uneasy. He won his game, sliding bits of an image until it all came together, forming the enigmatic Eye that lied in the center of (nearly) every Item. He never wished to place his friend in danger for a Shadow Game.
“Leave.” Yami ordered coldly, looking back at the heinous spirit. “Now.”
“Indeed, it is time for me to make my departure.” Bakura nodded, unfazed by the threatening gaze. “But our paths shall cross again. I look forward to meeting you and little Yugi once more.”
Yami watched with great animosity as the man wearing the coal-colored trench coat casually walked away. He kept his great focus on the mysterious spirit until he vanished into the vile darkness of the shadows.
Once his enemy had left, Yami turned his attention to his friend. He picked up a great ache forming in his partner. He returned to his astral form.
On his knees Yugi sobbed uninterrupted; a great pain settled into his heart. He couldn’t forget what grave emotional angst had been released from the Ring. Tears streamed down his cheeks unremitting as a pair of caring arms embraced him from behind.
His heart relaxed a bit feeling the kind gesture.
He may bear rough days, but he had his friends with him. Yami, the spirit of the Puzzle, often encouraged him in everyday activities, like plowing through dreadful class presentations.
His mind composed itself. The tears decreased. He was safe now. But his own security was a minor concern to him. He sensed his partner was all right; a friend he met through the Puzzle, one of seven Items. He reflected on Bakura’s words and actions.
“Do those who have the Items… only know pain because of them?”
He thought back to the other owners of the Items:
Pegasus and the Eye.
Malik and the Rod.
Ishizu and the Necklace.
Ryou and the Ring.
Himself and the Puzzle.
“Did any of them hear those painful cries?”
A man who longed to see his dead wife.
An adolescent whose life was predetermined and locked away from others.
A woman who may have seen unpleasant views of the future.
A teen who played host to a despicable spirit.
And a chosen bearer who was to help guide an ancient soul in an unknown destiny.
“Was that all Bakura planned? If so, why?”
The thief could have challenged him to a Shadow Game. The idea greatly spooked him; Yami was busy with his individual game while his own heart was distressed by the heartbreaking wailings. He trembled from a possible outcome.
A brief rumble rocked the teen’s pocket, startling him. Without thinking too much, he took out his phone. He saw he received two text messages. He opened the envelope icon, and his phone recognized the numbers. He read his posts. His buddies had returned home safely. They insisted to do another fun activity in the near future. They also asked if the smallest member in their group was fine.
Holding his open phone in one hand, Yugi used his other to grasp the upside down pyramid. Despite all the horrendous adventures, the group had never backed down. He was grateful for their loyalty. Whenever tears shed on his face, they supported and cared for him, wanting to see his smile.
Gathering his strength, he stood up.
“Yugi?” Yami called, curious to know if his partner was truly fine.
The small teen clinched together a fist.
He vowed strongly, “I don’t know what lies ahead for either of us, but we can’t back down. We’ve come too far and went through too much to just give up! Even with that evil spirit of the Ring, there must be a reason for his actions.”
Taking in his partner’s brave words, Yami nodded and stood up. He always feared how much damage and chaos that thief could create and has created, but his friends’ bond always pulled through.
Yugi didn’t understand the engagements behind the Thief King, or why his friend always wore that Ring. He longed for a solution, but he understood the hard work required for uncovering such a complicated answer.
He was prepared to face such feats regardless of the trials.
His heart knew he was helping a friend, one who served as a powerful pharaoh.
And he knew he could always count on his friends for assistance.
He proudly wore his Puzzle as he heartily walked back home.
In the distance an evil pair of eyes watched, waiting in the shadows for his day to avenge the cries of those elapsed by time.