Shaman King Fan Fiction / Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Shaman Tournament ❯ Memories Loved and Feared ( Chapter 14 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Chapter 14- Memories Loved and Feared
Much to the dismay of the media, Miranda remained hidden in the demon world she trained in. With only the quick arrival, Montoya gave Miranda her own corner of Pandemonium to train her in studies as a shaman. It was little, but enough with a small makeshift table and chair, and lights scattered in a dim glow, giving the laboratory an ominous feeling.
Miranda's sword leaned against one of the table legs and her three mortuary tablets were lined up at one corner of her study. She was fortunate to find wood strong enough to be carved into a forth mortuary tablet and worked tediously in the ash-beaten terrain Montoya, as he said, created. After two hours of precision cutting, Miranda was able to carve Tsunami's kanji into the grain of the wood with a pocketknife Montoya loaned to her.
Miranda couldn't finish it. The knife weakly went into the tablet by her hand that flashed into a pale color. Her eyes flooded quickly with tears and fell onto the tablet. She couldn't help but to bend over with her arms hiding her face and began to weep to herself on the table, the knife barely brushing up again her arm and the tablet firm in her fingers. Throughout her training with Montoya, sustaining her sanity and keeping herself alive in the time of one week, she didn't have time to think what she wanted to. Now with everything settling down, it only worked up the grief that had been held back. She had lost her aunt and uncle, Kikaita's brother whom was only a half-Zodiac, and her home just after the Battle City tournament.
What really concerned her was she lost her mother's spirit just weeks after she found it. Memories came to pass her as she tried to breathe through her tears. Nine years in the past was still as vivid as the day before if days existed in the demon realm she was forced to be secluded into. Miranda didn't realize the Death of the Zodiac was still imminent after a bulk was eliminated. But after Kikaita's disappearance, she was far beyond doubt that she would be next.
“Mommy…mommy?” A scared unfamiliar girl wandered the corridors of her home just after sundown. Her wide green eyes cowered over a plush toy in the shape of a cat as she paced carefully in the halls, slightly blinded by her unruly red bangs. She hugged her cat tightly, but it failed to give her assurance. Her legs trembled to rapidly under her and she had to collapse on her knees with the gravest of sinking feelings. She tried lean on the wall to assist herself but couldn't get the knees under her.
Since she was only three years old she was taught which Zodiacs were good to her and which were evil, but she was void of an even deeper secret the Zodiacs held since the turn of the first millennium. With the sinking feeling she felt incompatibility in the air, it was so grave she could pinpoint both Zodiacs she disagrees with inhabiting one person despite the dizziness, but she could not sense who and where.
“Mommy!” She wailed loudly while clutching her pounding heart and fell into a chill, still on her hands and knees against the wall. Soon she heard two sets of footsteps rushing towards her, one of them her mother's.
“Miranda, what are you doing awake?” Kikaita kneeled in front of her, worried brown eyes flashed just under her dark hair with one red streak pulled back in her ponytail. The one accompanying Kikaita was an elderly woman with a serious look, but concerned for the child's condition.
“Miranda must be sensing her double polar.” She said in a rickety voice. Kikaita looked to her while taking Miranda into her arms and wrapped her tightly in her while kimono. “Kikaita, something is definitely not right. A Zodiac can only fall into this condition if a person possessing the opposite of both Zodiacs is nearby.”
“Astrea, this has never happened before; and no one was due for a Virgo tonight in the Year of the Monkey.” Kikaita panicked. “Who could have brought this upon Miranda?” She clung tightly to her fading daughter.
“I am not sure Kikaita, perhaps she has the innate sense to trace out even the slightest abnormalities of corrupted Zodiacs.” Astrea said, “but now Miranda needs bed rest, she should not be up if she is in this condition. Tomorrow we will seek out any Virgo. It just might be since she is so young she hasn't been used to sensing the Zodiacs in other people. A signal so light to us might be too strong for her.”
Kikaita hesitated before making a reply. “If it was a sign of Earth I'd be able to sense it. She was fine when I tucked her in ten minutes ago, this cannot be what brought her like this.” Kikaita held Miranda tightly and stepped up, began to take her back to her bedroom. Miranda breathed weakly, even when she was taken away from where she began to feel her polar and collapsed. Astrea picked up the stuffed toy and followed Kikaita back to the bedrooms. In a dimly lit room, Kikaita returned her daughter to bed. Miranda still held an exhausted breath but tried to calm down as the blanket was pulled over her. Kikaita gave her a kiss on her forehead and turned to Astrea who just gave Miranda her plush toy.
They both left the room and Miranda still felt uncomfortable, she clutched her toy tightly, again failing for reassurance. She still had an ill feeling that made her stomach toss and turn like she did in bed. Long silent minutes passed. Then metal clashes outside briefly before the noise died again. Miranda couldn't wait until sunrise and jumped out of bed again, running down the wood floors in her bare feet. Again she felt the same feeling as before, but it became stronger. Her knees buckled under her and her voice was locked in her throat, she couldn't cry out. Miranda began to crawl to the living room; as quickly as it set on, Miranda was soon relieved of the mental stress but came to a new fear. She supported herself against the wall and kept moving forward.
She turned the final corner and she went sheet white and fell into a cold sweat. Red covered the walls and floor, red splashes of blood. Her eyes slowly tried to take in what happened in a matter of seconds. A crater that was once a window had a trail of blood that was outside for about five feet, and on the floor facing the window was the bloody corpse of Astrea.
Miranda lost her fear briefly to enter the room and fall to her knees next to a family friend. “Great Aunt Astrea!” she cried out beside her. Astrea groaned with her heart in a shallow beating and her soul still clinging to her body for only a few more seconds.
“Child…” Astrea gagged on the blood in her throat. “There is something you must know. I was waiting until you were older, but I think you need to know this now.” She raised a weak finger to a nearby table that seemed barely untouched from what happened before she came into the room. “Take that book, and flee this place. Go to your father in America, Miranda, and keep that book with you.” Astrea instructed before her final collapse in the puddle of her own blood.
“Great Aunt Astrea, where's Mommy?” Miranda begged while nudging Astrea. “Where is Mommy?!”
Miranda could still feel the warm blood on her hands and knees from that night when the grim memories came to her. But she did what Astrea told her, and took the Book of the Zodiacs. Her uncle, who was half-Zodiac, helped her understand what happened to Astrea that night but did not answer why Kikaita was gone. Now her suspicions have changed before her fight against Montoya. The wraith took her mother's soul as well as her ancestors, and it tried to come after her. One last cold sweat fell to her uncle and aunt who took care of her after her father's murder. The house was reduced to ashes, according to Montoya, and he couldn't find the Book of the Zodiacs. Nothing looked like it was removed either so it must have had burned down with the house unless it was taken before the fire. Miranda finally found strength to raise her head slightly, her arms soaked from her crying.
Unwittingly to her, Montoya watched her cry from his desk in Pandemonium. He couldn't guess what brought upon the sudden spell of tears, but he had his own to worry about. Even while his Oracle Pager was sitting blank and inactive on his desk, the name on it was clear as crystal and tried in torment to think that he read the name wrong. He couldn't convince himself, with the Oracle Pager with a blank screen he thought he could relax to think he had it wrong but the anxiety overwhelmed even him.
Of all shaman, why does it have to be him? We both hoped we didn't have to face each other. Montoya thought in a panic to himself, Damn the Great Spirit…and yet… He looked up to Miranda who just lifted her head from her arms. Montoya returned glance at his Oracle Pager sitting at the corner of his desk, the name of his next opponent haunted him from the depths of his past.
He tried to send his gaze elsewhere in the room. Montoya looked back on Miranda who seemed to have settled down enough to keep working on her mortuary tablet. After a moment, Miranda finished the tablet but slipped the blade inside her hand. She watched as a thin line of blood seeped from the crease in her right hand and held tightly in a fist. In another attempt to distract himself, Montoya rose from his desk and began to come across the lab towards Miranda. One hand slipped on her shoulder and made her jump but relax quickly to where tears just sat in her eyes. “M-Montoya?” She asked, slightly disturbed when a finger traced her face to catch a tear.
“You've been crying….” He said gently. “Would you like to talk about it?”
Reclined on his throne, the mana giant waited in darkness; hanging behind him was his latest kill from nearly a decade. His armrests have taken a beating from his infuriation to learn that one more exists. The last one that eluded me for years will meet an end at the coming of the true Shaman Fight. He thought with the torches flickering in a scattered pattern. His breath was deep, a lowly growl that could make any rational person run cold blood. Settled next to him was the wraith, still glowing with renewed energies of the ancient Zodiacs. Just two souls can produce so much power alone. They can't be from this era… He pondered.
Intruding on his thoughts, the body in the mirror behind him disappeared and was replace with a broad silhouette, the only visible part was an unfriendly locked smile belonging to the bottom half of a decrypted face. “What do have for me Kravegh?” The mana giant asked.
“My Master, the shaman we've recruited won his first match excellently.” The servant called by Kravegh reported. “And his next opponent is the Zodiac outside the city next week.” The giant's smile cracked into a grave grin.
“It's time to see just how powerful this Zodiac is, and our `apprentice' suspects nothing?” He asked.
“He does not know of us.”
“And he will not, Kravegh, he is vital to our plans of the Zodiac's demise.” The mana giant said grimly. “The fight must be made to the fullest potential, we need to know exactly how much power Yin-Yang has granted her. I don't care if we destroy him in the process, we need to know the Zodiac's peak of power before we progress further and I finally end their existence on this planet once and for all.” Splinters entered the giant's left hand while he decreed the motives. It didn't affect him at all as the skin punctures vanished under his fingers. His eyes narrowed and he withdrew back into his thoughts of the past, a strong concentration that seemed unbroken.
“Do you have any further orders, Master?” Kravegh asked after a moment of silence.
“Keep him training and add on to his Over Soul once the fight begins next week.” The mana giant answered. Kravegh's black image disappeared and the mirror restored its eternal picture of the Zodiac's death.
In the middle of Domino Park, a certain English puppeteer stalked down the path in a fury, harshly kicking at a large wooden trunk. The trunk's contents rattled with each swing of its owner's foot.
"Damn you, Yugi Motou!" Gideon hissed. "Damn you for defeating me! And thrice-damn you for injuring Aegis with your little fuzzball army!"
After a moment, he sighed, and then settled himself on top of the trunk, looking up into the sky. Even weeks later, the pain of losing his first match in the Shaman Fight prelims stung at his heart. A pair of spectral hands rose from within the trunk, and Antoni climbed up the side of Gideon's jacket, both hands resting on the man's collarbone.
And then a flurry of feathers blinded Gideon, and he raised one arm to ward off an immense, glowing light that threatened to blind him.
The light faded, and the most beautiful woman he had ever seen was standing next to him. Her hair danced around her face in a lovely fashion, and she had the deepest blue eyes he'd ever seen in his life. She wore a brilliant white dress, and from her back extended gigantic, angelic wings.
But something didn't seem right to the puppeteer. He could swear that mana was coursing along her back... But when the woman spoke, her soft, velvety voice washed such matters out of his mind.
"Gideon Balandine, you seem so troubled," she said. "I am Gloria, and my master has sent me to aid you in this time of need."
Swallowing hard, Gideon asked, "By your master, do you mean..."
Gloria nodded, and from under one wing she took a book, holding it out to him. "Written in this book is an ancient ritual, one that will grant you enough power to defeat any opponent. However, should you perform it, my master will someday come before you. You must do as he commands."
Without any further thought, Gideon slid off the trunk, kneeling before Gloria and taking the book from her. "Thank you, Gloria," he said, his voice trembling with emotion. "You bless me with this gift. I shall use it wisely." And tucking the book under one arm, he picked up the trunk by a handle and set off at a run towards his apartment.
From behind a tree, once Gideon was out of earshot, Harlan slid into view, walking up to Gloria. "You and that angel act of yours is getting on my nerves," he said.
The woman's expression turned dark and her wings exploded in a cloud of feathers as a small angelic figure appeared on her shoulder. "Put a sock in it, Leanwick."
"Well," the singer commented as he watched Gideon running in the distance, "don't you think he'll get suspicious when he reads the book and has to start calling on devils?"
"If it gets him in the master's debt, do you think I care?" She snorted, and then ran one hand through her hair. "This world's going to pot if even shamans are that gullible."
Inside the living room of his home, Yugi reviewed his deck after his first victory by a pinch. Yami came to view across from him as the cards were scattered about on the table. “Yugi, I've been thinking about our match against Gideon.”
“And I think I know what you're going to say, Yami.” Yugi continued from where Yami left off. “We can't rely on luck of the draw. I mean I had to search my deck for Kuriboh and Multiply just to get Aegis off you. Maybe we have to go about this Shaman Tournament in a different way if we're using the Duel Disk as a focus…” Yugi pulled the best cards from his deck, tripping into Slifer the Sky Dragon. Instantly he recalled where the other two God Cards went to hope that they wouldn't fall into the wrong hands. Obelisk the Tormentor went to Kaiba, he seemed content enough to have it.
And The Winged Dragon of Ra was delivered to his friend Miranda who went missing after a house explosion. The most powerful of God Monsters went to her because Mirandragon and Tsunami begged of it. Yami willingly accepted to let Miranda be the third guardian of the Egyptian God Monsters. “I sure hope Miranda's all right…” He prayed.
“I'm sure she is, knowing Marik's dark side.” Yami justified, getting Yugi to look at him. “Now that Miranda has the most powerful God Monster and the one whom would abuse its power, she has a lot of burden on her shoulders. Marik's dark side now resides as a spirit and just like me he'll need a compatible host. Only through the host can he tap into the God Card if the host allows it, and Miranda is a strong-willed girl.” He explained while remembering the Battle City tournament.
Yugi took a deep thought of it, “But still, how can Miranda put herself through this? Why would she?”
“Right now we must focus on the Shaman Tournament, a greater evil exists and it cannot be crowned the King of Shamans.” Yami changed to the focus of the matter. “We'll need to study our opponent this time so we can reduce the card count options. It appeared just sacrificing monsters itself reduced your mana faster than just summoning them like we did in training.”
“Yeah…” Yugi sighed and removed his Chimera assembly from the deck. “The Dark Magician seemed to help us a lot. Maybe we can make options around him for our next opponent.”
“We don't know just who our next opponent will be.” Yami reminded, soon the Oracle Pager sounded off.
After a bid farewell from Mako, Kaiba found it that he could relax and resume his work of his company. He had a taste of what's to come, especially from a nature spirit like Dynamene the Nereid. Kaiba's eyes bounced between his laptop and his Oracle Pager, eager for his next opponent. A moment from his sights on the company, Kaiba began searching for information about the Shaman Tournament, and all attempts failed. “This big of a tournament and there's nothing of it in any database global? Sonova…” Kaiba cursed under his breath and picked up his white Oracle Pager. It only seemed like an electrical device with no other functions except remote announcements.
All the while Mokuba has been watching the news, nothing has appeared of the shaman fights. “The Patch Tribe really knows how to conceal a fight. The news says that the orca that you were fighting near in the aquarium got spooked somehow and destroyed the stands with the waves.” He commented.
Another scan found a tag underneath the leather that held the pager to it. Official Patch Tribe Oracle Pager, copyright to Patch Tribe Shaman Commission, promotion of the bi-millennial Shaman Tournament. To prevent personal injury or tournament disqualification, please do not disassemble, dispose, or destroy the Oracle Pager. Also, we advise you not to illegally hack into the Oracle Pager, as there is a numbered keypad for your needs. If you would like to know how to change your ringtone, check your e-mail, and check other shaman status and list, please see your officiate for the codes. To see to your Patch Tribe officiate, punch in your officiate's name by key code and wait, your officiate will be with you in one hour or less. We hope you have fun participating in the Shaman Tournament, a chance in a several hundred lifetimes.
“Oh these guys must think they are so hilarious.” Kaiba grumbled at the warning label but luck changed when he found his keypad. “On a side note, the default ringtone annoys the heck out of me.” He tapped in the five numbers to Kalim's name and set the Pager aside. Now he fidgeted with the pendant that his spirit resided in, pondering how a solitary card could pull off such power; then again it was no surprise as the Blue-Eyes White Dragon is one of the rarest and most powerful monsters. “I wonder…” Kaiba rose from his desk and began to head out the door, Mokuba caught him from the corner of his eye.
“Bro, where are you going?” He asked.
“I'm going to train for my next opponent, let me know when my Pager goes off.” Kaiba replied and the elevator slid shut behind him. Going to the bottom floor, Kaiba pulled cards from his Duel Disk, the other two Blue-Eyes White Dragons. It takes one Blue-Eyes White Dragon to bring anyone down, two on rare occasions. But it will take three to bring down Yugi Motou; moreover the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon will crush him. In this tournament, the monsters are real. Kaiba thought as the elevator landed on the bottom floor to where one of his suits awaited him.
“Good afternoon Mr. Kaiba.” Roland greeted formally.
“Roland, set up my test area. I'll be there in a few minutes.” Kaiba commanded and walked off without turning back. Roland nodded and headed off in a different direction. I don't know when I'll be facing Yugi in the Shaman Tournament, so I have to uncover the next level of the Blue-Eyes White Dragons and master it. And the next level is that of the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon. He thought and entered a wide metal room, the same room of which he disabled the Duel Computer when he tested Obelisk the Tormentor.
On the observation decks, Mokuba found his position at the computer system and equipped his headphone, Kaiba's Oracle Pager in his hand. “Are you sure about this bro? Training inside Kaiba Corp?” He asked out of precaution.
“We'll see how the computers react with just one Blue-Eyes White Dragon to start. If we're still safe with the Dragon's electrical attribute, we'll go ahead with the Ultimate Dragon.” Kaiba answered and fell into a deep concentration. The technicians were baffled by the immediate entry into the training area.
“What is Mr. Kaiba doing?” One of them asked Mokuba.
“It's kinda hard to explain, but Seto is training for this Shaman Tournament and he's using the Blue-Eyes White Dragon as his partner.” Mokuba answered the best he could and they all watched Kaiba carefully. He let the pendant fall from his fingers until the chain had full length and it swung the crystal gently, soon the aura took hold and the computers sensed some activity but nothing more.
“Kisara, Spirit Form! Become my armor!” Kaiba declared and the pendant flashed, white ribbons of light looped around Kaiba and assembled the armor in coordination, the only change was the Blue-Eyes White Dragon head tucked down and merged into the chest plate of his armor. “Mokuba, computer status!” he commanded.
“You're looking good, Seto. You can pull off Ultimate Dragon no problem.” Mokuba answered. Kaiba returned focus and reviewed his other two Blue-Eyes White Dragons once more. The computers' scanners gradually escalated but kept at a safe level.
Briefly distracted from concentration, Kaiba looked back on Battle City. His determination blinded him from victory over Yugi; he lost it when he clearly had victory. The Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon faced off against the Dark Paladin. In sheer power, the Ultimate Dragon overwhelmed the Paladin instantly “No tricks, Yugi. This time your magic and trap cards won't save you.” Kaiba grumbled and quickly returned focus, “Fusion! Become my armor, Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon!” Both cards flared up in his hands and more streams of light circled Kaiba, forming stronger armor with more coverage and mobility.
The computers sparked after charts reached the maximum power in the scanners, even Mokuba had to duck behind one of the technicians. The light faded and it was finally safe to look over and through the shattered glass down to Kaiba. Them metal in the room went into a flash heat but no other damage was done to Kaiba's new level of Over Soul. Massive wings overruled the shoulders and white metal plates worked down to his talon armor replacing his feet. On each arm was one of the Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon's heads with the third on his chest. Deep breathing helped to recover from the surge to the next step, but a smile broke through. “Yugi, in this Tournament, I will take you down.” He hissed.
The Oracle Pager rang and the wings lifted Kaiba off the ground towards the observation deck. Mokuba answered the page, “Uh, Kalim's at the front door…and you have your second match notice in two weeks.”
The room was darkened, several candles were lit, and a pentagram was drawn in goat's blood on the floor. Next to it, Gideon stood on the outside, seriously beginning to question the nature of this ritual; he had stripped to his boxer shorts. On the bed behind him sat several yards of surgical tubing, a hacksaw, and a syringe of local anesthetic.
Setting the book on the bed, Gideon picked up the syringe of anesthetic. "Here goes nothing," he muttered as he injected it into the top of his left leg. After a moment, it had gone numb, and he wrapped the surgical tubing around it, tying it very tight. He then picked up the book and the hacksaw.
"'The gate of the power is sealed by many guardians. The gate I do seek to open is guarded by Sircisian, that with the ravenous appetite and the many eyes. To appease it, the thing that is its guardian...'"
One eye shut, and Gideon set the saw just below his hip, his leg quivering.
" it do I offer my left leg."
Even with the anesthetic and the tubing, he still screamed his throat raw.