Lotus Cards

Chapter Eight

- - -

China – Present – 2: 07 P.M.

The study was fairly large; at least large enough to have two walls filled with books and have room for a large cherry oak desk. A large window, standing opposite of the door, allowed the bright afternoon sunlight to stream through. Piled high on the desk were books, thin and thick ones… and if one really looked, one could see Meilin underneath said books, mulling away on one particular large tome.

For hours, she found out a great deal about her ancestor aunt. Apparently, Clow Reed was the stronger of the two, but he was naïve and that always got him in some rather sticky situations where his younger sister had to save him from. Hol Fa was not really beautiful, but her intelligence made up for her face.

She was cold too… and always one to uphold the family honour as her older brother skipped around the globe to learn about alchemy, sorcery and all that jazz.

Cold…

Meilin learned that it was because of Hol Fa's coldness that she was always lonely and without a husband.

A knock broke Meilin out from her reverie.

"Yes?" she asked, somewhat annoyed at being interrupted.

"Milady," it was Hei, "you may want to look at this."

- - -

She did.

She did want to look at it.

The big screen T.V. showed an astounding sight of a flooded skyscraper. The windows were spewing water, creating many waterfalls that made it look like it was underwater. This was unnatural, of course. Where was the water coming from?

"If I may, Mistress," he said from behind her.

"Speak," was her brisk command.

"Water," Hei informed. "If obtained, the wielder can control water, make snow, create ice, manufacture mist and vapour."

She nodded absentmindedly, eyes still on the skyscraper.

"Milady," he began, "it may be wise to get going before it attracts the attention of the council."

She got up without another word.

"Shall I get the car ready, milady?" he inquired calmly.

"No," Meilin said as she made for the door. "There's something I wish to try."

- - -

"Nature," she whispered and released the arrow.

Meilin could feel the arrow pull on her chi and, when the arrow went through the Card, attach it to the piece of paper. Immediately, the arrow changed into the shape of a tree branch before digging into the ground and disappearing.

Now she had an experiment that she wanted to try out. After watching Sakura so many times, she knew that the best way to travel was through the air. She had no Fly Card, but Hol Fa was no idiot. The Card will yield to whatever its master or mistress wanted.

She set her bow down and then carefully bent to the ground. She levelled her hands over the patch of grass where Nature had gone through. She knew what she wanted and imagined the plant to spring. She felt energy leave her and morph as, from the ground, a small seedling sprouted and grew and grew and grew.

She couldn't help but smile at the large dandelion then swayed high above her with a yellow head as large as her body. Concentrating once more, she willed it to grow old and watched, in fascination, as the deep yellow petal slowly became white puffballs.

She breathed out and took up her weapon once more. Without needing any chi, she shot the giant weed down and then quickly held it up against her body. Positioning her bow and arrow again, she took out her newest Card.

"Allow me to hear your whisper, and I shall not falter! Air!"

The Harpy formed solidly for a barest second before melding invisible with the air itself. It spun around and round her mistress' form as Meilin held onto the giant dandelion. Without a word of command, the Air blew the white puff and her mistress up into the sky and in the general direction of the flooded building.

Her hold on the stem of the giant weed was firm, and although it was quite peaceful in the midst of the clouds, she couldn't help but feel a bit apprehensive about the Water… or perhaps the attention it was gaining. Her grip on her bow tightened at the thought.

Hei was onto something.

What if the council knew?

- - -

Japan – Present – 2: 24 P.M.

"This is Lily Wong reporting at the site of the flooding building," the woman announced, dressed in a professional suit with a microphone. "Officials have stated that the pipes in the building have burst, resulting in the water coming from the open windows. Some of the windows have shattered due to the pressure from the broken pipes."

The camera panned in to get a better look on the skyscraper where miniature waterfalls were falling from.

"Whoa," Kero said in hushed awe, staring at the television. "That definitely isn't bursting pipes."

"No," Syaoran agreed, face frigid.

"You don't think…" Sakura trailed off, frowning.

"Another one of those Cards," Yue finished suspiciously.

"We should go there and help," the Card Mistress suddenly sprang up from her seat.

"But it's all the way in China," Tomoyo said, looking worried. "How are you going to get there?"

"Fly," Sakura said matter of fact.

"The sea is in the way," Syaoran said, narrowing his eyes at the screen. He wanted to help, really he did, but it was just too far away.

Sakura deflated slightly at his tone, and immediately he regretted it.

"Don't worry," Syaoran said, trying to cheer her up. "If things get worse, the Li Council will do something."

"Wait," the newswoman's voice suddenly broke through the air. "There's something in the air!"

Everyone turned back to the T.V. in rapt attention, and indeed, there was something in the air.

- - -

Touya watched the television from behind the wall, one hand in his pocket, gripping the Cards in his possession. It was amazing what one Card could do, proof from Meteor and this other one that was bringing endless water from the building. It had to be a Card, because, just like Kero said, that chaos could not be the result of pipes.

His dark eyes narrowed as he saw the floating figure approaching the dangerous building.

"A woman," he said, though the figure on T.V. was just a grey fuzz, he could tell from the silent grace that it was, indeed, a woman.

A very brave and powerful woman.

- - -

China – Present – 2: 27 A.M.

Meilin manipulated the air to guide her to the very top of the flooded building, and when she got close enough, she planned to lower herself onto the roof. Thankfully, firefighters and the police couldn't get into the building due to all the water coming down from above. She was just about to set herself down when a she felt a pressure of energy growing below her until it shot forward.

She let the giant cotton ball go just in time for a powerful string of water to spew up and cut the weed apart, the spores puffing in the air. The wind rushed past her as she fell, her hair a fiery black mass following just behind her.

"Air!" she called, and the Harpy quickly caught her mistress and set her onto the roof.

Another pillar of water came from the side and Meilin ran for it, letting Harpy merge with the air once more. But soon after taking off in a fit of speed, shots of water began coming from all over the place. From the sky, they pelted down around her, hoping to crush her, and from the ground, the roof ripped apart to try to kill her.

She slid across the wet roof, trying to regain her footing. She saw the door to the inside of the building, but thought better of it. If she entered the skyscraper, it would only result in a watery grave. Even as she thought it, the door burst open with water coming head on towards her.

"Grant me thy light, and I shall show thy might! Ying!"

She flung the arrow and the White Maiden countered the flood of water with her power. The water backwashed and spun upon itself into a large wave that towered above the building. Slowly the liquid morphed into a solid being sitting on top of the wave, looking down at her.

It was a Mermaid. A beautiful Mermaid with long blue hair, light blue complexion and a sapphire tail. In her hair were seashells, and she looked at her with such soulful eyes that Meilin backtracked for a moment.

The Mermaid opened her mouth, baring sharp teeth, and cried out, the wave gushing out from on top of her.

"Air!" Meilin shouted and the Harpy came at once, drawing on her mistress' chi. It was simple, Meilin knew what she was doing. So, flowing great masses of chi into Air, the Harpy expanded just as the water came crashing down.

A moment later, Meilin found herself underwater, within a safe air bubble in which cost her large amounts of energy to uphold. To move and to carry the bubble with her would be truly trying her strength.

"Good."

It was that voice again. That same female voice.

Promptly shoving it aside, she sent Ying towards the middle of the body of water, where the Mermaid was looking at her in shock at her survival. Quick, the Mermaid swam away before Ying could catch her, and just when Meilin was about to ran after her, the Mermaid appeared behind her and planned to pop her air bubble.

"Allow thy limbs to grow, and I shall enwrap my foe! Nature!"

The arrow shot forward and a small tree begin to grow, becoming a barrier between her and the Mermaid. The creature shrieked, and for a moment, Meilin could feel some of the water around her deplete when the tree came into existence.

And then she knew.

The tree was drinking the water.

Meilin looked at Nature and then at Air.

"I trust in you," she said to Air, "to hold on for a moment without my help."

The Harpy nodded. For the brief time she had been in her mistress' service, she had come to respect the new magician. New she was, and highly skilled.

Meilin dispelled Ying to gain a proper footing on her chi before cutting off the channel of energy she was giving off to Air and fed all of her chi into Nature. The Mermaid immediately went wild as another tree grew, and then another, and then another. Then there were flowers, bushes, grass!

Heaving, Meilin pushed and pushed, refusing to give in as she gave life to a million new plants. Giving life was a strain, but it was beginning to bear fruit when the Mermaid visibly shrunk just as the water level on the roof was thinning.

Water was confused, wondering where all these plants were coming from, and the power. The raw power scared her.

Air, heavy with fatigue, was glad to dispel the air bubble when the water level was low enough for natural air to reach her mistress. She collapsed and disappeared, proud of the work she had accomplished, and once she was completely gone, Meilin summoned Ying.

The White Maiden burst forward, very aware of her mistress running low on reserves, and hurriedly threw a white light at Water, sending the Mermaid screeching across the roof.

Meilin quickly knocked an arrow and chanted, "Lotus bind me to thee as I, the Phoenix, rise from mine ashes. Let thy Card be the execution, to mine evolution! Water!"

She fired the arrow directly at the faint outline of the card, and once the card became solid, showing a black and white picture of a Mermaid in water with her eyes closed in a peaceful sleep, Meilin went to her knees. Ying and her long bow disappeared, and for moment, before Nature disappeared too, the building was like a magnificent modern-day Eden.

The waterfalls were replaced with fresh exotic flowers, and everyone below swore that the giant tree on top was really the great tree Yggdrasil.

Slowly, Meilin got up on her feet, the skyscraper nothing but a giant mass of broken walls and glass. She wondered briefly how she was to get down from the building when she had no more magic to give when a helicopter sounded from above. Just as she looked up, a ladder was thrown down beside her.

"Milady!" Hei shouted above the whirl of the helicopter blades. "Hurry!"

Shaking her head to fight the tiredness, she grabbed onto the ladder and ascended to the flying machine. Hei quickly wrapped his wet mistress in a towel before telling the pilot to move out.

"That was extraordinarily done, milady," Hei complimented.

But the praise fell to deaf ears on the account of his mistress being asleep.

And he smiled.

- - -

England – Present – 7: 42 P.M.

Eriol watched the T.V. as the shadowed figure climbed onto the helicopter, and couldn't help but be impressed. That took a lot of magic, magic he knew could only come from a Li. He wondered who it could be… perhaps Syaoran?

"Hmm… looks like a girl," Ruby Moon commented.

At that, the reincarnation of Clow Reed perked an eyebrow of interest.

"And how can you tell?" Spinel Sun asked mockingly.

"The sway of the hips," she said. "And the litheness in the body."

Eriol had to agree that her observations made sense.

He set his cup of tea down and they grew silent, wondering what their master could be thinking of. Surely, after all this weird magic going around, he had to do something. Perhaps call on the Card Mistress too?

"I have to go over some books," he finally announced and got up from his seat. "Do not bother me any further unless there are other incidents such as this one."

And then he locked himself up in his library.

- - -

the point