He was someone for whom names were meaningless. Because he had none. At least none that would be acceptable among others.
His aunt never deigned to call him anything other than 'boy' or 'you', so he decided that he must not have a name.
At the tender age of four, he had learned quite a bit about the darkness of the human heart.
So when given the choice between remaining the same or becoming someone else, someone powerful, he chose freedom. It would take months before anyone knew that he had been taken from his tiny prison and given a new life.
His name...was Eriol. And he was the chosen successor of Clow Reed, or at least his ghost.
Eriol couldn't wait for tonight. Clow's spirit was going to give him something he had craved ever since that horrible night his parents were murdered.
Someone who would care for him. Be his family.
Tonight was a rare lunar eclipse.
Eriol let Clow take over for the circle. For three years he had acted as Clow's voice in the world of the living, his avatar so that he could see his greatest work through to another master.
And now it was time for Clow to insure that his 'voice' had someone to care for him...and keep the wizard's Ministry from finding them too early.
Clow added the ingredients...everything he had added when he had created Yue.
In Eriol's voice, he spoke the incantation just as the eclipse reached the peak of darkness.
Harken oh Spirit of the Moon.
I am the one who speaks for the forces of the Yin.
Gather now and take form in this night.
Become my Staff and my Shield.
I beckon thee, take form!
The circle swirled as something began to take form under his magic. Eriol could feel the drain, but as Clow was powering this familiar he wouldn't pass out. Clow had more than enough to make two spirits.
However Clow allowed Eriol to dictate the form of this Moon familiar.
A woman began to form, ruby red hair gleaming under the starlight. Something spread from her back, and under the dim light Eriol could see a pair of beautiful black and red accented butterfly wings. He had always been partial to Clow's butterfly garden, since he hated waking up in the mornings.
She slowly opened her eyes, revealing a set of brilliant ruby red orbs.
"My name. What is my name Master?" she whispered.
Clow nudged Eriol, who spoke for the first time that night.
"Ruby Moon," said Eriol.
The newly named Ruby smiled at him, and Eriol felt something inside of him burst with joy. He would never be alone again.
Eriol quickly learned that Ruby had no idea how to cook. Something she picked up from Clow apparently. Fortunately he enjoyed the art.
She was also very excitable, a distinct difference from the quiet Eriol or the mischievous Clow Reed.
Clow decided that Eriol should make his own familiar, as he had created Ruby mostly to keep the Ministry away from the boy. Which was why Eriol spent most of his time reading rather than socializing.
Because Clow had to wait for his greatest legacy to be found, he spent every day teaching Eriol magic.
So what if Eriol didn't have any friends his age? He got to learn from one of the greatest sorcerers in human history and he had a home!
Eriol was half asleep and almost about to drool on his magical homework when he felt a surge of power hit him. He yelped in surprise and his chair fell backwards on the floor. Ruby snorted into waking and looked at him.
"What's up?" she asked.
"I..." started Eriol before Clow took over.
"My successor has found the Book. We need to start making preparations to leave Europe for a while once they finish claiming the cards," said Clow.
Eriol shivered. Just because he willingly shared his body with a century-old ghost didn't mean he enjoyed the times Clow took over his body and pushed him to the back seat.
Clow sent a soothing wave of magic to Eriol. He knew the boy wasn't exactly the best host, but his soul had the right amount of space for such a powerful spirit like himself once he rid the poor child of that parasite.
When he left, he would be sure to leave a decent amount of magic so Eriol could sustain the level his small body was able to handle at the moment. If he didn't, Eriol could collapse of magical drain from his core trying to sustain that level without help.
Shortly after the Clow Cards were unsealed, Eriol decided on something he had been wanting to do for a while now.
He wanted to make his own cards.
"Eriol, I'm not sure you can handle something that big just yet," said Clow.
~Isn't the entire point of making a familiar by following your directions to expand my magic so that I won't get killed when you leave?~ countered Eriol.
"Yes, but your core isn't strong enough right now to make your own cards. It took me decades to finish my set and I had a fully matured one to start with."
Eriol considered that before he made another argument.
~What if I start out small and work my way up to the big ones later? That way I'll at least have something to work with when I make the Sun Guardian.~
"That is possible, but which one were you planning to start with?"
Eriol sent a picture of a bird. More specifically the FLY card.
"Now that is doable with your current power levels. If you're really set on making your own deck, then we can start with FLY and slowly work our way up to the Elemental quartet and the Yin/Yang twins."
Eriol beamed. Finally he would be making some headway into his magical studies!
Clow gave Eriol a book on how to make the first ten Cards. Once he had successfully created them, they would start on the next ten.
Eriol's first task was to create FLY, FLOWER, MIRROR, RAIN, SWEET, BUBBLE, JUMP, LOCK, SHIELD, and SWORD.
Eriol decided to start on the pictures for each card first.
Good thing Clow had gotten him interested in painting. He was a fair hand at it.
For FLY he decided against a white color, mostly because he wanted to be able to hide in the night sky when he flew. Big white wings were a bit of a tip off to the magicals. So he went with a deep, gorgeous raven black that turned blue in the right amount of sunlight.
It took him five tries until he was satisfied with the picture of a large black bird on the paper. He let the finished design dry as he went to work on his next Card.
For FLOWER he turned to his love of cartoons (particularly Japanese anime) for inspiration.
One of the shows he watched was a fighting series called Yu Yu Hakusho, and one of the characters on it used plants as weapons. His trademark one was called the Rose Whip and unlike Clow, Eriol was no pacifist. He wanted to be able to fight with even the most unassuming cards.
He couldn't wait to add a feature Clow hadn't thought of when he made his deck...the ability to combine cards for unexpected results.
Eriol made a credible recreation of Yoko Kurama (full demon form) with the background being several species of flowers, with a white rose in his hand. It took him three tries to get that one right.
Mirror was a bit trickier, but he got an idea from one of his manga called Katana. There was a picture of a silver dragon with two mirrors in each of it's front claws. It could reflect the true nature of things.
RAIN was easier...he just made a storm cloud with a tiny pixie that had monarch butterfly wings.
SWEET he based off a giggly little fairy with a lollipop for a wand that could change anything into sweets.
Eriol had a bit of fun with BUBBLE. He kept envisioning frogs for some reason, so he decided to make it so that a frog produced the bubbles when summoned. He could sense Clow's amusement at that one.
For JUMP he painted a large rabbit with powerful legs. It was a fuchsia colored bunny, not too dissimilar from the original.
LOCK was a thick padlock made of mithril with butterfly wings on either side. Eriol could just see someone tickling the LOCK's wings or answering a riddle to open it.
For SWORD Eriol made it a plain tachi bound by mulit-colored chains. It would give someone a decent ability towards using a sword, but the real power came when he combined it with the other cards. Depending on what was used in tandem with it, the SWORD it produced would change shape.
SHIELD was a multi-flowered petal, one that could change shape according to how much power was added to it. Eriol got the idea from something called an Aegis shield, which absorbed and redirected magic.
Once he was done with SHIELD, Eriol left the window open to let the air in. He took a shower and went right to sleep.
Clow's spirit manifested outside Eriol to look at his base.
He was rather pleased at the amount of detail Eriol put into his cards. He did have to wonder what Eriol was planning to do to put these wonderful pictures into card form though.
For the next two weeks Eriol copied, remade and painted magic circles according to what he wanted to do. He wanted each detail to be exact and perfect for his first card.
But first he had to make his familiar, the Sun Guardian. After all, FLY was under the Sun's influence. At least according to Clow anyway.
Considering Eriol planned to fly more at night when there was less traffic, he wanted to put it under the Moon. After all, WINDY and WATERY were Moon-based, and FLY fell under Ruby's jurisdiction.
Clow wanted the Sun Guardian out anyway, just so they wouldn't have to back track to it later.
Eriol waited until it was at the Summer Equinox before he started prepping.
Harken oh Spirit of the Sun.
I am the one who speaks for the forces of the Yang.
Gather now and take form in this day.
Become my Sword and my Steed.
I beckon thee, take form!
Eriol had memorized the chant and Clow made sure to speak the words in his mind so he didn't forget.
A large black cat, easily the size of an adult Nundu (one of the things Clow taught him was about magical creatures...the gryffin had inspired his original Sun guardian Keroberos only he reversed the lion and eagle parts) with sky blue wings. Like Ruby, they were butterfly shaped and very detailed.
The cat opened his eyes, and they were a deep blue color. Blue was Eriol's favorite color.
"What is my name, Master?"
"Guardian from this day forth you shall be known as Spinel Sun,"said Eriol with more confidence than he felt.
Spinel sat down and looked at his new Master and yawned. Several large teeth showed in his mouth, though they didn't make Eriol nervous.
"Well done Eriol! He's perfectly formed and I can feel the connection. We'll wait until the next full moon before we try starting your deck,"said Clow proudly.
However Eriol could feel the drain on his magic, and he was on the verge of passing out. Maintaining a single Guardian on his own at full power was too much for the nine-year-old.
Spinel covered himself with his wings, and Eriol could feel the magic build up. Suddenly the wing shrank away revealing a blue kitten with tiny wings. The drain on his magic was less intense, so he was able to stand upright.
"Is this better Master?" asked Spinel. His voice was less deep and he looked absolutely adorable.
"Eriol is fine. I don't like being called Master," said Eriol quickly. He had nipped that habit in the bud with Ruby within days too. Now she just called him her little brother.
Eriol slept for a week (or so it seemed to him) before he was able to resume his studies.
"This is exactly why I said you weren't ready to make the Cards. It's a good thing that both Guardians are made with a power-save mode, or you would be drained dry in hours,"complained Clow.
"Yes, but once my core accepts the new drain it will grow and become stronger so long as I rest between use, right?"
"The only reason I agreed to let you do it is because you wanted to start small,"said Clow.
"Still... I can't wait to turn those paintings into Clow Cards!"
"What do you mean?"
"There's no way I could recreate them, so I thought it would be easier to use the paintings directly and add spirits to them. A little alchemy and some spells, and they would be small enough to carry!"
"Is that why you used your special paints when you made the final ones?"
Eriol had a special set of paints for magical work. Usually with some special property added to it. Some of the red paints had blood or crushed rubies in them.
"It was easier to do the details if I made them big at first. I can always make them smaller later right?"
Clow conceded that point. It was easier to make a bigger one first and then shrink it than it was to do a small card. He wondered why he hadn't thought of that one when he made his set.
"Tonight's the full moon, so we can make the FLY, right?"
"One card a month, at least until you get used to the strain."
Eriol placed the picture of the oddly shaped black bird in the middle of his alchemic circle. If everything went like he planned, the painting would shrink and become a card instead. He had put so much care and detail into his paintings that he hoped the spirit that would be attracted to it would be happy.
There was a reason why Clow's infamous cards were so powerful. He had bound lonely spirits from all over nature into the cards to give them life. He had promised that only kind, loving masters would possess the cards, and that any who tried to use them for bad reasons would be punished harshly by the guardians he had made.
There was a reason why Yue, the silent and rather cold Moon Guardian, was the Judge of whether or not the inheritors were worthy. Keroberos was too open and naïve to properly judge whether a human was worthy of such powerful magic.
Eriol checked (for the tenth time) on his circle before he took a deep breath and brought out the staff he had ordered from the goblins as Clow. It would change once Clow finally passed on, but until then he had to make do with what he had.
He waited for the moon to reach it's peak before he started chanting.
I am one who speaks for the voice of the Night
I am one who hears the song of the Sky
By this covenant, I bind thee to this form
If you abide by this will and reason, take form!
Hear me, spirits of the world and answer!
Under this name, I call upon your power!
The painting began to spin on one corner rapidly and something massive hit it. It shrank until it became the size of a tarot card, and a midnight blue background formed on the back of it. It looked very similar to a Clow Card, but the circle on the back was more Moon oriented compared to the ones Clow had made centuries ago.
That was to be expected, as Clow had noticed that Eriol's magic was more oriented towards the Moon than to the Sun like his. His very nature amplified certain magics that grew more powerful during the night.
Eriol waited for the magic to die down before he picked up his card.
He felt like dancing. He had made his first card!