Card Captor Sakura ~ Arcana
Chapter 4 - The High Priestess
by Meimi


Disclaimer: Card Captor Sakura belongs to CLAMP. Original characters are mine. Please don't use them without consulting me first.

Spoiler, Timeline and Ect. Warning: This story takes place after the Clow Cards are collected and, er, Yue's fun and games. That's it. No Eriol, no Suppi-chan, no Ruby Moon and yeah, Yukito's secret is a bit important to the plot. Sakura is sixteen in this story. This story is a bit dark compared to canon CCS, you are warned. People are going to get hurt and/or possibly dead. Please use discretion if you find that sort of thing offensive.


Chapter 4 - The High Priestess


"A little closer!"

"I can't believe I'm doing this," Syaoran muttered darkly as he and Sakura reluctantly obeyed Tomoyo's cheerful command.

Sakura winced at his tone. "It's not so bad and it's the least we could do. She did capture the Arcana and rescue us too. She didn't even ask Kero-chan to help her with it! Besides it's not really that bad." Sakura looked up at him, a hesitant frown turning down the corner of her lips. "You don't mind do you?" She didn't want to force him into doing something he was uncomfortable with, even though secretly she was enjoying herself immensely.

"No! Of course not. It's just..." Syaoran trailed off. He couldn't tell her the real reason he was having a problem with this. He'd die from embarrassment, not to mention the fact that if he did, it would most assuredly lead to other things that he just couldn't blurt out. Sighing mournfully, he shook his head. "Nevermind, it's not important."

"Oh... 'kay." Sakura blinked, she didn't really understand, but it didn't seem to be bothering him too much. She smiled softly as she leaned in closer to him. Oh yes, she was enjoying this. While she had been quite ready to kill Tomoyo-chan when her friend had insisted on this since the girl had missed Sakura-chan's grand adventure, Sakura was rather pleased with the outcome.

Here she was, walking in the park underneath the sakura trees at night, arm in arm with Li-kun. They were still dressed in the same outfits Tomoyo-chan had supplied for the capture of the Arcana at Tomoyo-chan's rather demanding insistence. It was starting to get a little bit chilly, but Sakura wasn't one to complain when she had something much more pleasant to think about. Really, she couldn't remember any of Tomoyo-chan's other 'suggestions' ever turning out as good as this one had.

Tomoyo, of course, was following a few feet behind them, video taping the 'Romantic Night Stroll' as she had silently labeled it. If she had to miss Sakura-chan being heroic then by god she was going to film these two being mushy, even if she had to force them into doing it.

The demand, er, suggestion hadn't exactly been worded like that. Of course not, Li-kun would never have agreed to it if Tomoyo had been as blunt as she wished she could be with either of them. In all likelihood, he probably would have tried to make a run for it and that just wouldn't do. Instead, she'd tactfully suggested that they take a nice stroll through the park so she could at least walk away from tonight with some kawaii footage of Sakura-chan and Li-kun in her costumes. Of course, the requisite 'do this or you will live to regret it come next Card' undercurrent had been present in Tomoyo's expression. But in her opinion, it was a necessary evil. Sakura-chan, being the wonderful friend that she was, had guilt tripped Li-kun into playing along and now here they all were. Tomoyo was so happy! This was going to be a great tape!

Kerberus, on the other hand, wasn't really paying much attention to anything in particular. Instead, he was perched smugly on Tomoyo-chan's free shoulder. His chest was puffed out and his head was held high. His wings were fanned out majestically behind him and his tail curled around his haunches, the tuft held up regally in front of his paws. He was so very proud and full of himself. Unlike Sakura-chan, he, the great Clow Guardian Kerberus, had been there to witness Tomoyo-chan's great deed when she had used her rarely seen card captoring abilities to outwit the ever so powerful Arcana. He would always remember the courage she had shown in the face of adversity. Maybe she would even celebrate by baking a cake. That would be the perfect ending to such a wonderful adventure.

It was really too bad, the watcher thought regretfully. They looked like they were having such a good time. It would be such a shame to ruin it all. But oh well, it was now time for this particular game to begin. Smiling gaily, the watcher slid back into the darkness harbored beneath the trees and away from the too-bright electric lights. There was wisdom in observing one's foe, but there was also wisdom in acting upon one's well laid plans.


Sakura wasn't back yet.

Touya scowled and glanced up at the night sky as he closed the front door behind him. He didn't want to leave the house empty for Sakura to come home to, there were few things worse than coming home to an empty house, but he just couldn't seem to shake this odd feeling that he'd been having ever since his sister had left. The feeling that someone or something was watching him and waiting for him to do something. It had gotten pretty unnerving after awhile.

He didn't know who it was. He didn't know what it was he was supposed to do. He didn't even know if he should really be doing this. But he couldn't stay in the house with this bugging him. And he most certainly couldn't sleep with his nerves this frazzled, even though he desperately needed some.

Shaking his head and telling himself that this was an extremely stupid idea, Touya slowly made his way down the front steps. He turned right at the street, following the lead of whatever this feeling was, and headed off in the direction of the park.

On second though, maybe it was a good thing Sakura wasn't home after all. Otherwise, she'd either be laughing her head off at him or thinking he'd gone off the deep end over worrying about Yukito. Oh yes, crazy oniichan and his nutty ideas. Perfect.

Then again, he never said he wasn't a sucker for punishment.


Strange, Tomoyo thought. The little red light on her video camera was starting to go off. But surely not... there hadn't been enough time for her to get through an entire tape. Well, no big deal. She had, of course, brought along a couple of blank tapes. Just in case. You never could tell how long capturing a card could take, after all.

Humming cheerfully to herself, Tomoyo reached down into her bag for one of her extra tapes. She stopped dead in her tracks, a look of complete horror replacing her joyful contentment upon feeling nothing within the confines of her bag.


Sakura and Syaoran whirled around at Tomoyo's outburst. Syaoran tensed, readying himself for any possible attacks. Sakura just blinked at Tomoyo as the girl frantically patted herself down trying to find the missing tapes.

"Where are they? Where?!"

"Hoe, Tomoyo-chan?" Sakura sweatdropped as Tomoyo completely ignored her and continued searching. She looked questioningly up at Syaoran, who shook his head in mild disgust. Sighing, she looked back at her frantic friend and tried again. "Tomoyo-chan?"

"Where are they?" Tomoyo wailed. She couldn't find the tapes. They weren't in her bag. They weren't in her coat pockets. They weren't anywhere. "I know I brought them with me."

"To~mo~yo!" Sakura yelled, finally managing to capture the frantic girl's attention.

Tomoyo looked up, her eyes wide in surprise at Sakura's outburst. "Yes, Sakura-chan?"

Sakura crossed her arms and frowned slightly before asking, "What's wrong?"

"My tape ran out! It shouldn't have run out yet... I guess it's just a bad tape." Tomoyo gestured pointedly at her video camera which held the offending tape. "And I was sure I put some extra tapes in my bag, but they're not here..." Bouncing her free hand off of her hip nervously, Tomoyo bit her bottom lip. "I guess I'll have to go all the way back to the van to get some extra tape."

"Hoee," Sakura winced, this did not bode well. Syaoran just shook his head again and rolled his eyes.

Tomoyo looked at the both of them, turning up the cuteness factor as far it would go, "You'll wait here for me while I go get some more tapes, won't you?" Clasping her hands together, she dredged up the inescapable puppy dog look and turned it on full force, "Pleeaase!"

Sakura smiled weakly and waved her hands appeasingly, "Okay okay, we won't go anywhere. We'll stay right here!"

"Thank you! I'll be right back!" Tomoyo beamed, then whirled around and shot off back towards the school. Kero-chan was still perched proudly on her shoulder, oblivious to the entire exchange as he was so wrapped up in his little fantasy of Tomoyo baking a cake to celebrate their latest victory.

Sakura sighed and edged a few steps away from Syaoran as Tomoyo vanished from view. Without Tomoyo there to 'tape the video footage' there really wasn't any reason for her to crowd him... even if it was nice being that close to him.

Syaoran coughed uncomfortably and reached up to tug at the collar of his unifo-, er, costume. Damn, it was hard enough not to blush as bright red as the material of his costume whenever he looked at Sakura in her costume. Why did Tomoyo have to make it worse with her video idea? It wasn't that he really minded it all that much, but it was starting to be real difficult to ignore the way that Sakura was rubbing her legs together from the chill. And he didn't even have a coat to offer.

Shivering suddenly from something other than the cold, Sakura hugged herself and glanced around hesitantly at the trees. It felt... it felt like something was watching her. She could almost swear it was the same feeling she got when there was a card around. But, there wasn't a hint of magic other than her own and Li-kun's in the air.

Frowning, Syaoran looked over at Sakura who was studying the trees as if she expected something to jump out at them. "Is something wrong?" he asked in concern. Please, don't let it be another card, he prayed to whatever might be listening. Two Arcana from yesterday and one today was more than enough for his liking.

"Hoe," Sakura breathed out in confusion and unconsciously stepped closer to Syaoran for comfort. "I don't know. It's like how I feel when there's a card around, but I don't actually feel anything of the sort. It's almost like a feeling of nothing when I know there should be something there."

"That's odd. I don't feel anything at all," Syaoran said as he cautiously looked around at the trees. "But I trust your senses," he added hastily, not wanting to make it sound like he thought she was being silly. He didn't. He knew she had a better ability to sense magic than she'd ever admit to. "Can you pinpoint where it feels the strongest?" he asked after a moment spent trying to feel what she was and failing.

"I'm not sure..." Sakura trailed off as she closed her eyes and tried to focus solely upon the strange sensation. Slowly, she raised her arm and pointed towards the direction that made her feel the most disturbed. Opening her eyes again, she found that her finger indicated further down the path and deeper into the park. "I think it's that way, whatever it is."

"Okay," Syaoran muttered as he stepped forward half heartedly, shrugging to himself. No time like the present. "I guess we might as well get this over with," he announced as he pulled out an ofuda. It wouldn't hurt to have one already in hand. Just in case. He glanced back at Sakura and smiled as he caught her quietly chanting the last half of the spell to release the key.

This was silly, Sakura thought as she hastily finished the spell and gripped the staff. What if this turned out to be absolutely nothing? Then she'd look like a total idiot. But, she just couldn't shake this feeling, nor could she ignore the other feeling that was welling up now: one of impending doom. Sighing and trying to steel herself against whatever might happen, she stepped up beside Li-kun and said, "I'm ready. Let's go."

Syaoran nodded his assent and cautiously walked down the path. He watched the trees suspiciously, expecting something to jump out any second. Sakura walked silently beside him, doing the same with the trees closest to her. He didn't like this, not one little bit. How was he going to defend against something he couldn't even feel? He didn't want to have to depend solely on Sakura. She didn't deserve to have that type of pressure put on her, especially when it was just his own shortcoming complicating matters.

Sakura frowned worriedly as she looked over at Li-kun. For some reason or another, she had this niggling suspicion that he was uncertain about something... maybe even angry. But why? It wasn't about her was it? She hadn't done something to upset him had she? No, couldn't be. She was just imagining things. This odd feeling was just confusing her. Speaking of which, Sakura shook her head and stopped suddenly.

Syaoran halted a few steps ahead, realizing that she wasn't keeping up. Turning around to look at her, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion as he asked, "What is it?"

"I don't-, it just stopped," Sakura explained helplessly. She didn't understand this at all. It just didn't make sense. How could something be there one minute and gone the next? "I can't feel anything now."

"That's odd," Syaoran muttered. Sakura wasn't the type of person to conjure up imaginary threats. If she had felt it, then it had to have been there. But if it was gone now... that didn't make sense. If it was an Arcana it certainly wouldn't have left them alone. Sighing, he turned around and walked further down the path. He looked around, studying everything, trying to find something out of place. There had to be something here.

Sakura grimaced, dropping her hands and dangling her arms limply towards the ground. She watched the wings of the staff waft about a centimeter over the sakura petals littering the cement. Maybe she had just imagined it. Ever since The Magician showed up she had been expecting things to jump out at her around every corner. Maybe it was just getting to her and making her act silly. Yeah, that was probably it. Gulping uncomfortably at the fact that she had just made a fool of herself, Sakura looked up and started weakly, "Li-kun, maybe..." And then she saw it. It was barely visible, she was lucky to even have caught the dull gleam of it. It was silver, buried under the fallen sakura petals to hide it. It was a line of silver something that looped around in a circle on the ground and Li-kun was about to step on it. "Li-kun! Look out!"

Syaoran whipped around at her cry. "What?!" he managed before he felt something slithering up around his ankle. Then, Sakura barreled into him and the world turned upside down. It took several moments to regain his equilibrium enough to realize that he wasn't on the ground anymore. He was hanging upside down actually and so was Sakura. There was something tight wrapped around one of his ankle and he guessed that it was a rope. Great, he got caught in a simple rope trap. This was the second time he had found himself hanging from something tonight. He wasn't too thrilled with it either. Would this never end?

"Hoe..." Sakura blinked as they swung around in the air. This wasn't exactly what she had had in mind when she had run into Li-kun. And she had dropped the staff too. Also, by the feel of it her skirt had fallen down. She blushed at the thought of her underwear in plain view of everything. They really needed to get down.

"Eh," Syaoran groaned as he peered down at the ground then tried to look up. This was embarrassing. "I think I can reach up to untie us. Just hold on a second."

"No! Don't do that!" Sakura screamed, utterly mortified at the fact that Li-kun might see her panties. She eeped and clapped her hands over her mouth when she realized she may have been a bit too loud in that scream. Her blush deepened further as she haltingly explained, "My skirt fell down."

Syaoran froze solid at her admission. He closed his eyes and felt his cheeks heat up exponentially. Okay, he couldn't do it then. "You'll have to do it," he got out in a strangled voice.

"Right," Sakura responded as she looked up. This wasn't going to be easy. Sighing to herself, she started to pull herself up. The strain of hanging from the chasm earlier and now this was making it pretty painful and slow going though. She froze in mid-pull when she heard an all too familiar voice calling her name from the woods. Oh no, please not now. "Niichan?" she whispered in horror.

Touya had been wandering around aimlessly in the local park. Something about the trees at night had attracted him to it. He wasn't sure why, it was just a feeling of almost deja vu. It was like he had been out under the trees in the dead of night recently, but he knew he hadn't. It was just another strange thing to add on top of others. And then, he had heard a shriek. And he knew the voice behind it. Running frantically towards where he had heard it come from, Touya yelled out, "Sakura?" And then he came to a screeching halt as he reached the edge of the trees and saw... his little sister hanging upside down from a tree with that brat!

"I can explain everything niichan!" Sakura clapped her hands together as she tried to ward off what she knew was about to happen. She winced at the look of mayhem that was dawning on her brother's face. This wasn't going to be pretty. Or at least that's what she thought before Touya's eyes rolled back and he collapsed bonelessly to the ground.

Standing behind where he had been was the Arcana. It was a woman this time, a golden haired woman with ringlet curls. The Arcana was dressed in a Grecian style robe with a belt of ivy leaves and a circlet of the same donning her hair. A small teardrop diamond glittered in the center of her forehead, hanging from a thin golden chain descending down from her bangs. She stepped forward, one hand still extended from where she must have touched Touya.

"Niichan! What did you do to him?" Sakura growled as the 'woman' hopped cheerfully over Touya and walked towards them. Whatever fear she might have felt at being faced with an Arcana card in such a distressing position was completely buried by her worry for her brother and the anger she felt at the Arcana for hurting him.

"Oh, I just put him to sleep for awhile," the Arcana spoke in a rich, velvety voice. She smiled knowingly, her gray colored eyes almost seeming to glow as she crossed her arms behind her. "We wouldn't want him to disturb us, now would we?"

Sakura's blood ran cold as the Arcana drew a gold hilted knife with a curved blade out from behind her back. "What are you going to do with that?" Sakura whispered, her eyes widening in fear as her mind supplied various ways of how the blade could be used.

"Oh, I think you can guess well enough," the Arcana purred as she raised the tip until it was touching against the silly little card captor's throat. This was incredibly easy. How could her siblings have fallen to such a weak child like this?

"Stop!" Syaoran yelled desperately, hoping to turn the Arcana's attention away from Sakura. He had been quiet up til now, trying to think of a way out of this. He didn't know what to do, but he had to do something before Sakura got hurt. He'd never forgive himself if that happened. "Don't hurt her."

"Oh?" The Arcana drew her knife back and skipped around to where she was facing the boy. Now this was interesting. Perhaps she could have some fun in this after all. "Why not? Would you rather I kill you first?" she asked coyly as she pressed the tip of the knife against his throat instead.

Sakura whimpered silently as the Arcana turned her attention away from her. If this continued Li-kun was going to get hurt... and just because he was trying to protect her. But what could she do? She couldn't reach the staff to use a card. She couldn't do anything! Closing her eyes, she felt a teardrop fall across her skin and down into her hair. She prayed for something, anything, to help them.

Syaoran winced as the knife pricked his skin. This wasn't good. If something didn't happen soon he really would end up dead. But he didn't know what to do, he was completely out of ideas. Helplessly, he sent a little prayer out to whatever might be listening to at least save Sakura.

The Arcana frowned and drew the knife back from her victim. "What exactly are you doing?" she asked in annoyance as she looked up at her brother and sister who had suddenly appeared on the tree branch holding up her little trap.

The Hanged Man peered down at her and waved cheerfully. "Hey sis, long time no see," he called down merrily and then pointed down at the two kids hanging upside down. "You know I really like that position. After all, they say imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I'm touched."

"In more ways than one," the Magician said snidely. She rolled her eyes at him before kneeling on the branch and reaching down to twang the silver rope. The rope swung Sakura and Syaoran around for a moment before snapping apart right above their ankles. The two tumbled to the ground, slightly winded from the drop but still in one piece.

Sakura tugged the rope from around her and Li-kun's ankles, grabbed for her staff and scrambled to her feet. They were okay. They were fine. The other Arcana had saved them. She looked over at Li-kun, who was climbing to his feet as well, and asked, "Are you okay?"

"Fine, just fine," Syaoran muttered as he reached up and gently rubbed his throat. There was a little blood on his hand when he let go, not much though, just enough to be a minor scratch. With the other Arcana here, he was certainly relieved. Though, he was surprised that they could still operate autonomously while having a mistress. It was something to be thankful for right now, but pondered upon later.

The free Arcana stomped her foot petulantly and glared up at her siblings. "What are you doing?" she snarled and shook her hands in rage. "You're always ruining my plans! You're always interfering when I'm about to win! I hate you!"

Completely unconcerned with her sister's reaction, the Magician sighed loudly and jumped down off of the branch. The Hanged Man swiftly followed, though he appeared more amused than anything else. "For a High Priestess you really lose whatever wisdom you might have had whenever you're around the rest of us," the Magician remarked in an offhand manner as she walked over towards Sakura.

"What was that?" the now identified High Priestess growled. Her eyes narrowed in fury as she watched her sister join the card captor.

"You heard me the first time," the Magician replied blandly, not even deigning to look back. Instead, she reached down and yanked the staff out of Sakura's hands. "You're not going to be able to do much of anything with this without an upgrade. And since I'm in such a good mood, I won't even charge you anything for it," she smirked and gestured with her free hand, her magician's cane appearing instantly in a flash of light.

"What are you doing?" Sakura asked hesitantly as she watched the Magician hold the staff and cane side by side. She wasn't all too sure about this. It was just yesterday when this particular Arcana had been trying to kill her. Though, she had just saved them too.

"Giving your little toy a boost," the Magician murmured as both Sakura's staff and her own cane began to glow with a white light that slowly merged them into one. When the light died down, she held only a single staff. It looked much like her cane in design, lacquered black and topped with a crystal ball. The crystal ball was flanked by a pair of white, curved wings and topped by a golden five-point star. The crystal ball glowed with an inner light and pastel colored clouds seemed to whirl around within it. "Here you go," she said as if it were no big thing and handed it back.

"Hoe," Sakura breathed as she stared at her new staff. "What did you do to it?"

"I just made its magic stronger," the Magician waved nonchalantly as she walked around Sakura. "It'll be more useful now. Like say, for instance, while my dear little sister rants and raves at us, you can go ahead and seal her."

Silence descended at this tidbit of information. The High Priestess glared death at them all before throwing her knife at her sister and screaming, "I hate you!" The knife buried itself into the trunk of a tree since its target had long since ducked.

"Now now, no need to be spiteful," the Hanged Man tsked, though he did skitter far out of range when the High Priestess leveled her death glare at him. "Hey, I didn't do anything."

"How can you do this to me? To us?" The High Priestess pointed accusingly at her sister. "You know what happened! How can you possibly aid the Clow Mistress knowing that?"

"I felt like it," the Magician shrugged, unruffled by all of this. "She's not to blame for the past and I was simply bored."

"You liar," the High Priestess murmured quietly, the fury fizzling out in the knowledge of her soon to be defeat. "You never helped anything you didn't like." Shaking her head, she tilted her head back and stared up at the moon. "Oh well, it won't matter in the end. You can go ahead and capture me, you silly little human. Your defeat may not be tonight, but it will be soon. It's already in the cards."

Sakura shivered at the Arcana's words, but began the sealing spell anyway. "Return High Priestess! Return Arcana!" A single card drifted down to the ground when the spell was spent. The High Priestess gazed out sadly from where she sat on a golden throne. Her hands were clasped together in her lap, holding the hilt of her golden knife in what appeared to be a rather painful grip.

Sakura bent down and picked it up gingerly. What had the High Priestess meant? Looking over at the other Arcana, she asked, "What did she mean?"

"Beats me," the Hanged Man said innocently, too innocently, and shrugged. "Anyway, see ya later." He smiled and waved as he melted back into card form.

"Idiot," the Magician murmured, though her tone sounded almost fond. Crossing her arms and ignoring Sakura's question, she too faded back into card form.

"I have a bad feeling about this," Syaoran said from the proverbial sidelines. He had been prepared to help, but with the other Arcana out he had doubted he would be needed. Being useless was a rather bitter pill to swallow.

"You're not the only one," Sakura whispered as she gazed up at the moon. She didn't know why, but something about the High Priestess' words frightened her, badly. What was going to happen now?


Wow, it took me... what... nearly two years to finish this? Oi, I am so bad. Sorry, I got sucked into the yaoi goodness of Digimon and have been happily entrenched in it for awhile now. But, since this is Prevention Month on the KFFDisc and since this particular fic was more interesting than my older unfinished fics I decided on it. And managed to finish this part. Hope you like. ^_^

Next: Oniichan, please wake up! Li-kun, why are you being so quiet?