~~~~~~ = flashbacks/dreams... anything
out of current time line
Blue letters = quotes from previous chapters.
“Sakura, wait! Please trust me!” Syaoran reached out for Sakura, as he ran, panting after her lithe figure. Her golden brown hair streamed behind her.
Then she halted, swerving around. Her dark emerald eyes were sorrowful, as well as hard. “Why should I trust you? You’re my enemy!”
“No, Sakura! It’s a mistake. The truth is, the truth is…”
“I don’t want to listen to you! Stop lying to me! Stop hurting me! I don’t need someone like you!”
The words echoed in his head as he watched Sakura turn around and disappear from view. NO! SAKURA! BELIEVE ME!!!
In the stark of night, Syaoran bolted up from his bed. What an unpleasant dream. He wiped the sweat from his brows.
“It’s the truth, though, Little Wolf. You are scared that one day, the Cherry Blossom will leave you. You are scared that she will no longer trust you. Because you have hurt her before. You have betrayed her trust before,” came a deep hollow voice.
Syaoran gazed around him warily. It was pitch black in the hotel suite room. “Who are you?”
“I am the Phantom. I am the fear inside you, which will haunt you. I am inside you.”
“Well, I don’t fear you,” Syaoran replied assuredly, drawing out his sword.
“That is a lie, Brave One. Inside, you are scared. So scared that one day, you might hurt the Cherry Blossom beyond repair. So scared that she might turn to hate you, scorn you, and despise you. You are scared of losing her one day.” That dark voice wrapped around Syaoran, choking him with invisible venom. “Surrender your body to me, Small Wolf. Choose and easier path, free from worry, free from pain. Give me your body for me to control.”
Syaoran trembled, trying to keep the voice from hypnotizing him. “No!”
“I can ensure you that when you give me your body and mind to possess, I won’t kill the Cherry Blossom. There, isn’t it a deal? Now, surrender your cowardly self to me.”
For a moment, Syaoran trembled under the black venom, which seemed to scrape sharp nails into his brain. Then he shouted, “NEVER!”
“What?” Startled, the Phantom backed off. “Silly boy. I told you that you will no longer have to face pain. And I ensured that I won’t kill your beloved Cherry Blossom. What more can you ask for?”
“Ha, you’re the stupid one.” Syaoran grinned at the Phantom. “Don’t you know that I would rather face pain and protect Sakura with my very own hands then be a weak coward who would surrender his body to you, the Phantom?“
“So, you don’t care if you’re hurt? You don’t mind is the Cherry Blossom is endangered?”
“I do care. But I’m not scared of dying for her sake. I would rather be able to watch over her with the knowledge that I can and will do anything for her. And my life is my life. I want to control it and life it.” With these words, Syaoran let out a flare of power raw power.
Groaning, the Phantom backed off.
“Surely words, Little Wolf. Don’t now how, but I can’s seem to posses your
mind, even by force. Well, I’ll have to find someone else to control…”
With this, the Phantom evaporated into the Tokyo night in search for the
right person to possess. And several blocks off, he found the perfect man
who was internally suffering because of the fear that his daughter might
Giving a sigh of relief, Syaoran collapsed back into his sofa bed. His power had been exhausted, fighting off the Phantom. For a moment, he had been really scared that the Phantom really would take over his mind and body and do something regrettable to Sakura. No! But the Phantom would never be able to touch his heart and soul. He will never let any harm come over Sakura, and the first thing he must do is always be by her side, whether she wanted him or not. He didn’t want his dream to reoccur in real life, though he was very scared that it might. And he vowed, he will do anything to make Sakura believe in him with her full heart.
Kinomoto Fujitaka’s flashback…
“Onii-chan! Don’t leave me! Fujiko doesn’t want to stay alone,” said a pretty girl with long golden hair and tear stained cheeks.
“I’m sorry things had to work out this way, Fujiko,” Fujitaka, at age 17 murmured, consoling his little sister. He shut his simply packed suitcase and gazed around at his large empty room. “I promise that I’ll come back for you. And in the mean time, be a good girl and listen to father and Fujishika aniki.”
Swallowing a sob, Fujiko looked up at her gently smiling handsome brother with large glistening eyes. “Does onii-chan want to leave me that much? If I’m a good girl, will onii-chan come back?”
“Fujiko, I’m leaving home because I want to lead my own life, one where I am my own self, not someone his is entitled under the name of “Kinomoto” and the Hoshi Enterprise. When I find who I really am, and when I find out what my dream is, I’ll come back. I’ll make sure that I become someone you can admire. Then, we’ll explore the large world, together. All right?” Fujitaka stroked Fujiko’s pretty hair.
“If I wait patiently for a few years, you’ll come back? And then, we won’t have to be parted anymore?” Fujiko asked hopefully. "I can believe onii-chan will return to me, right?"
“I promise. From then on, we’ll always be together,” Fujitaka stated.
Little did he know that was the biggest lie in his life…
End of Fujitaka’s Flashback…
Somewhere in Tokyo, in the middle of the night…
Sighing, Kinomoto Fujitaka, father of Sakura and Touya, slipped the worn family photo of Fujishika, Fujiko, and himself back into his wallet. They were all laughing in the picture. It seemed like so long ago. And his life had changed so much since then. Right now, he was on a lecture tour in various colleges. It had been an interesting experience to meet new people, interact with intelligent professors with differing ideas, and most of all, learn new things. Something he never dreamed of when he was a young boy. Yet, he had escaped from the prison his life might have been. Meeting his elder brother, Fujishika the other day, after more than 20 years was a shock. Yet, a flint was embedded in his heart. Year after year, he consoled himself that he had no right to go back to Fujiko again. He would have felt ashamed to enter his father’s household again. For over 20 years, he told himself that it was in the best interest of Fujiko not to meet her… Yet, he had found out from his brother that Fujiko had left home, years ago. She could be out in the cold world, facing god knows what hardship.
That dreadful fear was in him… Could it be… that Fujiko, his younger sister, was even dead?
The next morning in Tokyo…
Father… Why did you hide all your pain inside you all these years? Did you have to keep it from your children? Turning, Sakura shifted her position in the huge king size bed in the suite room in Tokyo, as she dreamt of her father and the beautiful aunt she met only once in ghost-form, Kinomoto Fujiko, when they were young.
“Wake up!” Came a dreadfully loud and cheerful voice. “It’s morning! A bright and lovely new day!”
Ignoring the voice, Sakura snuggled deeper into her blankets.
Snatching away the blanket, Syaoran stated, “Are you gonna sleep all day?”
Sakura mumbled, “Gimme back my blanket.”
“You have awful sleeping manners! Just look at you! I know your bed is big, but how did you end up sleeping upside down?” Syaoran commented wickedly.
“Hoe?” Blinking, Sakura looked around. Somewhere in the middle of the night, she had ended up upside down on the bed. Well, it didn’t make that much of a difference. Embarrassed, she shook her hair into place and rubbed her eyes. “How come you’re up early for once?”
“Eh? What do you mean? I always wake up early.” Syaoran didn’t mention the fact that he hadn’t slept a wink since the Phantom left the previous night.
“Yeah, yeah.” Slyly, Sakura added, “Even if I have awful sleeping manners, at least I don’t talk in my sleep.”
“I don’t sleep-talk!” Syaoran protested.
“Oh yeah! I promised to meet Tomoyo downstairs in the hotel lobby by 10! I’m late! I promised to go shopping with her today,” Sakura exclaimed, quickly jumping out of bed. “Don’t watch. I need to change!”
“W-why would I watch?” Syaoran stammered, turning red. “Good riddance. One would think we’re here on a vacation trip you know. Going out shopping…”
“It’s not like there’s anything else better to do.” For a moment, Sakura cast her eyes down. Only yesterday did she learn the shocking fact that her grandfather on her father’s side, Kinomoto Fujishinta was the person filing the suit against Kaitou Magician. Because of someone of her blood, Kaitou Magician had been chased like a dog by the police and eventually injured and shot by the gun, not to mention have a microchip attached to his precious locket. For the moment, Sakura had taken charge of the locket and was using the Shield to keep the police from locating it. Meanwhile, Kaitou Magician should be getting treated at the hospital.
It had shocked her to learn that her father was actually the second son of a wealthy businessman, president of the prestigious Hoshi Enterprise. Even more shocking was when she saw how cruelly her uncle, Fujishika, treated her father. Yesterday, she had been hurt beyond imagine by the painful facts she had learned about her father’s past, not to mention finding out that Fujiko had actually been her father’s younger half-sister. And Syaoran, who had found out the details before her had kept the big secret from her. Yet, she no longer felt bitter or angry at him.
“Actually, it doesn’t matter. I need to meet Tamemura-san today,” Syaoran said, heading towards the door.
“Tamemura-san’s in Tokyo?”
“Yeah. Akagi Arina has a film shooting here, so he came here.” Akagi Arina, Tamemura Asuma’s girlfriend was a popular actress. Both of them were also into horse racing and they attended Seijou University, being classmates of Touya and Yukito.
“Okay then. See you later,” Sakura said.
Before leaving the room, Syaoran turned and winked. “Remember. At the Italian restaurant across the street, six ’o’ clock, sharp. See you then!”
He remembered! Sakura smiled… Six ’o’ clock, sharp at the famous five-star Italian restaurant. Her stomach felt giddy all of a sudden. Why? It’s not like a date or anything… It’s just… It’s just… Just what?
Sakura looked at her watch. 5:45.
Twiddling her fingers together, she wondered why she came early. Tomoyo
and Sakura had a fun day shopping all sorts of things together, eating
lunch, and Tomoyo even planned Sakura’s outfit for the evening, despite
her protests. She was looking especially pretty with a short, sleeveless
pale blue dress, which fluttered like angel’s wings in the wind. Her hair
hung in golden brown ringlets down her back and was held in place by matching
sky blue ribbons. The whole effect was that she didn’t look overly dressed
up, and rather natural and simple, yet all the tiny details added together
made her natural beauty glow in an unconscious way.
As he walked down the street, Syaoran fingered a pretty white rose, bemused. Asuma had insisted that he should buy a bouquet for Sakura. Instead, Syaoran had chosen a simple white rose, which had caught his eye. It was an especially large, enchanting single blossom, which was so pure white that it almost had a sky bluish tint to it. Around the stem, he tied a pretty sky blue silk scarf that he had bought. It will look pretty tied around her soft golden brown hair. He had been tempted to buy her another necklace to replace the diamond one that was stolen, yet he knew that nothing would be able to take its place. Not to mention that he was near broke after spending several days in Tokyo.
Looking up, he halted. Warily, he gazed at the tall Tokyo Police Headquarters building. He had enough trouble with it during the past day. Then his amber brown eyes rounded in surprise. An old, yet stately and tall man in his sixties stepped out of a shiny black followed by bodyguards. The more surprising things was that he saw Kinomoto Fujishika also come out of the limousine, followed by his stately, gentle wife.
“I trust your business trip went successfully, Father,” Fujishika said in a respective tone.
“Yes, my son. The European company agreed to sign the 10-year contract. He clearly was Kinomoto Fujishinta, Sakura’s grandfather and president of the Hoshi Enterprise. “Has there been anything amiss recently, while I was away?”
“Only that Kaitou Magician has escaped again,” Fujishika replied. “But it will be a matter of time before he is caught. Head of the Police Force, Daidouji-san ensured that the newest developed TMI-305 has been attached to Kaitou Magician so that the police can track all his movement.”
“Well, then, why hasn’t the Mirror of Truth been reclaimed, yet? Do you know how much it is? It’s priceless,” Fujishinta asked his son stiffly.
“Ah, well, that is why we are about to visit Daidouji-san at the Police Headquarters,” Fujishika said.
For the first time, Fujishika’s wife spoke. “We met Fujitaka-san, yesterday, quite coincidentally. At the Hoshi University seminar.”
The old man looked pained. Finally, he croaked, “Fujitaka?”
Giving a glare at his wife, Fujishika continued stiffly, “He gave a lecture on archeology or something.”
Fujishinta asked slowly, “Is he… well?”
“More or less. But, Father, it doesn’t
matter. He’s no longer your son,” Fujishika replied shortly as they entered
the police building.
Nasty brute, Syaoran thought as he rapidly calculated how he could continue to listen to their conversation. He felt pretty sure that he had some important information to learn from them. Then he glanced at his watch. Ten to six… He had to hurry; he couldn’t keep Sakura waiting. Now, how could he overhear their conversation with Daidouji-san?
Quickly, he whipped out a ward paper. This one had a listening spell on it. Inconspicuously, he attached it to Fujishika’s back, then dodged outside the gates.
Keeping still, he found that he could listen clearly to what was being said in Daidouji-san’s office in the seventh floor.
Daidouji-san’s voice was heard. “…The only way the microchip can be removed is by a program which is installed in a top-secret diskette, and the disk is locked away safely in my office. It’s in this cabinet in the farthest left corner of my room, and the third vault from the bottom.”
Daidouji-san continued, “The only way to unlock it is through the secret code, which only I know. It is 00-06-03 for the outer lock, and the inner lock is the password, ‘kawa.’ (river in Japanese.) In ways, the lock combination is simple, since 00603 happens to be Kaitou Magician’s criminal number, and ‘kawa’ symbolizes how he slips away so easily from the Japanese police force, with the energy and vigor of a flowing river.”
Grimly smiling, Syaoran noted that
it also made it easier for him to memorize the code. Frowning, he glanced
at his watch. Six ’o’ clock. He was going to be late… Yet, this was important…
“Well, anyway, if the Japanese police force are hot on his track, why is it taking so long tracking down one lousy thief?” Fujishika demanded. “Wasn’t he shot several days ago? Shouldn’t he be dead by now?”
In an embarrassed tone, Daidouji-san murmured, “Ah, well, two days ago, we suddenly lost track of the TMI-305 microchip indicator. The red spot simply just stopped showing up on our computer screens. This is unexplainable because there are no technological glitches, nor any chance that Kaitou Magician removed the microchip.”
From outside, as he overheard the conversation with his magical assistance, Syaoran grinned. He knew why they police lost all track of the microchip attached to Kaitou’s locket; Sakura had made good use of the Shield Card.
“The Mirror of Truth is a priceless Kinomoto family heirloom,” Fujishika started. “If it is not recovered, our family would have but no choice than to request that the government pay for it. We lent it to the museum for the good interest of the public. However, since the Japanese police force are so lax, letting one thief escape with it, I don’t see how it is not a shame for our nation. Even the Li family in Hong Kong kept their clan treasure safe from that prying thief.”
Well, it wasn’t because of the Hong Kong police force, Syaoran noted. It was because of the power of the Li family… not to mention Meirin’s stubbornness. Once she had her mind set up, nothing would convince her of otherwise. Besides, Kaitou Magician probably didn’t have all the determination to steal it from the Li family; at least he knew where the Five Force Treasure was and that it was being kept safe.
Yet, the Mirror of Truth was a different story. Syaoran happened to know that the Mirror was not actually a Kinomoto family heirloom. Instead, the Kinomoto family had taken it from the family of Tanaka-san, a man who worked in a high position in the Hoshi Enterprise. The president of the Hoshi Enterprise had declared that the man had been in debt to him, and took many of the family treasures—including the Mirror of Truth. Tanaka-san had passed away and his family members seemed to have disappeared, so there was no complaint against the rightful ownership of the Mirror of Truth, and no one was willing to question against the powerful Kinomoto family.
Still, Syaoran knew what dirty, underhand methods the Kinomoto family had used, especially, the eldest son of Fujishinta, Fujishika. There was one more secret that Syaoran had kept from Sakura. Yet, he couldn’t bring himself to tell her. Years ago, Fujishika had manipulated Fujitaka’s fortune, which was left to him by the first lady of the house, their mother. Fujishika had arranged it with his lawyer so that Fujitaka could not claim the small fortune, which was under his name. By legal rights, however, if Fujitaka wished to, he could still bring the matter to court and claim his part of the Kinomoto fortune and also bring unpleasant consequences to Fujishika. Their father didn’t know what Fujishika had done. Fujishinta did not realize what kind of poverty his second son suffered during the first few years since he left home.
What was past was what was past… Yet if he was Sakura, he would be enraged if he found out how his uncle had controlled his father’s fortune so that he had to suffer through hardship and poverty. It was bad enough that the Kinomoto family unrightfully took the Mirror of Truth from another family and claimed it as their own. Kaitou Magician had justification for wanting to steal it, even if he didn’t steal the other Five Force treasures, including the diamond necklace, Li Clan sword, sapphire ring, and ruby earrings.
At that moment, Fujishika’s handphone began ringing. “Excuse me for a second, Daidouji-san. Hello, Kinomoto Fujishika speaking… What? Kaitou Magician has been located? Very well.” Fujishika smiled grimly.
Why wasn’t Syaoran coming? It was half past six. Sighing, Sakura sat down on a bench outside the restaurant. Maybe, he wasn’t planning to come, after all. It was stupid of her to get all excited and giddy for no reason. Should she just return to the hotel?
Yawning, Kaitou Magician plopped back onto the hospital bed. He had never been so bored in his life. Without much thought, he drew out several of his pocket knives and began throwing them at the opposite wall, the target being a single speck of dirt he had spotted with his keen eye site.
“Is the hospital life a bit to tame for you, Denuit-san?” The doctor asked as he entered the room, dodging a knife.
Sitting up straight, Kaitou Magician stammered, “Ah, no!”
“Well, I just came to inform you of the results of your x-rays and health chart,” the doctor said, flipping through several papers in a manila folder. “The hard substance embedded in your left chest is quite deep. There must be a surgery to remove it. The operation and complete recovery may take anything between a month and six months, if all turns out well. You have lost much blood over the past days, not to mention that your body is worn and fatigued; pushed to human limits.”
“One to six months!” Kaitou Magician exclaimed. “I don’t have that much time on my hand!” He couldn’t leave the locket with the microchip to Sakura and Syaoran for that long.
“How busy can a teenage boy be?” the doctor asked mildly.
“Ah, well… err… my father, the Ambassador has err… requires me to be in France in several days.”
“Japanese Ambassador in France happens to be a close friend of mine,” the doctor said. “And I happen to know that he had no son.”
“Ah, is that so…” Kaitou Magician stammered, his blood turning cold.
“Anyway, hospitalization for several months is better than your other option,” the doctor said.
“Which is?” He began to sweat heavily.
“Being arrested and handed directly over to the Japanese Police Force, Kaitou Magician,” the doctor said coldly.
“Moi? Ha ha ha… Don’t joke around, Doc. C’est impossible! Do you know what you’re accusing me of?” Kaitou stated, as if outraged by the fact that he had been accused of being a thief.
Shaking his head, the doctor stated, “It’s no use, notorious Thief of the Night, alias Voleur de la Nuit. Last week, when you were shot by the gun, the police collected the blood sample of the Kaitou Magician. They gave it to all the hospitals in Japan, since they knew you wouldn’t last long with the injury. Plus, this hospital happens to be sponsored by the Hoshi Enterprise. And the blood sampling of Kaitou Magician match up with the DNA of your blood sampling.”
“Just my luck to stumble into a hospital sponsored by the Hoshi Enterprise,” Kaitou muttered. “Did you… call the police?” he asked slowly, as the reality sank into him. He had been too careless; since when did he turn so incautious? Ever since he depended on other people. It was time that he stepped back on his feet.
“I did inform them. But you won’t be arrested until your wound has been treated. You only will be extra guarded—“ the doctor blinked. Somewhere in his first sentence, the slinky, swift, thief of the night had already disappeared out the hospital window. Then he hollered, “GUARDS! KAITOU MAGICIAN HAS EXCAPED!!!”
HONK HONK//HONK HONK//BEEP BEEP
Syaoran shifted in frustration in
the taxi. Just his luck… There was heavy traffic. He was now 45 minutes
late. As soon as Fujishika and Fujishinta left the police headquarters,
he had left too. He prayed that Sakura would still wait. Though he knew
that nothing could make up for being late, he knew that he had learned
valuable information information. Finally, Syaoran just shoved the money
into the taxi driver and began to run to the Italian Restaurant. Please
Panting, Syaoran stepped in front
of the Italian Restaurant. It was 7’o’clock. And Sakura was gone… He had
been too late. Angrily, he buried his head into his hands as he sat down
on one of the benches. He couldn’t keep his promise with her.
“I can’t believe you stood me up for an hour,” came a clear, half teasing, half mocking voice from behind him.
Slowly, Syaoran turned around. “Sakura!”
Folding her arm, Sakura stated, “Humph. I’m mad. What took you so long? I thought you weren’t going to come. And I really was going to leave.” Then she winked. “But, I decided to wait… Because I trusted you will come, that something must have kept you from coming on time.”
“I’m sorry…” Syaoran said, looking up with bright amber eyes. “And thank you for waiting and trusting me to come. I want you to understand my feelin—“
“Well, you’ve kept me waiting long
enough. Let’s go in!” Sakura swirled around entered the fancy restaurant,
her sky blue dress swishing past Syaoran’s legs. Syaoran hung down is head
After they ordered the main course, Syaoran stammered, “I guess you want an explanation as why I was so late. I—“
“Hmm… What shall I have for desert? Remember that tiramisu and raspberry cheesecake we ordered in New York? And then, Miho came along and ate it all up with Erika. Pigs.”
Fumbling inside his pocket, Syaoran drew up something. Then, awkwardly, he handed it to Sakura. “Here. I—ah, I got it for you but then it kinda got crushed on the way… I’m sorry… It was really pretty when it was fresh.”
Surprised, Sakura took the slightly limp pure white rose with the sky blue sash tied around it. “T-thank you… It’s still very pretty and it smells nice.” She clearly hadn’t been expecting a gift of any sort. She smiled for the first time that evening and her deep emerald eyes sparkled. Her whole features were softened under the illumination of the candlelight and she looked like an angel in Syaoran’s eyes.
In awe, Syaoran began. “Wow, you look pre—“
“Ohmygosh! That’s my uncle and that must be my grandfather!” Sakura exclaimed. “They’re sitting at the table across from us!”
Once more, Syaoran drooped his head.
Just his luck that those two Kinomotos had to come to this restaurant out
of all the Italian restaurants in Tokyo. And completely ruined the atmosphere
with Sakura. Drat.
As the two respectable businessmen settled in the table across Sakura and Syaoran and looked over the menu, Fujishinta commented to Fujishika, “Your wife said that you met Fujitaka yesterday.”
“Yes,” Fujishika replied shortly. “It’s grievous how he left our family like that, isn’t it father? A total shame to the Kinomoto family name. I was thoroughly disappointed in my brother. And he didn’t even inquire after your health. Fujitaka is still as arrogant and self-centered as ever, always having to have things his own way and heedless to other people. It’s a pity.”
“Is that so, my son?” Fujishinta
asked in a grievous tone. “And I was already thoroughly disappointed that
he took his mother’s fortune under his name, just like that. He hasn’t
changed, has he?”
Frowning, Sakura leaned over the table and asked Syaoran, “What are they talking about? Father didn’t take any money! And he’s the last thing from arrogant and self-centered! Plus, he was really worried about grandfather and everyone, yesterday. Fujishika-san is such a liar!” When she saw the grave expression on Syaoran’s face, she demanded, “You know something, don’t you? You’re still hiding something! What is it? Tell me!” Sakura looked up with sorrowful eyes. “I know you’ve always tried to hide things from me because you don’t want me to worry or cause me pain. But I want to now. It’s important to me. Please.”
Drawing a deep breath, Syaoran began, “When your father left home, he left without a penny. However, under legal rights, their mother had left her fortune to Fujitaka-san when she passed away. Yet, Fujishika-san maneuvered the bank account and secretly claimed the fortune himself, leaving Fujitaka-san penniless. Meanwhile, Fujishika-san informed their father that Fujitaka had secretly taken the fortune and run away. Of course, your grandfather was shocked that his son would do such a thing at the age of 18. This made Fujishinta more determined to disown the son he had always loved best.”
“My uncle… no… Fujishika-san did something as underhand as that? He betrayed is own brother?” Sakura asked in disbelief. “You’re lying. How can someone he so cruel to their own brother? How do you know all this, Syaoran?”
“I just do,” Syaoran replied softly. “My uncle who manages our family business has close ties with the Hoshi Enterprise. Now do you understand why I don’t want to tell you? You don’t know how many cruel and heartless things Fujishika did. Though his father is just as ambitious, at least Fujishinta-san has some sort of honor. Yet, his son is a different story. You don’t want to hear bad things about your family.”
Giving a sad smile Sakura replied, “I can’t call someone who treats father like that ‘family.’ We just happen to have the same name, but nothing else connects me with the Kinomoto family of the Hoshi Enterprise. So, that’s not going to stop me from demanding them to drop charges against Kaitou Magician, tomorrow.”
“You’re gonna do what?” Syaoran gawked, his pasta sliding off his fork. “You’re not serious, are you. Not to them!”
“Yes, I am. Tomorrow morning.”
“They’re not gonna listen, you know. They’re really keen on finding the Mirror of Truth by any means, since it’s priceless.” Then he muttered, “Not that it’s theirs anyway.”
Reluctantly, Syaoran continued, “Thought the Kinomoto family claims that the Mirror is a priceless family heirloom, actually, that took it off the family of Tanaka-san, a man who worked for the Hoshi Corporation. Fujishika-san declared that the man had costly debts to the company and took the Mirror.”
“Serious? Didn’t anyone complain in that man’s family?”
“Well, no. The man died and his family sorta disintegrated, I guess.”
As Sakura stuffed the delicious pasta
into her mouth, she fumed, “I won’t forgive the Kinomoto family! You wait
and see! For the sake of Kaitou Magician!” She raised her fist heroically.
“Oh yes… Father, did I tell you? The Kaitou Magician has been found in one of our hospitals,” Fujishika said loudly from the other table.
Sakura dropped her glass cup. It made a large clattering noise as it hit the floor.
Everyone turned in her direction, and Sakura laughed nervously.
“But,” Fujishika continued. “He escaped
“Whew,” Sakura sighed in relief. Then she stared at Syaoran. “You don’t seem surprised.”
“Eh? Oh. As I was trying to tell you, the reason I was late was because I was following those two to the Tokyo Police Headquarters and eavesdropping their conversation. I found out how to remove the microchip on Kaitou’s silver locket.”
“I know how, too,” Sakura replied coolly. “The program to remove it is stored on a floppy disk, which is locked away in a cabinet on the farthest left corner of Daidouji-san’s office.”
“Impressive… But I bet you don’t know how to open it,” Syaoran stated with a gleam in his eye.
Sakura’s eyes turned round. “You don’t mean…”
“Yup. Outer lock: 00-06-03. Inner lock password: H-A-W-A.”
Sakura squealed, “Perfect! Smart
Syao-chan.” She patted Syaoran’s head, as Syaoran smiled like a content
From behind a chair, Tomoyo shook her head. When did they turn so close? And since when did Syaoran actually put up with being called ‘Syao-chan.’ Probably it was only allowed because it was Sakura. Eh? What was she doing there? Ho ho ho… Of course she couldn’t miss the opportunity to tape “S+S first date!”
Slamming her fist onto the table, Sakura then announced, “Tomorrow evening, I’m gonna break into the police headquarters and steal the disk!”
Sputtering out his drink, Syaoran exclaimed, “You’re gonna do WHAT?”
“Are you angry?” Sakura asked, as they came out of the restaurant after their dinner.
“Eh? No…” Syaoran shuffled his foot. Their so-called ‘date’ was completely ruined by the fact that they had been listening non-stop to Fujitaka and Fujishika’s conversation, not to mention Sakura planning step by step the Kinomoto confrontation and robbery tomorrow. Well, it was partially his fault that the only thing Sakura talked to him about was about their job. If he hadn’t hurt her last winter, maybe there might be something different between the two, now. Yet, what he did was already past. And he had believed up till this point that it was the right thing to do.
“You know, it’s strange. The Phantom hasn’t bothered us one bit, yet. I don’t think there’s ever been a more peaceful time than now,” Sakura commented.
“Maybe the Dark Ones are on summer vacation,” Syaoran replied as they walked down the street. He didn’t mention how the Phantom tried to possess him the previous night, and that it must be lurking around still. And the only reason he was able to win the Phantom was the strength in him given from Sakura. “So, what do you want to do now? Do you want to watch a mov—“
“It’s them; the gangsters who stole my necklace!” Sakura exclaimed, pointing.
One of the guys looked up and stated, “Hey, it’s you guys again. What are you doing here? We don’t wanna see you guys.”
“Give her back her necklace,” Syaoran said through gritted teeth.
“We don’t have it,” one of them mumbled.
“Don’t bother lying. Give it back.” Syaoran gripped one of their collars.
In response, all four of them attacked Syaoran at once, leaping at him from four different directions, seeking revenge for being thoroughly beaten by a girl last time.
Up till this point, Sakura had never seen Syaoran fight before… really fight normal people in a normal way. She was amazed. He blew all four guys away without much effort. His crisp light gray button down shirt and black pants were not even wrinkled when he finished. Earlier that evening, she had noticed how he had dressed up for the dinner, which made her somewhat pleased.
Then, in a threatening voice, Syaoran repeated, “I’m not gonna ask again. Where is the necklace?”
“W-we don’t have it,” said one guy, nursing a bruise on his cheek.
“Then where is it, baka?”
“O-okay. I admit. We stole it last time from the girl. But it’s true that we don’t have it anymore. This person dressed in all black with a cape stole it from us!”
“Eh? I hope you’re not lying,” he threatened.
“Syaoran. Just leave them. It’s okay. They’ve told us all they know,” Sakura said.
Slowly, they walked out onto a highway overlooking a river. In the background was speckled bright city lights, which reflected in the dazzling river.
“I don’t like people who use violence,” Sakura stated. Syaoran’s expression cringed and his head hung low. Hastily, she added, “But—I think you did it because you thought that I was angry at them, so it’s okay.”
Strolling by the riverside, Sakura gazed out into the distance. “I wish I can take a real vacation, somewhere far across the sea, somewhere that is peaceful and quiet, with no burdens or stress. But Syaoran, I just want to say this.” Smiling, she swerved around, her light blue dress swirled around her.
Gazing at her, Syaoran blushed slightly in the dark.
“Thanks for the great dinner. And also thanks for always being here for me and supporting me. I don’t know what I would have done without you. I think I’m really lucky that you’re here by my side. I often wonder why you’re helping me since you have no reason to, but…”
“Isn’t it obvious?” Syaoran asked, carefully looking into her eyes. “You’re a special person to me.”
“It’s a easy thing to say, isn’t it? Yet, don’t say stuff you don’t mean from your heart. Don’t say things like that which will only hurt me later on.” Stepping back, Sakura said sadly, “I’m glad you’ve been the best of friends to me so far. Yet, get it straight. That’s all.”
Gripping her wrist, Syaoran replied, gazing at her with the most serious amber eyes twinkling with the lights reflected from the river. A firm resolution formed in his heart. He wanted to set things right. “I’ve been a coward, always trying to run from the truth. But Sakura, I vowed I would always tell you the truth from now on. I do care for you.” Then, he drew her nearer to him and closed his eyes, bending over to kiss her. For a moment, they were a breath apart.
Sakura, I do care for you… His words stirred a deep warmth in her heart, which had ached for years in loneliness that never surfaced. It was a loneliness that was unconscious to her except in the deepest center of her heart, where she yearned for something, she knew not what.
The bitter coldness which she had felt that winter, when he told her he had no feelings for her slowly melted as a tingling ran down her spine. Then, she froze again. She still remembered his cold words. ‘Do you remember what this place is? This is where I finally told you that I had ‘special feelings’ for you. Funny how we can look back to yesterday and realize how silly it was. It seems like another lifetime.’ Abruptly, she stepped, back at the last moment. Her forest green eyes hardened. “How can I believe in you? You hurt me before. I gave you my full trust; then you told me that you didn’t care for me. How do I know that you won’t do it again? You always change and stay inconsistent. How do I know if you’re sincere right now, that you aren’t just playing with me?”
“I—“ Syaoran was cut off. The words from his dream echoed in his ears. ‘Why should I trust you? You’re my enemy! Stop lying to me! Stop hurting me! I don’t need someone like you!’
“When you came back from Hong Kong, you don’t know how glad I was… Yet, winter came and thrust me into pain, pain from my soul. Someone I counted on hurt me so much.” Sakura looked with the same sorrowful eyes as in his dream. “I was so confused, I wanted you to explain to me why you fought by my side and acted so kind at times, yet always turned that cold face on me. Tell me, did you hurt me because you are my rival and enemy? Then why do you help me? Is it to hurt me again? I want to trust you, yet how can I trust you when you make my heart hurt so much? Are you lying to me again?”
“Sakura, you’re mistaken about something! I’m not just playing with you. I—“
Already, Sakura had run off to the farther edge of the bank.
Burying his hand in his hair, Syaoran murmured, “You’re mistaken. I didn’t say I didn’t care for you last winter because I didn’t like you.” Then he asked quietly, “What can I do to make you trust me? I’ve already made a mistake, I don’t want to make another one.”
A light male voice came from behind a bush. “Sigh, how romantic… Under the moonlight, with the city and river in the background… As if you don’t have anything better to do then impress a girl. Gee, and it was only one centimeter off!” (Meaning the kiss, *-*.)
“Exactly,” Syaoran grumbled ruefully.
“Anyway, why did you lie to her last winter, if you did care for her after all?”
“Because I know that liking her would only cause pain in the end, and… Wait a minute…” Syaoran turned around, raising an eyebrow.
“He he he… Just passing by! I wasn’t spying!” Kaitou Magician stated. He also mumbled, “Anyway, I’m not the only one spying…”
From behind another bush, Tomoyo pressed a finger to her lips, giving a warning signal. Then, she readjusted her video camera. She sighed; she would have loved to get “Sakura’s First Kiss Under Moonlight.” Oh well, there were other chances.
Kaitou Magcian stated, “I’m going now… Err—by the way, what are you two doing here in Tokyo? Aren’t you supposed to be safe at home, guarding my locket?”
“Sigh… It’s a long story. Wait a second, did you by any chance steal a diamond necklace off…”
“Gotta leave! I’m still running away
from the police! I’ll see you later, once I’ve finished some business.
I’m in your gratitude till then!” Turning several flips and with a swish
of his midnight black cloak, the Kaitou Magician disappeared.
Grinning crookedly, Syaoran followed after Sakura to catch up.
Then, a low voice, which had haunted
his dreams, whispered in his ear, “Don’t you know you’re making things
worse? You’re falling into what you most feared of.”
The next day…
Taking a deep breath, Sakura stood in front of the grand and impressive Hoshi Enterprise main building, with glass windows, which flashed in the sunlight. She was dressed in a neat and formal short-sleeved blouse and pretty white plaid skirt, looking really business-like. Her golden brown hair was in a tidy French braid tied with the sky blue sash that had been tied around the rose that Syaoran had given her the previous night. As for the rose, she had pressed it between the pages of her diary.
Thinking about Syaoran made her cheeks feel warm. She fingered her lips… He had almost kissed her last night. In ways, she had wished he did. She wished she could put aside all her doubts and trust him. However, this morning, she had left the hotel early, before Syaoran woke up.
Someone was already waiting for her by the building entrance, however. Shaking her head, Sakura asked flatly, “What exactly are you doing here, Syaoran? I left you sleeping back in the hotel.” She continued, “Don’t follow me.”
Shaking his head, Syaoran followed right behind Sakura as she walked to the President’s office.
With surely hands, Sakura knocked on the office door.
Inside came a deep voice. “Enter.”
Steadily, Sakura entered the office room, without paying heed to Syaoran who stubbornly followed right behind. The huge room was impressive, furnished with couches and tables, refrigerator, TV. At the head of the room was a large mahogany wood table, and Kinomoto Fujishinta, Sakura’s grandfather and president of the Hoshi Enterprise sat behind it. Beside him stood his eldest son and Vice President of the Hoshi Enterprise.
In a steady voice, Sakura announced, “My name is Kinomoto Sakura. I have come to request Kinomoto-san to drop charges against Kaitou Magician.”
From beside her, Syaoran sweat-dropped. Talk about being just a bit too straightforward and down to the point.
Rather astounded, Fujishinta stammered, “Wait a minute, girl, what did you say your name was?”
“Kinomoto Sakura, daughter of Kinomoto Fujishika and Amamiya Nadeshiko.” Sakura’s blazing emerald eyes were level, yet forceful at the same time.
Fujishika sputtered at this, while Fujishinta said, “My… granddaughter?”
“No, I am not your granddaughter if my father is not your son,” Sakura corrected.
“This is outrageous. Send this brat away, father,” Fujishika exclaimed. “What a disgrace. Probably her father sent her to claim more of the Kinomoto fortune, or to black-mail us.”
With cold eyes, Sakura retorted, “Don’t bring my father into this. I don’t care anything about the Kinomoto family. I came strictly on business about the charge on Kaitou Magician.”
“So you say. Father, daughter, they’re all alike. Why would you come here on something—“ Fujishika was cut off by his father.
“My son, please stay quiet,” Fujishinta commanded. Fujishika gave a nasty glare at his niece but quieted. Fujishinta continued, “Now tell me, Sakura-san, why should I drop charges against that thief. Because you asked me to and because we are related by blood? I don’t think so.”
With a slightly trembling voice, Sakura said, “You have pressed charges against Kaitou Magician because he has stolen the Mirror of Truth.”
“True. That is a priceless Kinomoto family heirloom. We cannot let the Kaitou Magician run away with it,” Fujishinta stated gravely.
“That’s a lie,” Sakura replied. “The Mirror belonged to another family of a man called Tanaka-san, who worked for your company. But you lied saying that Tanaka-san had debts to your company. In return, you took his family treasures, including the precious Mirror of Truth.”
“W-who told you that, girl?” Fujishinta asked, for the first time looking unsure of himself.
Slightly smiling sideways at Syaoran, she replied facing straight towards her grandfather, “I just know.”
This time, Fujishika interrupted, “Liar. Get out of here! How dare you accuse the Kinomoto family of stealing from another man? How dirty and under-handed, just like your father!”
“I told you, don’t bring my father into this!” Sakura exclaimed angrily. “I don’t know what my father was like in the past. But I know this. My father is not the type of person who would run away with his mother’s fortune, or hurt his father. My father is an honorable and noble person. He certainly is not the type who back stabs and betrays his very own brother!” With this, she gave a significant look at Fujishika, who turned placid, as if remembering his own folly.
Slowly, Fujishinta began, “You said your name was Sakura, right? Sakura-san, I know that my son, Fujitaka is not a person like that. I know that he is an honorable and just person. He was the only upright person in the family.”
“Father!” exclaimed Fujishika in horror.
“But Sakura-san, what does any of this have to do with me pressing charges against Kaitou Magician?” Fujishinta asked, smiling.
Sakura and Syaoran sweat-dropped. “Nothing… Except maybe about family honor,” Sakura said. “The Mirror of Truth does not rightfully belong to the Kinomoto family, therefore, pressing charges against the Kaitou for stealing it is not justified.”
“And what will you do if I don’t listen to your orders?” Fujishinta asked pleasantly.
Sakura opened her mouth then closed it. She knew it would come to this. There was nothing she could do except to rationality. “I—“
“Well, I don’t think you would want it to come to this, but we can always report to the government that you stole from Tanaka-san… Or we can spread the word around to other companies who have contracts with the Hoshi Enterprise, and therefore cause them to drop all associations,” Syaoran said in a mild tone.
Into his ear, Sakura exclaimed in shock, “Syaoran! That’s blackmailing.”
Grinning, he put a reassuring hand on Sakura’s shoulder.
“Who are you?” demanded Fujishika.
“Li Syaoran of the Li clan. I can ensure you that the Li family would make sure that all the companies in Hong Kong will drop all contracts with the Hoshi Enterprise. That is if you don’t agree to do what is right and drop charges against Kaitou Magician.”
Fujishinta turned placid as he heard this… He stared at this confident young man challenging him with those burning amber eyes. And he stared at the granddaughter, who he never knew even existed. He was beaten. “Fine. As you two wish. I will drop charges… tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow?” Sakura squeaked. It might be a little too late. Oh well, that will have to do. “Thank you, Kinomoto-san.” Politely, she bowed and was ready to leave the room.
Fujishinta sighed at the formality Sakura used. “Wait a moment, Sakura-san. How is your father?”
“Very well thank you. As you may know, he is on a college seminar giving archeology lectures all over universities in Japan. And he has won awards, too. My brother, my father, and me are all very happy.”
“And your mother?”
“She died when I was three.” Then, Sakura smiled brightly. “But we believe she is watching over us in Heaven. And I believe she is watching over me this very moment. I know you might be less than happy to see me, but I’m very happy. Even if you don’t accept me, I’m very glad that I do have more relatives from my father’s side, and I’m glad to know that father wasn’t alone before.” She left the room, her smile lighting up the whole dull room.
After Sakura, his granddaughter left, Fujishinta murmured, “I wanted to tell her that she has grown into a fine young lady, with a sense of straightforwardness and honesty, as well as a bright smile, just like her father. And that, the thing I regret most in my life is letting Fujitaka go. In my heart, I knew that Fujitaka would never betray me. Yet, I was hurt and pained when he left the house for I loved him very much. Still, I am glad that he found what he was looking for; happiness, freedom, and a sense of belonging.”
“Oh ho ho ho! Finally, an opportunity to video-tape Sakura!” Tomoyo exclaimed that evening.
“Hoe-e! Don’t you have to return to Tomoeda?” Sakura asked. She was dressed completely in a tight fitting black outfit, with a black bandanna tied around her forehead, Tomoyo’s finishing touch.
“Yes, right after I finish filming, ‘Kaitou Sakura’s Escapade,” Tomoyo stated.
“I’m a Card Captor, not a thief,” Sakura replied. “And don’t you mind that I’m stealing your father’s TMI-305 decoding disk to detach the microchip on the locket?”
“Oh well,” Tomoyo shrugged. “Didn’t you say Kinomoto-san’s going to drop charges against Kaitou Magician, anyway? So, it doesn’t matter.”
“He he… It’s as simple as that?” Sakura asked. She sighed. Well, Step 1. Enter the Police Headquarters. Well, the whole building was covered with hidden cameras and the guarding system didn’t have a sudden glitch. So, how did she enter Chief Officer Daidouji-san’s office? Of course, the normal way. Through the door as the guest of Tomoyo, daughter of Daidouji-san.
As they entered the office, Tomoyo murmured, “I don’t know why, but my father has been acting really strangely today.”
“Who is it?!” demanded Daidouji-san as they entered the room, flinging a heavy book over their head.
“Gah!” Sakura jumped out of the way with Tomoyo. “Daidouji-san?”
“Father, what’s wrong?” Tomoyo ran up to Daidouji-san, putting a hand on his arm.
“Don’t touch me!” Daidouji-san exclaimed, pushing his daughter away roughly.
Sakura gasped. “Daidouji-san…” She walked up to him hesitantly. When she saw his eyes, she shivered. They were blank and overcast… Taking a deep breath, she felt the aura. It was a Dark Force! Her eyes darted towards the third drawer in the cabinet across the room. Now how could she steal the disk?
Then, she saw a figure by the window. Silently, Syaoran opened the office window and crept into the room. He also was dressed in a black outfit with a black bandanna tied around his forehead (in courtesy of Tomoyo.) Step #3 was while Sakura and Tomoyo distract Daidouji-san, Syaoran stole the disk.
Quietly, he crept up to the cabinet, keeping an eye on Daidouji-san.
“YOU!” Daidouji-san swerved around. “What are you doing there?!” From inside his blazer jacket, he drew out a gun. “Thief.” Calmly, he pointed it at Syaoran.
Jumping, Syaoran sweat-dropped, looking around for an escape.
“Father!” Tomoyo exclaimed, jumping back onto her feet, and ran to hold back her Daidouji-san. “What’s wrong with you, Father? You never used violence before! How did you change so much in one day?”
“Get out of my way!” Daidouji-san slapped Tomoyo’s face. Tomoyo stared back with large, confused violet eyes.
“Tomoyo-chan! Don’t go near him! He’s being controlled by a Dark Force!” Sakura exclaimed.
“Quick to figure out, Cherry Blossom,”
said the Phantom. “Finally we see each other, face to face. I’ve been trapped
in the basement of the old theater for over twenty years by your mother,
but now, I’m back, stronger than ever.”
“The… Phantom?” Sakura exclaimed. Then her eyebrows furrowed down forcefully. She commanded, “Key that hides forces of stars! Show your true shape to me! I, Sakura, command you under the contract! Release!” Gripping her pink staff, she held it out in front of her and held out her deck of Sakura Cards.
In return, Daidouji-san being controlled by the Phantom grinned back at her eerily. “Can you really fight me, Cherry Blossom? By doing so, you will have to fight your best friend’s father.”
Taken back, Sakura cowered. No! She couldn’t hurt Daidouji-san!
In the meantime, Syaoran quickly had begun spinning the code to unlock the vault containing the disk. Noticing, the Phantom/Daidouji-san quickly swerved around and shot off the gun in his direction.
“What the %*&^!” Syaoran exclaimed, ducking down from the bullet.
Then, everything in the room began to levitate. With a flick of Daidouji-san’s hand, all the objects began to crash themselves at Syaoran. Sweeping out his sword, Syaoran did his best to keep them off.
“No, Father! Stop!” Tomoyo ran up to her Daidouji-san, wrapping her arms around him.
For a split second, Daidouji-san’s eyes returned to its usual midnight violet glimmer. Then, the Phantom struck back stronger, blowing off Tomoyo with a blast of power.
“WINDY!” Sakura attacked.
Laughing, the Phantom replied, “I warn you, you won’t be able to conquer me through normal means. Though the other Dark Spirits may have vanquished, I will never vanish as long as fear exists. I feed on the fear of humankind, and I exist in the depths of everyone’s heart, where mortal fear and nightmares exist. Right now I am using this man’s body to attack you, because in this man is the fear and the doubt for his daughter who he had abandoned in childhood and the wife he had refused to meet for years. How funny the Head of the Tokyo Police Department has such a weak heart.”
“I will conquer you!” Sakura answered. “Although everyone on earth has fear, don’t you know that fear can be conquered? Fear will always exist as long as people feel insecure, however, don’t you know that it still can be overcome with courage? Courage isn’t about how great one’s power is; courage is the strength of the inner heart. WOODY!”
Great vines wrapped around Daidouji-san, trapping the Phantom. Sakura was careful, however, not to hurt the body. “And if a person can love, they can have inner strength. Daidouji-san does love Tomoyo and her mother. He can overcome the Phantom, and so can I.”
It was as if Daidouji heard her words, for his eyes focused on Tomoyo. He reached out his hands. “Tomoyo, my daughter… Why are you on the floor? There’s a bruise on your face. Did someone hit you? Come, Father will protect you. I’m sorry I’m so busy with work. I wish I can be a good father to you. I don’t deserve to be a father…”
Pressing her head against her father, Tomoyo whispered, “No, you are everything that I would ask for in a father.”
“I’m sorry Tomoyo, I can’t promise I will get back with your mother. I can’t promise I will be able to spend more time with you. But I can promise that I will try my best to become a father that you can always turn to, Tomoyo. And I will always love you,” Daidouji’s eyes glistened, stroking Tomoyo’s long hair.
“Ugh. What is this dreadful feeling?” the Phantom moaned. From Daidouji-san’s body evaporated a shapeless dark cloud. Daidouji fell unconscious to the floor.
Without hesitating, Sakura struck her staff into the air. “Spirit of the dark forces. I, Sakura, command you. Return to a new shape of contract! Sakura Card!”
The Phantom struggled against her power. Sakura poured more of her magic in. She failed to seal this card last time. She couldn’t fail again!
Yet, at the last moment the Phantom broke. “Ha ha. Didn’t I tell you that I can’t be conquered? Fright and terror still exists. And therefore, I, the Phantom still exists.” With this, the Phantom blasted out raw dark power.
Sakura was thrown back from the impact, across to the other wall. Her knee banged against the hard surface. In unison, there was a large popping sound. She felt her pocket and her fingers brushed Kaitou Magician’s locket. Then, she realized that the Shield had been broken.
Still laughing, the Phantom escaped through the window. “We will meet again, Card Captor. Next time, I won’t be so easy on you.” For a second the Phantom paused in front of Syaoran. “Small Wolf… I wonder why I couldn’t control you…”
Groaning, Sakura stood up. Why couldn’t she seal the Phantom? She stared down at her staff.
“Don’t mind the Phantom for now. We have to escape.” Quickly, Syaoran resumed in unlocking the vault.
Outside, they heard police officers filing into the hallway, shouting, “Look, the indicator for the TMI-305 microchip is beeping again. It’s in the Chief’s room. We must catch the Kaitou Magician this time!”
Sakura remembered that the Shield broke, so that the locket with the microchip attached to it no longer was blocked from the computer devises. They had to escape.
“Hurry, Sakura. You and Syaoran go!” Tomoyo exclaimed, after propping her father on a couch. “I’ll try to stall the police as long as I can and invent up some story. Sheepishly, they gazed around the office, which had things scattered up everywhere, bullet holes in the wall, and dents in the furniture.
“Thanks. I’ll see you when this crazy stuff is over. You’re returning to Tomoeda with your mother, right?” Sakura asked.
“Yeah. Good luck!” Tomoyo reassured. “Sigh, wish I can videotape. And also, thank you for returning my father to normal.”
Sakura shook her head. “No. It wasn’t me. It was your father who made it possible. It was his love for you.”
As soon as Syaoran retrieved the disk, Sakura used the Fly and Invisible, escaping to their hotel room. Sakura discovered that a large bruise had begun to form on her knee from the impact from being thrown across the room. She wondered if she would be able to run later on.
They could hear the police sirens ringing once more. “The Kaitou Magician is on the move again! Follow the indicator!!!”
Panting, Sakura and Syaoran landed on their hotel room balcony. From the balcony beside them, came a melodious woman’s voice. “Hi there, you two!”
Stopping mid-track, Syaoran and Sakura sweat-dropped. “He he…” They had been caught flying and landing on the hotel balcony!
“Don’t you guys recognize me? It’s me, Akagi Arima!” Arima exclaimed, bemused from her suite room’s balcony. “I heard that you guys were in Tokyo from Asuma. But I didn’t realize you two staying in the same hotel as me, let alone the next door suite.”
Oh yeah… Syaoran thought. Tanemura Asuma told me that Arima had a film shooting in Tokyo… Of course she would be staying at this hotel, which is the best in the city. She’s a famous movie star.
“H-hello, Akagi-san!” Sakura said. Nervously, she gazed out at the street. She could hear the faint siren ringing and the blinking lights. The police were following.
“Well, it doesn’t seem like quite the situation for us to exchange greetings. Don’t worry, I heard the basic story from Asuma.” She gave a look to Syaoran. Syaoran had told Asuma the basic reason why they were in Tokyo. “I don’t really understand the whole thing, but I understand that you two need a place to escape to for right now, since you’re supposedly being chased by the police.”
“Ah, yes,” Sakura stammered.
Arima flipped back her luxurious wavy golden hair. “Well, I know the perfect place. You can go to a town called Kusakou, which is by the seaside and far from Tokyo. My family has a summer estate there, shared with the Tanemura family. You can stay there for the while, where you can collect your head for your next plan. Here’s the key. The address is attached to the key chain.” Arima tossed it across to the next balcony, where Sakura caught it deftly.
“Thank you, Akagi-san…” Sakura began. “You don’t know how grateful we are. How can we pay back…”
Smiling, Arima stated, “Don’t bother.
I’m glad that I can help you two. Didn’t you two help Asuma and me? So,
don’t worry and get plenty of rest in Kusakou town. And also, stay safe,
because you two are my only hope for the ‘Best Couple Contest,’ all right.
There is no way that I will let my snobby little brother, Aki and that
bratty girl, Erika, win the contest and film in the same movie as me, okay?”
She winked, then swept back into her room.
Sakura and Syaoran also reentered their suite room and quickly packed their belongings, which wasn’t much, anyway. Then they crept down to the hotel lobby to check out at the counter.
At that moment, the police landed in front of the hotel building complex and filed into the hotel. While they caused a ruckus in the hotel lobby, Syaoran and Sakura crept outside, unnoticed.
Then a police shouted, “Look, the red dot is indicating outside of the hotel!”
“Yikes! We’re caught!” Sakura exclaimed. “How are we ever going to reach the train station to get to Kusakou?”
“Ah ha!” Syaoran’s eyes gleamed as he spotted a vacant police car. The police had supposedly left the car because he had flocked into the hotel with the others.
“You won’t dare…” Sakura began. Then she grinned. “Well, we’re in enough trouble, anyway.”
They both jumped into the police car, Syaoran in the driver’s seat. The policeman saw someone in the car and began, “Hey, that’s my car…”
Syaoran pressed down on the pedal with his foot. The car lurched forward.
“Hey, by the way, Syaoran, do you know what you’re doing?” Sakura asked.
“Of course I do!” Syaoran replied confidently, barely missing a tree. “What do you take me for?”
“Umm… have you ever driven a car before?” Sakura asked suspiciously.
“Well, no. I haven’t passed my driver’s ed yet, you know. I’m only fifteen!” Syaoran replied, swerving around the corner, almost crashing into a trashcan.
Clicking on the seat belt, Sakura
stated, “I feel sick.”
SCREECH//HONK HONK// HONK HONK// BOOM// CRASH//
“Let me drive,” Sakura stated.
“It’s not like you an do any better!” Syaoran retorted. Then he glanced at the rear mirror. Other police cars were following them.
From the walkie-talkie came a policeman’s voice. “Are you there, No. 505? This is your Officer.”
“Eh? Yeah, I am here,” Syaoran replied, shrugging.
“The microchip indicator is heading that way. Keep alert.”
“Sure!” Syaoran, replied.
“I mean, yes sir!” Syaoran corrected into the walkie-talkie.
“Keep your eyes on the road!” Sakura screeched, as a car swerved out of their path to miss crashing into them. “Now I wish I made grandfather drop charges against the Kaitou Magician this very night instead of tomorrow. Then, we won’t be chased by the police right now! It was bad enough with the Phantom…”
“We’re here! At the train station!” Syaoran exclaimed. Both of them were surprised that they made it to there in one piece.
Quickly, they bought the tickets. As they were about to board the train, to their shock, the police were surrounding the station. It would be impossible for them to reach Kusakou safely!
“No…” Sakura murmured in dismay. She had been slightly limping due to the concussion on her knee and was certain she couldn’t run a meter more.
Syaoran’s amber eyes hardened. He slipped his hand into Sakura’s pocket and drew out the silver-gold oval locket. Then, he pushed Sakura onto the train.
“Syaoran! What are you doing?” Sakura asked in shock.
“You go first. I’ll just distract the police a bit and come right after, all right? I can’t have the police chase us like this. Plus you’re limping because of the injury from the Phantom; you can’t run anymore. You’re exhausted. You went through a lot in the last few days and I really admire you for being so strong. Now, let me do something, though it isn’t much. You won’t be chased by the police, so get some rest, all right?” Syaoran grinned, backing away from the train.
“No! Syaoran—Give the locket to me. I can put up with being chased. It’s my problem, in the first place.”
“Don’t worry. I have the disk, which contains the program to dislocate the microchip from the locket. All I have to do is find a computer and figure out how to decode the disk. Then, I can dislocate the microchip and throw it away, therefore solving all are problems. I’ll be back before dawn,” Syaoran reassured, then leaped over to the other side of the track, still clasping the locket tightly.
The police shouted, “Wait, now the indicator is heading away from the train!”
Then, someone spotted Syaoran running across the train station. From a distance, it was impossible to distinguish his features. Only that he was a swift young man dressed completely in black.
“That must be the Kaitou Magician.
Forget the train! Chase him!” They shouted.
Slowly, the train door shut. Sakura stood, shocked. Then she plopped into one of the seats… No, how could she let Syaoran run off with the locket. It was her fault that they were in this kind of scrape in the first place. She had offered to keep the locket for Kaitou Magician; it was her responsibility. How could she let Syaoran face danger and simply sit in the train, waiting for him? What if he didn’t come back? She pressed her forehead against the cool glass window as the train departed and the police flocked station drifted further away.
Now, she regretted her harsh words to him the previous night. She had always though to Syaoran hurting her, yet had she ever though about her hurting Syaoran? She must have hurt Syaoran with her harsh words last night, when Syaoran was trying to make amends with her. How stupid could she be? It was always Syaoran by her side when she faced hardships. It was Syaoran who always endured pain for her, numerous times. That was incomparable to the pain that Syaoran had given her, which was only three times since they met.
First, when she met him as a rival and he refused to accept her. Second, when he left her and returned to Japan. Third, when he told her he had no feelings for her, that winter. Yet, what about all the uncountable things he did in between to prove his sincerity?
The first two times that she felt hurt by Syaoran all had reasons behind it. The first time they became rivals was because it was Syaoran’s duty as the Li Clan Chosen One to capture all the Clow Cards. When she heard Syaoran’s story about his training, Li Clan Ordeal, and his older cousin, Leiyun, she became more powerfully aware of how important the task had been to Syaoran. Yet, he given it up for her sake and helped her and protected her numerous times. The second time when he left Japan was because it was an order from his family because he had duties back at home in Hong Kong. Yet, he actually ran away from home and returned to Japan, when he knew the Legendary Dark Ones had risen.
And third… The reason why Syaoran had to say such harsh words to her was still a mystery. She still couldn’t believe he called their cherished time together “silly childhood memories.” But surely there must be a reason behind it, and she trusted Syaoran would tell her one day. For now, she will believe in Syaoran.
Glancing at her watch, Sakura realized that it was already past midnight. It was 2 ’o’ clock. The train ride to Kusakou would take several hours since it stopped by many other stations. Will Syaoran come before dawn?
Yawning, Sakura blinked through heavy eyelids. Outside was the barest glimpse of the sun rising on the grassy horizon. It was beautiful… Ruefully, she remembered that blissful morning in the camping trip, when she and Syaoran looked at the sunrise from the cliff. The sunrise, the beginning of a new day.
She remembered his words clearly…
‘You know what I like about sunrises, Sakura? It’s a new beginning of another day, where anything can await. A whole new day to forget the darkness of the night and erase all the pain and bitterness. It is something you can look forward to with a yearning smile.’
‘Yes, I think I understand. Even if the day before went wrong, the sunrise can bring another chance to mend all the hardships. You can face a whole new day to start over again. There is never a dead end if there is a sunrise,’ she had replied.
Now, clearer than ever, she understood the meaning of Syaoran’s words. She thought that she would have to get to know Syaoran over again—but she was wrong. Syaoran was Syaoran, whatever happened. It was just what was happening around them that affected them. If she saw Syaoran again, she wanted him to know that she believed in him, not with just shallow words, but from the bottom of her heart. How could she have been a fool all this long?
With hope, she gaze at the blazing sunrise. Please, Syaoran, be all right. Please be safe…
For a moment, everything was dark outside as they passed underneath a tunnel. Inside the train, Sakura heard the thud.
When the train emerged outside the
tunnel once more and sunlight flooded inside, Sakura felt relieved. Then
she realized it was morning… Syaoran promised he would return before dawn…
“Sakura, I’ve come,” Syaoran said, leaning his weight against the compartment door. His chestnut brown hair was tussled by the wind and his black clothes had various rips and tears in it.
“Syaoran…” Sakura stood up. Her emerald ocean green eyes were luminous and glistening. He walked over to her and held out his arms.
Sakura buried her head into his chest. She could still here his heart beating rapidly from running all night. He was slightly trembling from fatigue, despite his calm exterior.
After a while, Syaoran asked, “Sakura? Are you… crying? I’m all right. I promised I’d come back before dawn, didn’t I? I didn’t want to keep you waiting like yesterday, but I’m still late. The sun has already risen. Sorry.” When he didn’t hear any reply, he tilted up her chin. “Sakura?”
Looking up with tear brimmed eyes, Sakura replied, “Silly, I don’t care whether you keep me waiting or not. All I care is that you are here and safe. Do you know how much I worried? Don’t ever leave me like that again.”
“You were worried… for me?” Syaoran asked, greatly surprised.
“Yes, stupid,” Sakura said, without being able to control the tears from flowing from her eyes. She fingered a streak of blood running down the side of his smooth forehead. “You’re hurt?”
“It’s just a scratch. I scraped my head when I jumped off the other train. Stupid mistake; I lost control of my magic when I tried to make a safe landing.”
“You call that a scratch? You made me worry, and now you’re even injured.” She sniffled.
Slowly, Syaoran said, “Now you’re making me feel bad. I made you cry again. I made you hurt again, when I vowed never to make you feel pain because of me. No wonder you hate me and distrust me.”
“Who says I hate you. Syaoran… I do trust you. I do believe in you.”
“You… believe in me?” Syaoran whispered, as if unbelieving in the words, himself. Her angry words from the previous night still shot shards into his heart.
“Of course I do. I always have, in the depths of my heart.” Sakura swallowed the lump in her throat and smiled. “I believed in you when we overcame Eriol. I believed that you will come back to Japan. I believed in you last night, when you said you’ll come back by dawn.”
The corners of Syaoran’s amber eyes softened as it did only for Sakura and only in rare occasions. “Of course I came back to you, Sakura. You are my sunrise, the hope in each day.”
Brilliant amber eyes met emerald eyes with a new clearness and sincerity as never before. Holding Sakura tightly with his hand, Syaoran bent over to kiss Sakura. This time, she did not draw back. When their lips touched, Sakura’s eyes widened for a second then shut tightly.
For the first time since last winter,
the brilliant rays of the dazzling golden sun seeped into her body and
warmed her heart.
‘Even if the day before went wrong, the sunrise can bring another chance to mend all the hardships. You can face a whole new day to start over again. There is never a dead end if there is a sunrise.
You can seize the day!’
Back in Tomoeda...
“Ugh! It’s so hot!” Erika complained, fanning herself with a Chinese silk fan with flower embroidery. “I hate summertime!”
“Tell the truth. You’re just sad because everyone’s away for the summer and you have no one to play with,” Eron pointed, drinking a glass of ice water. The ruby earring in his left ear gleamed
“Sheesh, how can you look so cool and calm in this weather?” Erika asked, fingered a strange black stone, which hung around her neck. It matched with the one that Eron had. “I’m bored, bored, bored. I wish Syaoran didn’t go to Tokyo. Then I can hang over him and make Sakura jealous. She so dense and stupid, I can’t stand it. I hope the Phantom is doing a good job in hurting her.”
“The Cherry Blossom is not as dense as you think she is,” Eron commented mildly.
“Think what you want to, Eron. You always think you’re right, so…” Erika shrugged, tying her thick dark hair into a high ponytail. “Oh yeah. Strange… The Phantom failed in controlling Syaoran. I wonder why… It would have been fun to see Sakura hurt by the one she loves the most.”
“You’re very evil, Erika,” Eron responded, smiling. “You’re almost catching up to me.” In a modest tone, he added, “Not that it’s anything to be proud of, but…”
Just then, the phone rang. In a sweet voice, Erika answered, “Hello? Chang Erika speaking… Hmm? Aki-kun? Hello! How come you didn’t call all summer. Oh really? That’s great! Sure! No problem. All right. See you, ta ta!”
Pretending to shiver, Eron muttered, “Brr… Talk about acting all cutesy and sweet.”
Sticking out her tongue, Erika replied, “Shut up.” Then brightening up, she stated, “First fun thing all summer! Come on! Get up and move your butt! We’re going on vacation!!!”
Wish-chan: AHH! Another long chapter. I'll try to make shorter chapters from now on. Hmm... Things jumped from here to there this chapter... Sorry, thinks will be more orderly next chapter. I can't believe I was moving at such a slow pace, though. 32 chapters to get to the first kiss! Hehe. Y'all saw it coming, right? Again, Sakura missed catching the Phantom. Tricky card, ne? Oh yeah "Hoshi" means star; forgot to mention it last time. And someone pointed out 'Thief of the Night' in French will be Voleur De La Nuit. Yeah, I noticed that after words. But I thought 'Denuit' sounded like a better last name. Hmm... I was gonna leave the ending a cliff-hanger, but I decided to just include the S+S scene as well. ^_^. Oh yeah, and be sure to see Erika and Eron's story...
Another important thing, it was keep on being mentioned how Syaoran said those harsh things to Sakura (refer back to chapter 11) because of a reason... Keep an eye out for that! He he... We all know Syaoran's not a bad guy... Fujishika (Sakura's uncle) is a nasty guy. But I think her grandfather's a pretty decent person. I included that random clip about Fujitaka because I think he deserved some recognition. As I said before, everything has a significance! : )
Oh yeah, I feel bad for Tomoyo's father... Hope things work out with him and Sonomi again.
And Akagi Arima reappeared this chapter! It wasn't randomly, by the way!
Well, comments loved loved loved at email@example.com. If you
sent an e-mail and I didn't reply and you wanted a reply, please feel welcome
to e-mail again. ^_^. I'll reply. I tried to reply e-mails, but a big gap
from like last, last month, I couldn't reply because I was sooooooo busy
with school. But I've read all the e-mails and I really appreciated all
of them. *_*.
I'm back replying e-mails now cuz it's vacation.
And visit my site at www.geocites.com/wishluv... Fastest way to get the newest chapters + more... And please sign my guest book... No one signs it anymore... : (... I don't care actually. E-mails, fanfiction.net reviews, guestbooks signs, I love them all and when I get response in any form, it makes me happiest!