Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Echoes of Forgotten Times ❯ The Longest Path ( Chapter 3 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Disclaimer: See the prologue

Echoes of Forgotten Times
Written by Shukumei no Kagi
Notes: It's chapter three! R&R...
Warning: Yaoi, sorta deathfic.

Chapter Three ~ The Longest Path
The air was rent by that single crash.

Yugi gasped outloud in surprise before he could think better of it. As both sounds faded quickly from the air the teen was left in shocked silence. His mind raced in the stillness and he could only grasp in vain at his muddled thoughts. What could that have been? He wondered even as another realization fell into his grasp, that being the fact that the noise had seemed to come from his dwelling.

And his mother is the only one there... Yugi held that thought for a moment along with the memory of her telling him not to come back. But what if she needs help, was what he wondered to himself. His concern kept him rooted and he couldn't go further without knowing that his mother would be okay. Wanly he turned from his course toward Takhat's dwelling before moving. Even in his rush to make sure his mother was fine Yugi kept his footsteps light in crossing the neighbor's dwelling. He didn't wish to have to disturb anyone else if it could be prevented.

Yugi tested his footing carefully upon the mudbrick lest his steps be heard by those below. Yugi kept his passage over the roof as silent as he could, not caring that it slowed his pace. There being no indication that he'd been heard as he went made up for that and earned a sigh of relief from Yugi as he set his feet to the roof of his dwelling.

I made it! He thought, proud of his accomplishment no matter how little it actually was. But he turned toward the stairs without that much concern... Only to stop as he saw the dark entrance looming in wait, though in truth it should have been illuminated by the lamp set at the bottom. Yugi could only blink at the oddity as, with that realization, his former relief vanished as if it had never been.

None of what's happened today makes sense. Yugi thought with a flicker of despairing confusion even as he put aside those thoughts, instead he headed for the stairs at a hurried pace since there was no reason to mask his presence from his mother. But reaching the stairs Yugi froze looking downward within the darkness to where he could make out that the glow of the lamp still remained, only now it was dimmed severely by a thick rug of a dark reddish-purple stretched taut over the entire opening at the bottom.

Even from where he was it looked like the rug had been attached to walls in the short span of time he'd been gone. Yet Yugi walked down the steps in something akin to a daze since that rug was another thing Yugi had no clue his mother owned.

He approached the rug slowly, reaching out toward the thick fibers until faint voices from within brought him to a stop.

Not, one or two voices but several speaking too low for him to make out.

She had company...was that been why she had been chasing him out? Yugi wondered with some relief at the idea even as he moved closer to the rug in order to try to listen in to be sure. But even as he brought his ear to the taut rug a voice rang out startling him by its loudness. He gasped and jumped back, tripping over the steps behind him, ending up falling painfully against the stairs while the words spoken were just registering with him.

"Where is it, woman?! You've kept it hidden long enough, don't make things worse." Yugi shuddered at the realization that there was a threatening growl to the speaker's words.

"I don't know what you are talking about!" His mother's voice burst in not as loudly as the man's but it was still loud enough to be heard and Yugi scrambled back to his feet, not thinking this discussion sounded very friendly.

"...play innocent, Asyikin..." The voices trailed off to more of a whisper at that moment and left Yugi without a clue what was going on. Only the faint whispers reached him, there was nothing he could make out about what was being said except that the men sounded rather threatening and he knew his mother couldn't manage them on her own.

"Mother...?" He pleaded in a worried whisper, while pushing at the rug trying to get through the tough fibers that wouldn't budge under his hands, they stayed firmly in place. Let me through! I have to help! He silently pleaded uselessly until Yugi could only step back looking frantically around for a way passed the smooth mud brick walls that separated him from his mother.

Yugi ran his hands against the walls and rug, refusing to give up trying. His attention wavered away from the whispers and the sudden outburst nearly on the other side of the rug startled him again.

"I'm not saying!" Yugi's mother snarled.

"Mother?" Yugi spoke up, thinking that she would hear but his voice was drowned out by the other people that were beyond the entrance that was now denied him. He winced at the words of denial he could make out even as a new voice spoke up.

"That won't help you." The man was saying. "Give it up, it's easier that way."

"You obviously don't know me." Yugi was worried by the sudden cold tone of voice his mother had used, which wasn't alleviated by the gasps that followed the announcement. It just didn't sound right to Yugi. He had to help somehow!

"You wouldn't." That voice actually sounded rather disbelieving to Yugi's ears. "You can't be that desperate."

Yugi bit at his lip, backing off as he came to the conclusion he wasn't getting in that way. I...I have go around! Yugi thought not caring that it would be a long circle to get around to the front entrance, and he'd have to cut through Takhat's dwelling to get around there but at least he'd be able to reach his mother then.

He spun and ran back to the roof, crossing even the neighbors in a mad dash with his feet landing heavily. He was more concerned with getting to Takhat's now than whether he disturbed the neighbors. Maybe they would do something if they were rousted. But he didn't have that far to go anyway, not with how Yugi rushed to the nearby dwelling he was familiar with, getting there well before anyone could clamber up to their roof to see what was going on.

He didn't wait to head for the glowing stairwell. "Takhat?!" He called as he hurried down the stairs. "Are you here?"

"Oh! Yugi! I'm right here!" Came the cheery response from the kitchen. "I didn't know you were coming today."

"Well I didn't actually either." Yugi answered as he reached the ground floor, sparing a single glance into the kitchen at the young dark woman within. Though he was somewhat amazed to actually see her chopping up some grains on the little table inside. He was used to her doing entertainment more than anything else for the men around. "Actually my mother told me to go away." He added with a hurt soft gaze.

Takhat started at that, dropping the knife as she turned her bright though horrified gaze toward him. "She did that? What happened?" She asked with her tone going up a notch from her surprise.

"I'll tell you later, I promise! Right now I've got to help mother and she has the stairs blocked off, I have to circle around this way. I'm sorry I can't stay." Yugi apologized wringing his hands as he hurriedly backed off, getting an odd look from Takhat but he was already turning and running off.

"Yugi, please tell me what's going on?" She requested turning her full attention to him but Yugi shook his head not stopping. "Yugi! Yugi, wait!" She called but he didn't think he had time, he had to get back home right away.

He scurried through the dwelling his steps echoing his worry and frantic rush. He nearly tripped over the step to the small shrine that was set slightly above the rest of the building. He stumbled fighting for his balance but ended up collapsing to his hands and knees. The teen winced, pushing himself back to his feet and hurrying off again, dodging around furniture and heaving the door open to bolt out onto the lamp lit street.

Yugi paused to drag in a gasp of breath from the running he'd been doing but he didn't have that much time to waste. He'd spent enough time talking to Takhat already, he might be barely able to breath but he took off running again.

The sandy colored mud brick walls of dwellings formed a maze of streets that towered over him. But Yugi was thankful that he knew the streets so well. He navigated them expertly, his short legs slowing him as he went from street to street.

Approaching his own, he intended to run all the way back home but the sound of many footfalls around the corner ahead of him cut off that thought with a sudden burst of wisdom.

Yugi stumbled to stop a mere few steps away from the corner, frozen for a moment by the sound of footstep after chaotic footstep. He couldn't even tell how many people there were moving around on the stone streets. The teen slowly stepped up to the corner dwelling, peering around the corner carefully, finally catching sight of the armed men positioned in front of his dwelling. He counted there to be more than a dozen there, with a wagon carried by several slaves.

He'd seen guards before but never so many in one place, especially at his home looking for something.

She said to keep it safe. Yugi remembered finally and for the first time glanced down at the golden object his mother had deposited around his neck, actually taking a moment to realize that the leather cord held a gold pyramid. The object was clearly well kept but he'd never seen his mother cleaning it or polishing something like this.

He fingered the cool pyramid carefully another questioning thought occurring to him but it was cut short by the sound of movement on the street. He hurriedly looked back at the guards in time to see more slaves carrying a woman from the building. In the faint light from his home Yugi could clearly see the familiar white linens now stained in blood concentrated mainly around her throat, the bloody slice spreading from one side of her neck to the other. The cut even being almost being deep enough for her head to hang free from her body yet only her hair truly dragged along the ground with still moist droplets of blood rolling down the long locks with the movement of red holding¢ Yugi's gaze as they made a drying trail to the wagon.

But there were no signs of life.

"M...mo..." Yugi began to cry out as he moved, intending to rush forward to his mother's side in want to prove to himself that he hadn't really seen that.

But a hand closed over his mouth, cutting off his outburst before it even got started and he was pulled back around the corner, well out of sight before he could react.

"Yugi, you can't go out there..." A worried voice whispered to him.

He recognized Takhat's voice almost immediately and he shook his head in frantic denial, managing to turn enough to focus his tear filled eyes upon her. He just had to get to his mother! It...it just couldn't be real, he thought. He refused to believe that she was actually dead but he couldn't say that behind Takhat's muffling hand. He could only stare at Takhat, wanting her to understand that he had to reach his mother.

"Please, look, if you go out there you might end up like her. No one will want that." She choked out with her own tears glistening but more controlled than his own. It was the fear in her gaze that was more prominent and it was obvious she was trying to convince him of that. "Come on back to my dwelling before they find us."

Yugi could only shut his eyes letting his tears slip free at her words. It was real then, the body and his mother being... Yugi shuddered with sorrow overwhelming those thoughts into a pained sob, the knowledge that he should keep the pyramid safe like his mother had wanted following in the wake of the sorrow. It overwhelmed his sense and in the end he could only stumble along with Takhat, not in any position to resist. He managed to control his tears somewhat until they got back to her dwelling but everything was blurry from the held back tears.

"Here we are... you really should rest." Takhat said, Yugi couldn't really see her at the moment but he gratefully felt a bed in front of him and collapsed onto it, sobbing silently. "Oh, Yugi." He heard her sigh then felt comforting arms go around his shoulders. "She'll not leave you that easily, she was protecting you and I'm sure that she'd want you to go on without being sad."

Yugi nodded slowly, feeling more like he was in his mother's arms at the moment. He sighed without the rest of what Takhat was saying registering at the moment, all that really registered was himself passing into numbing sleep.

To Be Continued

A/N: Please read and review! Do you really want more? And thanks to Snare-chan for the suggestion that Asyikin be Mai.