Two young girls were brought before the rulers of the country; two amber eyed princes with the same dark messy chocolate coloured hair and the same slim but muscular frame. They looked to be their age, possibly a year or two older. One of them was sitting on a throne-like chair that was made of gold and red plump cushions comfortable for sitting on. The other sat beside him at his brother's feet with his arms on his own knees, his right eye hidden by a black eye patch. They looked to be a little bored, but as they looked up and noticed the two girls their expressions changed. They looked a little startled by the sight of the two girls, worry plaguing their faces as the guard came to a stop.
"I beg your pardon your graces, but these girls were found lying outside the castle." The guard spoke.
"No matter," the prince sitting on the floor spoke, "You may leave."
The guard was hesitant, but obeyed the Prince's orders. The caramel haired, emerald eyed girl who was crouching on the floor, hugging her bleeding sister to her chest whilst she was crying, whimpered. She didn't know what these two boys would do to her or her sister. She'd been through enough-she didn't want to go through hell again. She didn't know where she was, and somewhere deep in her heart she hoped that maybe, just maybe, this would be a safe place for her to rest.
Both boys surveyed the girls, and noticed the blood seeping onto the floor.
"She's hurt." The first boy spoke once again, standing and walking over to where she cowered.
She shut her eyes tightly, afraid of what was to come. Would she be hit? Or worse-killed?
"Do not be afraid; we will not harm you." A much calmer and gentler voice, but similar to the first prince's, spoke.
Her eyes shot open, landing on the second prince; his gaze was gentle, kind. She felt her sister being pulled from her arms and she snapped her attention back to the first prince; he had pulled her sister into his arms.
"She's awfully light." He murmured. "Where are you from?" He asked.
"T-the border…" She answered timidly, tears still trailing down her face.
"Right…I'll tend to her wounds." He said, turning to leave.
"No!" She cried out, not wishing to be parted from her sister once again.
He stopped and looked to his brother for assistance.
"If her wounds are not tended to, she may die; she will not be harmed in any way, I promise." The other prince spoke kindly.
Hesitantly, she nodded. The prince continued to walk away, his boots echoing on the tiles. Now she was left with the other prince…he seemed kind… But, she had been through far too much to trust anyone just yet.
"May I ask your name?" He asked gently, standing up and walking over to her.
"S-Sakura…" She answered timidly.
"Your sister's name is?" He further questioned.
"Rena…" She whispered.
"Are you hurt, Sakura?" He asked softly as he came to kneel in front of her so that they were eye to eye.
She completely avoided eye contact and looked down to her legs; her skirt was torn and filthy and covered in blood. Her top was ripped and showing her bruised stomach. She felt exposed in front of the prince.
His amber eyes travelled down to her legs to find her inner thighs bruised and semen on the inside of her legs. She'd been raped.
"Who did this to you?" He asked, saddened by the state of her body.
Her body trembled and she shook with tears. He noticed the strange state of her leg, and figured out that it was badly injured. Whatever had happened, it wasn't good.
"Please, will you allow me to carry you? I don't think you're in any state to be walking right now; your right leg looks to be injured." He said gently.
How could he tell that her leg was injured? Hesitantly, she nodded. He turned, "Chii!" He called out, and then turned back to Sakura. He slipped his arms under her back shoulders and legs, and then carefully lifted her off the floor. She whimpered, but his strong arms held her safely.
Moments later a beautiful young girl, also around their age, with long blonde hair and deep chestnut brown eyes came running into the hall. She was slender, with wide hips and a large bust. She was wearing a light blue skirt with a gold band around the waist, and her top was a darker blue with sleeves that came down to her elbows.
"How may I help you, Prince Syaoran?" She asked politely.
The young prince turned to the maid who gasped.
"This girl; her name is Sakura. She needs to be bathed and needs fresh clothes. Could you provide something suitable for a young lady such as herself to wear?" He requested.
"Most certainly, my lord." The blonde answered happily.
"She's injured her leg; she'll need assistance getting in and out of the springs. Do you think you could provide her with your services?" He asked.
"Of course," the girl named Chii smiled, and then disappeared again.
Sakura wasn't sure what would happen. She was scared. "Don't be frightened; Chii won't harm you." He said softly, as if sensing her fear.
She relaxed a little and he smiled. "Forgive me, for I have not given you my name. Please, call me Syaoran." He said softly.
She thought the name over in her head for a few moments. She watched as walls with torches in glass lanterns went by, with framed paintings and other beautiful pieces of artwork hanging on the wall. They turned down a corridor and down another, and then he gently shifted her slightly so he could open a large door. He used his foot to kick it open further, and then walked inside. He helped Sakura into a sitting position on the wooden bench.
"I'll wait with you until Chii gets here." He said gently.
She nodded and flicked her dim emerald green eyes away from his gentle gaze. Just moments after Chii came walking in holding a straw basket with clean clothes and a towel in it. She spotted the two and walked over.
"Ah, there you are. I got some sleepwear since, knowing you, you would want the poor young lady to rest after her ordeal?" Chii smiled sweetly.
"Yes. I'll be waiting outside." He smiled.
Sakura assumed he'd be carrying her to wherever she'd be resting. She was tired…very tired. Since Chii was now with her, Syaoran stood up to leave. "I leave her in your care for the moment." He said.
"Understood," Chii smiled.
He opened the door, and she was about to protest, but the blonde distracted her.
"Hi, my name is Chii. What's yours?" She asked with a happy smile.
Sakura blinked in surprise. "Sakura…" She replied.
"Let's be good friends." Chii smiled.
Meanwhile, Syaoran's brother was inspecting the wounds of Sakura's beloved sister, Rena. He realised he was going to have to remove her top to get to the worst of it, and so he gently lifted her and removed it, revealing the white band of material that covered her breasts.
"I should not be seeing this." He muttered as he tossed the bloody shirt aside.
He focused only on her wound which was deep and looked in danger of becoming infected. "Shit, what did you do-get yourself stabbed with a sword or something?" He muttered to himself as he grabbed the pre-prepared medicinal herbs Chii had brought earlier and pressed them to her wound, glad that she was out cold because it would have hurt like a bitch. He grabbed some gauze and taped it into place so that it would stay there for a while, and allow the healing process to begin. He looked for other injuries, finding minor cuts and bruises which he cleaned up, but nothing else major. He shifted her body into the recovery position, and then placed blankets over her cold shivering body. He sat by his bed, looking at her. He wondered what colour eyes she had…
Sakura sat in the warm springs with the young maid who was gently washing her back. "My lady, what happened to your leg, if I may ask?" Chii asked politely. Sakura was shocked-my lady? How long had it been since she'd been treated with such respect?
"Ah-um…an accident…" She mumbled.
"I'm sorry to hear that…" Chii murmured, her hand movements slowing.
"Umm…Miss Chii, can I ask you something…?" Sakura asked timidly.
"Miss Chii? Wow, that's certainly new! Go ahead my lady, ask away." Chii said cheerfully as she began combing gently through Sakura's hair.
"Why…do you call me 'My Lady'?" She asked.
"Because that is how Syaoran wants you to be treated." Chii said softly.
"I don't understand…" Sakura murmured.
"I'm sure you will with time. Syaoran and his twin brother, Syaoron, are both fair rulers." Chii said gently.
Sakura still didn't understand why. For the past eighteen months she'd witnessed horrors of the world that she had never imagined. She'd forgotten that people could be so nice.
"I think we're all done-shall we get out now?" Chii smiled. Sakura nodded. Chii stood and helped the girl out, and then dried and dressed her in the clothing she'd picked out; she was wearing a light pink silk robe with long sleeves with a white sash around the waist to keep it together. It was what the upper class girls usually slept in.
Chii then got herself dressed into what she was wearing earlier and then called Syaoran back in. "She's quite timid." Chii said.
He nodded agreement, "Yes, I noticed that too." He said, and walked in to lift the young girl back into his arms. She felt safe there, like she could trust him. Maybe all hope was not lost… "Alright, I'll take things from here." He said.
Chii nodded and headed off down the corridor, and he headed off in another direction.
"I'll take you to my room to rest; someone may think you're an imposter otherwise." He explained.
"I won't do anything, I promise." He said softly. She felt herself relax a little in his hold, and she felt dizzy with fever. He seemed a little worried, but didn't pick up the pace. He finally came to a stop in front of his room and opened the door. His brother's room was not far away, and he wondered if her sister was alright.
He walked over to the bed which was shaded by black curtains, and placed her gently on the bed. She whimpered and he hushed her with soothing murmurs as he covered her with a couple of blankets.
"Don't leave…" she whispered desperately.
He smiled softly and sat on the edge of the bed. "You should rest." He said softly.
Exhausted from her traumatic experience and crying, her eyes slid closed and she was quick to fall asleep under his watchful eye. He watched as she slept peacefully, and he wondered what had happened to the two girls-who had hurt them in such a way? Was there some way they could help? He wasn't sure.
Once Syaoran was sure that she was sound asleep, he stood and left her to rest. He didn't want to disturb her, and he wanted to make sure that her sister's wounds were ok. He left the room quietly, and headed for his brothers room. He knocked, and waited for an answer. Upon hearing one he entered.
His brother was sitting on a chair beside the bed, looking over at him. "How are her wounds?" Syaoran asked.
"The most serious wound looks in danger of infection. I've treated it, but who knows what could happen." He answered with a sigh.
"I see. The other girl, Sakura, is quite timid and has been through some trying ordeals. It's easy to tell just by how she reacts to our presence. She wasn't so much bothered by Chii's." Syaoran murmured.
"Did the girl named Sakura mention her sister's name?" His brother asked.
"Rena," Syaoran answered.
He nodded and continued to watch her as she slept. He couldn't help but feel that their names felt familiar for some reason.
When Sakura woke it was night; it was dark in the room, and her memory was a little hazy at first. Suddenly everything came crashing down on her like heavy weights. She let out a sob, bringing her hands to her face. Everything hurt; her heart, her body…she couldn't protect her sister. She didn't realise that someone had come to sit beside her until she felt a gentle hand on her arm.
"Is there anything I can do for you?" Syaoran asked.
She pulled her hands away from her face and she noticed he had changed from his earlier clothes into a long sleeved green top and black pants. His hair looked damp, so she assumed he'd had a bath at some point.
"How long have I been asleep…?" she asked.
"A few days," he replied.
She went to sit up and pain shot through her leg, causing her to let out a sharp gasp.
"What is it?" He asked with worry.
"Nothing…just my leg…" she whispered.
"I'll see if the medics can give you something for the pain." He said, standing up.
"Wait…" she whispered.
"I'll be right back, I promise." He said softly. She nodded, but still didn't want him to leave. He shut the door behind himself, but not without turning the lamp on for her.
When Rena woke, she was frightened, sore and incredibly confused. She had no idea where she was, or what had happened to her sister.
"Sakura!?" she cried out, trying to sit up.
"Calm down; your sister is asleep, resting. Don't move around just yet, you'll open up your wound." Someone she didn't recognise spoke from beside her.
She looked over and found a boy wearing a black eye patch over his right eye, his other eye amber. He was wearing a black top and pants, and she noticed the chain around his neck that was hidden beneath his shirt also.
"Who are you? Where am I?" She asked, scared.
"My name is Syaoron and you're in the castle of Clow." He answered.
"Where's my sister?" she asked, not caring much now that she knew where she was. She'd ask other questions later. Right now her main concern was knowing that her sister wasn't dead.
"In a room, just down the hall." He replied.
"What happened to us?"
"One of our castle guards found you and your sister collapsed outside the castle. They brought you before us; there is no need to worry-we will not harm you." He said calmly.
She could sense a calm air about him…she felt relaxed, soothed by his aura. She knew he wasn't lying. "Do you possess magic?" she asked, throat sore from being dry.
"Yes," He answered, slipping an arm beneath her shoulders and bringing a glass of cold water to her lips. The water soothed her aching throat as she swallowed.
"Thank you…" she whispered.
"Is there anything else I can get you-something to eat, perhaps?" He asked. "You have been asleep for a few days."
"I don't really feel like eating just now…" She mumbled.
Unhappy, he sighed. "Fine, but you should eat something in the morning." He said.
"Ok…" she replied.
"So, do you also possess magic?" He asked curiously.
"…Yes…" she whispered, waiting to be struck. Nothing came.
"Yes, I can sense it. You have strong abilities. But your sister is stronger-probably just as powerful as my brother." He smiled.
Her eyes were wide with shock. He tapped the lamp and the room brightened a little more. He noticed the colour of her eyes-a calming sky blue.
"May I ask you a question?" He asked.
"Yes…" she replied.
"Were you hurt because of the magic you possess?" He asked softly.
She went rigid. He seemed to sense this, and all though her body language practically answered his question, he wanted her words. "Please, we will not harm you-we have no reason to." He said.
A few minutes went by, and she calmed. "…Yes." She answered.
He looked away, gritting his teeth. After a moment, he spoke. "I'm sorry you had to go through such pain." He murmured.
"Um, excuse me…I can sense several other magic auras within the castle…" she murmured, though she was confused by his apology. Why was he apologising?
"Yes, we have friends and allies who are staying with us at the moment. Most have some very strong abilities." He answered.
"I see…" She answered.
"What do you remember from before you came to the castle?" He asked.
Rena stayed quiet. She remembered her sister being tortured; her leg had been severely injured and she had been raped before her eyes. And then, part of her sister's torture was to watch her suffer. She'd been stabbed, and then she'd blacked out after that. Tears leaked down her face and he wiped them away with his finger.
"I can only remember my sister being tortured before my eyes, raped and then forced to watch someone stab me and bleed. I don't remember what happened after that because I passed out." She whispered.
"I see…" He murmured.
"I'm telling you this because I feel like I can trust you…" She whispered, a single tear rolling down her cheek.
"I understand. You have nothing to fear here; you and your sister are in good hands." He said with a smile.
When morning came, Sakura woke with a start. Just a dream… she thought to herself.
"Good morning, did you sleep well?" She looked over to find the prince, Syaoran, standing by the window. He was dressed in clothing similar to the night before, but his top was slightly different in colour and style and he had a silk sash tied around his waist.
"Yes…" She replied.
"I will have Chii get some clothes for you; once you are comfortably dressed, I trust you would like to see your sister?" He asked.
She looked at him with wide eyes. "You would allow that…?" She whispered.
It was his turn to be shocked. He walked over and sat down on the edge of the bed, "My lady, why wouldn't I allow you to see your sister?" He asked.
"I…" She couldn't answer. She couldn't tell him of her past. But she could sense that he possessed extremely powerful magic, just like she did. He smiled.
"It's ok, you don't need to tell me." He smiled softly. Instead, he stood and walked out of the room for a moment, letting one of the maids know that he'd like to speak with Chii. He re-joined Sakura in a matter of moments.
"How is your leg feeling?" He asked.
"It's a bit achy…" she mumbled.
"I'll have a friend of mine look at it later." He said.
"Just Syaoran is fine."
"You know, don't you…? About my magic…?" she whispered.
"I do; I can sense your aura, much like you can mine, no?"
"You're not going to hurt me…?" She asked.
He looked completely and utterly confused. And then his face saddened upon the realisation. "I see. You've been harmed for your gift." He said quietly. "No, we have no reason to harm someone as innocent as you or your sister. You're safe here; you may stay as long as you like."
"Thank you…" She whispered, tears sliding down her cheeks.
There was a knock at the door, followed closely by Chii's voice.
"Come in," Syaoran answered.
Chii walked in with a pile of clothes in her hands, and she smiled at Sakura. "Good morning my lady, how are you?" She asked cheerfully.
"I'm alright…" Sakura replied quietly.
"I'll be waiting outside." Syaoran said, and left the room.
Sakura watched him leave, but was distracted by her thoughts as Chii set the clothing down on the bed. "It seems he's requested for you to have this; you're one special girl." Chii smiled.
Sakura looked at the pile of pink and gold. She wondered what she meant, but pushed the thought aside. "Now, let's get you out of this gown and into this one. I bet you'll look stunning." Chii beamed.
About five minutes later, Sakura was dressed in a beautiful light weighted silk dress that was strapless, which clung to her figure with many layers of the skirt which seemed to trail at the back. Around her waist was a pale white silk sash decorated with gold beads that hung neatly from their places, and the sash was tied to the side. Around her arms she had a very long translucent material unlike anything she'd ever felt before.
"Wow… You look gorgeous…" Chii sighed with awe.
Sakura didn't know how to feel. It had been a very long time since she'd worn proper clothes.
"Come on, let's show him!" Chii smiled.
"What…?" Sakura asked, confused. Chii headed for the door and poked her head out, "Done!" she announced.
Syaoran re-entered the room, and Sakura looked away. He smiled, "Yes, I thought that would suit you." He said gently.
She looked back and noticed he was walking towards her. "May I assist you in walking you to your sister?" He asked politely, holding out his hand.
She nodded and took his hand, allowing him to assist her walking. She noticed the colour of his aura, a pure gold, the rarest colour that could be found among those who used magic. She knew then that with such a pure aura, she could trust him.