Unexpectedly and unknowingly, we were thrown between the very borderline of the bloody conflict known as "war." A world familiar to our eyes-and perhaps-not so familiar. Eruption of destruction and total chaos, this world which we had won renowned victory in long ago, crumbled and fell apart, a screaming defiance of the hostile word of "peace." Friends. Enemies. A complicated method now of distinguishing who was such. But something seemed to jolt inside of us all, telling, demanding, us to see it all through to the bitter, if not restored, end.
"Somehow this world seems…strangely familiar."
"That's because we have been here before." Upon just traversing between dimensions, five travelers stepped briskly into the warm sunlight…or rather, should have. But darkness and shadow encased the world in it's haunting grasp as gray smoke was a replacement for the white clouds. Veiling that, not even the sun could be seen within a mild gaze. Ruinous buildings, no voices heard, feelings of uncertainty, the five could tell that this was not going to be a pleasant country. "Eh?" Fai said in his usual cheery tone of voice. "You say we've been here before? Really? Kuro-sama?" Annoyed by the never-ending line of nicknames the magician presented to him constantly, Kurogane snapped replying sharply,
"Yes! Don't you recognize it?!"
"No." Fai plainly answered absentmindly grinning.
"Mokona doesn't recognize it, either!" The white creature said as he sat upon Fai's shoulder nimbly.
"You don't count, manju bun!" Kurogane said just as sharply.
"Kurogane's scary!" Mokona wailed as he ducked behind Fai's shoulder from a menacing attack directed at him by the ninja.
"Mm." Fai nodded. "That is because he lost that magazine he bought in the Hanshin Republic. He's still angry about it!" Fai let out a series of laughter of taunting as Mokona jeered in saying, "He lost it!"
"Shut up!" Kurogane said angrily as he swiftly turned his back on the two.
"You carried it through all of the worlds without losing it once. I think Kuro-tan really treasured that book."
"Mokona thinks so, too!"
"I said, shut up!" Amidst the non-serious teasing atmosphere that eluded the group, Syaoran looked about this new world they had just landed in and said, "I think I recognize this world, too."
"Really, Syaoran-kun?" Sakura asked as she stood close by his side.
"Yes. But I can't tell for sure."
"See?" Kurogane said to himself with a satisfied grin at the knowledge of someone, finally, agreeing with him.
"Kuro-samaaa!!" Fai called out. "Quit talking to yourself or we're going to leave you behind!" Kurogane glanced behind himself as he noticed that the other four, well three, were quite a distance away from him. He stomped after them reluctantly as he called back gruffly, "I wasn't talking to myself! That is only something a weirdo like you would do!" The five of them advanced into this new-if not strangely familiar-world with tension and apprehension. There seemed to be no sign of people anywhere in this desolate dimension. They saw a lot of ruined, broken-down building, as noted earlier, as debris loomed everywhere. "This world is a lot like Tokyo." Fai said presently as they came to what appeared to be the end of the vast city.
"What makes you think that?" Kurogane asked grumpily.
"Aww! You're so dense, Kuro-chan! Just look at it!"
"Fai-san is right." Syaoran said. "It does seem like Tokyo. But there were still people living in Tokyo. Here…" He paused as his eyes drifted over to another building on his right, looking as if it were burned with fire. "It doesn't seem like anyone is living here."
"Mm…you're right, Syaoran-kun." Fai said nodding. "Especially-"
"Watch out!" Mokona interrupted sharply as a fast-paced object at lighting speed bounded into their way. It whizzed right past them as they all ducked down onto the ground in a quick flash. After a few minutes, when everything seemed somewhat safe, they all relaxed a bit as it became silent once more. "Are you all right, Hime?" Syaoran asked as he helped Sakura to her feet.
"Yes, thank you, Syaoran-kun." Sakura said smiling faintly, quite shaken by the sudden course of action.
"What the hell was that?" Kurogane said stiffly as he regained his stance.
"It flew by so fast!" Mokona said. "Mokona wasn't able to see it!"
"Mokona." Syaoran said as he took the small creature between the two palms of his gloved hands. "Do you sense any sign of a feather?"
"Mm." Mokona said unsuringly, thinking for a moment. "Yes! Mokona does! But it's really faint…" he added with a droop of his ears.
"So it looks like we can't leave this world yet." Fai said wistfully.
"Looks like…" Syaoran said troubled as he glanced at the city behind them once again.
"Who are you people?!" A voice suddenly resounded loudly in a shout behind their backs sharply. They turned and saw a person most unexpected as Sakura called out, "Tomoyo-chan!"
"Eh?" Tomoyo said quizzically as it appeared there was a large group of people behind her. "Who are you?"
"Is this world called…Piffle?" Syaoran asked carefully.
"Yes. How do you strangers know the name? And mine own?" Her voice lowered. "Are you with the Nishi?"
"Um…we've only just arrived here, Tomoyo-san." Fai said smiling uncautiously. "So-"
"Are you here to help us?!" She exclaimed.
"Help? And that is…?"
"Against the Nishi! We, the Higashi, have been fighting with the Nishi for three whole years now!"
"So they're the bad guys…?"
"You could say that." She lowered a small gun she had raised against the travelers, which, they concluded was the "fast-whizzing" object from earlier; her followers did like wise. "Three years ago, the Nishi, which is what we call them now, stole something of important value to the citizens of Piffle." She paused as if recollecting lost thoughts. "Four years ago, just before this war, a beautiful, powerful feather came to Piffle. It protected our city bountifully, and everything was at peace. But then…" she clenched her fist. "One of the people stole the feather, to have the power all for themselves! He wanted to take control of Piffle, and rule everything! Just like a tyrant. Many of us tried to fight back and regain the feather…but…some joined with the thief, and now they all reside in the west side of the city, thus the name 'Nishi.' And we, who dwell on the east side, the Higashi, are fighting to get the feather back and restore Piffle to the way it once was." She ended her explanation as Syaoran's eyes widened and said to himself, "A…feather. I must…I will, get it back for Sakura!"
"So that's it then, huh?" Fai asked.
"Y-Yes…" Tomoyo said lowering her eyes dismally. "The city's gone in peril, as you see now, ever since the war. We've lost many…but the Nishi have the feather! They're just so strong! That Touya-"
"Nii-sama?!" Sakura exclaimed suddenly at the mention of her older brother's name.
"Nii-sama?" Tomoyo repeated. "You…you guys really aren't with the Nishi, are you?!"
"N-No! We're not!" Syaoran hurriedly said in panic.
"Yes, that's right." Fai said cheerfully. "Sakura-chan here has a brother named Touya. It's all just a coincidence!"
Tomoyo gazed at the travelers suspiciously, but then softened her expression. "So will you help us fight?"
"Yes." Syaoran answered boldly. "We will."
"R-Really?" Tomyo said surprised. "But you're mere strangers…"
"We can't leave this world yet. So we will help you."
"It is much appreciated." She bowed stately, and then recomposed her composure. "We will let you stay at our building. It's one of the only ones that have not been destroyed, amidst the war…"
"T-Thank you very much!" Syaoran exclaimed humbly.
"You're planning to fight to get the feather back, huh?" Fai whispered into Syaoran's ear.
"Yes. I must." They all looked ahead of themselves as they recognized nearly all of Tomoyo's followers. People they had met in previous worlds. They were the same person, and yet they were not, as Yuuko, the witch of dimensions, had explained to them long ago before they started this hazardous journey. The people they recognized are as follows: Subaru, Seishirou, Arashi, Ashura, Kusanagi, Yukito, Chu'nyan, Shougo, Chi, Ryuuou and Suzuran. "Chi…" Fai said to himself with a distant gaze in his crystal blue eyes. "But…you're not the Chi I know, huh?"
"Mokona sees a lot of familiar faces!" He remarked as he now took occupation on Syaoran's shoulder.
"Is this really the same Piffle?" Kurogane gruffly said as the five of them followed Tomoyo and everyone else eastwards.
"Hmm…I'm not so sure." Fai said. "It definitely doesn't look like the same one we knew."
"Maybe it's been years later since we first arrived here." Syaoran said. "When Hime won the race and all."
"Ah! You could be right, Syaoran-kun!" Fai exclaimed happily patting his shoulder as if Syaoran had achieved a great feat.
"But whatever the case…I will get the feather back." He looked at the princess. "For Sakura-hime."
"Syaoran-kun…" Sakura said slowly. "Thank you." She smiled.