Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Hunted ❯ Chapter 18 ( Chapter 18 )

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Just a few more to go for the night.



Tea and Ishizu examined Yugi's body for any severe damages. Aside from a few cuts, some of which would require stitching, and bruises, they were unsure of any internal damages. “Malik, can you and Ryou help Odion carry Yugi back to the van?”
Malik and Ryou nodded. “We know a few tunnels that will take us closer to the vehicles in less time. Plus, they haven't been in use for some time from the way the dust looked,” Ryou stated.
It was then that Malik noticed something, “I don't think that's Yugi's normal choker. It looks too new.”
“You're right,” Ryou agreed after looking closer at it. “This isn't his at all. I think that the Vampire Lord replaced it with this.”
Ishizu removed the collar and Malik threw it into a tunnel. They carefully gathered their things and Yugi's limp form to leave the tunnel. They reached the van in less than thirty minutes and strapped Yugi's still form to the table to protect it from being further damaged. Just to be on the safe side, Ishizu hooked the boy up to a life-support system, relieving the strain on herself and Tea. They had been using their magic to keep his body from failing completely. After securing the form, they headed back to the mansion to tend to the body there.
“That monster is going to pay for what it did to my brother,” Atem growled under his breath as they headed down the hall to the Vampire Lord's chambers.
Shadi looked at him, “Try to clear your mind, my friend. Otherwise, your anger will blind you to the task at hand. We must try to locate this Soul-Crystal that contains your brother's soul. But we must do so with a clear mind.”
“I'll try, Shadi. Thank you,” Atem replied.
Shadi nodded and continued walking through the darkness. Atem stopped when he felt something under his left foot. He knelt down to inspect the object. “This looks like the choker that Yugi always wore,” he says as he pockets the item. “We're close.”
Shortly after finding the collar, they arrive at a pair of ornate doors. Bakura and Marik grin. “We'll handle the door, Temmie,” Marik states as he pulled out a combination C-4 pack and Holy Water. “This will be the perfect time to test mines and Baka-ra's coolest toy yet.”
Bakura rolled his eyes at the annoying nickname, “Remind me later that Crazy Boy needs to get his brain checked. I think he took too many whacks to the head when we were attacked in the tunnels.”
“So what did you design this for,” Atem asked Bakura.
He grinned, “We designed it to blast open walls, doors, you name it, and spread the Holy Water in a wide range. If we're lucky, the Water will douse the vamps enough to cause some massive damage. It also gives us a safe zone to fight in if need be.”
“Got a name for that thing,” Duke asked, knowing that he'd regret asking.
Marik grinned, “H2-Holy Mister.”
Bakura smacked his teammate on the back of his head, “That's a stupid name.”
“But it seems to fit, that is if the device works as you said,” Shadi pointed out.
Atem rolled his eyes, “Just blow that stupid door open and get us in there before Joey does something brash.”
“But I wanted to bust the door down,” Joey complained.
Bakura and Marik attached the device to the door quickly and dashed around the corner of the hall. Bakura grinned as the others followed their example, “Fire in the hole!”
Marik took the cue and set the Holy Water bomb off. He and Bakura looked cautiously around the corner and saw that their newest invention actually worked. There were a total of three vamps in the room and two of them, apparently guards, were doused in the mist. The third looked very upset that his chambers had been breached.
Atem, Marik, and Bakura stepped out from their cover and the rest of the team followed suit.
Raiden was contemplating his next move when the large doors to his chamber were blown open and his two best guards were doused in Holy Water. He was racking his brains as to whether he had ever seen such a crude device in all his years when three figures stepped into the hall. Others followed suit behind the first three.
He stood defiantly as the group neared. When the intruders were close, Raiden realized that the first three looked familiar. “So the runt managed to free himself from the Soul-Crystal?” He looked at said crystal and back at the doppelganger, “You're not the runt.”
The double glared at him, “What did you do to him?”
“He's got a broken arm, a couple of cracked ribs, broken leg, and a few other internal injuries,” Ishizu told the others after taking a closer look at Yugi. “I have to keep him sedated otherwise we're in danger at this point, either from him or he'll further injure himself.”
Ryou and Malik nodded and went to the library to see if they could find out any information on how to help their best friend in the older Hunter's Handbooks and Notes from Early Hunters.
An hour into their search, Ryou found something that stood out. It was one of the oldest copies of a prior Hunter's journal. “Hey, Malik,” he called to his friend. “Check this out. This journal belonged to a Ryota* Yori**, who lived almost 500 years ago. He was the founder of the earliest band of Hunters and had a major run-in with the Vampire Lord of that time. It says here that the Vampire Lord back then was known as Raiden Takeshi. Apparently, this king of vampires had a thing about sealing souls of his captives.”
Malik read over Ryou's shoulder.
I have located the Vampire Lord's Keep. Now he will pay for sealing my beloved's soul before my very eyes, even if it means my own demise. I march tonight.
Malik turned the page to continue.
I have infiltrated the demon's chambers to discover them abandoned for the time being. However my efforts were not in vain. I managed to retrieve a few crystals similar to that which he had used to steal my love away from me. These glow without outside influence, but from within. I believe that these stones hold the souls of the Vampire Lord's victims.
It seems that the captured souls can be released, but within reason. One must first locate the vessel that originally housed it and, if the light from within the stone is at its brightest, presses the gem into area above the victim's heart can release the trapped soul. However, extreme caution must be used as any damage to the Soul-Crystal may result in a `dead' soul; one that cannot be saved, thus mercy is needed upon the poor victim. I had to put down a Faerie Child who had the misfortune to cross the fiend's path. Her `prison' had been damaged and her `spark' had lost its fire, thus extinguishing itself.
May this information prove to be beneficial to future generations of the Protectors.
--Ryota Yori
Malik handed Ryou another book that he had found containing the notes that were based on documents stolen from the Vampire Lord nine years ago by a reckless, yet lucky, Hunter.
I cannot wait to begin my experiment tonight. I strive to create a new breed of vampire, one that is stronger than the current generation. My Gatherers have brought to me a young boy who would make for the perfect test subject. They say there are two more with the same qualities. I think that I'll have them captured as well if this one survives.
Ryou shuddered, but continued reading:
I order the boy to be strapped down to prevent any damage to his body. He struggles but cannot escape. I perform the usual steps to Change the boy, first draining all but a small amount of blood and forcing him to take some of my own. Though, this time, it has been mixed with Faerie blood. Before the full Change took place, I removed his soul and waited until it was complete before returning it to the body.
The boy opened his eyes and I was pleased to see that they had not changed, as this will be beneficial should he ever run into a Hunter. They would likely assume him to be `safe', allowing for him to catch them unawares. I am pleased with this experiment. I have decided to Mark him as my heir. My Gatherers have been dispatched to retrieve the other two boys that they mentioned to me earlier, as I want to repeat this process to be sure that it works out the same way.
Malik turns the page and reads:
My Gatherers have finally managed to capture the second boy from the small group that they mentioned when they brought me the first one two weeks ago. I cannot believe that he has the strangest eyes I have ever seen in my existence. I am told that the remaining boy has lavender eyes, but this boy possesses amethyst colored eyes. I will be most pleased if he somehow manages to retain this color, as it is most intriguing.
Success! The experiment has produced the same results as the first. I now have two of my newest breed of `offspring'. He, too, will be Marked as my heir. I have ordered the capture of the third and final boy. I want no remaining ties between the three left behind. There have been instances where a friend had been left unChanged and became a Hunter, vowing to destroy any creature with ill-will towards humans. I will not allow this to happen as these are the start of my newest generation.
A few pages later the `tone' changes:
My council has failed me. Some low-level apprentice mixed not only Faerie blood in with my own, but Angel blood as well! This has happened not once, but all three times the experiments took place. This now explains why my `heirs' do not act like the rest of my `children'. This means that there is no malice in their cores. They retained their previous life's innocence. I am left with few options; either put them down or remove them as my heirs and brand them as `pets'. As they are my most powerful creations, I will keep the three of them as my pets.
All notes pertaining to the experiment, aside from those contained herein, have been destroyed. I do not want a repeat of this failure. No longer will these take place. I do not want any more of these abominations running through my Keep. The three that I have will be all there is of their `breed'. I have made an example of the fool that ruined my vision.
The Hikaris looked at each other with wide eyes. Malik spoke, “I think that this is speaking about us, Ryou.”
Ryou nodded and gathered the books to take to Ishizu.

Ryota: Japanese name meaning “stout, strong.”
Yori: Japanese unisex name meaning “servant to the public.”