Author’s Note: In order to write the following scenes,
I will admit that I did a little research on ancient Egypt and the way of
life during this time. I hope that what I’ve written is accurate
but if it is not, please try to enjoy the story for what it is. I only
wanted to make it more believable; that what I was writing is not completely
wrong though I still plan to stick with my original ideas regardless.
Another point that I wanted to address is the Teana and Yami relationship that I’m writing about as a whole. Though I plan to explain the history of that relationship in future chapters, beginning with this one actually, a friend of mine asked me why Yami was unaware of Teana and who she was when it seemed obvious that she knew him. In other words, she wanted to know why they hadn’t met and interacted sooner, considering that I am attempting to tie the real events of this story arc into my own. Well, aside from the fact that Yami has no memory of nearly anything from his past, including her, I also remembered that in the real manga, it had only been a few days since Yami first arrived in his memory world. From day one things began to occur at a very fast pace, and due to all the danger caused by Bakura, it is likely that Yami never left the palace during that time, up until he pursued him on horseback that is. So in short, Yami and Teana, if she had been a real character within the story, would never have had a chance to meet, or rather meet again, under those circumstances. I hope that clears things up and I hope that you’re enjoying the story so far too! Thank you!
Yami felt as if his mind were splitting open..... He squinted his eyes, swallowing hard; a feeble attempt to simply endure….for just a little longer… Oh, but it hurt…. It hurt so much….. And yet it paled to what he was inflicting upon himself, the war within him, in his head…. If he had had the strength, he would have lifted a hand in an attempt to contain it, the horrible throbbing….! This suffering was indeed beyond the pain of his external wounds, for it was both agonizing and frustrating being close, so very close to the truth! He had seen a vision of the girl’s face, this Teana, as she called herself, who was without a doubt the previous incarnation of the modern day Tea. Though confusion and a swarm of questions were ever present, he continued to concentrate, ignoring his suffering, the strain of each breath, the seconds in which he clung to life. He just kept on trying, trying even harder to shatter the seemingly impenetrable wall that had long since kept him from his past. And then finally it happened…. Like the breaking of a dam, he was flooded with a wave of vivid memories….and powerful emotions. He could see it… It was all so clear…. Everything was taking place before his very eyes….
A younger Prince Yami, dressed in peasant clothing, looked behind him as he fled. There was no stopping him now…. He was running away from the palace grounds yet again! He had to let out a laugh, wondering if Simon had even realized that he had left when his back was turned. Or, was it possible that he was still carrying on about….. well…..whatever it was that he was trying to teach him that afternoon! He really couldn’t remember as he recalled dozing off before he had decided to just skip the rest of the lesson all together. With his intelligence, it was a waste of time really. It wasn’t as if he was incapable of simply devouring information when it best suited him!
To be certain, he cautiously glanced in the opposite direction once more. He looked towards the massive gates, and then the rows of statues and obelisks positioned on each side. As he focused to keep his senses alert, he made very sure that nothing distracted him, not even his eagerness to leave, from noticing any sudden movements or suspicious sounds….. Yes! No one was following him! It was the perfect opportunity!
As he continued on his way towards the village he stretched his arms in the air, his body in complete relaxation. He simply had to get out of there! He felt as if he would die of boredom if he hadn’t! And besides, at least he knew he could get away with it when Simon was teaching him! It wasn’t so easy to leave when he was being taught by the strict and depressingly serious priests that his father had appointed. On second thought, he rather liked Akunadin, but the others…..
Well, unfortunately for Yami, now that he was growing older, his lessons consisted of more time with the priests than with Simon. In fact he was constantly being reminded about the importance of his "special training" in particular…. But he decided to put such thoughts out of his mind. He wanted to enjoy his outing, though it wasn’t as if it were the first! By now he had completely refined his method of escape, a secret route out of the palace, flawlessly timed, that allowed him to leave undetected by the guards or anyone else who stood in his way! What was the harm in it anyhow? He was never gone for very long. Despite what Simon thought of him, especially at a moment such as this where he demonstrated "improper and unorthodox" behavior for a young prince, Yami did indeed understand both the importance as well as the immense power that information granted him. Knowledge and the way it was understood and utilized were essential to being a good ruler after all. He understood that now more then ever, especially since his father…would soon be…..
As he arrived at the village market place he felt grateful that the sight before him had interrupted his train of thought. He did not like to be reminded of the current tensions at home, yet another reason why he needed to escape the pressure placed upon him. Wandering the crowded streets, he made certain to keep himself hooded. Though he was dressed like any other citizen, he knew that his unusual hair style would surely give them reason to recognize him. He was not unknown among the people after all! In fact, so often had he roamed the village, at times he would even hear talk that he was among them…!....talk that had actually been passed to his own ears so it was clear that no one suspected him at least.
Yami had stopped walking for a moment to just take in the image of the villagers leading their daily lives. No matter how often he saw it, he always found himself amazed. There were so many people! They were all dressed simply; mostly in loose, white, linen gowns and skirts; for it helped them endure the daytime's rather sweltering temperatures! Though not as common, some wore a bit of wool as well. In addition, Yami found that he was not the only one hooded, though the men also wore turbans and handkerchiefs too. This was true of the women as well, yet many of them, men and women alike, chose to wear nothing on their heads at all, allowing their straight, plaited, or colorfully ornamented hair to flow freely in the wind.
Observing those ornaments in particular, Yami then became aware of the great variety of jewelry that the villagers wore! Though he himself was accustomed to wearing shimmering and finely cut gold, he noticed that these adornments, consisting of beads or baked, then painted clay, were also rather attractive in their simplicity; in addition to their vibrancy and creativity of design as well. Nearly all of the villagers were sporting them, in fact! The rich hues of these necklaces, bracelets, and anklets were rather easy to spot among the bright whites of their clothing.
Among the hundreds of mud brick houses, canopied shops, and booths, Yami continued to watch; the hustling and bustling, exchanging this, trading that, or perhaps simple conversation and interaction among the people. He smiled, turning to continue on his way. Though foreign to his own upbringing, he rather liked the plainness of a villager’s life style. How wonderful it must be not to have to worry about royal duties and responsibilities that were expected of him since as far back as he could remember! He often longed to experience what he witnessed for himself, or to at least speak with someone about it! And yet, with the exception a few brief words spoken between a market place vender that he had conducted business with, or a villager that walked by him, he had never really mingled with the people during these excursions at all, despite his desire to do so. If only he could though! It would be nice to befriend someone who didn’t bow down to him as if he were a god on earth, a concept that he simply could not understand, regardless what he had been taught. But, he felt that it was enough that he allowed himself the privilege to simply enjoy the pleasant atmosphere. In truth he really didn’t want to take the risk of revealing his identity. Certainly he would never hear the end of it from Simon! And….with his father’s failing health….well, he knew it just wouldn’t be right drawing such attention to the royal family. No, he couldn’t do that, not now….
*I suppose I should head back.* Yami thought to himself, sighing.
Though he had hoped that this trip would take his mind off of his troubles, he found that wandering aimlessly in the streets only made him even more pensive. In fact he hadn’t even noticed where he was going, until he walked right into a very large, bare-chested, muscular guard!
Yami’s vision traveled upward as his eyes locked with those of the handkerchief topped man towering over him. Stepping back, he heard the sound of even more men marching, weapons in hand. He realized that he was surrounded! *This is not good….* He thought to himself. Perhaps this particular escape had been the straw that had broken the camels back, as the saying went. Simon must have been extremely angry to actually send the guards to fetch him as if he were a common criminal! The man before him addressed Yami directly.
“We….” He began trying to choose his words carefully.
It appeared that the guard wanted to remain respectful to his prince, yet he was also aware of the citizens witnessing the commotion. For that reason, he too wanted to keep Yami’s identity a secret. “We have orders to take you in. Come with us now.” He said simply, but sternly. Despite the number of men against him, Yami was not about to allow himself to be carted off in this manner!
*If Simon wants me to return to the palace this badly,* Yami thought inwardly. *he will have to retrieve me himself!*
For a brief second he saw the humor of seeing the elderly man walking through the streets, hands on his hips, with steam practically coming out of his ears! But he quickly dismissed that thought, as he attempted to find the quickest route past the men that blocked his path. As the guard approached him, Yami ducked and maneuvered himself around him, breaking free of the circle. He then ran directly into the group of spectators hoping to lose them in the crowd.
The chase was on! Just when Yami had begun to believe that he had finally lost track of them, they would surprise him suddenly by appearing from out of nowhere! However, this only allowed Yami to double back in the opposite direction to try yet another course of action! *It seems they are quite persistent. They certainly deserve that much credit!* Yami thought to himself, continuing his run. Despite the strangeness of the circumstances, he was rather enjoying the rush that he felt from this interesting game of cat and mouse! It was exciting! And though he was beginning to tire, he kept right on running, knowing that he could outsmart them if need be! He looked back for a moment to see how far behind the men were trailing. As he did so, however, he hadn’t noticed that he had run right into someone else, causing them both to trip and fall to the ground!
“Hey! Excuse me! But why don’t you watch where you’re going!” He heard a voice say.
Yami shook the cobwebs out of his head before he had realized that he had not only fallen on a young woman, but that he was lying right on top of her! “Do you mind?” She asked him, her gaze angrily burning into his own.
“Oh! Right!” Yami replied in embarrassment.
He felt a slight blush cross his face, as he crawled off of her in a hurry. “I’m sorry….I didn’t mean to….” Yami began as he stood up. Before he could finish his sentence however, he noticed that the guards were right on his tail! Looking back at the insulted female on the ground, his gentlemanly upbringing told him to apologize to her properly before hurrying onward, but the reality of the situation told him to continue running, and fast! Torn between these conflicting views, and before his mind could process the precise reason why, he impulsively forced the young woman to her feet, swept her into his arms, and proceeded on his way with her in tow!
“What are you doing!? Are you crazy!? Let me go this instant!!” She cried, struggling to be released.
Despite her resistance, not to mention her rather violent thrashings, he ran further still. Finally he found a dark and secluded alleyway where a group of fairly large vases were present. Yami couldn’t help but smile as a thought entered his mind, his eyes meeting with those of his unwilling captive. She looked confused by the expression he was giving her, until finally, what he was thinking, appeared to dawn on her. “Oh no….. If you think that I’m simply going to sit back and allow you to-”
“Shhh!” Yami insisted as he forced her to jump inside of the vase along with him! It was a tight squeeze, but they had both managed to fit, despite the somewhat uncomfortable positioning….
“Watch that hand!”
“I swear that it was an accident!”
“Hey! I’m warning you!”
“Please! Be quiet!”
“Ow! That hurt! What’s in this thing anyway? I can’t see!”
“Hmm, it smells like….”
“Look, I don’t know what kind of trouble you’re in but-”
Yami silenced her by covering her mouth as he heard the sound of stomping pass by them. He waited for what seemed like an eternity before he believed it was safe to leave their hiding place. He exited first, finally letting out the laugh that he had tried to repress for the longest time. “I have not done that in years!” He exclaimed, offering his hand to her. She rejected it however, choosing to help herself out of the cramped container.
*What a day!* Teana groaned as she set foot on the ground. *If I had I known the morning was going to end up out like this I would have- No, what am I saying? Nothing would have prepared me for this turn of events! Whoever this….this strange man is, he had better start talking!* she thought to herself. She looked towards him seeing that he was grinning at her from ear to ear. “Well! I’m glad to see that you’re enjoying yourself, at least!” She shot back at him.
She brushed herself off, seeing that she was now covered in grass and other bits of foliage that must have been within the vase before they had leapt inside of it. She stopped abruptly, when she felt the man’s eyes watching her intensely. “What? Why are you looking at me like that?” She asked him, seeing his grin grow even wider. Suddenly, he had burst out laughing, again! Despite his attempt to speak, he was only able to point towards her, laughing harder still! Ok… Now she was royally upset! *Of all the nerve! Just who is he anyway?!* She thought to herself. *First he rudely runs into me, then he abducts me, and now he’s laughing at me?!! Oh! He’s asking for it!*
As her body began to shake, she felt her anger escalating, building….. With her fists tightly clenched at her side, she at last felt it erupt! “That’s it…. I don’t know who you think you are and what you’re after but I’ve had enough!” She screamed. “How dare you drag me into this mess!? It’s bad enough that you have the royal guards after you! But thanks to you, they might be after me too! Are you happy now? Are you?!” She attempted to calm herself as she looked up at him again, shocked to see that he was now completely composed, gazing at her in amusement. “Hello! Did you hear me?! I demand that you explain yourself this instant before I-.” Before she could finish, the man slowly unhooded himself, as he simply began stretching the kinks from his neck before looking towards her with a smile. She recognized him at once and with that realization she could almost feel the color draining from her cheeks! She just stared at him, unsure what to do, what to say! “Um….. Excuse me for a moment please.” She spoke in a small voice, as she very slowly faced away from him. *I just yelled at the prince…..* She said to herself, the shock coursing through her entire body. *I just yelled at the prince!? What’s wrong with me?! Am I insane!? Oh gods! What should I do!? What can I possibly say to him!? This is a nightmare, right?! It has to be! This just isn’t happening!* She rambled from within. She brought her hands to her face in defeat, which was about all she could do to deal with the utter embarrassment that she was feeling! *Ok, I need to pull myself together. I can fix this…. I can….* Finally, with a deep breath, and an attempt to clear her throat, she then gathered the courage to face him again. “Your highness I-” As she turned, she saw that he was only inches away from her plucking a blossom from within her hair. He brought it to his nose, inhaling its sweet scent.
“Lilies.” He said simply.
“The answer to your earlier question…. The vase contained what was left from a shipment of lilies. I also detected small amounts of irises, myrrh, cinnamon….. I believe these are the ingredients that are required to make Susinum, a favored and rather popular perfume among women.”
*Wow…. He was able to get all that from just those few minutes in there?!* Teana thought.
“Hmm. I must say that this would look quite lovely on you under normal circumstances.” Yami said.
It was amazing! In only seconds he had been transformed! Moments ago, he had looked and acted like a
mischievous troublemaker and now, even the way he stood demonstrated his regal presence. Finally she allowed what had been said to her to sink in. Feeling the top of her head, she realized that it was also covered in shrubbery and that her hair was probably a complete mess! She looked over Yami however, seeing that his appearance, for the most part, had remained undisturbed, despite what had just happened to them! Perhaps even bits of foliage responded to the future ruler of the land!
Embarrassed over the way she looked and what had just coursed through her mind, she began to blush furiously. She still couldn’t believe that this was happening to her! She was absolutely mortified! “But….. I am aware that this is my doing.” Yami continued. “Now, as I had wanted to do from the start, please allow me to apologize to you, my lady.” He said with slight bow. This only deepened Teana’s blush as she stood their completely dumbstruck. “Also, I certainly did not mean to insult you by laughing, but you were quite a sight to behold after our little adventure just now, especially with these on your head.” Yami said raising the flower that he held. She brushed the other bits off of her and attempted to straighten her hair with her fingers. Now that it was free of any further foliage, Yami slipped the flower into it. “That’s it…. As I said previously, it does indeed look lovely on you now.”
“Your highness I-” Teana began again
“Please, tell me your name.”
“Teana.” She said simply.
“And I am-”
“The prince! Of course I know who you are!”
“True, but please, call me Yami. I think that I would like that very much.”
He said smiling down at her
“Um, all right then…. Yami it is.” Teana said, shyly returning the smile.
“Well Teana,” Yami said suddenly, crossing his arms. “It seems that the situation has become rather complicated. I suppose I must abandon my plan to keep myself from interacting with the people here. Now that you’ve become my accomplice, there’s no turning back from this point on.”
Teana, though still feeling rather meek in Yami’s presence, grew bolder at the sight of the laughter in his eyes.
“No turning back ….” She echoed as she felt her insecurities melting away.
“Please forgive me for my improper conduct in the village and when we were within that vase as well. Though I assure you that both incidents were unintentional, I assume that your husband would be quite upset with me if he knew, royalty or not.”
“Huh? Oh! No! No husband.” Teana replied.
She noticed the slight surprise that had appeared on Yami’s face. “I know that most women my age- Well, you see, I’m on my own..... I have been, for a while now actually….. And it’s rather difficult to find a husband when there isn’t much to be offered as a dowry….” She said with a shrug of her shoulders.
Yami just looked at her, eyeing her with concern.
“I really don’t mind though!” She responded quickly. “It’s easy when there’s only one mouth to feed. I do a little weaving, for trade at the market and all, I grow some crops, I care for the children in the village and-” Teana stopped suddenly as she felt the flush return to her face.
“And?” Yami asked urging her to continue.
“Well your high- I mean Yami, I’m actually a dancer too. I occasionally perform in the streets, during festivals and celebrations….though I was hoping…. Well….. It’s always been my dream to…..to be hired someday to perform before the royal family….to perform for you.” She said quietly, her face now completely flustered!
“Hmm…..” Yami responded wistfully.
They simply stood their regarding each other in silence. Suddenly, a soft breeze traveled through the alleyway and Teana lifted an arm to fight it, as she felt her hair being blown by the wind. As it had begun to die down, Teana could have sworn that she had caught Yami looking at her rather strangely….almost as if- Just then, their moment was interrupted when they heard the uproar growing louder in the streets. It dawned on them that perhaps the search had not ended just yet. No, the guards weren’t about to give up so easily!
“I must go….” Yami said with a sigh. “They will continue to seek me out until they find me, or until they hear that I have returned on my own. Truth be told, I think that I would prefer the latter. And besides, though I don’t doubt that they were concentrating more on my capture than on you, I certainly would not want to risk even the possibility that they would trouble you in any way. It really would be best if I simply returned home….. Well…. Teana….I suppose this is good bye….” He said, a hint of sadness in his voice.
Giving her one last look, he turned to leave.
“Will I see you again?!” She called behind him.
As he faced her, Teana lifted a hand to her mouth, feeling awkward again by her outburst.
“Yes….” Yami smiled. “Yes you will…”
Replacing his hood he proceeded to disappear into the crowd, while Teana just stood there, gazing at the spot where he had been. Removing the flower that he had placed in her hair, she too inhaled its scent before resting it near her heart with a slight giggle. She felt overwhelmed! And though still embarrassed….she felt….happy…. As her own smile formed on her face, she then noticed that the heat had returned to her cheeks once more.
"Yami...." She said softly.