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Plum Blossom (Blue/Green)

[Yugioh] RE:Play, Part III. RE:Set - Chapter Seven

Posted on 2013.10.13 at 11:38
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
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RE:Play, now chaptered for your viewing pleasure! Beginning of this fanfiction is HERE. You will also find more fic intro notes there.

RE:Play by Shiraume

[Written: 5/29/2009 - 12/31/2010]


Chapter Seven

A lapwing called, lilting and long, hidden somewhere amidst the clumps of papyri trailing in the river. Another answered, this call sharper and more shrill, and a dozen lapwings flew up, ascending with their characteristic zigzag pattern. They soared slowly, almost lazily, close enough for Yuugi to make out the wispy black plumage sticking up from the crown. The tuft of green-tinted feather over their dark wings shimmered in the sunlight as they tumbled in the air, the entire group swerving over the riverbank. Yuugi watched their flight in fascination. These birds seemed to be ubiquitous along the Nile.

“Rehkyt,” Mahaad said quietly next to him, and Yuugi tilted his head up to look at him. “The lapwings. They live everywhere the water flows. And Hapi, the great river, flows throughout Kemet.” Kemet, Yuugi recalled, was how ancient Egyptians referred to their country. Mahaad looked at the birds fondly, watching them land in the thicket. “And that is why the symbol ‘rekhyt’ represents the common people.”

Yuugi nodded and did not answer verbally. Mahaad favored him with a sympathetic gaze.

“I know you were looking forward to visiting Ipet Resyt with the pharaoh, Yuugi. I’m sorry he couldn’t accompany you. But for the pharaoh, his people have always been the foremost concern of his heart.” Mahaad sounded proud, and Yuugi held back a sigh. He’d known that; Atem was a good king, and always put the needs of his people first. Atem could not very well take a leisure trip while the whole palace was in a state of emergency after yet another raid, followed by the news of a fire in Ineb Hedj.

“I understand. I’m not upset about it,” Yuugi told Mahaad, smiling to reassure him. Not upset, no. Only disappointed. He had been looking forward to this trip, not just because he would see the full glory of what was the modern day temple of Luxor, but also because he thought he would finally have a chance to have that overdue talk with Atem and Kaiba. So far, Kaiba had studiously ignored Yuugi and stayed all of seventeen feet away on the other side of the barge, never once even looking in his direction. No one had figured out there was anything different about “Seth” yet, so Yuugi assumed Kaiba must had been performing Seth’s daily duties without fault. Still, did no one notice the king and one of his most trusted companions were not talking for a week ?

A thoughtful look came to Yuugi’s face. If anything, Mahaad would probably know what they were usually like. It was worth a try.

“Mahaad, are Atem and Seth close?” Yuugi asked without preamble. Mahaad didn’t seem surprised by the abruptness of his question. But then again, most of the questions he addressed to Mahaad must have appeared rather odd, even if Mahaad never said anything.

“Yes, though one wouldn’t know it by looking at them.” Mahaad chuckled, glancing at their silent companion on the far side of the barge. “Seth was only thirteen when he first entered the court and became one of the prince’s companions. They used to compete in absolutely everything. Mana could probably tell you a lot of interesting stories about their contests.”

Close, but not overtly. Then maybe no one had noticed the distance between them, after all. Yuugi decided on a different tact. “Anything they enjoy together? Like, something they both like to do?”

“Sparring,” Mahaad said promptly. “With magic or weapons.”

Big surprise there, Yuugi mused wryly. Even in the future Atem and Kaiba liked nothing better than to duel each other. Still, it was an idea. “Somehow that doesn’t surprise me much. Do they spar a lot?”

“Not anymore. It wouldn’t be appropriate for a courtier to keep challenging the pharaoh.” Mahaad still had that fond, distant smile on his face, one that made his brown eyes soften. “When they were younger, it was the prince who kept challenging Seth. But the prince improved very quickly, so by the time the prince became the pharaoh, they were evenly matched. Their sparring sessions were something to see.”

“Really.” An idea forming in his mind, Yuugi smiled wider. Atem probably wouldn’t say no if he asked, and when had Kaiba ever turned down a challenge? After all, they’d always communicated best through their duels. And both were too proud to walk away from one. If a card game wasn’t an option here, this was probably the next best option.

“I will enjoy seeing you orchestrate this,” Mahaad commented idly, and Yuugi started. Mahaad was looking back at him with an amused expression. “You and the pharaoh are quite alike in many ways, Yuugi. And I grew up with him.”

“Think Mana’d help me if I ask?” Yuugi grinned back. It was nice having both Mahaad and Isis behind him, it really was. Add Mana to the mix, and he had the perfect team. Atem and Kaiba wouldn’t know what hit them.

“You wouldn’t even have to ask,” Mahaad returned. “You know how she is.”

“Oh yeah.”

“I will leave you to your plans. We’ll be docking shortly, however, so you might want to save that thought for later?”

The trip didn’t take long, with the sails swollen with the southward wind pushing their vessel steadily upstream. Although manned by thirty rowers, evenly divided on either sides of the main hull, their ship had required very little rowing to make the short journey. The walls of the Ipet Resyt, the Southern Sanctuary, rose towering above them as they disembarked. Smaller than the sprawling complex of palace and temples that formed the Ipet Isut, the Most Selected of Places, the Southern Sanctuary was quieter yet had a distinguished and solemn atmosphere. Even more so than the multitude of wall-enclosed temples back in the royal city, this was a sanctified place, reserved only for the gods. Yuugi was amused to note Kaiba was similarly affected, looking around with interest. Quietly, Yuugi sidled closer to Kaiba, grateful that Mahaad, while keeping a close eye on their surroundings, nevertheless allowed him his privacy.

“It’s so quiet. Don’t people ever visit the temples here?”

Kaiba didn’t even glance at him, his attention on the twin obelisks and the pylon gate behind them. “They do, but common people aren’t allowed inside the sanctuary. The temples are earthly homes for the gods, and must be kept purified and separated from the rest of the world at all times. Only the king and the priests can enter after purifying themselves.” Yuugi smiled at his answer; this wasn’t actually Kaiba’s own knowledge at work here, but getting an answer from Seth always worked best when Kaiba was distracted. Like now.

He remembered something just then, and his mouth dropped open soundlessly. “Oh, so that’s why Isis was upset about Anenut visiting the royal chapels.”

“She still does that?” Kaiba turned to him with a frown. “The pharaoh really should—” A dark look passed over his features as Kaiba refocused. “You,” he growled, blue eyes narrowed in annoyance.

Yuugi smiled disarmingly at him. “I heard she’s a relative of the royal family? Atem wouldn’t stop her. Besides, I think she’s actually nicer than she acts.”

“She’s not Mazaki,” Kaiba said bluntly, and Yuugi flinched at the reminder. Yuugi thought Kaiba noticed his reaction; whatever else Kaiba had planned to say, he seemed to reconsider, and did not say anything further.

Yuugi had never believed Kaiba was as cruel as he pretended to be. But it was nice to have proof, sometimes. As graciously as possible, he switched the subject to a more pressing agenda. “It’s too bad Atem couldn’t come with us. This would have given us a good chance to catch up without too many people noticing we’re all acting weird.”

Kaiba snorted. “He’s kept you closeted in his room for what, eight days now? ‘Acting weird’ doesn’t even begin to cover what the whole palace has been whispering. You’re lucky they bought the idiotic cover story he came up with.” The look in his blue eyes turned more distant and thoughtful, and Kaiba’s next words were a touch softer. “Even if he doesn’t care about the rumors he shouldn’t leave the palace just now. You did hear about the fire at Ineb Hedj?”

“Vaguely?” It was rare that Kaiba would engage him in a conversation this long. Yuugi hoped he didn’t sound as glad as he felt.

“The fire destroyed a part of the archives in the temple of Ptah. The temple of Ptah at Ineb Hedj is very old. There aren’t as many priests serving there now, and there was only one casualty. It turns out he was an old colleague of Lord Akhenaden’s. One of the original guardians of the Millennium Items, no less. Lord Akhenaden is very upset.”

Kaiba said “Lord Akhenaden” so easily, with the kind of unquestioning respect one would never expect from someone like him. Yuugi let the observation pass uncommented, more concerned about the news. “And this right after the latest raid in the city. No wonder everyone was so distracted today.”

“I’m surprised Atem pushed for you to come. He’d have preferred to keep both Mahaad and you at his side. If the raid was led by that Thief King—”

“Whoa. How much do you know about this, Kaiba-kun? I only found out how much I’d missed after getting here.”

Kaiba smirked at him in that familiar, oh-so-smug way. “It wasn’t that hard to figure out. The Thief King’s resemblance to Bakura in our time is uncanny. Though I’m curious as to how the tomb robber ended up in the Millennium Ring in the first place.”

“No idea. Atem doesn’t know, either. We were thinking maybe it happened after Atem sealed Zorc the first time around.” Yuugi was impressed. It also meant they didn’t have as much to catch up as he’d originally feared. “But if Bakura is preparing to strike—”

“Then it may be too late already.” Kaiba’s voice was harsh, but its cutting edge wasn’t directed at Yuugi. “Once the demon god is summoned, it may be impossible to open a path between the worlds until he’s been sealed away. I assume,” he looked at Yuugi sideways as he spoke, “you don’t want to stick around until Atem is sealed in the Millennium Pendant.”

“...No.” Yuugi sighed. “But so far, we couldn’t find out anything. And...we talked about this before, about how we might be changing the way things happened in the past.” Atem hadn’t noticed any significant deviation yet, but he had also said his memories of the past weren’t perfect; like in any person’s memories, details of Atem’s old daily life had slipped away, leaving behind only the most important parts.

Interestingly, the memories left intact didn’t seem to include much about his queen. It had been a shock to realize Atem had been married at all, though in hindsight it should have been obvious. Yuugi chose not to dwell on that thought.

“Can he defeat Zorc this time around, I wonder,” Kaiba said, voice quiet. “If we come to that.”

That thought had haunted him more than once since arriving in this world. However, something else had arrested his attention so completely, Yuugi didn’t even pause to wonder at how Kaiba entertained a similar line of thought.

We. Kaiba had said ‘we.’ Unconsciously, perhaps unintentionally, but undeniably. Yuugi had to turn his face away to refrain from beaming at him. Together, they might find a way out of this. Maybe, everything really would be all right.

Whatever being ‘all right’ entailed, for one blissful moment, Yuugi was full of hope they could handle it.

“He knows the names of the Three Illusionary Gods. He could use his name to summon Horakhty.”

The raise of Kaiba’s brow was sardonic. “Now that is what I’d call an unfair advantage.”

“Well, it’s a battle, not a duel.” That brought back another idea, one he thought might work wonderfully to reduce some tension between Atem and Kaiba. Hopefully it’d also bring them back on the same page. “Mahaad mentioned Seth and Atem used to spar a lot,” he offered nonchalantly. Kaiba gave him a small shrug.

“When they were younger,” Kaiba allowed. “Seth used to win all the time.”

“Really?” Or maybe, making the two of them spar wasn’t the brightest idea he’d had. At the best of the times Kaiba and Atem both had competitive streak a mile wide. Was it really wise to inflame the rivalry between two equally headstrong individuals with a pathological hatred for losing? Especially when they had such a long history of it?

“Seth is older by four years. It took Atem a while to catch up. Not too soon either, because Seth was getting really bored.”

...Or maybe, it was the best idea he had all day.

“Mahaad said their sparring sessions were really great to watch, though.” Slow. Easy. Let Kaiba draw his conclusion at his own pace.

“Passed the time, anyway. Aren’t you tired of watching Atem duel after two years?”

The sudden turnabout made Yuugi turn to Kaiba, wide-eyed. The smirk Kaiba gave him this time was maddeningly superior. So Kaiba had noticed and only played along to turn the tables on him, the jerk. Yuugi was a bit surprised when Kaiba’s smirk softened a little, and realized he’d been pouting.

‘Gah! Not again.’ Yuugi felt like groaning. But much like the times with Mahaad, it had served its purpose. Kaiba wasn’t angry or annoyed, just amused, though the familiar edge of malice lingered just under the surface. “I’m just curious,” Yuugi cajoled, pressing his somewhat dubious advantage.

“I’m not here for your entertainment,” Kaiba growled, but it wasn’t a threatening one. “Or do you want to see Atem on his knees before me that badly?”

Yuugi choked.

No, surely Kaiba couldn’t have meant it that way. And Kaiba was still smirking, Yuugi could tell even without looking. His face felt hot to the tips of his ears, and Yuugi gulped, trying to send the blood back down south before his brain burst.

“Maybe,” Yuugi managed after a moment. His blush was still not completely under control, but his voice was sufficiently laden with hint that Kaiba actually turned a surprised glance at him. Kaiba, being Kaiba, didn’t stay off balance for more than an instant.

“If you’re so set on it, why don’t you ask Atem?” Kaiba’s voice was a silken drawl, like a cat stretching its claws in anticipation of a pounce. “I’m always up for a challenge.”

“I’ll bet,” Yuugi muttered under his breath, feeling his face finally return to its normal temperature. “If you’re sure, Kaiba-kun,” he replied demurely, keeping in step with Kaiba with relative ease in their leisurely promenade through the temple. Oh yes. He would enjoy this. And if he was feeling vindictive enough, Yuugi decided, he might even let slip the on his knees comment to Atem.

Swallowing a chuckle, Yuugi redirected his attention back to the sightseeing.


Despite Yuugi’s enthusiasm for the project, it was four days after their trip to Ipet Resyt that Atem was finally able to arrange some time off to have the highly anticipated sparring match with Kaiba.

Well, highly anticipated for Yuugi. Just now, he was beginning to regret setting up the whole event in the first place. Only Mahaad and Mana were present aside from himself, and they’d assured him Atem and Seth had matches like these hundreds of times before, and had survived those intact. Their words had been ominous than reassuring, and Yuugi, belatedly, realized he should have specified what kind of sparring match he’d wanted to see.

He had anticipated, perhaps because of the long history of Duel Monster games he’d gotten so used to, that the match would be with magic. Both Atem and Kaiba had chosen bladed weapons, however, as if the thought of a duel using magic had never crossed their minds. Their only concession for protective equipment was a leather guard over their chest, and a wooden shield covered with leather. Yuugi’s eyes kept straying to the wicked curved blades whose sharpened edges shimmered in the sunlight, and he was back to biting his nails.

Mahaad checked over both of them briefly, then walked out of the training arena, and that was it. Yuugi swallowed, and held his breath.


The two blades hovered in the air, held out before in a silent salute. Then a sharp clang as their khopesh met was the only warning Yuugi had before the two opponents leaped into battle.

Yuugi’s breath caught, watching Atem’s khopesh catch Kaiba’s with margin too narrow for even single mistake, forced back a step under the force of the blow. Kaiba immediately pressed his advantage – or tried to, and found his blade caught on the upper edge of Atem’s sword. Atem pushed hard, and the move should have cost Kaiba his sword, except at the last minute, Kaiba brought down his own shield to slam against Atem’s, and the recoil sent Atem stumbling back a couple steps, eyes narrowed in irritation. The obvious difference in physical strength meant Atem would never have luck going up against Kaiba with force alone. And Kaiba – or was it Seth, given that Kaiba was really relying on Seth’s experience and knowledge to spar? – fought rough, unstinting about using his opponent’s weakness against him. Kaiba smirked at him, both a challenge and a dismissal, and Atem’s eyes glittered in answer.

Then Atem charged at him, with a swift swipe of his shield to knock aside Kaiba’s blade and following immediately with a lightening slash to the middle. Kaiba fielded the blow with his shield arm, but in the split second both his hands were occupied, Atem’s foot flashed near Kaiba’s ankles, sending him to the floor hard. Yuugi blinked, surprised to see Atem land on top of Kaiba as well. The two of them rolled with the momentum, and Atem ended up pinned to the floor under his heavier opponent. It was then Yuugi noticed Kaiba’s hand pressing down on Atem’s sword hand, and realized what happened: as soon as Atem’s blade slid past the leather shield, Kaiba had discarded it in favor of grabbing Atem’s wrist, using the momentum of their fall to pin him. Kaiba growled something to Atem that made his eyes darken, and a vicious kick, just barely blocked, forced Kaiba off him. While Kaiba smoothly rolled back to his feet, Atem sprang to his feet the instant the restraining weight was gone. They circled again, eyes never leaving each other.

Yuugi leaned back, feeling his heart continue its rapid flutter in his chest, and took a deep breath to calm himself. Mana’s hand found his shoulder, and she shot him a reassuring smile. And that was all the time he had to catch his breath before Kaiba made his next move: a hard kick to send Atem’s shield skittering across the floor, and a follow-up thrust that Atem avoided by a hairbreadth. Atem’s hand shot out to grab Kaiba’s arm as the sword whistled past his torso, and spun them in a tight loop, but before Atem’s sword finished its arc, Kaiba’s hand lashed out. Just before the blow connected with his ribs, Atem vaulted overhead in a half-somersault using Kaiba’s shoulder as a springboard. When they both spun to face each other this time, Atem’s lips were curled back in a fierce grin. Kaiba bared his teeth with a snarling laugh, and something electric seemed to charge the air between them. If they’d been focused on each other before, now they were wholly absorbed in each other, nothing else in their world, no holds barred and nothing held back.

It was so much more intense than watching them duel with cards, this deadly exchange. Sweat made their skin glisten, and Yuugi found his eyes following every movement as Kaiba swept the sweat from his brows. There was something deeply sensual about the stretch of sinew and flex of muscle, and the hard, tight bodies wrapped in little more than danger and violence. Both Atem and Kaiba had foregone their usual outfits in favor of a much shorter shendyt that only reached to their mid-thighs, allowing greater freedom of movement. And the thin linen cloth, damp with sweat, clung to them in a way that made it hard for Yuugi to breathe.

Strikes and parries continued to meld together at a dizzying pace. And Yuugi swallowed hard, watching their movements flow in an oddly graceful dance, if any dance could be choreographed with so much lethal edge woven into every step. Atem moved a bit farther in his next attack, and Kaiba stepped aside with practiced ease, only Atem whirled at the same moment. A feint, Yuugi realized with a short start, then Atem’s shape blurred, lightning quick, and—

“Careless,” Kaiba rumbled, voice a low drawl in Atem’s ear. He’d materialized behind Atem, and was already moving to block his escape. But even as Kaiba’s sword arm came up, Atem twisted to his side, and Kaiba blinked in surprise.

“Likewise,” Atem purred, the wicked edge of the blade resting casually against the side of Kaiba’s neck. Before Kaiba’s sword could hold him in place, the sharp edge mere inches away from his throat, Atem had switched the sword to his left hand to pin Kaiba in a similar fashion. The two of them held perfectly still, bodies still tense and poised for action, the silent challenge clear in the locked gaze. Kaiba bared his teeth, and they both tensed, preparing to—

“My king,” Mahaad called loudly, cutting through the tension between them. “Seth,” he added for good measure, and after another heartbeat, the two contestants separated, lowering their swords in perfect unison.

Yuugi let out the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding, feeling his knees wobble in the wake of the sudden drain of tension. For a moment there, it looked like the two of them would have either gone on to a bloody conclusion, or—

“My king,” Mahaad called again, softer, but no less insistent, and Yuugi started, realizing they had gained more spectators. Karim stood beside Mahaad, face torn between disapproving and amused. Just now, the priest held an uncanny resemblance to Rishid, who wore the same expression of exasperated worry and obvious pride whenever treated with the latest crazy bike stunt Malik pulled. “Shaada has returned,” Mahaad informed Atem, who nodded and accepted a towel and a goblet of water from Mana and headed toward the two priests. Mana made a beeline for Kaiba to offer the same, who accepted them with a small nod.

“Will you accompany Yuugi to my chambers, Seth?” Atem called across the room, and Yuugi and Kaiba both turned to him, one puzzled, the other inquisitive. “I need to speak to you both as soon as I hear Shaada’s report.”

Kaiba grunted his assent. Karim and Atem, already engaged in a conversation as they left, did not notice the way Mana was eyeing the two sides, as if trying to decide which party to go after first. Before she could decide, however, Mahaad beckoned her aside with a disapproving look, and Yuugi bit back a laugh. Only after mouthing at him Later did Mana go to join her mentor, leaving Yuugi alone with Kaiba.

“That was amazing,” Yuugi commented as they left the sparring area, after struggling to find something less inappropriate than, “You two were really hot.” Kaiba let out another noncommittal sound, which Yuugi decided wasn’t meant to be dismissive, and Yuugi plowed on. “How often did you two do that? When you said sparring session, I thought you meant magic.”

“Often enough,” Kaiba replied, but his attention wasn’t entirely on Yuugi. “Magic is...” Here, he paused for a second, hand tightening on the Millennium Rod. “We’d both be using the Millennium Items,” was what Kaiba eventually said. Yuugi acknowledged his point with a nod; knowing their true history, it would be unnerving for both Atem and Kaiba to use them casually.

“And without the Black Magician and the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, it wouldn’t be the same?” Yuugi couldn’t help teasing, just a little, mostly to lighten the mood. Kaiba gave him an unimpressed look, but did not dispute the point.

Then, a hauntingly familiar voice made Yuugi stop dead in his tracks. A shade darker than the blonde hair he was accustomed to seeing for the past two years, but the unruly mop of hair and brown eyes were unmistakable. Before he’d even realized it himself, Yuugi had sprinted across the courtyard to launch himself at the taller boy.

“Whoa—” Yuugi wasn’t big enough to knock him over, and the taller boy regained balance shortly. “Hey now, where did you come from?”

“Jounouchi-kun...?” Yuugi inquired, suddenly feeling timid. He’d been so glad just at the sight of a person who looked exactly like Jounouchi, he hadn’t even thought to wonder if it really was his friend before tackling him in a hug.

“Um, hey, kid? Can you let go? I have to—”

“Djehuty! What’s the hold up?” It was the voice of the storage master. Jarred back to the present, Yuugi looked up, desperately searching the brown eyes for any hint of recognition.

“Listen, I really have to go. If you can just let go, um—”

“Yuugi,” he whispered. “It’s Yuugi.” Letting go was hard. Even if it wasn’t him, this person even frowned just like Jounouchi.

“Yuugi. I guess you, er, got me mixed up with somebody else, huh?”

“Yeah. Sorry.”

“Nah, don’t worry about it.” The call from the storage master was decidedly less patient this time, and the boy bent over to retrieve the scroll he’d dropped. “I have to go. Later, eh?”

Djehuty. His name was Djehuty. “Yes.”

Yuugi stared after Djehuty’s retreating back for a long time. He could hear Kaiba step toward him until they were shoulder to shoulder, but did not look at him. Now wasn’t a moment Yuugi wanted company for.

“Was it Jounouchi?” Kaiba’s voice was neutral, almost diplomatic – an effort not to antagonize him, probably. Yuugi found it endearing enough to feel a little better. After Anzu, it was painful to confirm Jounouchi wasn’t here, either.

“No,” Yuugi said softly. “It wasn’t Jounouchi-kun. I guess Honda-kun probably isn’t here either, then.”

Kaiba frowned minutely. “Ah.” His tone held both an affirmative and an unspoken understanding. He said nothing more, but did not move away from Yuugi, either. And Kaiba never stayed in someone else’s company longer than strictly necessary.

Armed with that tidbit, Yuugi managed a smile at him. “Thanks, Kaiba-kun.”

“For what?” Back to suspicion now. But was it just him, or was that also lessening of late? Yuugi’s brain, thankfully, was still alert enough to answer the question with more tact than, “For being here,” or something equally sappy.

“I think I would have been a lot more scared if it was just Atem and me here,” was what Yuugi eventually settled on.

Kaiba snorted. “I doubt that.” Yuugi turned a questioning – and disarming, he hoped – look at him, and Kaiba sighed. “You’re not that easily intimidated,” Kaiba said, and it was as close to praise as he’d ever given him, and Yuugi barely kept from beaming. If Yuugi hadn’t known him as well as he did, he wouldn’t have recognized the moment of hesitation that followed for what it was. “About Anenut. Isis mentioned a rumor she’s gotten engaged.”

Yuugi froze. “To whom?”

“To a courtier named Paramesse. He’s one of the old nobility from Djanet , in the delta. Rich. His wife died a few years ago.”

“He was married before?” How old was this Paramesse?

“He’s twice her age,” Kaiba confirmed with disdain. “Though her family probably considers it a good match. Anenut may be of royal blood, but her father’s status wouldn’t have let her dream of marrying a man of Paramesse’s standing and wealth. But second wife to a man who already has his heir – that’s different.”

And it suddenly made sense why he hadn’t seen her around the palace the last few days. Yuugi winced at the stab of guilt. He’d meant to get to know her better. He felt he owed it to Anzu, in some weird way, to at least try being Anenut’s friend. Maybe he’d unconsciously avoided her so he wouldn’t find even more differences that would remind him Anenut was not and could never be Anzu.

“Like I said, it’s only a rumor.” Kaiba’s words held uncharacteristic consideration, and it was enough to make Yuugi smile at him with warmth and gratitude. Kaiba entered Atem’s chambers with him, but made him wait in the antechamber while he checked for any sign of threat. Yuugi was a bit startled at the way Kaiba made his round as if he did it all the time, automatically assuming the role of his protector. He settled on one of the chairs, but Kaiba did not follow the suit. “I need to check the updates on the raids. I’ll come join you after I finish.”

“I’ll let Atem know. Thanks, Kaiba-kun.”

Notes: The sparring match between Atem and Kaiba was inspired by many things, including The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001), but the most important one is this one: “Sweet Defeat” by egosun on DeviantArt. A hot, hot picture is every kinds of worth a thousand words. ;)

The shendyt I pictured them wearing is the shorter military version, from the Wikipedia article on shendyt. Khopesh was not featured in Yugioh canon, at least that I can remember, although in The Mummy (1999) the mummified Medjai wield it. As far as I know, its usage would be historically correct for 18th dynasty.

A bit more about names, though this really should have gone with Chapter Six. Maai is obviously the present-day Kujaku Mai, and her name is taken from a Hittite verb meaning to grow or ripen. (The signet ring she examines in Chapter Six bears a seal based on that of Queen Puduhepa of Hittite Empire. A hint to her origin – told you I had a full headcanon past history cooked up.) Djehuty (Jounouchi) is the proper Egyptian name for the god more popularly known as Thoth. Hondo (Honda) is supposed to be a name of either Egyptian or African origin, and means war or warrior. I went mainly by the sound similarity than meaning, but it turns out most of them had perfect meanings to go with each.

Rhekyt I first learned from a National Geographic article on Hatshepsut, and I think Kemet and Hapi have been explained in-story. Nile was called “iteru” as well, but I felt Hapi would be more familiar, being also the name of Nile’s deity. Ipet Isut is the ancient name for what is the present-day Karnak temple complex, and Ipet Resyt, as mentioned, is Luxor. It’s interesting to juxtapose the map of the “royal city” given in Yugioh manga with the actual layout of the Karnak-Luxor complexes.

The description of the ship is meant to be historically accurate. Apparently, traveling by ship was easy since on the Nile, the wind always blows southward (upstream), and little rowing was required to travel upriver. To travel downriver, the ship only had to lower the sail. I’ll put up the reference I used if I can find it amidst my million folders.

Paramesse is based on a real historical person. I’ll explain about that one later, probably in chapter ten.

I think that brings me up to date with historical notes. If I forgot about something, message me or comment to let me know.

Crossposted at http://shiraume-fic.dreamwidth.org/28142.html.

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