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Long ago, the ancient Egyptians called upon monsters- spirits of great and terrible power often born from the sheut (which is the shadow) of a man's soul- for a great many things ranging from combat to construction. There were three, the Egyptian God Monsters, that reigned above them all. However, there was one invincible force that reigned above even them: Exodia, the Forbidden One. Exodia himself was among the Egyptian God Monsters, but he was so much more. Eventually, Exodia agreed to be sealed by and within the Millennium Key, one of the seven Millennium Items that administered judgment and primarily controlled the magic of the shadows. In our time, these monster spirits have been reborn as duel spirits in the card game Duel Monsters.
In recent years, the Millennium Items revealed themselves when Yugi Muto and the spirit of the Millenniums Puzzle, Pharaoh Atem, conquered the world of duel monsters and became the King of Games. In time, they were all returned to the Stone Slab of Kul-Elna to rest, with the Millennium Puzzle once again shattered into pieces. However, the Millennium Items have will of their own, and soon sought new wielders. With the Millennium Puzzle empty with no spirit remaining inside, only the Spirit of the Ring and Exodia remained within their respective Items. However, Exodia saw a great destructive Light in the future of men, one that wished to eliminate the Shadow for all eternity to that it may conquer the world. And it was such that the Millennium Key took ahold of the mind of one of the acolytes who guarded the Millennium Items, having him leave Egypt and search for the one who would wield the Millennium Key, searching across the world until landing in the state of Virginia in the United States and eventually stumbling upon a regional Duel Monsters tournament for children, he then spotted an eight-year-old American child named Shade Murdock who held in his hands four of Exodia's five pieces. To the acolyte this was a sign, that if this boy could summon Exodia then he was the one destined to wield the Millennium Key. And soon enough, it was so. The acolyte place the Key about the boy's neck and vanished, returning to Kul-Elna without the Key as the young man would soon learn of the power he now wielded.
It began with at first appeared to be a dream that very night, as the boy held onto his gift as he went to sleep. At first, as the boy was fairly versed in ancient Egyptian mythology for his age, he believed it to be no more than a mere ankh. But he soon learned otherwise. He saw it for the first time. He had what many didn't: two rooms within his mind. The one to the right was his, his dreams and aspirations before him. Then he turned around, opening the door to the initial left. The door itself was adorned by a five-pointed star within a seal, and it was clearly made of stone. He gingerly opened it and walked past it, looking around as he saw the room had five shrines connected by a five-pointed star like on the door. However, within the center of the star there was a keyhole. He did not pay heed to it initially as he looked down, seeing the Millennium Key glow with a bright. He then used it like a torch as he walked about the room and examined the hieroglyphs carved into the walls and examining the five tablets found within the five shrines, noting that they looked like his Exodia cards. It was then that he saw the keyhole, kneeling down onto the ground and wiping the dust away, pondering it for a moment before removing the Key from around his neck and putting it in the slot, twisting it as a pillar of light emerged from it, surrounding him as the room before him crumbled, the sound of chains breaking as before him emerged what was none other than the head of Exodia. The spirit spoke, speaking to the boy in a deep, commanding voice. "So you are the one who has chosen. I am the Forbidden One, Exodia, the spirit who lives within the Millennium Key. By your act our souls- our very fates- are now intertwined. Not only yours, but five others, as well." It was then that the Eye of Anubis appeared for the first time on Shade's forehead, glowing brightly as he looked Exodia, speaking up. "But why me? What am I supposed to do?" Exodia thought for a moment, unsure of what to say. "I do not know. The Millennium Key has decided that we should become partners. In time, you shall control my powers and the Key's to defeat a Light that would wipe out the Shadow that has let mankind and monster flourish together in ages past, and now through your Duel Monsters game." Shade was somewhat scared, but like all children excited, speaking again. "Wait... so every Duel Monster has a spirit inside of them?" Exodia nodded, speaking once more. "That is correct. But now it is time for you to awaken..." And it was then his alarm sounded, the boy excited and curious about the days to come.
As years soon passed, Shade became a stronger duelist passing every day as every passing night he trained with Exodia regarding using his powers and fighting in Shadow Games. Exodia and Shane soon became friends of a sort, trusting one another almost wholly. Shortly after Shade's eleventh birthday, Shade's father, a U.S. Air Force major by the name of Cain Murdock, was transferred to Japan and his family went with him. As a result, Shade learned Japanese and (due to his research as a result of further interest in Egyptology) finished his studies to become fluent in ancient Egyptian. From then on he spent his vacations in America and his school days in Japan as the family traveled back-and-forth, until the accident. Cain was a test pilot for the F-35 Harrier, a new jet the American military was planning on utilizing. The model Cain was testing, however, had faulty wiring near the fuel tank, and one wayward spark caused an explosion at five thousand feet. The military would pay for their expenses until Shade was eighteen, afterwards Shade's mother, Delilah, would receive a monthly amount equal to what her husband's pension payment would have been. Shade, however, didn't exactly react to it and barely even talked to Exodia about it as the remaining two members of the family soon moved to the suburbs of Domino City.
A few years later, after his fifteenth birthday in August, Shane applied for Duel Academy Central in Japan, with his initial paperwork being accepted. It was not too long after in the last week of September that Shade, now standing at five feet and eight inches, would prepare for his entrance exam duel. The Millennium Ket hung around his neck and rested on his grey t-shirt as he put on jeans into which he tucked in his shirt, a black jacket, a belt, and his tennis shoes. Afterwards he held his deck, shuffling before inserting it into the carrier he kept on his belt and putting on his Battle City Duel Disk. His brown hair remained in a bedhead as his blue eyes were agleam with excitement, soon walking out the door with his packed bags. He gave one last hug to his mother before hopping on the buss that would take him to the testing center, which was a dueling center where he had won the utmost recent regional championship. Shade would hop off and register, trading in his old Battle City Duel Disk for an Academy Disk, finishing up most of his student registration and turning it in about ten minutes before his entrance exam duel. However, there were an odd number of students so as opposed to dueling one of the supplied examiners. He was then approached by an oddly feminine man, standing a good few inches taller than him with blond hair that was more likely than not died as well as wearing full make-up. Shade used every bit of willpower to ensure he didn't cringe or, as he truly desired, to burst out laughing at the sight. The man spoke up, looking at Shade.
"Shade Murdock, I presume? I am Dr. Vellian Crowler, the proctor for all of the entrance exams today. Unfortunately we are running short on examiners, so you'll need to duel one of our viewing professors. Is that acceptable?"
"Good. Follow me." Crowler was clearly pleased to not be confused for a woman for a few brief moments before he lashed out at a passing student for doing so shortly after they began walking. Shade chuckled beneath his breath where Crowler wouldn't hear as the two continued onto the floor. He was introduced briefly to one of the professors awaited him. They were introduced and shook hands as well as other pleasantries before the exam begin.
The duel itself was a nail-biter at first given that the professor he dueled against used a "Dark World" deck, but Shade and his spellcaster deck made a quick rebound, with a single use of "Jar of Greed" sealing Shade's victory as he drew the final piece of Exodia. Everyone who watched the duel felt their jaws drop as Shade celebrated as he saw Card Spirits from his deck join in on the celebration. However, when Crowler walked up to him his face was pale despite his blush, stuttering and convinced that Shade had somehow cheated his way to victory by rigging his deck. Checking the Academy Disk afterwards and discovering he hadn't done so, he sighed and, instead of making Shade and Obelisk Blue like onlookers expected, sent Shade to get his new Slifer Red uniform and change into it. Once he did so he was escorted to the ferry to Duel Academy Island, sitting with two people who appeared to be siblings in the cabin he was put in. They looked oddly familiar to Shade, as if he had met them and knew them long ago. He put that aside, striking up a small conversation.