Ladies and gents,the long-delayed nint episode of The Mysterious Play,starring Sakura Kinomoto and the rest of the CCS gang in a semi-Fushigi plot.
Act 9 Invisible Enemy
"A hand pulled the miko into the darkness."read Touya slowly.
Sakura tried to shout but her mouth was covered firmly.She bit the hand holding her and screamed,"Li,tasukete!!!"
Li looked around."M-Miko,where are you?"He then saw Sakura's scarf in front of the bush.He leaped towards it."Miko!"
At the same moment,a strong gust of wind blew all the torches out.Meiling sensed danger."Minna,watch out!"
Arrows sliced the darkness and screams of pain rung out.
"Miko!!"Li brought out his sword and aimed it at the figure who was holding its hand.
"Geez,are you a cannibal or something,Clow no miko?This is the thanks I got for saving your life?"The stranger disappeared into the hat it was wearing.
Sakura rubbed her head as she sweatdropped."What did he mean by 'saving my life'?"She confusedly picked the hat up.
"Li Syaoran!"Meiling ran into the bush where Sakura and the boy were sitting."Sakura,something attatcked us awhile ago!"
Li held out his fire incantation card to see what happened and gasped.Meiling covered Sakura's eyes."Don't look!"she hissed.
The boy looked at the blood splattered everywhere,then around the place cautiously."I can sense a Clow card around."He turned to Meiling."Take the miko down there.You will find a small village there.Go to the third house on the left side,and tell the people there that I have sent you there to seek refuge."
"Li,if there's a Clow card here,then I must stay and help you catch the card!"reasoned Sakura.
He looked at the wounded men then back at Sakura."No,I can handle this."
Meiling led the miko away,but Sakura called out,"Be carefu,Li!We'll wait for you!"
Something touched the boy's heart.He stole a glance at the girl with the honey-brown hair.A small smile crept up his face."Yes,Sakura.For you,I will."He gripped his sword tighter.His eyes darted let and right,and he leapt out of the wa just as a bunch of arrows struck the ground he was standing at a minute ago.
"Damn!"Li cursed when he saw something red drip down his arm.
"Friends of Li?"The woman eyed Sakura and Meiling,her eyenbrow arched."Li is not the friendly type,especially with girls."
Sakura hugged her hat tighter."Please let us in.Li told us that this is the only safe place here."
Meiling was not the least intimidated by the woman's demeanor.She placed her hands on her hips."Are you aware who you are dealing with?"She patted Sakura."This girl here only happens to be Li's mistress."
"Syaoran's WHAT?!!"exclaimed the woman.More women came out of the house,looking amazed.
Sakura panickedly covered Meiling's mouth,giggling nervously."What she means to say is Li serves me as my seishi."
The oldest woman smiled at her kindly."Then you must be the Clow no Miko."
She bowed modestly."Yes,Ma'am.I'm Sakura Kinomoto."
"Look up,lass.I want to see the face of Li's mistress."The woman told her.
She obligingly looked up.
"A very lovely girl."the old lady remarked truthfully.
"So that's why he was so all-out in the whole Clow business!"one younger woman commented.
"So that's why he was so hell-bent in protecting his Clow no miko."Another woman remarked with amusement.
"So that's why he won't leave even after we sent a message for him to go home."Another woman said.
"Stop harassing the divine Clow no Miko!"Li walked into the house,gripping his shoulder.
"Syaoran!!!"The women flocked around him worriedly.
Upon seeing SAkura watching the scene,he embarrassedly pushed them away."I'm ok."
"You're ok?You're ok?!"The women slapped his shoulder.The boy winced in pain.
"Li,t-they're right.Your shoulder-"Sakura looked at him with great concern.
"J-Just a minor cut."he mumbled,his heart fluttering unexplainably.
The old woman cleared her throat audibly."Maybe you ought to do what your miko says.Syaoran.Don't make her worry about you."
Li's face reddened.He quickly bowed."Yes,Mother."
Sakura and Meiling blinked.
Li sighed."Guys,I want you to meet my family.My mother,Li Yelan,and.."His voice trailed off when he glanced at his sisters.
"Your personal welcoming committee."The eldest smiled at the girls."We're Li's sisters."
Li grimaced before he gave a red card wrapped in Sakura's scarf quietly.
Sakura's eyes twinkled."You caught the card!"She read its name."Shot card."She smiled gratefully."Thanks,Li!"
"No prob."he mumbled,ignoring the teasing gazes his wretched sisters were throwing his way.
"What the-that chinese brat is hitiing after my sister!"screamed Touya.
The Mirror card couldn't help but giggle softly.Her Big Brother could be so cute when he's angry.
Touya suddenly turned to her and she balked,blushing."I-I'm sorry,Big BRother."she whispered.
He sweatdropped.He wasn't used to see his sister act so demurely."Do I scare you,yong lady?"
As Li,his family,Sakura and Meiling were eating,a bunch of nurses burst into the house."Master Li,your men are ok now."
Li looked relieved."I'm going to see them now."He stood up,leaving his meal unfinished.
Sakura's eyes followed him.Li's mother smiled to herself upon noticing this.
"Thank goodness those men are ok."One of Li's sisters exclaimed."Those cards are getting stronger and stronger everyday!"
"And more evil too!"Another woman put in.
"Li takes his work too seriously."said Sakura slowly.
Li's mother nodded."He is the head of the Li clan which protects this place."
"At his age?"MEiling asked.
"He was trained early as a fighter."informed another of Li's sisters."We had no choice.He is the only boy in the family.After Dad died,the bloodline dictated my big brother as the next head of our clan."
"It's more like a default."agreed the youngest of Li's sisters.smirking.
Sakura sweatdropped and suddenly she remembered her own brother,Touya,and his teasings,protectiveness and vexings.She suddenly wanted to go home already.
Her thoughts were disrupted by the explosion of the well in the Li backyard.
Everyone trooped outside and saw the water sprouting up like geysers in every well in town.
The Li matriarch frowned."This is te work of a Clow card,but not just some ordinary card.This is an elemental card."She turned to Sakura."It's not easy to fight."
She nodded and brought out her Clow key."Give me the power!!!"
She looked at the fountains of water in front of her.She forced herself to think.Li was not with her to advise wat she should do.
She then remembered Li's advice.
"Weaken the card first!"He told her when they were battling the Wood card.
She didn't notice the geysers bulleting towards her.Fortunately,someone blocked the attacks.
Sakura gaped at her savior."D-Dare.."
The person whipped its hat off-the same hat Sakura was holding awhile ago-and her auburn hair tumbled down her waist.
"I am Nakuru Akizuki,one of your shichiseishi."she introduced herself as her Clow aura vibrated.
"Now think,Clow no Miko.What can get rid of these water?"she said encouragingly.
She thought for a while,then her eyes lighted up."I know!"
Sakura brought a card out."Wood card!!!"
Plants sprouted everywhere and absorbed the water.The weakened element showed its true form,allowing Sakura to finally catch it.
"I am the cardcaptor,and I command you to return to the guise that you were meant to be!"
Immediately,it became the Watery card.
"Thank goodness you're safe!"Li said."I'm sorry if I wasn't there to help you catch the card"
Sakura grinned."It's ok,Li.I learned something when I battled the card alone."She turned to Nakuru."Thanks Nakuru!"
The seishi grinned back."My pleasure,miko."
Li Yelan stepped forward."You did an impressive display of skills,catching the powerful card awhile ago.We are proud to have such a good miko as you."
"Please do come visit us sometime."The eldest of Li's sisters said.
"Will do!"she replied cheerfully.
"Syaoran,take care of the miko."ordered Yelan.
His face turned hot,but he bowed solemnly."Yes,Mother."
As everyone bade farewells,Nakuru handed the miko a card.
"I caught this while I was journeying to see you."she explained.
"Thank you!"She looked at her new card happily."Bubble card."
Meiling nudged Li playfully."Don't tell me you didn't get a card while you're away."
He shyly took three cards from his pocket and handed it to Sakura.
"The Freeze card,the Through card, and the Glow card."she read.She smiled."Arigatou!"
"Now I got the Mirror card,Rain,Cloud,Dash,Sword,Fight,Through,Freeze,Bubble,Glow,Shot,Wood and Watery card!
As they were passing by the town,SAkura suddenly overheard a snippet of lazy chat of some women in front of a store.
"Oh yeah,the strangely-dressed young man with glasses?I heard of him.I think he was brought to the Northern Kingdom by the card guardians."said one woman.
"I heard he has a huge apetite."put in one woman.
Sakura suddenly strode towards them."E-Excuse me,but do you know this person's name?"
The women looked startled.One of them spoke up."Er,I think his name is Yuki..ro?Yukime?"
"That's it!"The woman nodded.
Sakura wasted no time and dashed away.
"I'll follow her."Li ran after the miko."Go home and tell Emperor Yue about this."
"Yukito..Yukito.."Sakura's mind was screaming."Please be ok."
"The miko proceeded to save her friend."read Touya.
To be continued...