Author's Note: Oops, I left a cliffhanger. Last time, the Book of the 2nd Cards was thrown in the lake. The Psychic Card was heading right for a weakened Sakura. Li couldn't help her…he was frozen solid by a miscue with the Ice Card. So what happens now? Read on to see the final conclusion.


Cards captured so far: Fly, Windy, Hole, Water, Replay, Light, Oil, Thief, Ice, Fog, Lightning, Iron, Nightmare, Magnet, Invisible, Acid, Sonic, Pie, Power, Mirage, Laser, Rubber, and Bomb


The Book of the 2nd Cards: Part 26


When Sakura looked up, all she saw was the Psychic Card coming closer. The immense pain in her head remained. She looked to her right and saw Li. It tore her apart to see Li frozen like that, but worse than that, he couldn't help her now.

The worst thing of all was that her saving grace, the Book of the 2nd Cards was thrown in the lake. Without it, Sakura couldn't seal the final card. She desperately needed it. But Sakura couldn't think of that right now.

The Psychic Card was about to extend its arm out again. Sakura could already feel the pain starting to increase. Suddenly, something whacked the Psychic Card in the back. It was Tommy and he cracked the Psychic Card in the back with a giant tree branch.

"I…said this ends," Tommy said weakly. "And…I mean that. You're…going to stop…even if I have to force you!!"

Tommy tried to club the Psychic Card again, but the Psychic Card stopped him in mid-swing. Tommy suddenly started hitting himself over the head with the branch. He must've been under the influence of the Psychic Card's power. What Sakura realized she had her chance, she pulled out the Invisible Card.

"Invisible Card! Make me invisible! Release and dispel! Invisible Card!"

The Psychic Card turned back around to strike on Sakura, but it found thin air. Sakura took this time to get behind the Psychic Card, but it abruptly turned around and started to strain her mind again. She couldn't understand how it saw her coming. Just then, Kero flew right by her. Sakura didn't know how Kero found her. He must've been following the screams.

"Sakura! You DO know that the Psychic Card can read your thoughts! It doesn't have to see you!"

Sakura had to do something. She felt like her brain was about to explode. But what could she do…besides fall to her knees?


When Tommy regained consciousness, he saw the giant branch right next to him. He must've been pounding himself until he knocked himself out. Then he saw the Psychic Card was continuing his assault on Sakura.

Tommy groaned. He saw the Psychic Card, Sakura, and the flying stuffed animal he assumed was Kero. Then he looked further to his right. He saw Li Shoran was still frozen solid from that shot by the Ice Card. Then he looked up at the sky to see Madison. He could see she felt worried for her friend, but Tommy knew she was also still suffering from heartbreak.

He caused so much damage. And when he tried to move on, his world came apart even more. He couldn't take any of this anymore. Tommy would end all of this…and to do that, he had to help Sakura. Then he saw what he could do.

Tommy got up and jumped into the lake.


Sakura knew only one more thing she could do. She had to do it to save her mind and her psyche. If this was the Psychic Card, Sakura had to throw it off its train of thought. And there was one way she could do that. Sakura pulled out the Nightmare Card.

"Nightmare Card! Distort its psyche! Release and dispel! Nightmare Card!"

In a whoosh of wind and a crash of lightning, the sky suddenly turned dark. The Psychic Card stopped in its tracks and soon it started to hold its head in pain, just as Sakura had been doing this whole time. The nightmares were starting to strike down on the Psychic Card's mind.

The Psychic Card soon fell to the ground and continued to cringe. Sakura wanted to take advantage of this moment, but she was in the exact same position. Sakura was on the ground as well. The pain wasn't going away.

Then Sakura found her saving grace…come from an unlikely ally. Just then, Tommy emerged from the bottom of the lake. When he pulled himself out, Sakura saw he was holding the Book of the 2nd Cards. It was just what Sakura needed. She pulled out the Thief Card.

"Thief Card! Bring me the book! Release and dispel! Thief Card!"

In a flash, the book went from Tommy's hands to Sakura's. She knew what she had to do now, but Kero confirmed it for her.

"You've got to put the 23 2nd Cards in the book. So you're going to have to recall the Nightmare Card. When they're in the book, then you can seal the Psychic Card."

Sakura recalled the Nightmare Card and the sky started to brighten again. She had to make her move quickly before the Psychic Card recovered. Sakura took out all 23 of the 2nd Cards and put them all back into the Book of the 2nd Cards. Now all that was left was to seal the Psychic Card.

Sakura ran towards it and held her wand out, but the Psychic Card was up again. Sakura braced herself for the worst…but was surprised when nothing happened. The Psychic Card was holding its arm out, trying to launch an attack, but nothing happened. The Psychic Card strained and eventually fell to one knee.

Sakura knew what happened. "You've got nothing left. You have no power left. You've lost!" She pointed her wand. "Psychic Card! Return to your power confined! Psychic Card!"

Sakura savored this moment. In a flash of light, the final 2nd Card was finally sealed. She stood still for a moment, holding the Psychic Card in her hand. After a brief moment of reflection, reflecting on the past few months and everything that's happened, Sakura opened the Book of the 2nd Cards and put the Psychic Card in. She sighed and closed the book, forever sealing the 2nd Cards.

"It's over," Sakura said softly. "It's finally over." Suddenly, she remembered someone important. "Li!!"

Sakura ran over to the frozen Li. It would take a while to thaw him out, but it could be done. Then Sakura heard someone else call out for her.

"Sakura!! How am I supposed to get down?!"

Sakura looked up to see that Madison was still stuck up in the tree. There was no Fly Card left to get her down. Sakura thought her troubles would all end when the Book of the 2nd Cards was closed. But she still had to help Li and Madison.

With her friends temporarily incapacitated, Sakura wondered how she ever beat the Psychic Card. Then she remembered. Sakura looked around for the one who helped her, but there was no sign of him.

Tommy Canton was gone.


It was all over. With the Psychic Card sealed, the Book of the 2nd Cards was finally closed and the 2nd Cards were sealed forever…or until someone else opened the book.

It also marked the end of a chapter of Tommy Canton's life. It was a chapter he wanted to forget. That's why he didn't even bother to say goodbye.

But as he walked down the street, he couldn't help but think of the one part of this chapter that didn't bring him pain. No matter what Avalon thought, Tommy really did care for Madison. He didn't care what Sakura or Li wanted to believed, but he cared about Madison and that was no lie. But it didn't matter anymore. Since he was exposed, Tommy relationship with Madison was strained far beyond repair. She would never trust him again.

That's why it was better for him to just go…and start over somewhere else. But he would never forget this part of his life. He would never forget the 2nd Cards…no matter how hard he tried. And he would never forget Madison.


"C-C-C-C-C-Cold. S-S-So C-C-C-Cold."

It pained Sakura to see Li like this. But at least the heat of Madison's fireplace finally thawed him out. Sakura was more than relieved when Kero told her the Ice Card's effects weren't fatal. Since then, all Sakura could do was bring a bucket of hot water for Li to help him get warm.

But when Sakura really thought about it…this was sort of the moment she was dreading. Now that the 2nd Cards were sealed…she knew what would happen now.

"Sakura?" Li asked. "What's wrong? I thought you'd be a little happier that the 2nd Cards are all sealed."

"Yeah, well…"

"I mean you should be proud of yourself," Li continued. "Even when I went down, you didn't give up. You picked yourself up and kept on fighting. I'm really proud of you, Sakura."

Sakura…broke down into tears. She started weeping bitterly. It was all too much for her.

"Sakura, what is it?"

"Like you don't know," Sakura cried. "It's all over, Li. The 2nd Cards are all sealed. So what other reason is there for you to stay? I guess this is where you just walk out of my life again…"

"Sakura…"

"I mean, what was I thinking? I was stupid to believe that there could ever be anything between us. How could I ever believe you'd leave Hong Kong just for me? That could never happen…"

"Sakura…"

"All I've ever wanted since you left was to see you again. I wanted to admit that I love you. And now that you came back, I knew it couldn't be. It was all a tease, because now you're going back to…"

Li didn't let her finish. He cut her off…with a kiss. The sudden lock of their lips shocked Sakura. She was left speechless. She didn't even remember what she was crying about. Li reminded her…sort of. But he also took out a beautiful necklace and put it around her neck and he said some words that Sakura would remember and cherish for the rest of her life.

"I'm not going back…because I love you too, Sakura."

Words couldn't express how long Sakura's been waiting to hear that. Sakura didn't know how to react. Indeed, it was all over. The 2nd Cards were all sealed and Li was staying in Japan. Her life had taken a turn for the better. There was only one thing left to do.

Sakura resumed the kiss.


END


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