Card 50: Musical Ghost
Card 50: Musical Ghost
Day after day for the past few months, Seto Kaiba had returned home from work very tired. It would seem that his stressful busy life was finally taking a toll on him. Everyday his little brother Mokuba came home from school and waited for Seto to return from Kaiba Corp. The CEO always worked late and when he arrived, he didn't even have the energy to eat dinner. Seto simply dragged himself up the stairs and collapsed in his bed into a deep much needed sleep. He didn't wake up until early the next morning. Took a shower, ate breakfast and left. Mokuba hardly spent time with him anymore and besides, that he was worried, all of this would be unhealthy for his big brother.
After much crying and begging from the younger Kaiba, Seto was sent off to a small log cabin in the middle of nowhere to "communicate with nature," as Mokuba put it. Seto wondered where his little brother would get such an idea, but soon it became clear: the TV. He must have heard some kind of anti-stress advertisement on TV and ordered one of those little overpriced guide books.
As they approached the cabin, Seto confirmed his suspicions when he noticed his little brother reading from a little book and trying to hide it at the same time. "Now I must... leave you alone to communicate with nature," Mokuba didn't like the book anymore, he didn't want to leave his brother, but even so, he had to do what was best. Seto had taken care of him since they were kids and now it was time to return that.
"I don't want to communicate with nature; I want to communicate with the Kaiba Corporation network!" Seto grumbled.
"But Seto, you have to! Your stress will go away and you'll be full of energy for the new day!" Mokuba repeated the rhyme written on the cover of the little book he still tried to hide.
Seto sighed, it was very important for his little brother, so he decided to do this. He would just have to work extra hard when he got back to make up for the time he wasted here.
Seto watched as the pilot took off in the helicopter. Mokuba waved goodbye from the window and he waved back. They didn't even have roads in this place and it was a miracle they found a stop clear enough to land the helicopter, as everything else was covered by an endless sea of tall trees.
After the helicopter was lost in the distance of the clear blue sky, Seto inspected the inside of the log cabin. It had a small kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. The furniture was made of wood and looked rather old. Why couldn't Mokuba pick a five star hotel for him to 'communicate with nature' in?
Seto took a seat in a small couch and got his laptop out of his briefcase. He had told Mokuba that the briefcase was full of camping supplies and for some unknown reason; the little Kaiba had actually believed it. The day went by quickly and uneventfully, Seto was relieved he had packed some 'city food' and plenty of extra batteries. Sometimes it even amazed him how many things he could keep inside that briefcase.
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The night soon came and Seto missed electricity even more. Walking around with a flashlight just isn't the same as a nice big light bulb above your head. He didn't know why but he wanted to go outside. He placed all his belongings back in his beloved briefcase and headed out with the flashlight in hand. He wasn't sure why he was bringing his briefcase along, but he had a feeling he should take it, as if he wouldn't return to the log cabin.
He heard an unrecognizable sound in the distance of the dense forest. It was if it the sound was calling him to go deeper into the darkness of the night. A cold wind blew and thick fog began to form. Soon, even the bright light of the flashlight was of no help for the CEO to know where he was going.
Seto continued walking into the cold darkness, looking around for anything familiar, but it was impossible to see in the darkness and fog. Even looking straight up at the skies, all he saw was the darkness, as any stars or moon that could be out there were covered by the tree branches and their leaves that moved slowly in the wind, as if dancing to the unknown sound.
As Seto came closer, the sound became clearer; it was music, a saxophone to be specific. Whoever was playing it was very good. He followed the sound, as if the music was hypnotizing him. As he got closer, the music started to sound familiar, as if he had heard that sound before, but didn't know where. Lyrics started coming to his mind and he sang without realizing it. The saxophone continued playing as he sang a little louder. He saw a shadowy figure up ahead with an item. He identified the item as a saxophone, he had found the musician or the musician found him.
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The next day, Mokuba had called Seto on his cell phone, which he was certain his brother had taken along, yet there was no answer. He became very worried as images of Seto's possible fate replayed over and over in his mind. Was he attacked by a bear or any other wild animal that tore him apart slowly and painfully to be fed to its cubs? Did he go for a walk and ate a poisoned berry from a strange bush and was now lying dead in the forest? Was he kidnapped by aliens from a far away planet who would perform strange experiments on him? Or maybe he got lost in the forest and wondered around endlessly until he starved to death? If that last one was the case, there was still hope!
Mokuba called Roland and the pilot and they flew off to the place where Seto was last seen. After searching the log cabin to find no signs of Seto except a few empty candy wrappers, Mokuba set off into the forest, followed by Roland, who knew Seto would fire him or worse if he let Mokuba go alone. They searched, and searched and found absolutely no sign of the missing CEO.
Desperate and frustrated, Mokuba did the only thing he could do; he hopped back in the helicopter and told the pilot to return to Domino City, he needed help.
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The helicopter landed in Yugi's backyard and Mokuba ran inside yelling for the puzzle hikari. This was what he did last time something happened to Seto when he was trapped in a virtual world by the Big Five and Yugi had helped, so he would help this time too.
Yugi listened to Mokuba narrate all he knew about Seto's disappearance and also discussed some of his theories about his brother's fate. All this time, Yugi had a discussion about it with Yami. The Pharaoh was starting to suspect this was the work of the Shadow Realm. Without wasting a single second, Yugi and Mokuba set off to return to the forest. Maybe the power of the Millennium Puzzle could help solve Seto's mysterious disappearance.
It was true that something strange was going on. Yugi hasn't seen Ryou or Bakura for some time. Nor had he seen the Ishtars and their museum remained closed for a lot longer than anyone would expect. A sign on the door of the Ishtar museum read "Gone on vacation, be back in two days". The paper had clearly suffered rain, wind and who knows what else and it had been much more than two days.
Back then Yugi thought nothing of it. Maybe they decided to stay on vacation longer, but this was very suspicious. First the Millennium Ring holder disappears along with his yami. Then the Ishtars who once had the Millennium Necklace and Millennium Rod respectably also disappear and now Seto Kaiba who was somehow also connected to the Millennium Items and Ancient Egypt. Why didn't he think of this before?
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By the time they arrived in the forest it was already nightfall. Armed with only flashlights, or a flashlight and a puzzle in Yugi's case, Yugi, Mokuba and Roland set out to search for Seto, ready to take on any and all dangers that may come across and rescue him.
To keep busy and not get scared, they talked along the way. Everything was fine until Roland mentioned a legend he knew about. Mokuba insisted that he told them. "A long time ago in this forest, there lived a young girl who loved music. Some were jealous of her and others admired her very much. One day, the girl's wicked stepmother took away the source of her happiness, a saxophone she had received from her father. This was the last thing she had of him. Her father was a merchant and gave her the instrument before leaving on a trip that he never came back from. She knew her father wouldn't leave her, so she assumed the worse. The girl taught herself to play the saxophone and played everyday since then."
Yugi and Mokuba's attention focused on the story.
Roland continued, "Her wicked stepmother threw the instrument in a lake located behind a group of log cabins where the villagers lived. The girl dived in and recovered her precious instrument, but refused to leave the lake. She floated in the waters, playing the saxophone at the same time. She knew that if she came out, her wicked stepmother would take the instrument away. She saw her walking around the small lake along with her enemies who where jealous of her. Her fiends came to help her and beat up her enemies. Her wicked stepmother ran back to the village and locked herself in her cabin, afraid of the girl's friends. Even after this, the girl refused to come out of the lake and her friends didn't know why. The girl sadly informed them that when she had dived after the saxophone, she had fallen head first into a sharp and hard bolder that was hidden by the lake's waters. Her body laid unconscious and dead in the bottom of the lake and now only her spirit remained. She just wanted to play the saxophone and let people hear her."
It was tragic, as most ghost stories tend to be.
Roland went on, "her friends built a hotel, casino and spa in the village after the musical ghost, as she came to be known, chased away the mean villagers, including her wicked stepmother and her enemies. The girl then played for everyone and waited for the day when her father's spirit would come to visit. After some time, her wish came true and her father's spirit was able to find her again. He had indeed died in an accident in his last trip, but now they where reunited once more."
Now it was time to connect the legend with reality.
"They say the girl's friends lived happy and peaceful lives till the end of their days in the hotel, casino and spa. Some also say that the girl's stepmother became insane after being chased away by the musical ghost. There are also different versions of this legend; there is also a version where he girl had a brother. In some versions he was away with their father and died also and in other versions he helped her friends beat up the mean people and stayed to help manage the hotel, casino and spa," everything was silent after Roland finished his narration.
After walking for some time, once again a cold wind began to blow and thick fog began to form and there was a distant echo of an indescribable sound. They continued their journey deep into the dark forest. The sound became clearer, it was a saxophone. They kept going until they spotted a shadowy figure with an item. Yugi waited for Yami to do something, anything but the spirit of the puzzle assured Yugi that everything was all right.
They came closer to the shadow and as the fog began to clear and a cool breeze blew, they saw it was a girl playing a saxophone. There were several people sitting around a camp fire near by, roasting marshmallows and listening to the music, singing along. When the song ended, the girl welcomed her new guests. "Welcome to my hotel, casino and spa, no reservations needed, enjoy your stay!" She smiled and added in an almost inaudible whisper, "one thousand dollars per day, per person."
Mokuba, Yugi and Roland blinked in confusing, Yami materialized outside the Millennium Puzzle and blinked as well.
"Mokuba!" Seto called from the campfire.
"Big Brother!" Mokuba ran to Seto and glomped him.
The Ishtars, Ryou and Bakura were also there. There were also with a few people who looked like the classic stereotypical tourists, with colorful shirts and cameras around their necks.
"I don't understand," Yugi voiced.
"We're here on vacation," Ryou smiled.
"Seto, why didn't you answer your cell phone, I was worried!" Mokuba whined giving Seto the chibi face.
"I'm sorry Moky, I must have left it in my room and I've been here all day roasting marshmallows and listening to the music." Soon another song started and the new guests joined everyone else roasting marshmallows around the campfire, talking about random things and signing to the sound of the saxophone. So maybe that legend was only a story to attract tourists after all, or was it?
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When everyone has already gone to sleep, the girl who played the saxophone took a walk around the resort that used to be a village and reached the lake behind it. "They're all sleeping now dad."
An older man appeared beside her. "I know; I was there just not visible."
"I know," she floated above the lake and played her saxophone some more, her father listened, enjoying every moment of the song. She saw her fiends reborn today and wondered what would have happened if her spirit was also put to rest.
End of Card 50
Disclaimer, I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh!