In Love and War

Okay, CCS doesn't belong to me or the FFX ideas (I wish) so you can't sue me! LOL

By: Mistress Ness

Chapter 8: The Quest for the Five Guardians Part 2

Sakura felt the chill leave her skin a she approached the sacred cave of Phoenix's Blood. She got off her horse and tied him to a tree behind other thicker trees to hide his contrasting white coat from view. They probably already noticed I'm gone, she thought sadly, I must get this over with quickly so I can move on and get ahead. She grabbed her staff and with a lonely sigh, she ventured into the cave. Since the cave was inside a volcano, lava was everywhere. Sakura broke into a sweat as she walked on the cooled lava strip deep into the cave. She felt an aura close by and instantly knew the guardian Ifrit was nearby. Suddenly, another aura came into her notice and before she could actually pinpoint the other aura's location, a fire fiend came out of the ocean of lava. A horse stood in Sakura's way, its mane and tail was made of bright flames along with is hoofs, its fur was golden and its eyes were a bright ruby color. On one of his hind legs, it bore a mark in shape of an ember. The creature snarled at her and instantly casted a Fire spell her way. She reacted as fast as any fine warrior and dodged the spell. She twirled her staff to point it down to the ground and quickly casted a Reflect spell to shield her from further magicks. The fire fiend charged at her, casting another Fire spell. The flames bounced off her and back at its caster. The monster shrieked in pain and Sakura quickly pointed her staff at it and yelled, "Blizzaga!" the ground where the fiend stood suddenly became a sheet of ice and instantly, ice spikes rose out of the ground and stabbed it. Sakura was about to summon Shiva to finish it off when a voice suddenly spoke in her mind.

You are here to fight me, little summoner, this fiend is my partner.

Sakura gasped and her concentration was broken. An explosion came from the lava river and standing before her was a demon that stood like a human but with the feet of a dinosaur. Its bronze skin glowed in the warm light of the cave; it was much built and wore gold cuffs and a medallion. Its wild mane was a mix of red, gold, and orange like a flame and two horns poked out of the hair and it also covered his lower regions like a loincloth and decorates its arms. Its face was like a wolf's, long and its ruby eyes focused on her with a fire behind them. Sakura saw a mark shaped and colored like a flame on its right shoulder.

"So you're Ifrit, the Demon of Fire." Sakura said softly as the fiend got by its master's side. The demon smirked at her, razor-sharp teeth gleaming. Smart little one. So, you are here to seek my aid?, Ifrit whispered in her head. Sakura kept a firm hold on her staff, never taking her eyes of Ifrit.

"Yes, I am. I am High Summoner Sakura from the Kingdom of Clow. So, what must I do to get your help?" she asked. Ifrit looked down at is pawn then back at Sakura.

Choose a guardian to partner with you in this fight. You must defeat me and my partner in battle, Ifrit said in her mind. Sakura nodded, "Then let's begin!" she said. She held her staff in front of her and concentrated to summon her loyal guardian, Shiva.

"From the place of cold, eternal darkness, I beckon the Queen of Ice and Mistress of Night to come to my aid." Snow started to fall in the lava cavern and a snowflake magick circle appeared beneath Sakura's feet. "Hark, Frigid Damsel, honor our pact and lend me your never-melting magic." Her staff's orb began to glow a soft, icy white color.

"Come Shiva!"

A snowstorm brewed from the magick circle and an ice block came down next to her. The block cracked, giving off several rays of light, and exploded, revealing Shiva. Sakura looked at her and smiled, "Here we are again fighting side by side, Shiva."

Shiva smiled back.

Sakura twirled her staff and called out, "Blizzaga!!" The ice-covered ground appeared beneath Ifrit, but the guardian dodged in time with its minion before the ice spikes appeared. Ifrit smirked at her and with a fluid motion of its hand, several lava whirlpools appeared from the lava river and all went down towards Shiva and Sakura. The young summoner turned to her partner, "Take care of his minion! I will handle Ifrit!" she cried. Shiva nodded and began running toward Ifrit's fiend. Sakura quickly casted a magic shield around herself and the lava just splashed over the shield, not harming her. She casted the shield aside and concentrated for her wings to appear. Ifrit roared and sent more lava projectiles her way. Shiva saw her mistress wasn't moving to defend herself and she panicked. "Mistress!" she turned away from her target and began to run towards Sakura but she was too late; the whirlpools all struck her. Ifrit roared its victory and turned to Shiva. Looks like the legend is nothing but a myth, Shiva. Your summoner is pathetic!, it taunted her mind. But his victory was cut short as suddenly lava exploded all over the cave. It turned around and shock was easily read on its features as he saw the young summoner very much alive, but large white wings decorating her back. Its eyes widened in awe and shock. The fire guardian saw the white aura that surrounded the girl and instantly became a believer. So the legend is true!, it thought.

Shiva sighed her relief at seeing her mistress alive and with renewed will; she turned towards the fiend and began to attack. Sakura took the cue and started flying up high. Ifrit snarled and hurled more lava at her, but she easily dodged them and kept flying towards him. "You're in for it, Fire Guardian!!" she called out. Ifrit wasn't convinced of her threat and brought its hands together, ready to fire its best attack. Sakura turned to Shiva and held out her hand, "Lend me your ice magick, Shiva! Together we can defeat it!" her guardian nodded and jumped up towards her. Sakura smiled and grabbed her hands, helping her stay afloat with her. Sakura and Shiva changed their arms' position, forming a triangle with its peak aiming at Ifrit. The Fire guardian summoned its fiend to its side and focused to counterattack. Sakura and Shiva closed their eyes, Sakura's white aura mingling with Shiva's icy one.

Upon our pact, do my bidding, O Queen of Ice…, Sakura's soft voice echoed in the cavern. Ifrit felt chills running down its spine, stopping its concentration, as it saw the lava pools starting to cool down. Impossible!, it thought in a slight panic, That lava never cools! It's the hottest lava in the planet! Can she do this? Not even Shiva alone can freeze my lava!

Come forth from the never-ending darkness, the eternal glacier, bring death to all that hast life…, the lava completely cooled down into rock. Shocked, Ifrit looked up and saw the girl's power enhancing rapidly along with Shiva's.

You are the place of eternal rest…, rapid swirls of snow began to gather in the joined hands of the young summoner and her guardian. Ifrit immediately felt the danger as it grabbed its minion and flung it in front of it to take the blow in the guardian's stead.

Shiva and Sakura opened their eyes and both cried out in unison.

Absolute Zero!!

An ice-cold beam shot out of their joined hands and blasted the fiend full-force. Ifrit stood shocked as it saw its minion being crystallized in the blink of an eye. It was amazed that someone as small the High Summoner housed such an amazing power in her. It knew she was combining her power with Shiva, but it knew Shiva only had much power and it wasn't anywhere as strong as the girl's magick.

Sakura smirked as she released Shiva's hands and her soft words sent a chill down its spine. "Shatter," then she snapped her fingers. The fiend's frigid coffin began to crack and it shattered into millions fragments of glittering ice, dancing around Ifrit as if giving a warning of Sakura's power. Shaken by such display of strength, it let its arms hang in submission and bowed its head towards her.

I accept my defeat, High Summoner, I pledge my loyalty to you. You have impressed me greatly with your powers; I admit I underestimated you, its voice echoed in her mind. Sakura smiled as she descended to him while Shiva began to fade into snow, with a smile of her own. She landed in front of him and said softly, "Thank you. I need not only your help but all Guardians' to banish Chaos. That monster's a threat to everyone and the only ones who can stop it are us."

Ifrit nodded and began to fade into glowing embers, The next guardian you shall seek is Terra, The Goddess of Earth. She guards a mythical ground called Nadeshiko's Utopia by the small town of Liverei about a half day's ride north from here…I shall leave you a clue to her whereabouts.

Sakura's eyes flew wide at the mention of the familiar name. "Nadeshiko, that's my mother's name!" she gasped. Ifrit's eyes also flew wide open, Could you be….? It disappeared before it finished its question. Sakura tried to grab it but only touched the small, lingering embers. She felt something soft in her hands and when she opened her hand, a small nadeshiko flower rested in her open palm.

"Huh?" she wondered out loud, confused by Ifrit's last words. She felt a gentle hum of power trying to reach out to her. She immediately recognized it as Tomoyo's aura search, trying to find her. Sakura panicked and instantly hid her aura. She ran out of the cave, mounted Night, then galloped north at full speed, dropping the small flower in her haste. She could not let her friends find her, she was the chosen one to kill Chaos and she didn't want to endanger their lives and above all…her heart gave a painful squeeze as it whispered his name. Syaoran.

--

Tomoyo was leading the gang as she desperately tried to track Sakura's aura and felt a small hint of power that made her stop in her tracks with a soft gasp. She closed her eyes and inside the black void of her mind, she saw a small, soft light in the distance. A concerned Eriol neared his horse to hers and put his hand on her shoulders, "Are you all right, Tomoyo?" he asked gently. Tomoyo stilled and focused her energy into pinpointing the location of the aura. "I feel her, but very faint."

"You feel Sakura's aura?" Meiling sounded hopeful as she caught up with her friend. Syaoran was right behind Meiling. "Can you find her?" he asked. Are you somewhere near, Sakura?, he thought.

Tomoyo almost could see where the aura was from but the connection was abruptly cut, like throwing cold water on a duck's back. Tomoyo felt a small migraine ingrained in her head and her hand flew up to caress her temples, her eyes flying open. "I lost the signal." She said sadly. "What?" Meiling cried.

Tomoyo continued to soothe her aching head as she answered her. "I think she felt me trying to reach her, so she hid her aura. Now, I can't feel anything."

Eriol was shocked. Usually, a summoner would be nothing without his or her aura. "Can she do that?" he asked in wonder. Tomoyo nodded. "Ever since she was little, she had the special ability to hide her aura from being sensed. She did that whenever we played hide and seek. She knows anyone can sense a summoner's aura but she also knows I'm the only one who can actually track people by their aura. It becomes like a mental map to me."

Syaoran turned to her, "Did you get at least an idea of where the presence was from before the connection was cut?" he asked. Tomoyo became silent for a moment, reflecting on what he asked. "I think it was heading north, let's go check near Ifrit's cave to see if we can find any clues."

When they reached their destination, Tomoyo still couldn't feel a hint of Sakura's aura. Meiling was feeling desperate for her friend and cursed, "Dammit! Where in the living hell did she go!?" then, something light on the dark ground caught her eye. She bent down and saw that it was a nadeshiko flower, its pink petals open in full bloom. "A flower…?" she reached down to touch it when she felt a sting of pain in her head. She cried out and held her hand to her aching head, other still holding the flower. Everyone instantly became concerned and Syaoran rushed to her. "Are you OK, Meiling?" he asked. But his words were a mere slur to Meiling, for she was paying more attention to the sudden rush of images playing in her mind like a broken record. She held up a hand to Syaoran to silence him. "Hush! I see something," she said in a whisper and tried focusing on the images to make them slow down. The images began to slow and she caught sight of a white-hooded figure riding a white horse, riding north, her long auburn hair mingling with the horse's white mane as she rode into the twilight. She then saw place filled with exotic flowers, but particularly, nadeshiko flowers and she also saw the silhouette of a woman floating over a small, golden shrine in the middle of the flower garden.

But before she could really look into that woman, the images stopped altogether and following it, another migraine so strong, it brought tears to her ruby eyes. Her breathing came in quick breaths as she tried to get a hold of herself.

"What happened, Meiling?" Tomoyo knelt by her side, lightly rubbing her back in a soothing gesture.

"I saw her." She panted out. "I saw Sakura."

Everyone was shocked at the news. "How did you see her, Meiling?" she inquired. When Meiling finally got her act together, she stood up and held up the little flower for all to see. "I found this on the ground. When I bent down to pick it up and as soon as I touched it, I saw all these blurry images racing in my head. When I finally got them to slow down, I saw Sakura riding north and then I saw these beautiful place rich with flowers and also a woman, but I couldn't see her face." She clenched the flower tightly, "I tried to see who she was, but the images faded away."

Eriol pondered on what she said, "Nadeshiko..," Then it hit him, "That's Nadeshiko's Utopia! Well, let's get going then! The sooner we leave the better chances we got to catch up with Sakura." He mounted his horse and started heading north. Meiling and Tomoyo nodded and also mounted to follow Eriol with Syaoran right behind them.

As they rode north, Eriol spoke up again, looking at Meiling, "Looks like you inherited some form of object-reading powers."

Tomoyo arched a brow at hearing it, "Object-reading?"

He nodded, "It's a very rare skill that lets people find out future events or what another person is up to just from touching something that person last touched. And if I know this because…" he smiled, "Meiling's mother, Aunt Miyako, had this skill."

Meiling's eyes flew wide, "Mother possessed that skill? Impossible, I never heard of such thing." She said stubbornly. Eriol chuckled and said, "Aunt Miyako once told me my fortune from just touching a wooden sword I played with. She told me she was once a fortune-teller and also helped find lost people until she met your father, Uncle Rekka, and had you. But she used her power whenever you decided to be naughty and run off to the forest."

Meiling began to remember. About six months before the tragic fire that took her parents' lives, she was mad at her mother for being late to her birthday party and so, she had run off to the forest near their home. And not long after, her mother found her. She was shocked, since her parents never knew her favorite spot in the forest. When she asked her mother how she found her, she would put on a mysterious smiled and simply replied, "It's a secret."

Syaoran cut in, "Well, at the least we got a clue of where Sakura is headed, so let's go before we lose track of her again."

Meiling and Eriol nodded mutely.

--Sacred Town of Desari--

Sakura slowed Night down as they strode into the small town of Desari. The town was named after a brave battle maiden named Desari who once fought a fearful dragon to protect the new settlers. She killed the dragon but lost her own life due to her severe wounds. The grateful people named the town and made a beautiful sanctuary in her memory, supposedly if one prays to her statue, she would guide them in their journey ahead. Now, the town was famous for their abundant minerals, including white gold and rare gems. There were many small shops set around the circular time square with a golden statue of the battle maiden Desari in the middle of the fountain. Happy chattering filled the air. Even though it was late at night, people still were carrying on with their fun.

Sakura wanted to keep going to get far ahead of her friends, but knew Night needed food and water and she was pretty tired herself. She spotted a cozy-looking inn in the middle of the town square. She hopped off Night and led him to the stable next to the small home. She lowered her hood and walked in. A friendly-looking woman smiled at her, her fiery red hair glowing in the candlelight, "Welcome to the Dancing Steed!" she greeted cheerfully, blue eyes twinkling, "Are you looking for a room?"

Sakura found herself smiling back at her, "Yes, and I would like someone to take care of my horse too." She dug out a small bag full of golden coins and placed it in front of the woman. Her wide grew wider and nodded, "Sure thing! I will get my boy Henry to look after your horse, but first let's get you a room." She turned around and grabbed a key. "Follow me, lassie."

The woman led Sakura to a small but very comfortable room at the end of the hall upstairs. It had a small fireplace, a simple wooden table and chair, and a large bed. "Here you are," she led Sakura in. "If there is anything you need, don't hesitate to tell me. My name is Brighid." The lady smiled. Sakura nodded, "I'm Sakura."

Brighid bowed and said, "Well goodnight, Sakura." She turned around and left the room.

Sakura sighed as she placed her staff on the chair near the window, stretching her sore muscles. She took a good look at her cards and decided to do a card reading before getting some rest. She took them all out and spread them in front of her and sat down. Closing her eyes, she extended one hand out and softly said, "Let the chosen card come to me."

One of the cards flew up to her hand and she grasped it. She turned it around and it was the Hope again like the last times she did card-reading. She frowned, thinking it will probably have the same ambiguous message as well. She touched the Hope's winged heart and to her shock, a new message whispered in her mind.

Love's greatest trial lies ahead: to give or to take.

Sakura opened her eyes and looked down at the card. This is completely different from the other messages; "to give or to take?"she thought quizzically. She put it away and looked out her window. The light of dawn was starting to color the dark skies, the lights in the town turning off one by one and she could feel Tomoyo's aura searching for hers again. Carefully keeping her aura hidden, she kicked off her boots, took off her cape, and lay down to a dreamless sleep.

She only slept for about six hours, as she needed to get ahead still. She got up and quickly dressed, then gathered her things. She left some gold from her card pouch for the kind Brighid and went out to the stable to get her horse. Night sensed her coming as he directed his head towards her and let out a soft "neigh." Sakura smiled at him and got hold of his reins to lead him out. She felt the gentle brush of Tomoyo's aura stronger than before, meaning they were gaining on her. Sakura jumped on Night and set off again towards Liverei.

--

Syaoran felt a tingling sensation as the group passed the gates into the town of Desari. He frowned, puzzled, and looked down at his sheathed sword and to his shock; it was glowing in a gentle light. Eriol immediately noticed it too and stopped his horse beside him, "What is it, Syaoran?" he inquired.

"My sword is picking up a faint trail of magick." Syaoran replied, guiding Hades to where his sword was picking up the trail. Meiling arched a brow at him as she and Tomoyo followed behind him, "Your sword can pick up magick?"

Her mercenary cousin nodded, "Since this sword is magical itself, it's sensitive to the touch of magick in the air, but only to powerful auras and they have to be pretty close."

Tomoyo had a hopeful tone as she spoke, "Oh! It must be Sakura! Where does it lead to?"

Syaoran took out his sword and held it lightly, feeling it pull towards an unseen force. He followed it with his eyes and saw the tip point towards a small inn with an equally minute stable next to it. He got off Hades and tied him to a tree near the stable and turned towards the others, "I will be right back." He said as he entered the inn, putting his sword away in the process. A woman smiled at him from the reception.

"Good morning, lad! Welcome to the Dancing Steed! I am Brighid, how can I help you?" she said in a friendly manner.

He smiled back and bowed his head slightly, "This may sound a bit crazy, but have you seen a woman all dressed in white around here? She has long auburn hair and carries a magick staff?" he asked her. Brighid nodded and replied, "Yes, I have seen such a lass. She was a pretty little thing, that one. She stayed here the night before, but she left early dawn before I woke up." She took a couple of keys from her desk and said, "I can show you the room she stayed in, but first may I ask, who are you to the young lass?"

"Her husband." He didn't even hesitate with his reply. She nodded again with a smile and led him upstairs to the room. She unlocked it and said, "Feel free to look in here, just lock the door before you leave. Good day, lad." She bowed and left.

Syaoran went inside and felt his sword react even stronger. Her unique cherry blossom scent still lingered in the room and he had no doubt that Sakura had been here. Feeling he was going in the right direction, he turned around and left.

--Liverei--

Sakura was greeted by the smell of the ocean as she passed the simple wooden archway into the small town of Liverei. The houses were made of wood, simple but cozy and she saw many boats of all sizes sitting in the docks. The atmosphere was busy with several fish markets open and souvenir stores. She got off her horse and began to lead him towards a small fruit shop nearby. A middle-aged man who manned the shop smiled at her as she approached. "Hello, pretty lady! How can I help you?"

Sakura smiled back and looked at some pretty tasty-looking red apples in front of her, "I would like half a dozen apples, please." She replied, already digging out her coin purse out of her card pouch. The man nodded and turned around to get a bag when a woman ran towards the shop, huffing from fatigue. Her wild black hair was all over face and her tanned skin glistened with perspiration. She crashed into Sakura and could've fallen but Sakura quickly grabbed her hand.

"Nina!" the shop owner cried in worry, "What happened, child? And where is Jessebelle!?"

The woman Nina looked at the man, her silver eyes brimming with tears. "Father! A demon ambushed us while we were picking berries by Nadeshiko's Utopia!! Jessie is up on a tree with the demon at her feet! She told me to run and get help!" she cried in fear.

"Oh no! My poor little Jessebelle!" the man cried. Sakura gripped the woman's hand, "Take me to the demon, while there is still time!"

The shop owner shook his head in protest, "No, miss! It's too dangerous!"

Sakura smiled her reassurance, "Don't worry, I'm a High Summoner."

Nina nodded and tugged her hand to lead the way. The man bowed to Sakura and pleaded, "Please my lady, save my poor daughter!"

Sakura looked back at him and nodded; "I will!" she hopped onto Night and pulled Nina up with her.

--

"Go right at the fork and you'll find the demon!" Nina said as they rode close to a fork marked by a statue of a winged woman pointing right." Sakura guided Night that direction and not long after that, she saw a hellhound barking up at a tall, leafless tree that held a young girl not older than ten years old that was crying as she held on to a branch for dear life. Nina jumped off Night and called out, "Jessie!!"

The little girl saw them and yelled tearfully, "Nina! Help!"

Sakura dismounted Night and got her staff. She turned to Nina and said, "Stay with my horse for your safety." Nina only nodded mutely and stayed with Night. Sakura stalked towards the demon and whistled for its attention, "Hey demon! Why don't you pick on somebody of your own size, mutt!" she called out to it, challenging it. The demon turned from the tree and glared at Sakura with fiery red eyes. The beast itself was almost as big as Night, with its skin charred black and ragged wounds all over it that shone a bright gold. It snarled at her, showing its huge yellow canines, sharp and ready to shred and its breath came out in small embers. Sakura took a battle stance and quickly muttered a protect spell around Nina and Night. Without preamble, the hellhound leapt at her. Sakura rolled out of its way and yelled out, "Icicle Edge!" Several ice spikes appeared out her staff and all shot towards the demon. The hound unleashed a massive stream of flame and melted the icicles. "Damn!" Sakura cursed. The hellhound quickly opened its mouth again and shot another stream of fire at her.

"Look out!" Nina cried.

As swift as Quicksilver, Sakura called within herself for her wings, spread them, and leapt into the air, away from the attack. Nina stared at Sakura's wings with wide eyes, "By Cielo!" she gasped, "Those wings…! She's just like her…!"

The beast howled at her and let out another jet of fire, but towards the tree the little girl was holding on. The child saw the fiery flames coming towards her and she let out an ear-piercing scream. Sakura dove as quickly as she could towards the child. She grabbed the little girl by the waist and flew away just as the flames hit the branch, make it set aflame. She swooped down to Nina and handed over her sister. The girl wept as she went into her older sister's arms. Nina held her tight while laughing in relief. She rose her eyes to meet Sakura's and said, "Thank you."

Sakura only nodded with a smile of her own and focused back on the demon facing them, her large wing shielding the girls from it.

"Nina," Sakura said, "Take your sister, get on my horse, and ride back to town and don't look back. I will take care of it."

Without being told twice, Nina mounted her sister on Night, jumped on herself, and galloped away from the battle. The hound was snarling and tried to chase Night when Sakura flew in front of its path. "I am the one you're facing, demon!" she said.

The hellhound leapt at her once more and Sakura rolled to the side, hiding her wings. She quickly got back to her feet and sent another spell of icicles towards it. The small ice daggers scored on its side but against all reason, the beast charged through the ice spell and a big paw swept at Sakura's side, ripping through her dress and piercing her skin. She cried out in pain, feeling the fire burn in her side from the beast's claws. She knew she could not defeat this beast alone, not with her wound. She made up her mind and closes both hands in prayer in her staff. Her voice was hypnotic as she recited,
Sacred beast, loyal Guardian to the goddess Esmeralda…
I beseech you; lend me your great power to defeat my foes.
Lord of the Guardians, your mistress calls upon you!
Her staff orb began to glow white.
Diamante!
A shower of diamonds shot out of the glowing staff and slowly began to take form in front of Sakura, shielding her from the fiend. The little diamonds danced around and fused together to make the shape of a wolf. Sakura reached out and touched the diamond figure and at her touch, it exploded to reveal the fiery white wolf. Diamante snarled at the demon and looked in alarm at the growing stain of blood in his mistress' side.

"Mistress!" he cried in worry. Sakura smiled weakly and said, "I'll be fine. Right now, we need to beat this monster."

Diamante nodded uncertainly over his mistress' condition and got back to the matter in hand. Sakura touched her forehead and sent him a mental message, Do whatever it takes to weaken him or keep him distracted. It's very alert and I would need a multi-directional spell to be able to truly hurt it.
Her wolf guardian nodded again and charged at the hellhound. Sakura muttered a protecting spell over her wolf and kept her staff at ready. If Diamante can distract the demon long enough, I can try to defeat it with the Holy Judgment spell, she thought. The hellhound lunged to meet Diamante's assault and soon, the two were fighting while snarling. Sakura felt a bit woozy but ignored the sensation; she needed to focus if she wanted to beat the hellhound. Her wolf faked a bite to the hound's left frontal leg and instead aimed for the right but the hellhound intercepted the attack and got its fangs through Sakura's shield on Diamante and got his neck. Sakura gasped, shocked how the beast managed to break the magical shield, but took the chance given and let go of her staff to stretch out her arms wide. As the guardian struggled to get the hound off his neck, blood staining his white fur, orbs of light began to glow in each finger and grew in intensity as Sakura gathered a lot of her energy to make the spell count.
Save Diamante!,
she silently prayed.
"Holy Judgment!!" Beams of light shot out of her fingers and rose up to the sky, creating a vortex of light. The light streams shot out from it in all directions but with the same destination. The beams all went towards the demon and at once, the light struck it. The hellhound released Diamante's neck and howled in agony as its fur began to crack, letting light peep through. It cracked even further and without warning, the demon exploded in a burst of light. Sakura watched in relief as the tiny particles remaining faded away as they floated. With a hand to her wounded side, she staggered over to her guardian and knelt down to cradle its head on her lap. His neck was a shredded mess but thank goodness the fiend missed his arteries. Even though guardians were magical beings, they could still be wounded, feel pain, and be destroyed. Sakura stroked his fur and the guardian looked at her with half-lidded eyes, mirroring his pain.
Sakura placed her free hand over his neck and whispered gently, "Don't worry, you'll be alright." Her hand started to glow white.

"Cura." The glow of her hand leaked to the wolf's wounds and light shrouded them. Sakura concentrated harder and the light got even brighter, fixing torn flesh and repairing broken skin. The glow slowly disappeared and to Sakura's delight, Diamante's wounds were all gone, even the blood, making his fur white as snow again.

Sakura smiled down at him and said softly, "I'm glad you're OK…"
She suddenly felt faint again but this time, the darkness was so strong, it swallowed her whole.
Diamante watched in horror as his new mistress' emerald eyes fluttered shut and her body slumped to her side. He immediately got up, his energy restored by her spell.
"Mistress!" he exclaimed.

In the black void, Sakura felt her body light as a feather and falling deep inside the darkness. She tried to move, but she had no energy left.
Where's Diamante?
Am I going to…die?
Syaoran…
, her hand reached out into the nothingness.
As her eyes fluttered shut again to give into the darkness, a small orb of light pierced the pitch-black void and a hand shot out to grab Sakura's reaching one. The last thing Sakura heard before blackness swallowed her consciousness was a woman's voice…one she never heard before but felt familiar somehow.
"Sakura…"

AN
Finally! Chapter 8 is done! I sincerely apologize the VERY long delay for this update but I had a writer's block due to an emotional rollercoaster with a long-time boyfriend who became my fiancée but then dumped me and well, it's a long story but bottom line is, slowly but surely I'm picking up on the stories so please bear with me! I hope you enjoy this chapter and sit tight for the next chapter of Wild Blossom!
Ja ne!
Mistress Ness