Card Captor Sakura ~ Arcana
Chapter 4 - The High Priestess
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
"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
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
Tomoyo looked up, her eyes wide in surprise at Sakura's outburst.
Sakura crossed her arms and frowned slightly before asking, "What's
"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
"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
"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
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?