Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Echoes of Forgotten Times ❯ In a Blink of White ( Chapter 9 )
Echoes of Forgotten Times
Written by Shukumei no Kagi
Notes: I decided to get out one more chapter for Christmas and then take a break until the new year. That doesn't mean I won't mind reviews. Please do read and review.
******* = Scene change
Warning: Yaoi, sorta deathfic
Chapter Nine ~ In a Blink of White
This was the coolest time of day, be it out in desert or in the city. Which was mainly because the sun wasn't all the way up into the sky yet. But the daylight had been out long enough to warm the night chilled air. Bakare knew that perfectly well, especially with how the slowly warming air around him wasn't burning like it would be later on. It was a reason why he preferred to be traveling at this time of day. Still, it wasn't something that kept him from swearing outloud as he reached the market.
It had been no trouble navigating the other streets, where practically no one had been around at the moment. Only the rare woman and child had graced the streets, the lack of people having only briefly caught Bakare's attention as he'd passed. But here he found himself faced with people lined up practically shoulder to shoulder as they bustled along, nearly a living wall as they bunched around the vendors of their choice.
"Damned bunch of sheep!" He swore in a vengeance that was lost on the those around him. They were too busy to even notice his features twisting into scowl as he eyed the crowd that was nearly mobbing the street he wanted to be on. "Did everyone have to have the same idea?" Bakare questioned coldly, more to the air, for his words were swiftly lost to the chattering of the masses. Not a single person heard him, or the venom that his tone practically dripped with.
Which was fine with Bakare, he didn't want to deal with any of them either. He'd spent enough time dealing with idiots since leaving the runt trapped back at the dwelling. First Mariku, or whoever he was really, telling him to hurry up and add the Pharaoh's look-alike to their collection. Mariku didn't seem to realize as Bakare did that there could be better uses for the kid. No matter what Bakare thought the boy could be used for, his 'partner' seemed set in his decision of what to do. Something about finding a feather.
That hadn't helped his mood when he'd been sent off to travel from city to city searching for this feather Mariku had claimed to have seen being sold.
Bakare growled to himself suddenly, his annoyance mixing with determination as his eye was caught by a gap in the wall of the midmorning crowd. Bakare moved for the opening, promptly knowing that he had no intention of waiting around while the mass of people sorted themselves out enough for him to get through! He vigorously shouldered his way into the gap, not caring as his feet stomped down on someone else's toes. But he felt more satisfied when his elbow 'accidently' made contact with someone's stomach.
Judging from the groan which sounded from the person, he'd gotten in a rather good hit. Bakare smirked widely in satisfaction as he moved on, unwilling to even consider putting up with more idiots that would be out in this mess. He didn't even hesitate in weaving his way between a couple. His eyes landing briefly on the pouch the male had on his belt. He couldn't resist giving both a good push away from each other, knocking the pair further apart. The distraction letting him liberate the male of his bulky looking pouch.
Bakare calmly moved out, now feeling somewhat better as the two protests rang out behind him were nearly music to his ears.
Just more idiots, he noted with the smirk firmly in place as he hefted the pouch briefly to test the weight. Whatever was in there really wasn't very heavy but Bakare decided to see what was in there later. Right then he wanted to get further away from the people he'd just swiped the pouch from, not considering himself foolish since it was a necessity that he be out there. But the other people...
I wonder how long it will take them to realize their money is gone. He wondered to himself with a chilly laugh. He suspected it would take some time, plus he doubted that either of them would think it was he who'd taken the pouch. With so many people around it could have been just about anyone.
Even as he thought of those people they began to converge, closing in around him again. His laughter being swiftly cut short as he realized that another wall of crowd was forming rather solidly before him and Bakare had to halt his forward progress with less than delight at the fact. His eyes flashed coldly in plain hate of those around him.
He was beyond disliking how they were crowding in like that, clearly oblivious to those like himself that actually wanted to get their business done and out of there before the day got any hotter.
Bakare stood still for a long moment, not moving an inch as he scowled at the backs of those waiting around in front of him. Silently and slowly he started to count toward ten. One, two... And if they hadn't moved by the time he finished counting Bakare promised himself that he could take drastic measures. Five, six... He stopped counting as he thought of the things entailed by drastic, bloodied people, lots of injuries. Right then and there he realized that, for one thing, he didn't want to wait, and secondly it would be more entertaining to take action.
Bakare smirked again, looking rather victorious already though he hadn't done anything. It would be easy for him considering the intelligence rating he was giving those around him. That was the only sign he gave before sweeping his foot out, knocking the feet out from under one of those shifting people ahead of him. Bakare set his foot back down, watching as the guy grabbed at the person in front of him to keep his balance. But the white haired man reached out, pushing the off-balanced victim roughly forward.
A startled cry rang out as the man fell the rest of the way forward, this time taking the person in front of him down as well. The pair landing heavily on the ground with a pair of matching grunts which Bakare didn't even wait for them to finish. He plodded past them, walking over the second guy actually, which drew a satisfying crack of bones from the prone form along with a cry. Bakare chuckled without pausing his brisk pace though he couldn't resist a parting shot. "Whoops... You two should be more careful. I almost didn't notice you." He advised with a haughty sneer down at the two before glancing forward and giving a frustrated cry as his path was blocked by a solid gathering of people around another vendor.
He had not planned to wait before and he most certainly wasn't going to wait now!
I...am not going to pause for these fools. He thought cruelly without hesitating in the slightest, he didn't even stop walking. "Out of my way, pigs." He muttered while starting to shove people to the side in order to pass, not paying any attention to the yells of protest that both his words and actions caused. They could complain all they wanted, but he'd been careful to not do anything visibly wrong thus they wouldn't be able to take any major actions against him.
He chuckled as he used his shoulder to make his way past another. Bakare was leaving that one behind as there was one voice that rose up over the rest and he had to take note of that.
"If you are having problems, there is no point in taking them out on these. Some of my patrons aren't as forgiving of such treatment, unlike some."
Bakare snorted as he heard the warning spoken by the vendor, not agreeing with that a bit. But he turned anyway, intent on countering such a notion. He just stopped before saying a thing, startled to find the strange vendor looked rather familiar to him. True, dark hair wasn't unusual in this area but he felt like he'd seen the young man around somewhere...though he thought that it had been a while since he'd seen somebody like this guy. When could he have seen those calm features with a mysterious gaze before? Hadn't he last seen them...
Kissing Khenemet! And after realizing that it didn't take Bakare long to remember just who he was. Mekhu!
"I take it they'd probably prefer your kisses. Better them than others." Bakare countered with a sneer, his eyes narrowing dangerously at the memory. Part of him wondered if the presumptuous fool even remembered Khenemet. He didn't dare take the thought further, he already would have liked to be throttling Mekhu again for just managing to catch his attention again. But Bakare started to turn away, refusing to give the people any real reason to turn against him. Only his attention was caught by a flicker of white in one of the baskets that surrounded Mekhu.
"What?" He questioned loudly, wildly snapping his gaze back toward the basket as he wondered if that might have been what Mariku had sent him off for on this chase. He had to find out! That much was for certain as he promptly shouldered his way to the front of the crowd.
"Hey! Wait your turn! I was wanting to buy something!" A female voice protested as he shoved the front person back behind him to get a better look at the flash of white that had caught his attention, realizing the thin fluff of white was the tip of a feather. The sight having him dropping to his knees quickly next to the basket. "Shut up!" He said over his shoulder toward the woman who had spoken, not even bothering to look. He instead began to rip the ribbons and yarn out of the basket to uncover the feather. He just scattered the unwanted things around on the ground, leaving the strewn there without noticing them. He didn't even notice how Mekhu was quietly watching his actions without protest or expression.
Bakare finally yanked the last roll of yarn from the basket, only then stopping with his fiery glare locked upon the large white feather the lay in the bottom. The pure white glistening brightly in the sun like it had it's own unwavering light. Bakare brought his hand to the feather, not having to touch it to feel a faint flutter of power that indicated to him that he must have located exactly what Mariku had told him to find.
"Finally..." He muttered, hiding most of his relief while tossing the black yarn over his shoulder.
"Ah, the feather. It might be a bit...expensive for one of your tastes." Mekhu's cool voice spoke. Though the phrasing sounded more like an insult to Bakare but he just snorted, glancing up at Mekhu. He wasn't concerned about how much the damned feather might cost. He could afford just about any price especially since he could steal the damn thing later, but he didn't particularly want to wait to come back here.
"I doubt that." Bakare said while smirking at his own thoughts. He dug out a chunk of gold, probably more than Mekhu had ever seen before, Bakare just had to think the insult before picking up the feather and shoving the gold into the basket to replace the feather.
"That should be more than enough." He stated as he rose back to his feet, smoothly turning away.
His mood quickly evaporated upon seeing the crowd packed around area again, effectively cutting off any hasty retreat he could have taken.
"Bah." He muttered, he might not think much of the obstruction they presented but he still silently grumbled to himself at the pace he'd end up setting. He was still swearing under his breath as he began shouldering his way through, now planning to disappear further into the crowd before anyone could react to his passage.
Now he could go inform Mariku that he had everything. Then he could try again to convince the man that there were better uses the runt Yugi could be put to.
Joy, another person for him to listen spilling nonsense. If it hadn't been for Mariku having so many connections....
Mekhu plucked the gold from the basket without his gaze leaving the retreating white hair until it was lost in the crowds. He calmly turned without rising, picking up his pouch that he kept hidden behind himself. His fingers skillfully untied the fancy knot the held the dark pouch closed with a practiced ease while keeping the pouch hidden from prying eyes. People around there might not see many of high standings but he was aware of the fact that anyone would be able to recognize the linens of the sack as only fit for someone of higher standing than a street vendor.
He couldn't let that knowledge get out to anyone.
Mekhu placed the payment Bakt had left behind into his pouch without bothering to examine the chunk. He knew it was real without having to look or test the weight of the piece. With that done he wrapped the ties around the opening and pulled the pouch shut, his hands quickly tying the sack closed with the same practiced ease before placing it back behind him.
That done he turned to face his other customers, his eyes widening briefly in surprise as he found an impatient gaze waiting a mere foot away from his features.
He nodded calmly to her. Even though he was startled, he recognized the girl right away since she tended to be around a-lot. Always coming to check out the market with her little brother, mostly to buy fresh linens since the brother kept tearing up the old ones quickly. Though today, he noted, she was alone without any signs of her sibling. But 'why' wasn't any of his business. "What can I do you for you today, Ruia?" He questioned, though his attention really wasn't on tending to his goods.
But the fact was that he wouldn't have been able to get away with all these people around. He couldn't think of anything that would be able to get him away from the market before Bakt was long since gone.
I'll at least be able to give Akila more information, he noted as Ruia spoke.
"I'd like this! It would go perfectly with what I bought yesterday don't you think?! It just fell out of nowhere on me too! It's as if Ra or..." Ruia chattered on rather loudly as she held out her prize and Mekhu gazed at it without a word as Ruia went on talking, noting that it was the last ball of yarn that Bakt had thrown away to get at the feather. He slowly nodded in agreement to catch Ruia's attention though he didn't take his eyes off of the black yarn.
"It would go well with the linen, but nothing else. That black is too eye catching. Try a dark blue instead." He advised, beginning to reluctantly turn his attention back to this job. Though it is the least important of the things he could be doing, he didn't have the opportunity for the other options. He reminded himself of that while he made a sale to Ruia, watching the young girl skip off with her blue ribbon and the black yarn she had refused to give up.
Fortunately, by the time the next patron approached, Mekhu had put the encounter with Bakt into the back of his mind. He continued like that, his attention diverting further to watching the crowd thinning out toward midday. It was a relief to have more breathing room but there were still customers to help throughout the afternoon. The sunlight soon starting to fade and other vendors began to close up shop around him.
Mekhu glanced down, dismissing any thought of another regular patron wanting anything at this hour of the day. He instead turned to the pouch, intent on counting what earnings he had made though it was only to pass the time while waiting for the person who would be his final visitor for that evening. He'd only just picked up the pouch when he heard the expected footsteps approaching.
The steps stopped right behind him and robes rustled as the person knelt there. Mekhu raised his head, listening to the sound of wooden baskets being moved. The fabrics rustled more as they were shifted through but finally a voice just spoke up. "Where is it? Mekhu it's gone!"
Mekhu calmly turned, not bothering to put the pouch down because he knew that Akila was aware of the secret. Especially since they were siblings and shared the same secret of their noble birth. His gaze landed upon her, one girl who was clearly older than he was, but they both looked a lot alike. There were differences if you knew where to look, such as the eyes which she turned to Mekhu. Even, there was a visible difference in height as they both sat there. "I know that it's not there. Do you remember Bakt?" He asked while holding the pouch out to her.
"Well of course? How many times did you tell me about him? But that's not what we have to talk about...." She suddenly trailed off, Mekhu saw her lighter gaze meet his own more mysterious one.
"Or is it?" Mekhu prompted her to say and he could see the precise moment understanding dawned by her gaze. Yet he didn't wait for her to speak up with the question. "Yes he was here. Yes he did buy the feather." He finished while pushing the pouch out more intently for her to take, he had nothing to do with it now that Akila was there. There was more she'd be able to do with those earnings than he could. "The large bit of gold in there was his payment for it."
"Large bit?" Her eyes widened with some greed showing, he didn't retract his hands from the position of offering the pouch even as she suddenly moved to snatch it up. She practically yanked it back to hug it to herself.
"As I said. However it's not yours! Got it, Akila?" Mekhu stated firmly, being used to his sister as he was, he knew to always make clear what she was to do else she would be able to use him as an excuse for why she did something wrong. "It goes to the advisors, they will know better once they examine it. This time we will even be able to tell the Pharaoh." He added with satisfaction as he realized that, but he kept that emotion hidden by his businesslike exterior. He did wince only once as his words drew a dry laugh from Akila.
"I don't see why you bother. You act like he even listens to the things we say. He certainly didn't do anything about the word of a white haired guy with some boy that looked like him." She said before her laugh could fully fade from the air. She shook her head in something he could tell was akin to scorn. But Mekhu took an interest in the information she'd just relayed, able to tell what exactly she'd meant from knowing her style. "He won't listen to this!" She finished with a finality of her believe, she even punctuated it by a wave of her hand before giving him a moment to answer.
So Bakt was with someone who looked like the pharaoh? Mekhu thought to himself upon filing that bit of information away for later use. He had a hunch that such a thing had to be something rather important to how events would be unfolding...no matter what happened.
"He'll listen now, and to this." He said confidently, turning away then to begin gathering up his goods for the night. He might not be a real vendor but he had no desire to leave his things out there for some little thief to make off with them.
"I seriously doubt that. Why don't we go after Bakt? It's not like I, at least, need a pharaoh's help to beat up some thief." Akila blustered in return, her tone meant to place the blame for the situation Egypt was in solely on Pharaoh Yami's shoulders. He shook his head with the firm conviction that she was very wrong about that. While he couldn't say what the exact cause had been, he did know that the Pharaoh had a reason for no longer trusting anyone proven to be human. What Mekhu had seen was the Pharaoh replacing his own guards with Shadow Realm monsters, apparently not trusting the human ones with his safety. Plus the only subjects the Pharaoh even took seriously anymore were those brought to him by the monsters or those involving them.
And this certainly involved Shadow Realm powers, Mekhu noted, very aware of how every part of the monsters held some power of the Shadow Realm. The feather being bought today was just happenstance that could be added to facts, which included the knowledge that remains of feathers, hair and others things of the Shadow Realm monsters were being stolen from various places throughout Egypt... Including several tombs. That was the main concern that those within the Pharaoh's dwelling knew about, as did Mekhu.
He said nothing of that, he didn't even respond at all until he'd gathered up his goods into a neat pile for moving. "If you do believe that, you really must pay closer attention, Akila." He stated with a glance to her, letting some his disappointment in her show, thinking that it might encourage her to watch events as he had. He kept his gaze on her, their eyes locking as she stared back challengingly. "If you did, you perhaps might see something else." With that spoken he looked away from her and leaned down to pick his belongs and baskets. Upon straightening he found a frown fixed on him and merely shook his head, silently refusing to speak more about that. "Just watch, Pharaoh Yami will heed us this time."
He could see that she wasn't believing a single word he spoke now even before she spoke her answer. "It's not needed! Just tell me where the creep went!" She flared vibrantly with her gaze not leaving him, he could see the expection in her eyes as she waited for him to give her the answer she wanted. Only he couldn't since he didn't actually know.
"Off into the crowds. I couldn't leave my goods unattended." He replied while becoming aware of the fact that she wasn't likely to leave until she found out more about what had happened so she could try and follow Bakt by herself.
"What?!" Akila cried with some frustration in her tone, her voice drawing the attention of the few people left upon the market street.
"Akila..." Mekhu warned with a wince, they couldn't have people overhearing this discussion. There was a fine line for what the populace could handle without panicking, and he'd rather not find out where that line was. Or at least he couldn't afford people learning about his deception. "If you could keep your voice down, it would be appreciated."
Akila winced then too. "You call that a lead? All you've got is a description of the guy." She complained, clearly not happy. However her voice had lowered enough that it wouldn't be heard and he was glad for that, though she clearly wasn't going to be backed down from her point. He could tell that she thought they had absolutely nothing solid to go on without knowing where Bakt was.
"Not quite. You have a Bakt with a feather, who was spotted with more firm seeming roots where a Pharaoh look-alike hung out. Got it?" Mekhu turned away, intending to leave now that he'd explained what information they did have to present to the Pharaoh. He didn't have anything else to say to his sister at the moment, and he did have another day of work tomorrow. So she would be on her own. "Keep me informed on how it goes please. It could be useful."
"Fine." Her voice said from behind him, though he could hear that she wasn't happy. "But he won't listen."
She was going to be stubborn, he noted with a pause between thoughts. Him being certain that Pharaoh Yami would act on the news, and that his sister would be stunned by that.
To Be Continued
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the chapter. I figured it might be appreciated by some people to find out some of what was going on with Yami now. There won't be many mentions of him for several more chapters. Sorry...