- - -
China - Long Ago - Early Morning
Her skirts drifted behind her as she made her way to the gazebo. She crossed the short bridge over a pond where lotuses and lily pads lay. When she had successfully crossed the bridge, the lotus blossoms swayed within her magic and grew into full bloom. Her handmaidens gasped in astonishment as her governess-having seen many of magic- had gone about her business as if nothing had happened. A male's back faced her, among his other servants whom stood to the sides. A yellow lion and a pale man, both with wings, stood to his left.
When she stepped into the gazebo, her handmaidens and her governess dispersed to the sides as well, mingling with his servants. The yellow lion nodded his head towards her in greeting, the pale man stood still like a statue and the rest of his men did not dare lay eyes on her. She did not nod back to the lion, nor did she acknowledge anyone at all. She was peeved, cold and lacking of sleep. No one dared to disturb her slumber, except for this one annoying man she called "brother".
"Greetings to you, Shao Mei," the man said, adjusting his glasses.
She crossed the gazebo to stand beside him, her hair- in a style that resembled a butterfly- was growing damp in the morning fog. She merely replied, somewhat cooly, "Why have you called me so early in the morning, Clow Reed?"
She had refused to call him formally and with respect.
"I have to discuss a matter with you," he said, ignoring the fact that she did not call him "Dai Ge", though he had foreseen this from waking her up before dawn.
"It's too cold to discuss about anything," she shot back, obviously irritated.
"You should have worn more than that silk dress, Winter is arriving soon and he'll show you no mercy if you fail to take care of yourself," he reasoned.
"You have that thick cloak wound with magic to protect you, therefore you can not say," she wisely argued.
"True," Clow Reed agreed. "However, even Winter fears your hidden mystery."
"What ever do you want with me?" her neatly trimmed eyebrows furrowed together in coming anger.
" Hol Fa, I have made the Cards," Clow Reed used her name.
"How delightful," she said in sarcasm. "Do you really think I care about your toys?"
He smiled, "I was hoping to know about yours."
"The information about mine, will be kept by me and only me," Hol Fa said. "Don't even think of trying to find them, they are well hidden."
"Ah, so you have also finished," he observed from the way she spoke of hers.
"Yes, they are," she admitted, not phased by the fact that her brother had stolen the information from her own mouth without her knowing.
"I suppose they best mine," he said, his dark blue eyes peering at the horizon, waiting.
Silence reigned the air as the Sun's rays touched the night sky, spreading light like wildfire. The Moon smiled, and slowly began to disappear, fully knowing that she must give up dominance when the Sun awakens.
"They will be called the Clow Cards," Clow Reed told her, breathing in the fresh morning air. "I am hoping that it will be a mistress."
"Mine will be called the Lotus Cards," Hol Fa returned, the sunlight glimmering in her dark eyes. "I am hoping that it will be a descendant of ours."
"You were always one for family traditions," he said with a chuckle.
"Someone must uphold the family honour while you go scrambling across the globe in search of your stupid wonders," she said.
"It would seem so," he whispered. "Sometimes I wish you were the male of the family, you're more better at magic than I."
"How could that be?" she questioned. "You are the most powerful sorcerer of all the worlds."
"So they say," Clow Reed smiled. "So they say."
- - -
Li Meilin had long, silken ebony hair weaved from the hands of the Muses. Her eyes were of brown ruby, stolen from a dragon's keep. Her pale complexion was said to be blessed by the white glow of the full moon. Her body was ripe, like that of a sweet apple, due to the martial arts training that had been gifted upon her at a young age. Her mind was at its peek, like the fiery sun in the afternoon, due to the many outstanding tutors bestowed upon her young mind. She was fifteen, talented and enormously rich. She had- what you would call- a "perfect" life.
Although many would say she was perfect, she had-in fact- two very serious imperfections.
One of them, was her attitude. She had a temper that would extinguish a fire in a mere second, and that of a mother bear protecting her cub. She was insanely jealous, making her as devious as a snake and as cunning as a cat. And she drove on perfection. If her were writing a 1000 word essay and if one letter were off by a bit, she must throw out the paper and start again, even if she were one word to finishing. If she could not recite a poem correctly, she would spend many nights memorizing the words. If she lost, she would demand a rematch again and again and again, until she won.
The other, was that she had no magic.
It may seem as a little problem, but when you are a direct decendant of a family that was made of the most powerful sorcerers and sorceresses, you eventually get the idea that you are not what your family expected. And talking about family, it is because of her lack in the skills of magic, she is virtually ignored by her own family. However, they have given her enough to spend and live quite comfortably. After all, a Li must be held at the highest of standards- with magic or not.
- - -
China - Present - 11:50 P.M.
She was wearing red pajamas lined with gold thread. On her feet were red bunny slippers, unlike the pink ones the Card Mistress possessed. On the table sat a drained glass of hot chocolate and a plate of vanished peanut butter cookies - that she had made herself! She could still feel the aftermath of her pride from successfully cooking something for the first time. Boy, did she ever bake those bake-able cookies. She showed her chef and cook helpers what she was made of!
And she was now bored, bored out of her own mind.
She was currently laying upside down on her couch, her feet in the air and her head and hands dangling off the side of the seat. She could feel her blood slowly drain from her feet to her face, making them flushed. In front of her was a big screen television, built into the wall with a VCR and a DVD player. She had satellite T.V., 900-some channels in five different languages and there was still nothing to watch. It sometimes amazed her that when one lived in a mansion with an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, two pool tables, an X-box and an X-box 360, a Playstation 1 and 2, a Gamecube, a Wii, three computers (All with high speed connections.), a park filled with swings and slides, a bar (Not filled with alcohol, but juice. She didn't like to drink at all.), a library filled with amazing tales and much, much more... could be bored.
But the thing was... she was alone. (Not counting the menservants and maids.)
Her parents lived in a separate mansion, more luxurious than hers, with her older brother and younger sister. They feel more pure without her around 24 to 7.
She righted herself on the couch and immediately regretted it as her head pounded and spun.
"Note to self: Never do that again," she thought to herself.
Meilin got up and decided to wander her house again, although she knew it was late, she did not feel like going to sleep. She had just received the mansion for her fifteenth birthday, the marking of her wise coming years. It was an ancient Chinese house, made for a noble long ago. They say that it once belonged to the gifted younger sister of Clow Reed, Hol Fa, and that magic stirred everywhere. They were laying of course, the Li elders. If this were truly the House of Hol Fa, they would not have given it to her in the first place, but instead, would have given it to her brother, Fei Lowng.
Her birthday was two weeks ago, and at first she was afraid of her new, large home. There were many dark corridors she dare not step into, and there where many rooms blanketed in dust bunnies. There were actually stairs that lead to no where, in fact, she once went up stairs to a door that opened up to a wall. The servants, old and wise as they were, that came with the house said that there were many traps set by the Great Hol Fa to stop thieves and many rivals from other clans that hoped to snatch one of the Reed's magic treasures.
"If you pay attention, at every midnight of a full moon, the traps would move randomly so that thieves can not memorize this house like a map," Xing Xing, an old woman and her governess, once said when she arrived. "It creates disaster in our household every time that happens. We must re-memorize where everything is all over again."
Xing Xing had laughed afterwards, but Meilin didn't find it very funny... she found it creepy and disturbing.
She heaved a sigh, lonely and scared out her own mind. Where was Syaoran when you wanted to talk to him - regardless if he loved you or not. Heck, she would even talk to Sakura...
"Sakura?" she asked herself in disgust. "Ew, no way... Even if I accepted her..."
Her eyes blurred with unshed tears, "It does not erase the fact that Syaoran loves her and in turn, his love for me has vanished."
Meilin sniffed as she leaned against the white plastered wall for support when she felt her sadness threatening to overwhelm her both mentally and physically. A bell tolled somewhere for midnight, but she did not care. She must get in grips before anyone saw her like this, all weak and uncontrolled.
But before she knew what was happening, the wall behind her vibrated against her back and then opened up. Unable to take control of things, she found herself falling down some stairs!
Meilin, acting on instinct, did not scream. No, a Li did not cry out for help when tragedy struck.
When she met the hard, cold ground, she shakingly got up onto her feet and stood at a martial arts stance - prepared for battle. The small, dark room was cold and musty. Although she could not see, she could taste the dust suspended in the air. Not far in front of her was a stone pedestal, and sat neatly on it was a white leather book bound by a black lock. A light, coming from a crack above, hit the large book squarely in the middle, showing a pink lotus flower stitched into the leather. At the top left corner was the ying side of the ying-yang, and at the bottom right corner was the yang side of the ying-yang. A simple line of black bordered the whole book.
She hesitated before she walked towards the pedestal, eyes narrowed in suspicion. She took her steps carefully, in case the floor beneath her gave way to her weight, and then who knows where she'd end up? However, before she could reach the pedestal, she tripped! As she was falling, she reached her right hand towards the book and touched the cover softly before she was met with black.
- - -
China - Present - 8:00 A.M.
Meilin woke up, drenched in sweat.
"It was a dream," she told herself, relieved.
She sat up on her Queen-sized bed, making sure that her white comforter trimmed with gold was close to her chin. Her bed had white, transparent drapes, creating a canopy around her, giving her privacy. She looked to her left, where a glass door led to a balcony, and saw that the sun was up and animals were about. In front of her bed was her mahogany desk, to the left was a door to her private bathroom, and to the right of the desk was her large closet. A bookshelf, filled with classics from around the world in various languages, was to the right of her bed.
"Ah, my Lady, you are up," Xing Xing, old, wrinkly and crouched stood at her door- to her right and beside her closet.
"Good morning," she greeted, though still confused of her dream.
"Come, breakfast is just about ready," the old lady-in-waiting told her.
"I'm coming," she said and got up from her bed to follow.
She scrambled to the door - but tripped! She looked behind her where she laid, and saw the book!
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P.S. I'd like to thank rei10588 for pointing out to me that I had a Star Card in the Lotus Cards. Thank you:)