Yugi & The Seven Duelists
by Charles

Once upon a time, in a kingdom known as Domino, there lived a wise king named Solomon. He had one son, Yugi. The boy's mother had died giving birth to him. King Solomon had eventually remarried, but his new wife was a cruel-hearted woman named Mai. She was particularly mean towards Yugi, but in spite of her treatment, or perhaps because of it, Yugi grew up into a handsome young man with red and yellow angular hair.

And then, one day, King Solomon passed away. Wagging tongues in the kingdom said that the new queen, Mai, had something to do with his death, but nothing was ever proven.

Queen Mai was quick to remarry. She chose a man named Seto Kaiba. He was even crueller than Queen Mai, if such a thing was possible. King Seto brought with him his younger brother, Prince Mokuba. Mokuba was Seto's loyal huntsman but also a truly kind person. Every bit of game that Mokuba "killed" was actually purchased from a butcher's shop.

Prince Yugi and King Seto had one thing in common, a love for the game Duel Monsters. Seto was constantly frustrated by Yugi's victories whenever they played together. In exasperation, Seto turned to the spirit that lived in a mirror he owned. "Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the greatest duelist of them all?"

"Hmmm, Kaiba-boy?"

Seto groaned and waited for the spirit to answer his question.

"Oh, let's see." The spirit tossed his silver hair back (how a spirit even had hair to toss around remains a mystery) and pondered Seto's question.

"Just answer the question," Kaiba said through gritted teeth.

"Fine. You were the greatest, but now little Yugi-boy is the best."

King Seto stalked off. Mai had overheard the conversation, and later that night, she talked to Kaiba about it. "Look Seto, if you really want to prove that you're the best, just have Mokuba take Yugi out into the forest and. you know."

While King Seto was a cruel man, even he was taken aback by Mai's suggestion. But as the days passed and Yugi continued to win against him in Duel Monsters, Mai's plan began to sound better and better to the King.

He called Mokuba to his chambers and explained what he wanted Mokuba to do.

Mokuba was aghast."But big brother.!"

"I don't want to hear it, Mokuba. You take Yugi out into the forest and you kill. Him. Bring me the Millenium Puzzle that he's so fond of as proof that you have done it."

"Yes, big brother."

The next day, Mokuba took Yugi out into the forest. Once they reached a clearing, Mokuba asked Yugi to kneel. But as Yugi kneeled, Mokuba started to cry. "Uh, Mokuba? Is everything all right?"

"I can't do it, sire! I won't kill you!"

"Kill me???"

"Big brother asked me to bring you out here, kill you and bring him your Millenium Puzzle as proof. But I can't do it! Please, stand up, Prince Yugi."

Yugi stood up and embraced Mokuba.

"Thank you," he told Mokuba. "But what will you tell your brother?"

Mokuba pondered the matter as he wiped the tears from his eyes. "You probably don't wanna give up your Puzzle, do you?"

"Are you kidding me? This was a gift from my mother. I'd never give it up!"

"That's what I thought. Okay, you get out of here and I'll think of something."

Yugi thanked Mokuba and then ran out into the forest. Mokuba watched Yugi leave and then tried to think of a way he could come up with a fake Puzzle. "I know! I'll carve one and have it painted gold. Seto will never know the difference!"

Mokuba found a suitable piece of wood and carved it into a reasonable facsimile of the Millenium Puzzle. He returned to the castle and had one of the artisans paint it gold, and once it was dry, he presented it to his older brother.

King Seto was overjoyed when Mokuba presented him with the faux Puzzle. "You have done well Mokuba. You should be rewarded for doing such a good job. I'll let you play Duel Monsters with me later tonight."

"It's a date, big brother!"

Meanwhile, in the forest, Yugi was lonely and scared. He wandered around, following what seemed like a path. Eventually he came to a cottage.

"That's weird, a house in the middle of the forest." Yugi studied the house as he walked up to it. "I wonder if there's anybody home." He knocked on the door, but there was no answer. When he tried the door, he found that it was unlocked and swung open.

Yugi stepped inside and called out. "Hello? Anyone home?" There was only silence. Yugi shrugged and began to explore the cottage. "Wow, Duel Monsters cards!" he said upon spotting some of the cards scattered on a table. "I wonder if the people who live here are into the game."

In a nearby town, Tea looked around at her fellow workers in the Turtle Game Shop. "Okay guys, it's about time to close up for the day."

There were six groans at this, as she expected. "Guys? We all share in the profits here. If you don't help keep the place looking good, then we all lose out."

There was grumbling, but eventually the game shop was clean and ready for business the next day. Tea clapped her hands. "Good job, guys! Now we can go home!"

"We don't have to sing that stupid song again, do we?"

Marik waved his Millenium Rod and smiled sweetly at Tea. Suddenly Keith was very agreeable to singing their customary song as they returned home.

Back at their cottage, Yugi had discovered the bedroom. "Wow, seven beds, and they all have different symbols on them."

He started with the first bed, which had a heart carved into the headboard, and continued on, making note of the symbol on each one. "A dollar sign, a pair of dice, a Rod, someone holding the Rod?, a dog, and some stars and the moon. I guess these headboards show the personalities of the people who sleep in them. That's pretty cool." Yugi found himself yawning as he came back to the doorway of the room. "I'm pretty tired from all that walking. I'm sure whoever sleeps in the bed with the heart on it wouldn't mind if I took a quick nap in their bed." Yugi climbed into Tea's bed and quickly fell asleep.

He was still asleep when the seven duelists returned home.

"Awright, who left the door open?"

"Don't look at me!" Chorused five voices. Tea didn't say anything because she knew she hadn't left the door open. Unlocked maybe.

"Duke? Bakura? You two get dinner started. The rest of you clean up this place!"

Duke sighed as he went to the kitchen with Bakura. Why did Tea think that the two of them fixing dinner was a good idea? Bakura tended to be distracted very easily.

Tea headed up to the bedroom as the rest of the guys went to work, cleaning up the house.

"I saw you grab my card, Keith. Give it back!"

"I don't know what you're talking about, Joey."

Marik smirked as he waved his Millenium Rod again. Odeon watched Marik and frowned. Marik was becoming too fond of using his Rod.

Keith apologized and returned Joey's card. Along with a few more from his own deck. Marik nodded, satisfied.

Upstairs, Tea discovered Yugi asleep in her bed. She wanted to scream, but he looked so peaceful. Tea went downstairs and called all of the duelists together. "Guys!" she hissed. "There's a man in my bed!"

Bakura tried to head for the stairs to see for himself, but Duke caught him by the collar of his shirt and pulled him back.

Tea looked around at the faces of the other duelists. "What are we gonna do about him?"

Odeon was the first to speak. "Why don't we take a vote?"

Joey pointed out the error in that. "Shouldn't we find out where this guy's from? What his story is? I mean, we shouldn't let some stranger into our house." "Joey's right," Tea nodded. "I'll go wake him up and bring him downstairs. The rest of you hurry up and make this place presentable."

The six duelists frantically straightened up the rest of the cottage while they wondered about their mystery guest.

Tea returned to the bedroom and knelt down by Yugi. She gently shook him awake. "Hi there," she smiled as he woke up and blinked sleepily at her.

Yugi blushed as he sat up. "I'm sorry about sleeping in your bed."

"Oh, don't worry about it," Tea said as she got to her feet. "You must've been pretty tired." She extended a hand to Yugi. "Why don't you come downstairs with me? I've got some friends who would like to meet you."

Yugi followed Tea downstairs, where his eyes widened as he saw the six eager faces.

Tea cleared her throat and looked at the duelists. "Go on, introduce yourselves."

Joey stepped forward. "I'm Joey! Some people call me 'Goofy', but if you wanna stay on my good side."

Marik was next. "Hello, I'm Marik. I see you have a Millenium Item too. Mine's a Rod. You can play with it later if you like."

Odeon followed Marik. "I am Odeon. I follow Marik wherever he goes." Odeon bowed at Yugi.

Duke nervously fingered the die earring he wore. "I'm Duke. I prefer dice to cards. I'm working on my own version of Duel Monsters, with dice. Maybe I can show it to you some time."

Duke nudged Bakura, who was standing next to him. "Oh! I'm Bakura. Do you like to look at the stars? I enjoy gazing at them on clear nights."

Keith looked up from the couch he was slouched on. "Ehh, I'm Keith. I'm only stayin' with these bozos till something better comes along."

"And I'm Tea. We're the seven duelists. We run the Turtle Game Shop in the town of Roulette."

Yugi was a little stunned by all the introductions, but he managed to pull himself together. He was a prince after all, and had been trained in courtly manners. "My name is Yugi. I'm a prince, or well, I was. I'm not sure. My stepfather, King Seto, ordered his own brother to kill me!"

There were horrified gasps at this.

"Obviously he didn't do it," sneered Keith.

"Watch it, Keith," warned Joey. He then nodded at Yugi, who continued his tale.

"Uh, yeah. His brother didn't kill me. He told me to run away, so I did. And eventually, I found your house. The door was unlocked, so I came inside. I found the beds, which have really neat carvings on them, and I was so tired, I fell asleep in one of the beds."

There were nods and murmurs as Yugi finished relating his story.

"You're lucky we're not a family of bears," grinned Joey.

Duke sniffed the air. "Do you guys smell smoke? Oh no, dinner!" He grabbed Bakura and ran for the kitchen. After a moment there was a loud crash. Duke called out, "We're okay! And I think dinner can be saved."

"Would you like to stay for dinner?" Tea asked Yugi.


"Okay, um. Odeon, please show Yugi where we wash up. I want Joey and Keith to set the table. Marik, please get the couch ready for our guest."

Odeon nodded and took Yugi to the bathroom. The others did as Tea instructed while she went to the kitchen to make sure dinner didn't get any worse.

Bakura appeared in the doorway of the kitchen, his face covered in soot. "I saved it!"

Duke joined him. "Yeah, from the evil dragon of the oven."

During dinner, the seven duelists and Yugi talked about their favorite Duel Monsters cards and the strategies they liked to use. Eventually, the laughter and chatter turned to yawns, which Tea took as the cue to have everyone get ready for bed.

"We'll talk about you staying in the morning," she assured Yugi as she headed upstairs. "Sleep tight!"

The next morning, Tea delayed the opening of the game store so that they could make a decision about Yugi.

It was quickly agreed by a majority vote that Yugi would stay with them. Because they didn't need any more help at the game store, Yugi was allowed to stay home and make himself handy.

Meanwhile back at the castle, King Seto stroked the faux Millenium Puzzle and gloated.

"Hey, Seto, where's Yugi? I haven't seen him lately."

Seto blinked and looked up at Mai. "I did as you suggested. I had Mokuba take him out in the forest and kill him."

"You big jerk! I meant that you should have Mokuba take Yugi out to the forest and have some fun! Not kill him!" Mai swatted the back of Seto's head, knocking his crown off. "I hope you're happy, Seto. Now you really are the greatest duelist of them all."

Seto picked up his crown and retreated to his chambers in a huff. "Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the greatest duelist of them all?"

"Hmm? Weren't you satisfied with my answer before Kaiba-boy? Fine." The spirit in the mirror flipped its hair again and thought about it. "Yes, you are now the greatest duelist of them all. Wait. What's this? Yugi-boy is still alive?" The spirit smirked at Kaiba. "You lose, Kaiba. Yugi is still the greatest duelist of them all."

"NO!!!" screamed Kaiba as he threw the fake Millenium Puzzle across the room. It hit one of the walls and shattered, pieces of wood flying everywhere.

"Temper, temper, Kaiba-boy," warned the spirit. "Yugi is somewhere in the forest, living with the owners of a game shop." With that, the spirit of the mirror disappeared and wouldn't be coaxed back.

"A game shop, eh?" Kaiba thought about what the spirit had said. "Maybe I should send Yugi a special card. A very special card." Kaiba laughed maniacally as he gathered up his Duel Monsters cards and headed for the basement.

Yugi was bored after the first couple of hours at the cottage by himself. He had cleaned and then organized everyone's cards. Now he had nothing to do. Yugi thought about asking Tea to let someone stay home from the game shop with him tomorrow.

Down in the basement of the castle, Kaiba selected a very rare Duel Monsters card and coated it with a poison that activated once it was touched. He carefully placed it in a pack of booster cards and sealed the package up. "But how to make sure that Yugi gets the card."

King Seto paced around the basement as he thought about it. "I know, I'll disguise myself as an old man who just happens to have a booster pack for sale." Kaiba had his servants gather what was necessary and locked himself away in his chambers. Once he came out, he was unrecognizable. Even to his younger brother, Mokuba.

Seto left the castle and headed for the woods. He was able to follow the path Yugi took and easily found the cottage. Kaiba knocked on the door. "Cards for sale. Duel Monsters cards for sale." he said in his best elderly man voice.

Yugi peeked out from one of the windows. "I sure would like to get some new cards," he said as he studied the stranger. "But Tea said I shouldn't open the door for anyone!"

"Is there anyone home?" called Kaiba. "I have Duel Monsters cards for sale. The first pack of cards is free."

Wow, free cards, thought Yugi. I can't pass up a chance like this! He opened the door. "I'll take a pack of cards please!"

"Certainly, young man." Kaiba handed the pack with the deadly card in it to Yugi. "Why not open it now and see what you got?"

"Good idea, mister!" Yugi eagerly opened the pack of cards. "Wow, these are some great cards! There's a." Yugi's voice trailed off as he collapsed to the ground.

Kaiba laughed cruelly as he watched Yugi crumple. "Now I'm the greatest duelist!"

King Seto quickly returned to his castle and exulted in his triumph. In his haste to leave the scene of the crime, Kaiba forgot to take Yugi's Millenium Puzzle with him. Fortunately for Yugi, the Puzzle only put him to sleep and protected him from the deadly poison.

Yugi lay there until Tea and the other duelists returned home from the game shop.

"Oh my gosh you guys! Something's happened to Yugi!"

They all gathered around Yugi.

"Careful, guys," warned Odeon. "We do not know what hurt Yugi."

Tea nodded. "One of you, get something from the kitchen. I think these cards did something to him." Joey knelt down by Yugi. He placed his head on Yugi's chest. "I can hear his heart beatin', so he's still alive. Yo, Yuuug!" he shouted. "Nothin'," he pouted.

Duke returned from the kitchen with a pair of tongs and gathered up the cards. "I'll put these in the fireplace."

"Keith, Odeon, you two pick Yugi up, carefully, and bring him inside. We'll get him comfortable."

Both Bakura and Odeon volunteered to give up their beds for Yugi, but Tea decided that would be unnecessary. "We'll build him a special case, like the ones we have at the game shop. Maybe a prince will come along or something."

And so, Yugi's sleeping form was put on display in front of their cottage. Slowly, word began to spread, and one day, there was a long line of princes waiting to try and wake Yugi up.

"How'd you hear about this?"

"Some spirit with silver hair showed up in my mirror and told me about it."

"Me too!"

Elsewhere in the line, one of the princes complained that he would rather be fishing, and another insisted that he had better things, like tricks, to do instead of waiting in line.

Dollar signs danced in Keith's head as he thought of charging admission for each prince, but the others quickly overruled him. Marik pulled Keith aside and suggested he sell lip balm. Keith promptly began selling lip balm to any of the princes who felt they needed a touch-up before they tried.

Each of the princes stepped forward and kissed Yugi on the lips, but none of them was the one that would wake the sleeping prince.

Days passed and the line of princes trying to wake Yugi grew shorter and shorter.

"Guys, what are we gonna do?" Tea wondered. "I think we've seen every prince in the world try their hand at waking Yugi up. And none of them could do it!"

Just then, a prince rode up on a stunning white horse. He had a regal bearing and a kind smile. "I know I'm late," he said to the seven duelists, "But I had horse trouble on the way here. Can I try?"

"Sure," Tea said.

Tristan dismounted from his horse and walked over to the case.

"Lip balm before you try?" offered Keith.

Tristan waved him away.

"Lousy cheap prince," muttered Keith.

Tristan ignored him as he bent over Yugi's sleeping form. Gently, he pressed his lips to Yugi's and kissed him.

Slowly, Yugi, blinking, woke up. "Hey guys," he said sleepily. "Who's the prince?"

"Yugi! You're okay!"

The seven duelists gathered around Yugi and Tristan.

"You did it!" cheered the duelists.

Tristan blushed. "All I did was kiss the guy."

Yugi sat up and got down from the case. "I don't even know your name."

"You can call me Tristan. I take it you're Yugi?"

Yugi nodded. "How can I repay you?"

"That girl who was happy to see you wake up. Is she single?"

"Uh, I think so."

Back at the castle, Kaiba was gloating in his chambers.

"Not so fast, Kaiba-boy," said the spirit. "A prince has come for little Yugi-boy and woken him up."

"What??!?!?!" King Seto became so enraged that he gave up the game of Duel Monsters.

"Maybe you'd like to try this new dice game I've heard about," teased the spirit.

At the cottage, Tristan and Tea began to spend a lot of time with each other. After a few weeks, they reached a decision and called Yugi and the other duelists together.

"We have an announcement to make. Tea and I are moving back to my kingdom together. She wants to bring the game of Duel Monsters to another land, and my kingdom's as good a place as any to start."

"That's great, guys!" Yugi said. "I think I'm going to stay here. Joey and I are getting really close, and I'm looking forward to working in a game shop."

Tea and Tristan were successful in bringing Duel Monsters to his kingdom.

Yugi and the duelists, especially Yugi and Joey lived happily ever after.

Except for King Seto, who was stuck losing game after game of Dungeon Dice Monsters to Queen Mai.


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