I don't own CCS and xXxHolic, but I do own the story in this fic and things that are non-CCS and non-xXxHolic related. All the name of places, historical events and other things mentioned, which you don't seem to know IRL, are products of my imagination. Any similarities with the actual thing are purely coincidental.
It's a miracle! I updated! *hides*
From Previous Chapter:
Sakura attempted to wipe her blurry eyes and face as she spoke with determination.
"I don't care who I will go up against. I don't care who how many will hinder us. I don't care whatever reports given to me that he is dead."
"Because HE IS NOT DEAD. He would return to me. I WILL FORCE HIM IF I HAVE TO!
"EVEN IF I HAVE TO MOBILIZE EVERY TYPE OF SPECIAL FORCES IN THE ENTIRE CONTINENT, I WILL…just to get him back to me."
"And I will bring down anyone that shall contradict me and what I just said!"
And in a much lowered tone, she added. "So, don't you all dare."
Sakura's eyes roamed at everyone's with a look that shouldn't be contested, before finally turning on her heels as she left the press with goose bumps and scared out of their wits.
Chapter Thirty-Two: "Story of the Heirlooms"
[- In a vast estate; year—1902-]
Sound of camera flashing brought two individuals laughing.
"Just how many shots are you going to make, Reed?" the man on the right said heartily. He was a man in his forties with chestnut hair and bushy brows.
Beside him, a man of same age was still grinning as he spoke. "Oh, let him do as he wish, Shuhei. Though, I fear I will suffer from a locked jaw if he continues any further. "
"My dear friends, Kinomoto and Li," William Reed started. "Have the two of you no appreciation for proper documentation? Surely both your endeavors require this tedious process."
"Requirement, yes…but tedious? No." Li Shuhei exclaimed as he placed an arm over his comrade, Kinomoto Kosuke as he posed for another shot.
"I am a perfectionist," William said, and aimed once again.
"Those things should be smaller," Kosuke remarked, referring to the camera.
"Then, invent it to be smaller!" Shuhei's voice boomed with laughter. "WE SHALL INVENT IT TO BE SMALLER!"
The Kinomoto shook his head. "There you go again…dreaming."
"Why not?" The Li exclaimed. "Dreams are free. Everything around us used to be some foolish man's dream in the past. And now…," he motioned around him. "…they are reality!"
"But the industries we are involved with don't really cater to making new inventions."
"We could always venture to a new field of study!" the Li insisted.
"And the world's smallest camera shall be born!" William interjected with a smile. "Alright, I think that's a wrap. I would find a decent shot or two from these."
"A shot or two? Didn't you get a hundred?" the Kinomoto teased.
"Come on, you guys. Don't be difficult. The box deserves the best picture of the two of you."
The two laughed as they followed their devoted friend towards a nearby garden table. It was sunny that day and not a cloud on sight. The three managed to do their goal that morning under the help of the shades of the trees at the Li's family estate.
"I appreciate all the effort, William, but I would like to point out as to why get only one box? " Kosuke remarked with a smile.
"I am also thinking of the same thing," the hearty Li commented. "Kosuke had two knives custom-made."
Reed's face was set grimly for a while. "I may have overlooked some things." Then, he brightened up. "But, you must admit that this box is exquisite. Seeing it from an antique store, I couldn't help but to think that it is the best container for those knives of yours. I even had the trouble of carving both families' insignias!"
"True. True." The other two nodded. "But who would keep it?" The Kinomoto asked.
"Ah…the two of you are forgetting something," William sheepishly grinned. "Of course, the young ones that are going to bind your two families together in two weeks' time." He winked.
The two older men laughed in approval.
"And here I was thinking that I can savor that beautiful knife all to myself," the Li commented.
"Well, initially my thought was that each of us would have a knife with our clan's respective insignia," the Kinomoto remarked. "But, giving it as a gift for Sou and Yeelin's wedding isn't a bad idea either."
"Could be passed down as an heirloom to their children and grandchildren," Reed added.
Kinomoto Sou, the eldest child of Kinomoto Kosuke, and Li Yeelin, the youngest daughter of Li Shuhei were set to be married at high noon a couple of weeks from that day. The two families, together with the Reeds' and a few more other prominent clans, were part of same political faction. For years, they had worked together with the dream of building an empire in their respective industries. Still half way there, yet, all had been working hard; and there was nothing more pleasing than an official unity amongst the clans.
In this case, it was the Kinomoto's and Li's, both with budding power and wealth.
"I see a very bright future for everyone," the hearty Li remarked as he inhaled deeply.
"Indeed," the meek Kinomoto smiled agreeably.
Reed grinned. "Well, then it is all set? A wonderful gift this will make with both of your handsome faces inside. Hahaha!"
"We better be handsome with all the takes you have to make!" Kosuke remarked.
"Handsomely preserved! There's this film that will protect the photograph. Not sure if it will work, but they say it will last for centuries. Faded at the sides at most but not at the center." He shrugged, "No harm in trying."
With that William Reed packed up his equipment and bid farewell, leaving his two friends discussing animatedly about the upcoming wedding.
[- In a private parlor at a prestigious Cafe –present time -]
Li Yelan took a sip from her cup of chamomile tea as she sat sternly on a renaissance-inspired chair which matched the rest of the furniture in the room. The rest of the Li elders were not with her. Only another man accompanied her. The very man every Li loathed to be with—Kinomoto Fujitaka.
Silence was deafening with only the sound of the clock disturbing the nerves of the room's occupants at each tick. They seemed to have been there for ages; the other who sat strictly, and the other who stood unmoving as he gazed out of the window.
"How long have you known?" It was the woman who finally spoke.
"For a while," the other replied without looking.
"Yet, you did nothing?" the Li placed her cup down briskly.
Fujitaka slowly shook his head. There was once again silence before another question was thrown.
"You approve of Xiao Lang?"
On this, the Kinomoto finally turned his head towards the woman sitting before him. "It is not a matter of approval," he said. "It is doing what I think will make my daughter happy."
Yelan stared at him. Her eyes were sharp despite the sorrow and loss beneath them. Her shoulders heaved up and down as she still tried her best to control her emotions.
"I…," Fujitaka continued. "…never saw her so animatedly alive." He smiled hopelessly. "The little fragile princess that was brought up within the walls of my home was gone. Her eyes sparkled like it never did before. And it is due to InterVest… because of SkyLark…because of Syaoran." He paused to observe the Li, but when no words came from her, he continued. "Surely, you also see a change in your son?" He looked at her with determined eyes. "To give off that kind of aura, I'm absolutely sure that it cannot be one-sided."
Yelan looked away. Her knuckles were almost white as she clutched her handkerchief tightly. Her voice was less commanding, yet the aristocratic air was still present. "I am ashamed to have thought less of what Xiao Lang might be feeling." Then, she stood up and walked slowly towards the window beside Fujitaka. "My son had declared his independence from the family a few years ago," she started to say. "As heir to the Li Empire, something like that is unacceptable. Still, he had grown difficult to control and would sometimes anger the elders. I thought I would lose my son. It was only when we were able to compromise the do's and don'ts that we were able to function as a family again." With this, she glanced at the Kinomoto. "He is an idealist, a risk-taker and always moving forward with the trend and technology. Not necessarily a bad trait…but if he refuses to inherit Li Industries, then, it becomes a problem. Nevertheless, he had obeyed any 'social relations' tasks commanded to him to do. So, up to this moment, I had thought that nothing had changed. But, then again…he no longer lives in the main house. What he does day and night, I can only rely on the reports he sends me or from other people who had seen him outside."
To this, the Kinomoto was silent.
The woman continued. "There could be instances wherein there was an elevated feeling from him, but it will only last for a brief moment. My son is trained to carry a mask publicly. I never thought he would use it to his own family."
"So yes, Fujitaka…there is a chance that it is not one-sided."
"Hmmm…it is kind of reversed this time, isn't it?" Fujitaka remarked with a gentle smile.
Yelan frowned, "What do you mean?"
"Way back when our two families are still allies and there was an impending marriage between Kinomoto Sou and Li Yeelin. This time it was a son from yours and a daughter from mine. It was said that history repeats itself. Makes me think that maybe it is destiny after all."
"Hmph…," the woman's mouth was set in a thin line. "Kinomoto Sou killed Yeelin with the very same knife that should have been a wedding gift from our forefathers."
"That was unintentional," Fujitaka faced the Li squarely, ready to defend his family. "It was Li Shuhei who wielded the knife first."
Yelan gasped at the remark. "Are you accusing Shuhei-sama of trying to kill his own child?"
"No, but I am stating as a fact that Li Shuhei tried to kill Sou first."
"Thus, revenge on our Yeelin," the Li threw back at the Kinomoto.
The man gave a look of desperation. "I can't believe we are going through this again."
"Well, if history repeats itself then my son's life may very well be gone right now!" Tears were welling up inside Yelan's eyes. "And the one accountable is your daughter!"
"Sakura will not do such a thing. And, Sou loved Yeelin," the Kinomoto exclaimed. "He loved her so much that he planned to elope with her despite the fact that Li Shuhei had withdrawn her from the betrothal. It was him who started all this. Sou defended himself. It was unfortunately that Yeelin got caught in the crossfire."
"Are you pointing your finger at Shuhei-sama? It was Kinomoto Kosuke who decided to follow an opposing political faction; thus, compromising relations with our family. Yeelin should never marry a man with contradicting ideals than that of her family!"
The two heads glared at each other with the kept spite surfacing. They continued like this until Fujitaka's laugh filled the air.
"You dare laugh at this moment!" Yelan's voice boomed against the walls.
"Don't you find it amusing?" the Kinomoto started to say. "Back in the old days, the children are powerless to defend their rights, beliefs and love." Then, he motioned his arms to both he and Yelan. "Today, the parents are the ones that are powerless." He chuckled. "The children are so headstrong, stubborn and scary."
Yelan was a bit taken aback.
"But something stays the same, though." He looked intently at the Li. "It is always the parents who mess things up." He pushed his glasses closer to the bridge of his nose. "The elders that should have been guiding them to live a happy life are the ones that teach them to be vengeful and angry." With this, he smiled sincerely. "Don't you think there is something wrong with that?"
The Li looked away.
"For how long are we going to cause our children and grandchildren pain?" Fujitaka remarked. "They are innocent. Even, we are innocent. Whatever sins were committed by our forefathers…whatever wound that was created…it must heal. It should have been healing decades ago. Let this burden go."
Another wave of silence became eminent.
"Either way," Yelan finally spoke. "It is just like what you said." She looked intently at Fujitaka. "The parents are powerless this time. Even we know that once Xiao Lang comes back, I doubt we could do anything about it. SkyLark itself had become an empire on its own right."
"Then, you acknowledge the fact that your son is still alive." Fujitaka replied smiling.
The woman wiped the tears that welled up around her eyes. "Under this dreadful circumstance, it would be logical to accept the worse. But, seeing your daughter...," she straighten up her posture. "…her grief…her loyalty and confidence on my son suggests that I should believe otherwise."
She started walking towards the door but stopped before twisting the knob.
"It is unfathomable for me to say this, but my intuition had been screaming inside me," she said without looking back at the Kinomoto. "The one who currently knows Xiao Lang best is not his family but your daughter. I wouldn't know which action to take to find him. I might have an idea but it will take me some time to backtrack what had been happening in his life. Given that, all my high hopes I will be placing on your daughter. She has the best chance amongst all of us." She paused as she opened the door.
"And she better not sully the confidence that I am giving her now." Were Li Yelan's words before leaving the room.
"Lad, how are you holding up?" the voice on the other end of the line remarked.
"Not as good as you it seems," Eriol replied with a grunt.
"It couldn't have been that worse."
"Not worse?" the lawyer was getting ticked. "Syaoran's plane is nowhere to be found. Everyone is in a state of panic and you even sent Nakuru to bring up Section 41!"
If Eriol could see the other end of the line, he would probably see Clow Reed grinning sheepishly.
"Relax, dear boy," the old man said. "Everything will be alright. We got an extremely terrifying damsel that can straighten things up."
"You're placing all your hopes on Kinomoto Sakura?"
"I am placing my hopes on Fate because the children in the house of Kinomoto and the house of Li should have been together a long time ago. If they are meant to be together, then they will be together."
"You're not even going to initiate a search & rescue? I can't believe you are still being romantic about all of this!"
Reed chuckled a bit. "You really have become attached with Li Syaoran, haven't you? Not the same as the cold-blooded Hiiragizawa Eriol I remembered before."
"This is not the time to tease me, old man."
Reed chuckled once more. "Do not worry. Everything is going to be alright. Our men are charting possible locations of the altered plane route as we speak. You can share this with our fair lady." Then, he suddenly got serious. "But on another subject…any luck on finding our Tavenzouh?"
Eriol rubbed his temples. "No. I was practically dragged by Touya but we can't find Tsukishiro anywhere. I already have men looking for him. We need to know what exactly he did to Syaoran's plane."
"He as the Viscount had always managed to clean his tracks. You do know that one person who might have the idea on how he really works inside InterVEST, right?"
"Li Syaoran," Eriol answered with dismay.
"Well, we don't have that luxury at the moment. Don't we have anyone else?"
"You can try Grevor."
"We couldn't find him either. He must be with Tavenzouh."
"Then all our hopes rests on Li Syaoran himself," Reed remarked. "Pray that he had realized the attack before the plane went down."
"This is frustrating, old man!" Eriol exclaimed. "I can't go with just that. I swear to God if Syaoran doesn't come back alive…I will go back to my family and utilize everything I can to kill that snow rabbit!"
Back at the airport, SkyLark had managed to place a temporary headquarters within its premises. Tomoyo was following her best friend with her eyes as the emerald-eyed girl hustled here and there, organizing SkyLark and airport officials, not wanting to get in the way. The pretty Kinomoto damsel had shut down half of the airport in one command. It never seized to amaze her how the once known princess could transform into a Queen once SkyLark was involved.
Once… Li Syaoran is involved, Tomoyo thought.
So, this was Agatha. She was finally seeing it first-hand. She never played InterVEST nor does she have any interest, but she was completely overwhelmed at the power her best friend was wielding right now. The tears were gone. The weariness was gone. Sakura's eyes were sharp, doting and determined. Dark circles were still evident under her eyes, but it didn't hamper her fierce commands and instructions.
"She looks so capable and kinda fearsome," the woman beside her remarked.
Tomoyo smiled at her. "Nana, you know people might see her clumsy at times, but Sakura is an extremely reliable person where it matters."
Nana smiled back despite her face filled with worry. She had arrived in the middle of the face-off of the two families but didn't want to intrude; hence, she waited until everyone had exited the room before approaching and comforting Sakura. "It's not really that bad. This is actually like a Li trait. The family had always had strong women."
"The family…," Tomoyo sighed. "…I guess, unintentionally…Sakura became a part of the Li family now."
"Well, it is bound to happen, dear. I know love when I see one," Nana nodded. "Even if the persons involved are too stupid to notice."
Tomoyo gave a light laugh. The first laugh she had managed since this morning.
"I believe everything is going to be alright," Nana said with confidence. "You cannot bring down our Xiao Lang that easily. He would put up a fight!" She swung her fist on the air.
Who would have thought that the abominable Li would have an adorable Nana like this? Tomoyo observed inwardly.
Just then, a set of footsteps stopped behind them. "Nana," the voice emanated with elegance, that they immediately knew who it was.
"Yelan-sama," Nana bowed in greeting. Tomoyo did the same.
"I shall excuse myself, then." She said and took her leave for the two to have some privacy.
The raven-haired girl glanced back her shoulders. Li Yelan seemed tired and worried, but nevertheless calmer than the earlier confrontation. Nana was now talking animatedly and probably reporting the current developments. A few moments later, she saw Wei approached the two women. Tomoyo looked over Sakura who was now within a glass room filled with computers and talking to airport officers. Outside, military planes were arriving by groups. Again, she was overwhelmed by Sakura's prowess.
Tomoyo smiled sympathetically. "I will leave you for now, dear friend. I'm here whenever you want to cry again." She spoke softly as if Sakura could hear her.
She decided to take a walk for a while. A stroll around would help calm her nerves as well, yet as she turn towards an isolated corridor, her nerves became far from being calm.
"What happened? Did you guys manage to find him?" Li Mei-ling's voice became audible.
Tomoyo not wanting to confront a Li decided to hide behind the wall.
"No. We went to every place I can think of but there is no sign of him," a man answered.
Tomoyo blinked. Touya?
She peered to see if it was really her best friend's brother, but she was careful enough to stay out of their line of sight. And indeed, it was Kinomoto Touya with Li Mei-ling. Their demeanor wasn't hostile, though. Was this a temporary cease fire? But it seemed there was an aura comfortableness surrounding them.
Touya leaned towards the window sill and closed his eyes. "Damn it! I can't believe that he will go to these extents!"
"Are you guys sure that it is really him who have done it?" the other lady asked.
"There is no other, Mei-Ling!" Touya exclaimed.
This earned a raised brow from Tomoyo. Since, when are they on first name basis?
"Your brother stole his girlfriend. My God! Your brother married his girlfriend. And he is this famous Viscount. Who knows what kind of mentality he has inside InterVEST. And lastly, he is my best friend…in this type of crisis despite everything, wouldn't you want to know the truth and be here? Or give moral support to people whom he also considered as family and explain what is happening. But no…he is nowhere to be found!"
Much to Tomoyo's surprise, Li Mei-Ling stepped towards Kinomoto Touya and placed her arms around him and held him tight from behind. The Kinomoto didn't make any attempt to push her away, instead he responded by holding her arms and leaning back as if savoring the moment.
Tomoyo was dumbfounded. She didn't know how to react. She might have small crush on Kinomoto Touya while growing up, so now there was this little needle pricking inside her chest.
"Eavesdropping is bad for your health," a man's deep tone almost made Tomoyo jump from her hiding place.
"Hiiragizawa!" she hissed.
The lawyer scoffed, before he reached out for her wrist and briskly walked away from the corridor with Tomoyo being dragged behind his heels.
"Ouch! You! What do you think you are doing?" the lady exclaimed.
"Not so loud or they may realize we were there," Eriol calmly replied.
"Of all the…!"
"I'm not in a very good mood right now, so please spare me," he cut her.
A realization made Tomoyo gasped. "Did you know about the two of them? Li Mei-Ling said something you knew what happened between her and Touya earlier. Are they together? Are they also deceiving both families?"
The lawyer suddenly stopped walking which caused Tomoyo to bump against him. He smiled down at her, a very generic smile. "Ssssssssshh!" And closer, he whispered at her. "They have their secrets. I have my secrets. And I'm sure you have your secrets." He inched closer to her ears. "Let's keep it that way." His breath sent goose bumps down her spine.
And with that, he straightened up and gave a flash of another generic smile, and then continued walking briskly towards where Sakura was, while he held Tomoyo tightly on the wrist.
Not far from the airport, heavy traffic began to immerse. Most of the roads leading to it were blocked or was being re-routed. Honking of horns was like an un-tuned music lashed together with an occasional shout of an irate motorist. Media was everywhere as the news of the century had been erupting for many hours now. Yet, behind all the chaos, one man stood alone at the far side of a foot bridge. His eyes were fixed at the building that had been taken over by SkyLark as their beloved mistress tried to recover her previous half. Hidden beneath the shadows of pandemonium and cloaked with an undistinguishable coat and less conspicuous hat which hid his dusty hair, Yukito has his freedom of thinking and organizing his thoughts. It felt he had been gone for years instead of mere hours. He stood at the same spot, unmoving.
"It dahzen't feel greyt, dahz it?" A goal-like person stepped behind him.
"So, you have caught me, George." Yukito replied softly.
"I wish I hav cotz yah zooner."
"You wouldn't be able to catch me sooner. I was still myself back then."
"I am lost."
There was a pause before George spoke again, "You ar not like zi two ov zem."
"What do you mean?" the young man replied weakly.
"Thoze two bore zeir real zelves inside zi game. Your real zelf iz diz," he motioned at Yukito. "You zon't hav fangz. Even iv you zry to vare zem, you wiz only regrez it."
"George," Yukito slowly looked towards the butler. "Even at this moment, I'm still not used with your accent. I can barely understand what you are saying." Then, he released a small smile. "But, I think what you are trying to say is that I'm not used to doing bad deeds and that I will only regret it afterwards." Then, he looked towards the airport once again. "I've been feeling it deep inside but chose to ignore it and now…it is too late."
"Iz not zoo late."
"Syaoran's plane disappeared in the map…in MY map. He's dead."
"Zoo you hahnestly beliv zat he iz dead? Iz zat vat your heart zels you?"
Yukito looked at him once again.
"Az zomewan who had veen hiz friend even veefor Agaza?
"No…," it came out in almost a whisper. "He would find a way to go around the Trojan. If he had kept my old scripts, he would know it was me. And...he would probably see it..."
"Zoo you zink he had kept zem all zis years?"
"Possibly," his voice was weak but audible. "He is that sort of a person."
George gave him a huge zombie-like smile and spread his arms before him. "Zen, he iz still alive!"
"Vell? Vat ar you vaiting for? It'z eizer you give meh a hug or go to zi airport!"
"I'll go to the aiport," Yukito responded immediately. He quickly turned and jogged towards the other side of the foot bridge, leaving the trail of George's eerie laughter.
[-inside Syaoran's plane: hours back -]
The red alarm was blinking on the screen as he stared blankly at the old program which displayed the base algorithm of the Trojan.
I can't die yet, he told himself. I need to go back to Sakura...
…and tell her that I love her.
At that exact moment, the lights flickered, the engine rumbled and the plane began shaking uncontrollably. Around him, everyone was screaming except for Tom and Ron who both were still trying their best to control the plane. But to Syaoran, it was as if everything was passing by him in slow motion.
Then, the LCD panels turned red.
There were gasps. The engines on both wings just died.
"Brace yourselves everyone!" Tom shouted as cockpit became pitch black. Emergency lights somehow turned on. "I will try to glide us somehow!"
"Secure, Master Li!" Ron managed to remind the crew as the plane started losing altitude immensely.
Everyone was holding on to something, although a couple of attendants tried to reach Syaoran, they were only side swept due to the enormous shaking of the plane.
"No! It's okay. I don't need help!"
Think Li Xiao Lang! Think!
Then, his eyes became fixed with the emergency lights.
Hold on…, he looked around and guided his hands towards the air-conditioning vent. There's still air coming out. We still have power. It's not 100% as it should be! Could it be?
The pilot seemed to be able to steer despite the fact that the engine went out.
Around him, everyone was already screaming as the altitude drop was immensely felt with air turbulence to add to that, but Syaoran was frowning deep in thought as he tinkered with his laptop once again.
Tavenzouh…you couldn't have possibly left out… as he rummaged through the algorithm.
[~~~~~flashback…the good old InterVEST days ~~~~~~~]
"What is that?" Damaski-is asked.
"I call it, 'Beam me up, Scotty!'" Tavenzouh grinned.
"Beam me up, Scotty?' he gave the Viscount a weird look. "You're putting Star Trek nonsense inside a worm?"
"Well, at least it is not as cheesy as the 'ILOVEU virus', and it is not there to destroy."
Damaski-is looked at him quizzically.
"It is a chance. A port that shall lead you to freedom! A way to get around the contamination."
"Why put something like that? Isn't that supposedly built for the kill?"
"Because, I am nice," the Viscount answered.
[~~~~~end of flashback ~~~~~~~]
It was a long shot. But maybe just maybe…Tavenzouh still used the same pattern or reused his old program and merely updated the syntax. After all, his old scanner detected the Trojan and the Viscount wasn't as 'ACTIVE' as he was with him. For all he knew, he might have stopped making them altogether if not for this isolated case.
"Come on…," Syaoran gritted his teeth. "Where are you, Scotty?"
"Is that a mountain? I think we just passed a mountain!" A crew exclaimed as the plane swerved to the right.
"It's a mountain of a small island!" the pilot shouted. "There are many islands here. We just passed through one!"
"We're losing attitude but our speed is increasing due to the wind, we are being propelled! I don't think anyone can jump at this rate!"
Then, BAM! Syaoran found himself staring at a blinking 'BMUS' welcome screen.
"YEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS!" Syaoran shouted on top of his lungs that everyone's attention bore to him.
"Tom! I can get one engine at best running, will you be able to make do with it?" he said as he typed furiously on his laptop.
"I will try! That is better than nothing."
That very moment the left engine started roaring back to life. Hope seemed to go back inside the cockpit as the pilot was able to avoid an obstruction on their way.
"I'll see if I can get another one working, too!"
"We're still diving!" an attendant screamed.
"Shit! Hold on!"
A sudden immense gust of wind blew towards the plane. The storm was still at large outside. And soon as the right engine started up, the plane shook terribly again as it started to spin very close to the vegetation below.
"THIS IS NO GOOD. MASTER LI BUCKLE UP! WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DO AN EMERGENCY LANDING! "
The cabin crew managed to pull Syaoran from the floor and fastened his seat belt in time before the plane suddenly lurched as one of the wings caught a side of another mountain. A piece of it was torn.
Though, the engines were back, they were already quite low. It somehow gave the pilot a means to maneuver but they could no longer recover altitude especially with a broken wing.
The plane flew past the small island and to the ocean below. Large waves smashed towards the aircraft as everyone held on for dear life.
[-Syaoran : wherever he may be : present time -]
The scent of the morning filled Syaoran's nostrils; the sound of the waves filled his ears; his eyes feasted at the clear sky above as he lay on his back with sugary sands touching his skin. It would have a description of paradise if not for the fact that he has no idea where he was, his right arm was aching terribly and he can see the tail of his plane being swept by the waters from afar. Behind him the crew managed to put up a make shift shelter and was try to dry whatever food they were able to save.
"I feel like Tom Hanks in that Fed Ex movie," he muttered to himself. Ha! My pilot's name is Tom, he chuckled inwardly.
I should be grateful that everyone survived. There a few injuries but nothing fatal.
"I couldn't possibly die of a broken arm, could I?"
A crew managed to wrap it up with a bandage from the first aid kit and as long as he doesn't move it too much, it should be fine.
"Yes, Master Li?"
"You must have done something right that God doesn't want you dead yet," Syaoran chuckled.
His pilot laughed. "We are still lucky to have come out alive from that ordeal. Good thing the waters we landed on weren't too shallow nor was it too deep. We managed to make afloat until we get the rafts and supply out."
"Despite that freaking storm," Syaoran muttered.
"Does Master Li have any idea who may have attacked us?"
"Yeah…I recognized his algorithm while we are already plummeting."
"Good thing you were able to get at least one engine up, we wouldn't have been able to stir away to some immediate obstructions."
"It is your excellent flying skills that got us out alive."
"Well, the timing was just right."
"Too bad I didn't realize it earlier," Syaoran scratched the side of his cheek. "Well the question remains, will we be able to get off this place?"
His pilot's face became dim. "To be honest, I don't think there are any travel routes here for the sheer reason that the weather is unpredictable. If not, the air pressure changes a lot."
"What about our GPS?"
"Affected by the Trojan as well."
"DAMN! THIS DIGITAL ERA!"
Then, they both looked at Syaoran's laptop, partially dismantled and currently being sunbathed after being wet by the waves.
"Will that still turn on, Master Li?"
"Depends. There's a 50/50 chance. For now, I wouldn't risk turning it on. I'll wait till all the chips are dried out. There's also the question of the battery. But let's keep our fingers crossed."
"Then, all we can do is to wait," Tom turned around and saw his co-pilot preparing a signal fire. "I'll go help them for a while."
"Alright, thank you very much, Tom, for all your hard work."
"It's a pleasure, Master Li."
Once alone, Syaoran stared at the clear skies again. Who would have thought that there had been a raging storm the day before?
"I wonder what you are doing right now," he murmured. "Are you mad about Section 41? Are you questioning, Eriol at this very moment? Has my family confronted you?"
"Are you…at least a bit worried about me?"
[To be continued]
(Up Next: Chapter Thirty-Three: "Consequences of One's Actions")
I'm feeling really sad. It's kinda like I've been with everyone since 2004 in ffnet because of INC and now it is ending. The very first story I ever uploaded and pursued until the end…from one review after another. Feels like a family I've found in ffnet and INC is the one which made that possible. Now the book is closing, though it is an accomplishment to have written more than 30 chapters, it feels like a part of me would be closing as well. I've said many times that I consider INC's early chapter to be horridly structured, I realized that if it wasn't like that then I wouldn't have discovered my writing style.
Facebook: C.G. Majah
(So, what's your favorite 'Incorporated' quote? If any… :P )