Chapter 3: Of Ghosts and Statues and Quarrels
“Hoe… Tomoyo-chan… Do I have to dress up like this?”
Kinomoto Sakura turned around once, trying to examine her costume. It was another one of Tomoyo’s superb creations. The dress was dark rose pink with red trimming. Over it was the same color cloak, with a hood, tied on with a red ribbon. At least the bow was not so big as usual.
“See, it’s too stormy to have a big ribbon. And the cloak is made out of waterproof material, and you can protect your head with the hood. The color matches with your staff. Look, even Kero-chan has a matching cloak. Ohhh! I’m so glad that I can do so many hairstyles on you now!” squealed Daidouji Tomoyo.
Sakura sighed as Tomoyo tied red ribbons around the pigtails at each side of her head; Tomoyo was simply ecstatic with joy to be able to plan the wardrobe, do her hair, and videotape her beloved Sakura once more.
“Is it here?” Tomoyo asked as they trudged through the rain. Ka-boom-boom-boom-bang. A streak of lightening etched through the black sky.
“Hoe-e! It’s weather fit for ghosts!”
“Be brave, Card Captor Sakura! You are the only one who can save the world from destruction!” Tomoyo sighed wistfully. “I wish the storms not so bad. It’s hard to focus on you since it’s so blurry.”
“At least you have an umbrella,” Kero-chan said.
Then a long, echoing wail was heard in the wind with an, Oooooooooooooooooo.
”D-did you hear that? A g-ghost!” Sakura screeched.
“No it’s not. It’s just the wind.” Tomoyo assured.
“Hoe-e!” wailed Sakura.
Suddenly, two figures emerged from the darkness.
Sakura screamed, “Ahhhhh!” She hid behind Tomoyo.
A girl also screamed. She clung on to another figure and said, “Syaoran! Save me!”
“Sakura-chan. It’s only Li-kun and Meilin-chan. See?” Tomoyo comforted.
“Hoe?” Sakura laughed sheepishly.
Li Meilin walked up to her and said, “What are you doing here? Syaoran’s going to take the new card.”
Kero-chan said, “He can’t even make one. Sakura’s the only one who can make new cards. She’s the Sakura Card Mistress.”
Another glaring contest started. Just then, the rain started to pelt down harder and the thunder rumbled in unison. The girls shrieked.
“Syaorannn! It’s so cold,” Meilin whined, shuddering as the rain splattered onto her bare legs.
“I told you not to come. And I told you not to wear that costume,” Syaoran replied. Both Syaoran and Meilin were dressed in their Chinese battle outfits.
“You’re wearing yours.”
“Mine’s different. It’s suitable and more comfortable.”
Tomoyo interrupted, “Wait. I have a spare cloak.”
Meilin put on the pink cloak and complained, “I look ridiculous. This cloak doesn’t go with Chinese fighting costume and I don’t look good in this color.”
Syaoran said dryly, “Just be thankful you have something.”
Tomoyo and Sakura laughed. Tomoyo said, “Syaoran sounds like a mother.”
“I do not!” Syaoran retorted.
“Fine, an older brother or something.”
Suddenly, something whisked by them.
“W-what was that?” Sakura gasped.
“What was what?” Meilin asked.
“Yeah. I didn’t feel anything,” Tomoyo added.
Syaoran said, “That’s because you two don’t have any magic powers. I felt it. It’s another power.”
Meilin scowled. She hated it when Syaoran pointed out her weakness.
“Hoe-e! A ghost!”
“Calm down. It can be anything. Concentrate more on which way it’ll attack,” Syaoran said.
“Li-kun! Behind you!” Sakura exclaimed.
Syaoran drew out his sword and slashed down. Something wailed and disappeared. Something else whirled by. “Meilin!” He threw himself down with Meilin. They fell down to the muddy ground, Syaoran on the bottom.
“Meilin-chan, Li-kun, are you okay?” Sakura asked.
Syaoran groaned as he tried to get up. “Meilin, get off my back. Why are you so heavy?”
Meilin got off and helped Syaoran up. Humph. At least Syaoran and Sakura weren’t calling each other by their names anymore. That last time she visited Japan, she was shocked when Syaoran called Sakura by her name. What’s wrong with me? I like Sakura and count her as a friend. Still, the bond between those two makes me jealous. One way or the other, they match with each other. I am left out of it, which makes me jealous. It’s strange how sometimes, Syaoran acts really nice to her and other times, he completely ignores her. Syaoran is a strange person, but I think most people can’t help liking him.
OOOOOOOOOOOOOooooo. Another howl was heard. Meilin covered her ears with her hands. “Sakura, do something,” she screeched.
“I can’t face a g-ghost!”
Syaoran frowned. “Get a grip. If it’s sent by the enemy, whoever it is, it isn’t a ghost. Now go face it!”
“That Brat is right. I was trying to say it first. Let’s try to capture this some time before midnight!” Kero-chan remarked.
Another wailing wind like figure swiped past them, followed by many more. The wailing grew louder. “Ahhhh. Save me!” Sakura cried, throwing out any card. “Light!” The whole place shone up and the spirits wavered and moaned.
“Now, Sakura-chan! Ghosts can’t stand brightness!” Kero-chan said.
“Spirit of the dark forces. I, Sakura, command you. Return to a new shape of contract! Sakura Card!”
The groaning spirits whirled and the storm ceased and the clouds started to disappear. Gradually, the moon appeared, shining brightly. Everyone sighed in relief.
Tomoyo asked, “What card is that? It caused so much hassle, and was captured so easily.”
“The Haunt. What a scary card.”
“Perfect to use for the setting of a horror movie. You can star in it, Sakura-chan!” Tomoyo exclaimed.
“No thank you, Tomoyo-chan. I can’t handle ghost stories.”
“Then Li-kun? Do you…”
Arms akimbo, Meilin then stated, “Humph. Syaoran could have captured the card! It’s okay. He’ll get the next time. See, he even caught the first one!”
Syaoran shuffled his feet on the muddy ground, then looked up at everyone. “Umm, Meilin? I want to clear up on this. We are no longer rivals, if we ever were. It doesn’t matter who gets the new cards. We have to all work together to face the new evil; it is the only way to overcome our enemies. Then we will be more powerful. I came to Japan to help all that I can, not for competition. I had a dream of what was to come, an unimaginable evil, and I vowed I would return. They have origins deeper than any of us understand, yet working together, we can prevent destruction.”
Syaoran paused. Meilin shifted around uncomfortably.
Sakura smiled, “Thank you Li-kun. I am glad to know that you want to help. We will all need it.”
The way that Sakura gazed at him made Syaoran want to break down and tell that he will always be there for her, that he would protect her no matter what. But, no. I will not make myself a fool. Let her think that it is for preventing destruction. So, instead he said nastily, “It’s for the sake of my family. Not to help you.”
Sakura looked taken aback and a little sad. Why was he so nice, then so mean? Syaoran winced at the hurt written over Sakura’s face. He hadn’t meant to sound so harsh. Abruptly he said, “Never mind. Let’s go home now. I think that the enemy had enough for today.” He took off his hat and squeezed the rain water out of it. Then, he tried to brush off the bits of mud on his robe. Seeing him do that, they all realized that they were soaking wet and splattered with mud.
Tomoyo sighed, “My beautiful costume is ruined! Not that I ever use it again, but I do like looking over them and remembering what happened.”
Meilin looked away and handed the borrowed cloak back to Tomoyo. Syaoran stared at Meilin warily. Meilin retorted, “Oh all right. Thank you, Tomoyo-chan, for lending me the cloak. Even though it looks awful on me.” Looking at Syaoran she said, “There, are you satisfied?”
“Brat.” Kero-chan muttered. Staring at Syaoran, he added. “Two brats. Sakura-chan, don’t you dare leave me at that brat’s house again!”
“Syaoran’s not a brat!” Meilin protested.
“Well kid, you are a brat. And that Li kid is your cousin, so he is a brat, also.”
Sakura was developing a headache and sighed, “Bye Meilin-chan, Li-kun… and Kero-chan, since you like their company so much.”
“Hey! Don’t you walk away and leave me here! No! Stop right now!”
Syaoran muttered, “Spoilt stuffed doll,” as Meilin and he trudged back home.
Late that night, Touya came to Sakura’s bedroom.
Sakura quickly put her Sakura Card Book away, and Kero-chan froze in the stuffed doll mode.
Touya angrily asked, “Where were you all yesterday night?”
“W-what do you mean, onii-chan?”
“Don’t play innocent. I know better than you think. What were you doing last night and as for a matter of fact, tonight, as well?”
“I-I was home…”
“No you weren’t. You sent your copy home. You were someplace else.”
Sakura looked down at her feet. “Please don’t ask. I know what I am doing, and I have to do it. I hope you understand onii-chan, but I can’t tell you, yet.”
“I don’t want you doing anything dangerous. Why can’t you trust me?”
“It’s not that I don’t trust you! It’s just… I’m not even sure about it myself. Onii-chan, I’ll tell you if I could.”
“You didn’t even trust me about the Clow Cards business. At least I figured it out myself. There’s a new danger, isn’t there? Something related to mother.”
“Just tell me if you need any help, kaijou. I am still your older brother. Mother trusts me to protect you.” Touya added darkly, “You seem to trust that Li-kid more than me. What is he doing back here, anyway?”
“Li-kun? It’s just that he always knew about the whole business. It involves him, whether he likes it or not. I trust you onii-chan. I’ll tell you when there’s real danger.” Sakura smiled sadly and turned around. She wasn’t going to do anything of that sort.
“You better.” Touya turned around and sighed. He wished that his little sister wouldn’t keep to herself. She does trust that brat from Hong Kong more than me. I won’t forgive him for that. Plus, she still didn’t tell him where she spent the entire night that previous day. Or where she got that green sweater. Deep inside, he knew that she had been with the Li kid. His powers, which had come back stronger than ever since Yue lapsed back permanently into Yukito, sensed it. Yet, he wished that Sakura would admit it to him. It wasn’t like that bratty kid was special to her. Ah, but he was. Out of all people, I should know. The new, evil powers, which flooded Tomoeda, frightened him. New trouble was stirring for his little sister and any person revolving around her life.
Syaoran mused as he wiped his sword clean with a soft cloth. He held it up and could clearly see his reflection. Why did he have a feeling that someone was veiling him from the truth?
Meilin came in. “Syaoran, Wei says to have some tea. You were all soaked.”
“Is anything bothering you?”
“No…” He sighed. The whole world was bothering him.
“Why are you nice to her but sometimes act like she doesn’t exist? You don’t call her by her name anymore, do you? She doesn’t call you by your name, either. It’s always Li-kun this, Li-kun that. What happened?”
“Eh? What are you talking about?” Syaoran raised one eye from his sword.
“He he he… I don’t know...” Laughing nervously, she walked out. She didn’t mean to say that, but she just blurted out her conscience. Those two won’t get anywhere if they go on like that. If only Syaoran wasn’t so stubborn. Wait a second. What in the world am I thinking? That is my fiancée out there.
Syaoran sat at his desk and fingered a green ribbon. What happened? Nothing. He smiled ruefully. There was a time when he thought he liked Sakura. Syaoran slightly cringed at this thought. Since Hong Kong, he had pushed it out of his mind. Didn’t Meilin know that things were different now? He was a clean slate now. He was starting all over again. The old Li Syaoran, pride of his family, the most talented and powerful Li of the generation was gone. He had learned to forget everything and start as a new person. Which meant making over the acquaintances. I am Li Syaoran, free to make my own choices; I’m independent.
Chang Eron was soaked in sweat as he busily performed a spell. He threw up two blank cards, then carefully took out two strands of hair from an envelope. One was short and chestnut brown, while the other was long and a mahogany, light brown color. Then he chanted, “Power of darkness, bind a part of them unto thy powers.” Eron drew a veil over the two cards, which had formed an image of Syaoran and Sakura on them. “Blind their vision; blind them from the truth. Protect our legacy from being found. Let us be concealed. Let them not realize until it’s too late. Power of darkness, VEIL!”
The Veil wove itself over the card images of Sakura and Syaoran than settled down. Satisfied, Eron put the veiled cards away in a drawer. He had such a hard time extracting those strands of hairs from Sakura and Syaoran. It was necessary to have them for the spell to work. He had gotten Sakura’s hair, when he picked up her hat for her and a strand of hair clung on it. Getting Syaoran’s hair was a harder task. Luckily, Erika had picked one off his shirt, the other day.
Erika walked into the room. “They capture the Haunt, also. This is harder than I thought. So, did you finish the spell?”
“Yes. Now, we won’t have to worry about Syaoran and Sakura suspecting us to be their golden eyed enemy. Though it is so obvious, we, the legendary twins… would only seem innocent. I have bound their hairs, a part of them, unto a card, then veiled the cards, therefore blinding their ability to suspect us.”
“And they won’t suspect us until it’s too late.”
Eron stared into his crystal ball that viewed Sakura’s long lashed emerald eyes. It would be a tragedy to close them forever. Nadeshiko had those eyes.
“You look like a zombie today, Sakura-chan,” Sasaki Rika, her classmate said.
“I am a zombie.” Sakura trudged to her desk. She couldn’t sleep a wink that night because she thought about Touya. She stepped on something.
“Ouch! Watch out!” Syaoran exclaimed. He had been dozing over his desk.
Sakura started, “Oh! I wasn’t looking where I was going. I’m so sor—” Then she glanced at who had spoken. Syaoran. He was always so nice one moment, then suddenly so mean. It was almost like when they first met. Yet, he had gotten so nice later on as the time went by. Now… She didn’t deserve it, when she counted Syaoran as a friend. Glancing at the frowning boy, the ‘bad Sakura’ took over. “Watch out yourself. You shouldn’t stick your foot out like that. If you want to sleep, go home. Don’t snap at others who are as tired, themselves.” Silently she added, because of you.
Syaoran bolted up. Other students stared at Sakura. Suddenly, she felt embarrassed. What had possessed her? Tomoyo stared with bulging eyes. Sakura never snapped or picked an argument with someone.
Nobody was more shocked than Syaoran, and he started to fume. He had a temper inherited from his flighty father. Usually, he was calm, but there was that wild streak in him and he bolted up, slamming his fists onto the desk. “Well, sorry ‘Miss Touchy.’ I can’t help not sleeping because I have important things to research on. I am trying to find more about my father’s past for you. Get it? For you. Does it matter to me if I die? No, I don’t care if I am killed by those enemies who killed father. Yes, father was murdered, far from his family. Your mother died blissfully with her family. Yet, I can’t let them kill you. You know only happiness with all your friends and family; you’re full of life, while I can put up with living in any sort of hell…” Realizing where he was he stopped mid-track with everyone staring at him. He turned red. The teacher cleared his throat and tried to speak and failed.
“Well, class has begun, or so I thought.” The teacher shot a significant look at Syaoran and Sakura. “Ahh Kinomoto-san and Li-kun, I would prefer it if you would carry out arguments out of class, during break. And, please check on your vocabulary.” He gazed at Syaoran who turned even redder. What had possessed him? To shout at Sakura like that. Plus, even while shouting, he had admitted that he was working for her, wishing her to be happy… And he never, never argued like that. Especially yelling out private stuff for the whole world to hear.
Sakura sank down to her desk, slightly trembling. Syaoran shouted at her so fiercely. Yet meanwhile, she felt that he was saying something significant. Was he doing all this for her happiness? It was so sad about his father. Syaoran, why are you so vague? Sometimes I see you, the real you, then you hide again. Why can’t you show your inner self to me? I want you to trust me, like you used to. Sakura’s eyes blurred. She felt depressed. No one ever shouted at her like that. Yet, she started the argument herself. It was her fault.
Guiltily, Tomoyo hid her mini camcorer, a new present from her mother. She really shouldn’t have been videotaping that scene, but it was so intriguing. Never had she heard such an argument from them. Between Syaoran and Sakura out of all people.
A big teardrop plopped down on Sakura’s textbook. Meilin snapped, “Now you’ve done it, Syaoran!” Meilin glared at the regretful boy. What was the matter with her cousin? Can’t he do anything right? Why in the world did he shout at Sakura? Stupid. Plain stupid.
Tomoyo whispered, “Don’t cry, Sakura-chan. Li-kun didn’t mean it.”
“I’m not crying.” Sakura blinked back the tears. “Really, why should I cry?”
Even Meilin added, “It’s okay. My dear cousin, has some sort of temper, descended all the way from his ancestors. I never knew he had such a temper though. He doesn’t know what he’s babbling about. It is true that he stayed up all night again. Understand him.” Meilin glared reproachfully at Syaoran.
Syaoran was feeling more and more uncomfortable as he shuffled in his chair. One thing he couldn’t stand was Sakura crying. Once a fool, always a fool. Yet why am I so stupid? Baka. He tried to clear his throat and placed his hand on Sakura’s shoulder. She flinched but he kept it there. “Look, I’m sorry, all right? I-I didn’t mean to shout. It’s just that I didn’t have any sleep for a week. I’m the touchy one and…” Sakura was still shaking, trying to stifle a sob. Man, I suck at this. “Look, I apologized, okay? I meant to just say that I am here to help you. I had no right to lose my temper. I usually don’t but…” Syaoran tried to fumble for the right words, turning redder and redder. Sakura sniffed at Syaoran’s feeble apology.
“You really want to help me? You’re not just saying it to make me feel better?”
“Yes. Cheer up. Here. Take my handkerchief and blow your nose. I can’t stand it when you sniff like that. It makes me feel like some big old bully.”
Sakura laughed and took the handkerchief. Syaoran sighed in relief, as well as thinking, what am I doing? Tomoyo was secretly videotaped away at the “lover’s quarrel” as she put it. It was just so adorable.
The teacher chuckled. Though the whole class was held up, it was certainly an interesting display of argument and apology. And what did those young things mean by babbling about enemies and protecting and helping each other? They were so intense, one would think they were actually serious. “Well, if you two have made up, may we continue with the 5 minutes left of this class?”
Erika asked Eron, “Did you send out that argument between them?”
“Of course not. They argued by themselves, surprisingly. I never knew that either of them possessed some sort of temper. Very interesting. Anyway, if I did send out the argument, do you think I would have made a happy ending? No. It will be a bitter ending for them. Like Amamiya Nadeshiko and her very first love.”
As Syaoran passed by after class, Eron commented, “I enjoyed your argument. I never realized you were so… passionate.” Blood turned cold, Syaoran paused, then quickly walked away.
During PE class and they were all warming up and stretching. They began jogging around the field. “Ten laps!” the teacher called. Most of the class groaned. Sakura was lost in her own thought as she fell into the rhythm of running. By the sixth lap, most of the students were left panting behind. As usual, Sakura was in the head. Then she noticed Syaoran was also. After he went back to Hong Kong, there had been hardly any competition in her grade level. After all, PE was her best subject. She pumped up her speed and so did he. Sakura didn’t notice that Eron was not there, or else, he would have been leading, as well. Meilin who was close behind, thought, why are they going so fast? I can hardly keep up! It feels as if my feet are turning into stone. Just then Sakura stopped running, with her eyes widened. “What’s that?”
Meilin collided into her. “What’s what?” Then she looked around, aghast. Students were turning into stone, from their foot and up. Some were already statues. She gasped.
Suddenly, Syaoran cried out, “Meilin! You’re feet!” Meilin could see that her feet were gradually turning into stone. Syaoran zapped lightening at it with an ofuda, and the stone melted. They sighed in relief.
Tomoyo ran up to them. Luckily, she hadn’t been affected yet. “What’s happening?”
“People are all turning into stone! I’m not sure what’s causing it,” Sakura said.
“Look!” Syaoran exclaimed. They all turned to where he pointed. An old, gnarled man dressed in a grayish cloak was flinging sand at everyone, who at the touch of the sand turned to stone. He started to hobble out of the school ground. Sakura released her staff and Syaoran drew out his sword. Tomoyo focused her videotape.
“Where did he go?” Sakura asked. They walked into the town. It was ghastly since people were frozen into eerie statues. Meilin leaned nearer to Syaoran. Just then, Sakura cried out as she discovered her brother and Yukito-san were frozen into stone as well.
“Watch out!” Syaoran called. The Stone was walking hear them, ready to fling out the lethal sand. Sakura did a flip and dodged. Meilin wasn’t so lucky and she shrieked. An instant later, a statue with the face frozen into an expression of horror was standing before them.
“Meilin!” Syaoran looked aghast at his stone cousin. Furiously, he slashed at the gray man with his sword. The Stone flung some sand at him. Syaoran dodged but some powders landed on the tip of his shoes. He could fell his feet turned hard and swore under his breath. “Hurry! Catch it!”
Sakura watched in dismay. Syaoran was turning into stone, and she didn’t know what to do. Tomoyo trembled in the corner out of the way and videotaping. It will be all right. I hope. Sakura said, “What am I supposed to do?”
“I trust you to do it well.” Syaoran replied before completely freezing into stone.
“Nooo!” she cried out. He trusts me to save everyone. The Stone came to her and tried to fling the powder at her. Think quickly. All her friends, her brother, Yukito, Syaoran and innocent people were harmed because of her. Then she realized that the Stone’s powers came from the powder that turned everyone into stone. No dark force will get the best of me. I must get rid of it. She struck out her staff. Another sand shower barely missed her. She cried out, “Watery!” A jet of water sprouted out and drenched the Stone. The bag of sand, dissolved away with the water.
Tomoyo called out, “Now, Sakura-chan! Show him your true powers.”
“Spirit of the dark forces. I, Sakura, command you. Return to a new shape of contract! Sakura Card!”
The gnarled man contorted and twisted onto a new card. Everyone turned back into flesh again and continued off from where they left out, as if nothing had happened. Meilin straightened from her position cowered over in fear and asked, “Why are we here?”
Syaoran shook his head. “Long story. C’mon. We better get back to school or else we’ll get in trouble.” He started to head back, but as he passed Sakura he whispered in her ear, “Good job! I knew you could handle it.”
Sakura stared at his back, smiling. She didn’t know what dangers faced her in the future, but she was pretty sure that Syaoran would always be there to help her. Sure, there was a gap between them from that the long years apart, but still, they could work at being close friends again, like before he left, like back then when they were facing Eriol and the Clow Cards. His name, “Syaoran-kun” always sprang from her lips, but she managed to change it to “Li-kun” at the last moment. He doesn’t even call me my name anymore. There was a time when he called me Sakura, when he did care for me…
Tomoyo said, “Hurry up Sakura-chan!”
Nodding, Sakura ran after everyone. And I wait for that day.
Author’s Note (Fall/Winter 1999): Finally I finished the other half of this chapter. Sorry for any person that suddenly found this chapter midair. Odd, isn’t it? Do you get the spell that Eron put on S+S? It’s to keep them from suspecting that Eron and Erika are evil. After all, it is so obvious who the new enemies are. What’s with the quarreling? I think all stories should have some sweet quarreling… Don’t know what you think. I have many ideas for future chapters (and they are better ones than the ones so far, it’s just that I need some sort of beginning. Beginnings are meant to be less fun, sometimes.) Yes. All this junk was just the beginning. Did you notice that Sakura and Syaoran aren’t calling each other by their names, anymore? Why? It’s because they aren’t sure of their friendship after a gap between them. Next chapter is about a school camping trip… it will be out soon since it’s half done. Watch out! More sweetness, adventure, whatever junk.
Oh yeah, I think I forgot to mention it, but any of you who want to put my fanfic on your homepages (though I can’t believe anyone wants it) please just e-mail me at: email@example.com for permission and tell me your webpage address so I can see it. Also, comments of any kind are welcome.
Wish-chan (August 2012): “Chapter 3: Of Ghosts and Statues and Quarrels Version 2.0” here. Wow, can there be a more literal chapter title? I think it is my least favorite title to date. Did anyone notice? The Veil was first introduced in this chapter and does not make a proper appearance until Arc Four. It took long enough. I think New Trials really “began” for me in the next chapter, the camping trip, which I think remains a favorite for many readers.
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