Author's Note: I honestly didn't know if I'd be back, but based on the tremendously positive response I've gotten for my last series, I've decided to come back for another run. And what a long series this turned out to be. I didn't think I'd take this long, but it took me a while to make sure everything was just right.
CCS: The American Cards: Part 1
"How's it been so far, Sakura?"
Sakura didn't say anything. She just plopped into her bed. It's been a long December thus far. Her senior year of high school wasn't anything like she thought it would be. No matter what she told Kero, it was a lot harder than it looked. What made her think that senior year would be easy?
"It's just fine," Sakura lied. "But just the same, I think I need some sleep."
"So does that mean you aren't seeing Li today?" Kero asked.
Sakura thought about that. This would be the first day in weeks that she won't be seeing Li Shoran. They were practically inseparable. It wasn't anything like it was five years ago. But Sakura's life in general wasn't anything like it was five years ago. Back when she was in seventh grade, Sakura had to resume her role as a Cardcaptor and seal a whole new book of cards. And by the time it was all over, Sakura was happy to know that Li came back and he would be here to stay.
That meant a lot of headaches for Madison, though. Li ended up staying at her place. What was supposed to be a temporary thing, ended up being a five-year stay. Madison even thought about charging him rent after a while. Eventually, she had to come clean with her family about Li staying with her. After all, she couldn't hide him for five years.
Then came another problem. After about the first six months, Li's own family started to wonder about him. A new book of cards only worked as an excuse for a while, but eventually they started wondering. Li boldly told them that he wanted to stay with Sakura, but his family would have none of it. Eventually, Li severed all ties with them. It saddened Sakura to see him do that, especially for her.
But not everyone would just let Li go. A few months after Li and his family had their falling out, Meilin Rae decided to take matters into her own hands. She decided to leave Hong Kong as well. And needless to say, she wasn't too thrilled with learning about what's happened between Sakura and Li. Meilin would consistently become a headache, not just for Sakura and Li, but also for Madison. After all, Meilin also needed a place to stay and Madison was the only one who could provide it.
Yes, things had changed in the last five years. But Sakura knew this much. Her life as a Cardcaptor was over…unless there was something Kero wasn't telling her. She didn't think about that, though. Sakura just drifted off to sleep.
Sakura looked around her. She didn't know where she was, but she was in the middle of nowhere. It was a desert. She realized she was obviously dreaming, but what was she dreaming about? Sakura recognized the voice, though. It was Kero.
Kero didn't say anything. He just started flying away. Sakura followed him and saw he was leading her to what looked like an archaeological dig. Something inside her told her to walk in. She looked around to find various remains. Sakura was surrounded by bones.
"What am I doing here?" Sakura tried asking Kero. "All I see are bones."
"Look closer," Kero finally said.
Sakura looked by one of the skeletons and saw a book. More than that, it looked like a familiar book. It had the same insignia as the Book of Clow and the Book of the 2nd Cards. It couldn't be, though. That would be impossible.
Just then, someone came in. He looked like an archaeologist. Surprisingly, he walked right by Sakura. He didn't see her. It must've been because this was a dream…a dream that wasn't making any sense. He took the book and walked outside. He placed the book on a table and opened it. He pulled out one of the cards and looked at it closely.
Then he said that one fateful word. "Windy."
Of course, Sakura wasn't too worried. Nobody without magical powers can activate a card. The archaeologist left the card in the book and left on his jeep. The book was left open, though. Suddenly, the cards started flying out.
"No way!" Sakura shouted. "That's impossible! How could that happen?!"
"You must be confused," Kero noted. "But unfortunately, I can't give you any answers right now."
"Because you're about to wake up."
Sakura woke up. She felt like she was asleep for hours, but when she looked at her clock, she saw that only twenty minutes had passed. So she got on her feet and walked to her desk drawer.
"Kero! Get out here!"
Kero yawned as he flew out. "Aw, Sakura. I was just getting some sleep. Whatever you have must be contagious, because I'm beat."
"Never mind that, Kero," Sakura said. She was about to ask about her dream when she heard something from her window.
"Did you see the same thing I saw?"
Sakura looked out her window. Hanging on a nearby branch was Li Shoran. It still startled Sakura every time she saw him outside her window. He could never knock on the door like a normal person.
"It depends," Sakura said as she opened the window. "What did you see?"
"Did you see a book of cards being released?" Li clarified. "I saw a book was uncovered and the cards were accidentally released."
"I saw something like that," Sakura said grimly. "But how could that happen? Nobody without magical powers can open a book."
"Wait a minute!" Sakura interrupted. She sternly looked at Kero. "Just how many books are there?! I thought the Book of the 2nd Cards was the last one."
Kero shook his head. "Eight years. It's been eight years since the Book of Clow has been closed and it's been five years since the Book of the 2nd Cards has been closed. But I never believed that the third book would be released."
Sakura groaned again. "Not another book. I thought we were finished with the books. I was just getting ready to enjoy my senior year of high school. Now…"
"…You have to become a Cardcaptor again," Li finished for her.
Sakura looked sternly at Li. "Did YOU know about a third book of cards?"
Li hesitated. "…Maybe."
"So everybody knew about this third book except me," Sakura huffed. "I thought I was supposed to be the chosen Cardcaptor here. How come I'm only hearing about this now?"
"We…didn't want you to worry about it," Kero tried saying. "If I had told you there was another book out there, how would you have taken it?"
"Not very well."
"Then there you go," Kero continued. "Why should we make you worry over nothing when you were just trying to get back to a normal life?"
"I guess that's true," Sakura conceded. "But this still doesn't make any sense to me! There can't just be another book that suddenly comes into my life. I don't even know where this book came from." She looked at Li. "I thought there were only TWO books."
"There…sort of were," Li muttered. "There was one that Clow Reed made and another that the Clow Cards made. The third one…" he paused.
"What about the third one?" Sakura asked impatiently.
Kero picked up for him. "Well, Clow Reed was proud of the work he was doing with the first series of cards. So he went to work on another one. Unfortunately, that's when Clow Reed saw the potential danger that the Clow Cards could bring. So Clow Reed then sealed the Clow Cards but had another problem on his hands. He had already begun his second series of cards. So he took this incomplete series and sealed them in another book. Seeing how the series WAS incomplete, Clow Reed didn't take as many precautions with this book. He didn't create a guardian, didn't create a magic seal, or anything. He just decided to have the book buried where nobody could find it."
"And where was that?" Sakura asked.
"Clow Reed knew a place he thought no one would ever look. The place was completely uninhabited, except for a few of the natives and they wouldn't be searching underground. Of course, Clow Reed couldn't predict the future. The place isn't exactly uninhabited these days."
"What is this place?"
Sakura's eyes grew wide. "Boston?! As in Boston in the United States?!"
Kero nodded. "The very same. Clow Reed couldn't foresee the inevitable arrival of English settlers, so he thought this incomplete book of cards would never be found. But now they have…and now they have to be sealed…by…"
Sakura hung her head down at the realization. "Me…the one who broke the seal of the Clow Cards."
"Looks like we're going to Boston," Kero boldly stated.
Sakura put her head back up. "Wait, Kero! I'm in the middle of my senior year. I can't just leave the country…especially to go halfway around the world. I don't even know when I'll come back."
"That's true," Kero nodded. "You could be gone for a while…a month…maybe two. Sure, your vacation's coming up. But you'll still have a lot of work to do when you come back."
"You can't be serious!" Sakura shouted. "I'll never be able to catch up!"
"Then I suggest you get some of the work in advance," Kero suggested. "Do some of it on the plane or do it in the airport. Either way, we have to leave before it's too late. Those cards could cause a lot of damage."
"So we have to go save Boston," Sakura finished for him.
Kero hesitated. "…Not exactly."
"Be realistic, Sakura," Kero went on. "Those cards aren't going to be confined to just Boston. They could spread. That's why we have to leave right away."
"But how can we afford plane tickets to Boston?" Li asked.
"I think we all know the answer to that," Kero said casually.
"What makes you think I can get so much money?"
The announcement of a third book of cards took Madison by surprise. And Sakura knew that her best friend would be the only one who could afford these tickets.
"I don't doubt it, Madison," Sakura smiled. "We really need you this time. This is the first time I've ever had to take Cardcaptoring overseas. Can you please get us the money?"
"Only on one condition," Madison said.
"What's that?" Li asked.
Madison suddenly grew…excited. "Take me with you! I've always wanted to go overseas! I've never been anywhere outside of Japan before!"
"Are you sure you want to do that, Madison?" Sakura asked. "You could fall behind."
"I'll do the work over there," Madison suggested. "We'll do it together. And besides, our vacation's coming up, so we won't miss too much time. Don't worry about it. Just let me go!"
"Ok, you can go," Sakura laughed. "I mean, you ARE getting us the tickets. So that makes three?"
"Better make it four."
Sakura groaned in her mind. She could have sworn that it just three of them in Madison's backyard. Of course, she shouldn't have assumed that she could go the whole day without seeing Meilin.
Meilin didn't waste any time in getting close to Li. "You weren't planning on leaving without me, were you, Li?"
"Uh…of course not," Li stammered. "I didn't forget about you, Meilin."
Sakura shook her head. To be honest, she really wanted this to be a trip for two. But she couldn't control this. She couldn't leave Madison here. She was the one paying for the tickets. And she couldn't leave Meilin by herself. As irritating as she could be, Sakura still considered her a friend. In fact, eight years ago, they were a team.
"So when do we leave?" Meilin asked.
"As soon as we get our make-up work," Sakura answered.
It sounded so easy. Get the make-up work and head off for Boston. But Sakura knew it wouldn't be that easy. Being a Cardcaptor was the toughest secret Sakura ever had to keep. But now, the difficulty of keeping that secret had increased tenfold.
What could she tell her family? How could she explain having to leave the country?
Any Comments? This is only the beginning. DO NOT forget to review below.