Konnichiwa, Minna-san ^^ I'm sorry for the wait. Chemistry and school in general have been a real pain for the past couple of weeks. I don't know exactly when I'll finish this chapter, but I'll try to get it out ASAP. ^-^ *loads of chemistry homework again tonight too -_-;;*

Anyways, if you can forgive me for my short absence, please read on and enjoy chapter three. I would now like to issue 'thank you's' to the reviewers:

Nameless () - Thanks! I'm glad you like it! I'm continuing! However, I don't see anything wrong with E&M. I'm entitled to my opinion, aren't I? I haven't decided on that coupling yet...I'll have to see which fits the story better.

Jurei-chan - *hugs* Thanks a ton!! I love all your stories!! As you would say, Su-gi-oh! ^_^ I'm glad you like Hacchi-chan! Wai! *huggles him* I love dragons ^^ Anyways, thanks for reviewing! And arigato for being such a great tomadachi!

CreatiStar - *hugs* Arigato!! *cries* That really makes me feel better! I really appreciate your supportiveness, and I'm glad you like my stories ^^ It really makes me feel good. Arigato for brightening my day ^_^ And about the Lunar fic....don't forget to read my note at the end of the chapter! ^^ ARIGATO!

Sweet Anime Fan - Domo arigato! Yes, you and all the reviewers inspire me a ton! I hope you didn't have to wait too long for this ^^; I'll see about the E&T. I haven't decided yet. I'm going to go with whatever works out better for the plot of the story. Thanks!

Raisa () - Sorry if E&M makes you shudder ^^; I dunno what I'm going to do yet. I have to see how the plot develops first. Anyways, I'm glad you're starting to like the story ^^

MitieMouse - KERO121!!!! *hugs* Wai!! I haven't heard from you in soooo long!! *double hugs* Of course I remember you!! Arigato for all your input on my fics! You're so kind! ^_^ And I'm glad you're being supportive! It's hard to find many people like that ^^; And about continuing my other fics...read the note at the end of the chapter! ARIGATO! *hugs again*

SAKURA LOVER - Wai! Arigato! ^_^ It can't continue without an end, but I'll try to update faster! And I'll still e-mail you too! Thanks!

CcS lVr - I'm glad you're enjoying it! I didn't want it to be the typical fairy-tale type thing ^_^ I hope to continue to achieve that goal. Arigato for your kind review!

Melodi - Domo arigato! I'm glad to be back ^_^ I missed everyone! *huggles* I'm glad you approve of Hacchi-chan and E&M ^_^ I got more support on that than I expected! Thanks so much! About continuing other fics....read the note at the end of the chapter! ^_^ Thank you!

Sweet Lionness - I hope this is soon enough ^^; I'll try to be quicker with my updates from now on! Thanks! ^^

Britney Sucks () - Thanks! Here's the continuation! ^^

Cherry Angel () - *blush* D-Domo! *bows* You're so very kind! It makes me so happy that you think that! Thanks so much! *hugs*

Toireasa - Thanks SOOO much for the Criticism!! *_* *starry eyes* I really needed that! Domo! I know my writing is rusty, since I'm just getting back into it after 7 months absence. ^^; I hope I'm getting back into the swing now. And I didn't add a lot of emotion between S+S right away. I meant to take it at a slightly slower pace ^^; Sorry. I hope there's more emotion packed into this chapter. Thanks again! I'm trying to improve! *hugs*

Gen - Thanks so much!! You're so kind! I'll be sure to e-mail you as soon as I post ^_^ I totally understand that you're busy ^^ And...wow...just, thanks so much! *hugs*

Thank you all so much!! *hugs* Please continue to R&R! I'm glad some of you remember me!! ^_^ AND THERE'S AN AUTHOR'S NOTE AT THE END THAT I WOULD LIKE MINNA-CHAN TO CHECK OUT!!! IT'S ABOUT CONTINUING MY OTHER STORIES! I NEED YOUR INPUT! ARIGATO!

And without further ado, on with Mahou Kingdom's tale....

The Secret of Mahou Kingdom Chapter 3: Return to the Maiden

The young Prince stood stiff against the castle's outside wall, wiping the perspiration from his forehead. 'That was more of a challenge than I thought it would be.' Syaoran thought, his breathing finally slowing as he rested momentarily, 'Even the inside of the castle is flooded with guards, and the exits are especially under heavy survalence.'

He pulled the hood farther over his head, concealing as much of his face from view as he could. Should someone recognize him, he knew his entire plan would fail. Not only that, but he would be there on, personally guarded and prevented from venturing out into the forest again.

Taking a deep breath, the occult form of the Prince quietly made his way toward the woods, a barrage of castle knights and guards coming into sight as he came nearer. His amber eyes opened wide in disbelief. 'There must be an army of them!' he nearly choked, clearly not having been planning on dealing with this size of a force.

"Irelavent." he whispered to himself. There were more important things at stake.

The girl. Yes, the serene, angelic maiden with the captivating and stunning emerald green eyes. His heart jumped involuntarily at the thought of her. Soft moonlit auburn hair that swayed in an invisible breeze, skin seemingly as smooth as satin, but her face shadowed with an unfitting melancholy expression for such a lovely angel. She was imprisoned, locked away in the reaches of a dark and mystical forest.

Strange as it may have sounded, she would call to him. In his dreams, in his thoughts, deep in his heart....she spoke to him. Enchanting, like a soft and graceful melody, her voice would plead with him, asking him to return again to their meeting place.

He sighed. 'But that makes no sense...' he mused silently, 'She had begged for me to leave...not to return...'

Syaoran shook his head. He was determined to rescue this young woman from her magical captivity, no matter what the cost. He indeed had developed an affinity for this girl, if you could simply call it that. Rather it was more of a deep longing, a connection...something more than he could alone decipher it to be.

He turned his attention back to the task at hand, smirking slightly at the waves of protection standing like statues of authority before the forest. "Now for a diversion..."

Taking a firm grip upon the pendant hanging loosely around his neck, Syaoran called forth his sword. The pendant glowed and elongated into thick-bladed Chinese sword, with the pendant's original trinket and red tassels hanging off the bottom of the hilt. Without wasting another precious second, he removed an ofuda from the pocket of his inconspicuous ensemble and hit it squarely with the blade.

"God of Lightning, DESCEND!" The Prince commanded, sending numerous bolts of lightning from the ofuda.

Using strict concentration, he directed the hoard of electricity as far from himself as he could, influencing it to crash-land with a monstrous force thousands of feet away. As expected, the abundance of royal troops immediately turned their attention to the display of magic, hollering commands and rushing to examine the disturbance.

Syaoran didn't even bother trying to prevent his lip from curving upward. His plan had worked! Leaving from the shelter of the willow tree he stood beneath, he dashed ahead and into the now-unguarded-woods. The clear crystal green eyes sprung into his mind once more and he ran even faster. He was still worried about the dragon having done something to the beautiful and mysterious inhabitant of the forest, but he was thankful that he could feel her magical presence still among the trees. That meant that she was still alive.

Her presence was pink, fighting for a way to be noticed beneath the sea of blue. 'Blue?' The amber-eyed man pondered. Who did he know that had an aura of the color blue?

Suddenly feeling the surge of pink become warmer against his own green aura, he knew he was getting nearer to the location. He rushed through brush and branch like nothing else mattered, other than seeing the maiden again. And indeed, within the Prince's heart and mind, he wished for nothing more than to simply gaze at her ethereal figure once more.

Breaking into a clearing, Syaoran felt the light pink color erupt and flare to life, enthralling his magical senses.

And there she stood. He felt as captive as she was, completely imprisoned by her fantastically sparkling emerald orbs. However, before he even had the chance to speak a simple word to the green-eyed goddess, she retracted from him, stepping back several paces. Her shining eyes conveyed her obvious fear, opened wide in terror. It was apparent that she was scared of the form before her.

"W-What do you want?" she stammered, her small figure beginning to tremble slightly, "Have you come to punish me again?"

'Punish?' The Prince wondered, keeping avid attention upon the maiden as she kneeled and bowed before him.

"Please don't hurt me!" the girl nearly cried, "I swear, I have done nothing!"

"I would never." the Prince breathed, putting a hand over his heart, "On my honor, I swear I would never harm you."

The maiden gasped audibly and craned her head upward to meet the mysterious person's eyes. Syaoran in turn removed the hood from his head, never taking his intense amber stare from her face.

"I've come back to rescue you." The Prince stated.

"It's you!" she exclaimed, her glimmering eyes broadening considerably at the revelation of the sunset amber-eyed man from the previous night.

'She thought I was someone else?' the Prince wondered silently, as he stepped closer to the crouching form of the girl.

She rose to her feet with fluid grace, awing the Prince as she too came forward, her innocent eyes locked to his own. The Prince continued to scrutinize her image with his mouth hanging slightly open. "May...May I request your name?" he managed to choke out.

Her eyes dimmed meagerly, her face turning away from him. 'Should I tell him?' she asked herself, fearing the consequences that could take place in the near future.

"Please, milady, your name?"

She fixed her gaze back upon him. "My name is Sakura." she whispered meekly.

Syaoran's mind raced. He was sure he had heard the name before...it was mentioned once long ago...Sakura...Ying Fa...Cherry blossom...

He felt a sudden warmth rise to his cheeks as he mumbled the name to himself. "Sakura..."

It fit her perfectly. The Ying Fa of the forest, green eyes full of life, and sun-kissed auburn hair. He fell into a deep contemplation as he stared into the depths of endless green that were her eyes. 'Sakura...Sakura...Sakura...'

"And yours?"

The Prince woke from his trance in a flash. Clearing his throat, he again could feel fire rise up to his face. "I'm Prince Li Syaoran." he introduced, his cape brushing the ground as he bowed before her, "It's a pleasure to meet you, Milady."

"And you as well, Prince Li-san." she spoke politely, curtsying.

Syaoran blinked, rashly realizing something that had slipped his mind since he became engrossed with the maiden. "The dragon?" he questioned aloud, searching for any signs of the magnificent blue creature.

To Syaoran's immediate amazement, Sakura chuckled out loud, smiling happily in his direction. "Hacchi-chan is gathering wood to build a fire."

The chocolate-haired Prince raised an eyebrow in inquisition. "Hacchi- chan....?"

Sakura continued to giggle lightly to herself. "Hai, hai. Hacchi- chan has been my only friend the whole time I've been living here."

Syaoran could only stare at her, a mixture of disbelief and surprise spread across his features. He was clearly stunned by what she was saying.

"I-I know to you it may seem strange to have a dragon as a close friend," she voiced, her cheeks flushing a light pink in the moonlight, "but he's a great companion and he protects me."

Syaoran's eyes abruptly became woeful and downcast. "I was afraid that it might have hurt you." He revealed, his voice mirroring his concern.

Sakura blinked at his statement, taking in what was said, then blushed from the roots of her hair to the tips of her toes. Syaoran, as well, was just beginning to realized what he'd said aloud, and was struck with something akin to shock. He lowered his flushed face from view. "I-I- I mean, being with a dragon and all I thought that-"

"Thank you." she interrupted.

His head snapped up, meeting her gaze in an instant.

She smiled at the Prince shyly, her cheeks tinting a rose color. "You're very kind."

"Well, I-I..."

Unable to come up with a suitable response, Prince Syaoran sighed and closed as much of the distance between himself and the maiden Sakura as he could. Coming in contact with the invisible barrier, he leaned his hands against it. "I have to free you from this prison."

She too came forward, meeting his gaze gloomily. "I'm not sure that you can." she spoke her deepest fear.

"I must try." he argued, trying to spring some hope into the lost and discouraged girl, "And by kami I'll get you out of here somehow."

A demure blush crept across Sakura's face upon hearing Syaoran's determination to free her. She felt flattered that this young Prince was so devoted to helping her escape her cruel fate. His courageous amber eyes seemed to to burn with an inner fire, rekindling the sense of hope inside of her. She continued to regard his appearance, taking note of how dashingly handsome he was. Hair like dark chocolate, that shimmered almost cinnamon-colored in the moonlight, tall and muscular physique (certainly not of your average Prince), and most noticeably, his shocking pools of amber. She felt drawn into their depths, sinking and drowning in the emotions that seemed to swim and swirl together within them. Ah, to drown in that ocher color would be such a sweet death, she thought.

"Miss Sakura?"

She blinked twice. "Hoe?" Then she realized that she'd been staring at him the whole time. "Ah! Gomen!" A pretty blush painted her cheeks and the Prince chuckled.

"There's nothing to be sorry about." he assured. He motioned her closer. "I just want to show you something."

She stepped forward, coming nearer to the barrier and the handsome Prince. "What is it?"

He put his hands up to the barrier, and Sakura spectated in astonishment as a green color began to glow around the area of his palms and began to spread, slowly at first, then picking up pace and covering over the entire barrier in a matter of seconds.

"Sugoi!" she exalted in awe.

"In front of you, Lady Sakura."

"Huh?" She faced the Prince, and gasped aloud at the revelation.

A faint pink gleam radiated from the other side of Prince Syaoran's hands. "Should I...?" she wondered aloud, taking another bracing step toward the barrier.

She carefully held one hand out to the magical wall, bracing for it to assault her with the horrible magic at any moment. But nothing happened. The pink glow became more intense as she brought her second hand forward, and when both hands made contact, the pink-colored magic unfolded and expanded just as the green had, creating an pink-like shield beneath the green one.

As though the barrier had suddenly diminished, Syaoran's hands met the young girl's, and he fell right through the magic wall, landing unceremoniously on top of Sakura. The two new acquaintances panicked at the abrupt close proximity, each blushing fire-engine red. Their struggle only led to more complications, as they found themselves in a jumbled heap on the forest floor, the moonlight providing what little light it could through the treetops above. The tiny bit of help the moon managed to administer didn't amount to much, however. Sakura and Syaoran were still trying to untangle themselves from their tight and constrictive contact, and were failing miserably due to the darkness.

"Ah, I'm so sorry, Miss! Excuse me-Oh for-OUCH!"

Sakura suddenly shrieked. "HOE!? Get your hand OFF of there!"

Syaoran felt his temperature rise drastically, issuing steam from the collar of his shirt beneath the cloak. "GAH! I'm so sorry!"

The two continued their useless writhing and squirming, still trying desperately to untangle themselves from each other somehow. However, all too abruptly, Syaoran felt something wrap around his waist (rather tautly) and hurl him straight toward a tree.

"Prince Syaoran!" Sakura cried, picking herself off the ground. 'I've got to save him.' she thought, 'But how?.......I've got it!'

"Dash Card! Lend me your power!" Sakura commanded.

A purple aura placed itself above her own and she bolted toward the young Prince, quickly grabbing hold of him before he came in contact with the tree. She breathed a sigh of relief, turning to glare at her dragon friend for a moment, then bringing her attention back to the Prince.

"Are you okay?" she questioned, concern and fear for his well-being laced through her lovely voice.

He could only stutter incoherences and stare openly at her, mouth agape.

"You're the Card Mistress!" he realized.

*****************************

Princess Meiling roamed through the halls of the castle, a few stray tears escaping her ruby red eyes. 'Am I doing the right thing?' she wondered, 'Why does this feel wrong? This is how I wanted it to be...isn't it?'

In the midst of her sorrow, she ran headlong into someone. "I'm sorry." she muttered, her voice cracking slightly as she turned to walk away.

The other figure grabbed hold of her hand as she turned to leave. "Princess?"

She gasped and looked back, meeting the sapphire eyes of Hiiragizawa Eriol. "Oh, Konbanwa, Eriol-kun." she greeted.

"Eriol-kun?" he questioned, raising a fine eyebrow curiously.

The Princess flushed, contrasting well with her eye color. "Ah! Gomen! Gomen! Hiiragizawa-kun!"

He chuckled. "I don't mind." he stated, giving her a slight smile, "You are the Princess afterall."

"Hai..." she answered with a dismal sigh.

He cupped her face gently, causing Meiling's eyes to widen considerably. "You were crying." he realized.

"N-No, I wasn't." she argued, trying to make her tone fierce and believable.

He gently wiped a tear from beneath her eye. "Just remember, Meiling- san, I'm your trusted knight. Feel free to talk to me anytime you wish."

And with that, he was gone, leaving a shocked Meiling standing alone in the hallway.

*whew* That's chapter 3! I hope you enjoyed it! I've been writing when I can! As of today, I'm on spring vacation! *cheers* More time to write! lol So I should have the next chapter up a lot sooner than this, considering I have a week off and a couple of days on top of that ^_^ Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your input! So spare a review if you can, please!

SPECIAL NOTE: Alright, Minna-chan!! LISTEN UP, PLEASE!! I would now like to propose to you which fics I should continue next!!! ^_^ I thought I'd leave it up to you! Here are the choices! Please list them in order you'd like me to update them in your reviews!

A. The Secret of Mahou Kingdom

B. Lunar Silver Star Story: CCS Style (Yes, as long as even one person is interested, I'll continue that ficcy ^^)

C. Alone In the Woods

D. The Forbidden Clow

E. The Jokes On You

F. Sequel to "The Effects of Chocolate: Syaoran's Wild Side"

G. Possible Alternate View fic on "They Told Me Warriors Don't Have Hearts"

H. Any new ideas I have for fics

THAT'S ALL! PLEASE LET ME KNOW! THE FICS WITH THE MOST VOTES WILL BE CONTINUED FIRST!! Arigato again! Ja for now!! See ya next chapter! ^_^

OH! One more note! *gomen* ^^; If you'd like me to e-mail you when I update, LET ME KNOW, please! THANKS! Ja! ^_^