Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Echoes of Forgotten Times ❯ Said the Spider.... ( Chapter 6 )

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

Echoes of Forgotten Times
Written by Shukumei no Kagi
Notes: ******* = Scene change
Warning: Yaoi, sorta deathfic.

Chapter Six ~ Said the Spider...
~
First it had only been having somewhere for him to go. Then they were here by the giant dwelling and awe swept over Yugi, even before he'd gotten a look at the inside. The entire place was unlike anything he'd ever seen, a fact made more obvious by the indoor courtyard. But the door's low, deep thud as it shut cut off the trail of occurrences with a decided firmness, had Yugi starting in surprise, his question for Bakt slipping away into nothing.

It all had been happening so fast before then that he simply wasn't prepared for the sudden stop everything came to. He'd just been going along with the flow of everything and to have that yanked out from under him like that was disconcerting. All Yugi could do was stand there with his jaw still open in mid-word, his mouth slowly forming a confused 'o' shape.

What had that been about? Yugi puzzled with his confused expression still locked on the shut door in silent question. He knew it couldn't answer him but his thoughts were grasping at anything the door might give, though all it had done was shut in a rushed finality. Yugi remembered that Bakt had said earlier that he was late for something, but he surely hadn't shown that hurry until just now.

So he must have been in a bigger hurry by now, Yugi decided. That had to be it! But Yugi sure hoped that Bakt wouldn't get into any difficulty because of that. I'll have to let him know when he's back that he didn't have to bring me here since he was so late!

Yugi turned while promising himself that he'd talk to Bakt once the man was back. Still, it was regretfully that he tore his gaze away from the closed door. His eyes went back to the entry, Yugi had looked at it before but he found himself awed once more by the fact the room was so like any other entry he'd seen. He simply had been expecting something more, considering that the outside of the dwelling was so huge!

What else could be in the place that would make it so huge? Yugi wondered as his bright gaze landed eagerly upon the door leading further into the dwelling.

He moved forward with a fair bounce in his steps, not really minding or noticing that his delight at being able to see more of the large dwelling showed. And it couldn't possibly hurt to look around more, Yugi reasoned with himself since Bakt had made no mention of anything. Though he was aware he only really had to figure out where the food was kept and where the pets were, that didn't seem like enough to satisfy his curiosity. Yugi really did want to see everything in the vast dwelling!

Still it was strange just being in such a place. The entry walls might be the same as any other but the coloration was whited to a perfection not as apparent in other dwellings. Yugi felt rather small in the midst of such clean white.

He paused within reach of the next door to let his eyes flicker over the whitened room because of the last realization. There definitely was a lack of dust and dirt to the nearly empty entry room. As it was, the only things he saw in there that flawed the absence of liveliness was a set of rugs on either side of the room, each of which were the backdrop to a pair of lamps meant to light the room. Though Yugi could only see one that was lit, yet in the emptiness the flickering light was enough to illuminate the white room. Though he wasn't so sure that there was enough wick left for the lamp to be burning much longer.

Yugi paused then walked over to the lamp as he didn't want to let the room plunge into darkness. He reached to stretch his fingers over the rim of the unlit neighboring lamp to grasp about until he managed to seize the wick used for lighting the lamps. He did have to rock onto the tips of his toes to do so and be able to vaguely see what he was doing. But once done he carefully lit the wick from the dying flame, letting the new light take over from the old as he transferred it to the neighboring oil lamp.

Yugi stepped back, beaming at the brightly burning light. "That's much better!" He said in satisfaction while watching the flame flicker, waiting in fascination to make sure it wouldn't go out. It continued to burn strongly under his watchful gaze for the moment it took him to be certain that it wouldn't go out.

Then he turned away from the light. Yugi headed cheerily back to his explorations this time not stopping as he approached the door. The large contraption easily swung open under his touch, allowing him passage and Yugi stepped into the doorway only to pause in surprise at the sight of white walls turning reddish-brown beyond. It was the first thing that Yugi had really seen that was very different from the dwellings he was familiar with, but he didn't think much about it. They are just walls, he told himself as he stepped further amongst the darkened walls which formed a hallway running past before him, from one side to the other.

Yugi shut the door behind himself to get a better look around, noting an open doorway on the opposite side of the hall but a bit further down to his right. There were also a pair of shut doors at either end of the hallway and Yugi had to pause, wondering which way to go first.

Yugi didn't think it really mattered which way he went he'd have to see what was behind the other doors later. He turned toward the left since it had fewer immediately obvious doorways, which would make it quicker to explore...unless there were more doors beyond. Yugi picked up his pace out of enthusiasm and opened the door, blinking as his violet eyes were greeted by darkness.

Yugi hesitated outside of the room to peer inside, trying to see inside from there but the layers of shadows were thick and folded upon themselves to hide any sight of what might be there. Yugi clutched at the door as he stepped forward into the room, glancing about into the darkness with eyes more attuned to light. It took a long moment for them to adjust but slowly shapes formed in the blackness.

Yugi gradually began to pick out more clarity to the shapes. At first it was only the four plain looking walls that stood out devoid of any hangings or doors. But Yugi's attention was caught by a shape along the far wall which took longer to appear from the shadowing blackness.

I think that's a bed. Yugi decided with a blink, the object had the right shape to be just that. It just was too dark for him to tell for certain... Yugi didn't know of anything else it could be.

I can just get a lamp then look here later! He commented to himself. His curiosity was in full swing, there was so much more to see and he didn't want to limit himself to one room. Yugi let go of the door with his attention turning to the open doorway down the hall. His approach to it at the same eager pace from before. He turned into the room and stopped, his eyes widening as even more awe washed over him at finding himself confronted by a brick pillar.

Yugi's gaze traced the pillar from the floor on up to the ceiling with more stunned awe filling his expression. He had already decided this but he came to the conclusion again, this place was huge! Yugi stepped further forward into the hallway, able to only stare at the pillar towering over him. Yugi figured the thing looked to be only as big around as himself, but it still held his gaze with his awe drawing him even closer until Yugi reached out to touch the pillar, feeling merely smooth cold stone under his fingers. The chill sending a shiver down Yugi's spine that had him pulling his hand back in surprise.

The teen might still be warm from the desert heat but, even compensating for that, the pillar felt *colder* than anything he was used to. Why's it like that? Yugi wondered, thoroughly confused. While his eyes were still round and wide, his awe had been replaced by his puzzlement.

Looking around for the source of what might have caused that, Yugi got a look at the room he was in. He discovered though that it wasn't a room but another hallway, only this one had a row of pillars leading toward an open space at the back of the dwelling. Yugi stepped to the side of the pillars, noting as he did so that the opening back there wasn't empty. It was filled with a set of stairs heading downward, from what Yugi could tell from here.

But he didn't see any sign of what could be making the pillars so chilly. Not in the hall, there were just the stairs, pillars and a door on either side.

Yugi paused to look between the doors and stairs before heading for the door on the left. The door being the first that stuck, refusing to budge under Yugi's weight. The teen pushed at the door, then pulled when that yielded no success. Move, please. He thought while this time putting his back into pushing at the door. Even though he was trying to open it, Yugi gasped in surprise when the door gave an audible squeak of protest before it cracked open a hair. Then the door halted with a loud thunk from the other side and refused to budge further.

Yugi panted softly as he pulled away from the door, giving up on getting it all the way open. He blinked at the door while dragging in breaths of air, working on recovering from the effort. The other doors had moved much easier for him to open. It's like something is blocking the door, Yugi thought as he leaned against the door and his violet eyes caught a glimpse of something through the crack.

Curiosity was rousted again. Despite his breathlessness he leaned closer to the crack with an eye peering through. In the faint lamp light he could make out several chairs within, though they weren't anything like the stools his mother had. Yugi swallowed hard as he thought about his mother and his hands rose to finger the golden pyramid that was still around his neck. Those at home had been stools, nothing more than that. These chair though had backs at least and were carved of a blackened wood making them look fancier than the lower class stools.

Yugi couldn't see the table that those chairs were clustered around but from what he could see of the room, he thought the table would be like the chairs. He could at least tell that the table was larger than any he'd seen before.

Yugi stepped away from the door blinking as he found the light around himself in the hallway to be brighter. He hadn't noticed the eating room was dimmer but now that he wasn't looking through the crack Yugi had to blink at the sudden brightness. He shut his eyes and rubbed at them as he tried to adjust to the light change but... What could be blocking a dining hall door?

Yugi opened his eyes to look at the door barring that path. The open crack was too small for him to see anything else inside there, it was even too little for him to get his hand all the way through. He pushed against the door a last time to see if it would move further but it remained stubbornly unmoving.

Guess I'll have to look elsewhere? Yugi sighed as he left the door, glancing at the door across from him. I might as well finish checking out this floor. He decided to himself while walking between pillars to reach the other door.

This door swung inward easily letting Yugi step through into a room. His gaze landed upon the light-giving lamp in one corner before swinging to the rest of the room. He froze as he drank in the familiar setting of baskets waiting for use. And of pottery and cookware scattered over shelving that was placed against one wall.

"The kitchen!" Yugi noted outloud, recalling this was one of the places he did have to find. Along with where ever the food and water were stored. And the pets... Yugi quietly paused biting at his lip as he wondered why he hadn't seen or heard them yet. He had never seen many pets around in the city, but he couldn't imagine them being so quiet.

Yugi blinked again, loosening his grip on his lip in favor of looking around again at the floor, searching for the trapdoor down to the cellar. He was somewhat surprised to find it against the outer wall, partly hidden under brooms and baskets as if to keep it hidden from unwanted eyes. Yugi didn't even pause in brushing the hiding items aside. The thought that there might be a reason for the trapdoor to be hidden didn't even occur to him. He just pulled the door up and gasped, surprise rushing through him as something rough scraped against his neck.

Yugi froze not sure at all what that had been. But the movement had already stopped, though the rough fibers were still pressed against the side of his throat almost as if in threat. That rough gesture hadn't felt familiar to Yugi, nor had he heard any footsteps upon the dirt covered floors. So what...had that been?

A tremble past through at the question and his eyes widened more in fright. Bakt had said there were pets here he wouldn't recognize. Maybe that could be one of them? Yugi wondered meekly as he tried to peer cautiously out of the corner of his eye, slowly turning enough to find...

Nothing... The room was just as devoid of life as before, only a coarse rope attached to a notch on the trapdoor rested against his shoulder as a sign of what had happened when he'd looked down into the darkness. Yugi realized easily that he'd missed seeing the rope but on it's way up the rope hadn't missed him.

Yugi laughed at his own reaction though his expression still showed signs of the nervousness. I'm being silly! There isn't any reason for anything dangerous to be here. Yugi told himself while his violet gaze followed the trailing rope into the darkness. And what could this be for? Yugi mused as he grasped at the rope, pulling at it to see if anything happened below him. Yet the rope gave no resistance, letting Yugi to pull whatever was on the other end up with ease.

Hand by hand he pulled more rope up, there wasn't that much that he got up before he reached back into the blackness to seize another grasp of rope. Only his hand was tickled by fibers of something softer than the rope.

And it's wet. Yugi observed in confusion, blinking for he had not an idea of what he could be holding. That moisture practically was oozing over his hand, working it's slick way between his fingers while his own grasp couldn't make it quite all the way around the object. Whatever it was squished oddly in his tightening grasp before he could pull it up and Yugi hesitated with an ill feeling at how the thing felt like a slimy bag of mud. His curiosity got the best of his reluctance though, he just had to know what that was!

And he pulled...

Bringing up a tube that was more woolly than fur. But he was face to...snout with a pair of holes at the end of the tube. His eyes widened as he stared down into the dark recesses of the nostrils, quickly becoming aware of a thick gooey brown ooze leaking from the trunk, especially from where his hand had grabbed.

Yugi peered toward where he'd grabbed and promptly gagged, appalled to see that his fingers had somehow broken through the outer layer of skin letting loose the torrent of muck which now stuck to his hand. His churning stomach was made worse by a sudden breath of air puffing up from the trapdoor opening. But it was the air escaping through the snout that caught Yugi right in the face, carrying with it the stench of rotting flesh. Flesh which Yugi realized he was currently holding.

With a loud horrified yelp the teen dropped the seemingly breathing orifice back down into the cellar. His own airways choking up with the smell that was still wafting up with the sudden breeze. It clogged up his senses, bringing up a fear as he struggled to breathe, yet fresh air escaped his desperate attempts.

Still gagging like mad, Yugi flailed out for something to help. He somehow managed to clutch the trapdoor with both hands and frantically knocked it back down into place. The closing door effectively cutting off the breeze which had been carrying in that awful odor. There was still enough of it left for him to keep suffocating on the stench. It was clearing, true, but to Yugi it didn't seem fast enough! He needed air and he needed it right then!

His chest felt practically on fire from the lack of air. Yugi covered his nose with his good hand while stumbling backward. He didn't notice the baskets piled there until he was falling from having tripped over them. His own vision becoming blurry as he tumbled, for a moment Yugi thought things had slowed down but then he crashed to the floor rather heavily and instinctively drew his legs upto his chest, trying to ease the pain going through him.

His fingers went to clutch frantically at his throat in the same instant, though just then some fresher air trickled into his aching lungs. The feel of the clean air making it's way into him got him to drag in more. His heart continued to thunder in his chest as he lay there with the freshening air slowly making it's way to him and Yugi drug it in via grateful gasps.

His mind could only focus on the wonderful feel of the much needed air cleaning out the stench. Yugi weakly continued to shudder, stilling slowly as the shock began to fade. It took even longer for his mind to start functioning, but even then Yugi was still dragging in shaky breaths of air.

Wide violet eyes locked firmly on the ceiling, dulled fear reflected in them. But Yugi hadn't really calmed totally yet, though his mind and body seemed to be working again.

Maybe I won't open that again. Yugi half-pleaded plaintively with teary eyes to any deity that might be listening at that moment. He certainly had no wish to ever take another look down into that cellar. At the moment he wasn't even sure if that breeze had been from the snout breathing or an opening down there. I don't particularly want to have to find out either, the teen added to himself as he pushed himself up to sit, staring nervously at the trapdoor.

He shuddered but then moved again, quietly pushing the brooms and baskets back onto the trapdoor. If they worked before they should work again, right? Yugi hoped so while he finished up arranging the kitchen as it had been before he'd entered.

He then beat a hasty retreat from *that* room, pulling the kitchen door quite firmly shut behind himself before stopping to lean weakly against it. The movement jarring his hand enough to have Yugi biting at his lip to keep from gagging as he felt the sticky gunk on his hand shift. That motion drew his gaze down to that hand and he shuddered at the sight of that brownish rot still covering it.

Yugi felt distinctly ill, a thing showing quite purely in his gaze and he hurriedly looked away from the rotting goo. The want to get that stuff off of himself was strong and he looked hurriedly around the hall, seeking for any place meant for cleaning up such a mess. Yugi wasn't going to muck up Bakt's dwelling just to get the horrid stuff off.

On the bright side, he noted in relief that he couldn't smell the stuff while he kept his hand rigidly hanging down at his side.

There will be somewhere I can clean this off? Yugi wondered as his gaze went toward the stairs again, knowing that was the last place off of this hallway for him to check. Then he would backtrack to that other door. While truly and utterly hoping that he wouldn't have to wait that long, Yugi pushed off from the kitchen door.

Putting aside that worry, he regained some of his former eagerness to see what was around in that place. His pace picking up a bit as he made his way to the stairs, he headed downward with his sandals making soft clapping noises against the stones. That sound drowning out another until he was at the turn in the stairs, his foot having just set on the first ledge when the soft breathing reached his ears.

It must be the pets! Yugi thought with true eagerness which had him nearly bounding down to the bottom. He had to slow as he stumbled over the hem of his kalasiris and his clean hand clutched at the walls to keep himself from falling the last few steps down past the pair of lit lamps at the bottom.

Recovering quickly now that he was nearer to seeing what pets Bakt had, Yugi looked ahead with a bright expression that nearly seemed to be glowing with cheer. That mood faltered at the sight of an unfamiliar dark metal lining each side of a hallway at the base of the steps. Confusion registered even more as the multiple thick bars of cages became more visible as he descended further. Though Yugi hadn't been expecting that, it did make him even more curious about what could be down there... And he headed right for the first cage, stepping past the corner of the wall to look within.

Red greeted Yugi's eyes, his gaze leveling with two pairs of fierce eyes. Two heads rose as one with a single body and Yugi's own violet eyes widened in shock. His mind going blank as he could only stare at the formidable double-headed dragon, its tail lashing about the cage while tendrils of smoke rose from mouths. Which seemed like too many mouths to Yugi at that moment.

The teen stood frozen, gaping, not even able to utter a sound from his slack jaw. Not that he had too, another sound cut through his own hammering heart.

"You shouldn't be here." A feminine voice spoke from behind.

Surprise spiked, his own terror getting a strangled squeak from Yugi as he spun to the speaker. He'd only time to realize that the person was in the cage across from the monster before claws rang out against metal. Yugi felt the sharp tips dragging against his back, scraping painfully on his skin even through the fabric of his kalasiris. He yelped this time in pain as he spun back to the dragon, stumbling back to collide with the other cage.

"He can't get through the bars, you shouldn't get too close though." The voice advised with a nervous lilt that was somewhat calming to the teen. Still Yugi was scared as he turned to the speaker again, stopping as he saw the woman. Or rather monster, one side cast in shadows with a demonic wing. Her other was light with a feathered wing. Her face, clothing, lightly shaded wheat hair, everything reflected those two halves.

But Yugi noted that unlike the dragon behind him she remained sitting in her corner, staring at him with obvious nervousness. "I won't." He promised with a weak smile as he relaxed more, the woman seemed nice enough to him. "Thank you for the warning."

She shook her head hurriedly in denial of something Yugi couldn't identify. "You shouldn't be here! Please get out...now." She pleaded with her gaze flickering about in fear. The teen thought she looked more like she was expecting trouble to strike at any moment.

"Why? You said the dragon couldn't get loose." Yugi pointed out reasonably though this was turning out to be rather confusing, as well as puzzling.

"You can leave, do so before Bakare comes back. You don't want to be here when he does." She stated matter-of-factly, something about her seeming to be resigned to the truth of what she'd just said. But that didn't clear things up for Yugi, it just had his confusion clear on his features and stance.

"Before who comes back?" Yugi inquired in return not sure what else to make of all that. But he shook his head since he'd given his word to Bakt. "I can't leave though, I promised Bakt to feed his pets." Yugi nodded in punctuation of that statement but some doubts surfaced as he recalled what he'd seen so far. "Though I haven't seen any yet. Or met any Bakare..." Yugi put an adoreably puzzled frown on his face as everything went back to making no sense to him. Especially when the woman's face fell to disappointment.

"Is he calling himself Bakt now?" She whispered then bowed her head, pulling further into her corner. "It must be too late for you to leave. I'm sorry, young one." She paused for a moment then added. "We're the pets he spoke of." She finished without raising her head but Yugi got the feeling she was looking around anyway.

Yugi blinked partly denying that to himself. "But you are Shadow Realm monsters, not pets, aren't you?" Yugi wasn't sure what to make of her shrug but he continued. "Bakt seemed nice, just in a hurry..." He trailed off not sure what else to be thinking, the woman sounded like she believed that. "Are you sure they are the same person?"

"They are! I'd know his names anywhere. Which isn't really a good thing." She added with her gaze darting up again toward him. "If you don't believe me, go check the door. He'll have it locked so you can't go anywhere." Yugi's stomach almost dropped at those words, she seemed honest and Bakt hadn't really told him anything about whether he'd lock the door or not. He bit at his lip staring at her for a long moment.

"I...I...he seemed nice!" He paused for a moment not wanting to believe that he might be trapped. Slowly he spoke, adding a soft introduction. "I'm Yugi."

She shook her head, not seeming to believe him, as she spoke again. "He isn't! He acts, but check the door. You are trapped here like us. Sorry for bearing that bad news but someone had to, Yugi." She stated without moving further, but her head ducked down sorrowfully not saying anything else.

Yugi trembled as he wondered what was so bad about that but he wanted to be sure that was true. "I will check! May be it will be unlocked." He suggested hopefully to her but only got her to shake her head. Yugi sighed before trying to get her to talk again. But even before he could speak she spoke.

"You'll see...if you check the door."

"What else is there..." Yugi stopped as she covered her ears, some tears slipping down her face. He didn't know what he'd done but she was nice and he hadn't meant to make her cry but there weren't any signs that she would listen to him. He bit at his lip, taking a step back and starting at the roar that came from the two-headed dragon behind him. "I'm going to check, I am!" Yugi said with a glance over his shoulder, feeling relieved to see he wasn't close enough to the bars to be in danger. "Please don't cry..."

Yugi felt some relief when she nodded but at her mouthed 'go' he turned hurriedly from the prison. His feet clapping upon the stone steps as he hurried up the stairs, his kalasiris lifted in one hand to keep himself from tripping over it as he ascended. He stumbled only once as he darted between pillars, his mind turning to the question, what if she was right? Why would this be happening?

He swallowed hard, not quite willing to believe the possibility that her words were real even as he slipped from hall to the first hall. It only took him a split second to run from that doorway to the entry, hurriedly shoving that door open. And he slowed...nervously stepping into the white washed entry.

It could be unlocked. Yugi told himself though the woman had seemed too nice to have been lying and the man had been...just in a hurry. He bit at his lip as he stopped in front of the dwelling's exit, slowly laying his hands upon it before trying to open it...

The door rattled against an unseen locked, refusing to budge any further than that.

Yugi stepped back shivering in horror as he stared at the door with his fully wide eyes. He really was trapped, wasn't he? The woman was right, Bakt wasn't as nice as he seemed!

*******

She looked up as the youngster rushed off. Why had Bakare been wanting to capture such a sweet youth? She wondered sorrowfully as she waited for Yugi's footsteps to fade away into silence. Her darker hand dropped to pick up the fist sized splinter of bone she always kept next to herself.

She silently rose as the last ringing step of the boy trailed off and she walked over to the door of her cage. Her head remained bent as she wasn't brave enough to even raise it to the empty hallway beyond. But she didn't have to, she'd done this enough that even with her eyes closed she could manage. She just slipped the splintered end of the bone between the bars sliding it to feel the locking mechanism that held her prisoner.

Or not so prisoner sometimes. She thought as the bone caught on the release and the lock clicked open, freeing her. She folded her wings as the door opened under its own will. Her feet didn't seem to touch the ground as she glided from of the cage.

Only then did her gaze drift up to seek out the stairs and she glided to them, swiftly and efficiently following after Yugi. She arrived without fanfare or sound, finding the boy tugging futilely at the outside door. From where she hovered in the entry she could hear the lock rattle, easily resisting Yugi's attempts to be free.

She lowered her head again not willing to risk not being submissive. "I'm sorry for this." She spoke, hearing him gasp as he realized that she was there. "I wish there was more any of us could do. But there isn't."

She was answered by a brief silence then she heard his footsteps growing closer and a hand laid on her arm. She hesitated, recognizing the touch for what it was, an attempt at comforting *her*. She couldn't begin to remember when was the last time anyone had done that.

"I believe you! Though...I don't know who everyone is." His innocent tone got her to look up enough to meet his violet eyes and she felt even worse knowing what would happen to this trusting little one. She couldn't fathom not actually answering him.

"I don't know everyone, sorry. But I'm Khenemet...Bakare's daughter." She wasn't too surprised by the startled, questioning noise that escaped Yugi.


To Be Continued

A/N Another chapter finished! Those of you who have read the chapter please take a moment to submit a review. Any new guesses as to where this is going? This is likely to turn out to be quite a long series.

Asyikin/Mai
Jibade/Jounochi/Joey
Harkhuf/Honda/Tristan Salihah/Shizuka/Serenity
Takhat/Anzu/Tea
Bakare(Bakt)/Yami Bakura
Khenemet/Ryou

Chapter 5
Chapter 7
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