“Pretty Cherry Blossom, do you really think he cares for you?” A smooth male voice asked her. “If you had no powers, if you weren’t connected by your heritage, the past, and all the strange things that happened, what would you mean to him? Nothing. He only associates with you because you are Card Captor Sakura, not because he actually cares for you in person. Think about when you first met him. You only got to know him because you were rivals in capturing the Clow Cards. And, when his mission ended, he returned back home, just like that.”
“But he came back!” Sakura shouted into a black pitch.
“He only came back when new trouble started. Just think of all your past memories together. The only binding you have to him is what was planned by the past.”
“That’s not true! I—I would have cared for him even if he wasn’t Clow Reed’s descendent, and even if I wasn’t Card Captor!”
“So you say…”
“Shut up! You’re only another dream!” Sakura clenched her eyes shut. I want to wake up! Stop this nightmare!
“Do you two always practice together?” Sakura asked, watching Syaoran and Meirin practice their martial arts move against each other in the living room.
“Sometimes,” Syaoran replied, striking out his left arm.
“Oh yeah. Wasn’t Syaoran teaching you some fighting skills also? What happened to the lessons?” Meirin asked.
“Eh?” Ever since that winter day, when he told her… Ever since then, they had stopped the lessons. Yet, Sakura had been practicing the moves that Syaoran had taught her on her own.
“I guess we kinda lost track of it,” Syaoran commented carelessly as he wiped his forehead with a towel. “I’m taking a shower.” He walked away.
Gripping the necklace, Sakura stared at Syaoran’s back. Who was Syaoran really, inside? Was he really this cold, uncaring person? Or was he really the warm, caring underneath his exterior?
Her handphone bell rang. Quickly, she took it out of her pocket. Earlier, her brother had called, giving another lecture of being organized and responsible. Her father had also called her, informing that he was enjoying his trip very much and hit off with the college board directors very well. Who could it be now?
”Hello? Kero-chan? Yeah, there’s been lots of trouble lately... A thief, a new force, oh yeah, I sprained my ankle so I’m staying at the Li’s. Yeah, I’m okay now— No, Syaoran is not a brat. Really, everything’s fine. Did you find any information? I think there’s something strange about my necklace. Huh? Something about the Five Force Treasure? What’s that? Hmm? Okay, then. Contact me again. Don’t bother Eriol-kun too much and don’t eat too much sweets. Bye…”
Meirin asked, “Was that the stuffed animal calling from England?”
“Yeah. It seems like he’s trying to track down some of Clow-san’s old document. He said I should start tracking down the past, as well. Onii-chan’s having problems with Nakuru-san, I heard. Oh, and Miho-chan and Kero-chan don’t get along. Hoe-e~ I worry about Kero-chan! But I miss him after years of being together. Hmm… wonder what the Five Force Treasures are.”
Sitting next to Sakura in the table, Syaoran was earnestly explaining something rather boring and complex to her. “So, anyway, in the old legend, there were the Great Five Magicians. Each with either the power of the heavenly bodies, elemental power, second sight, contract magic, or power of the dark and light. We know three of them, Li, Reed, and Amamiya. Another one would be the line of the legendary dark ones. We still don’t know the last one. Eriol would be finding more about it right now.” On a scribbled notebook, Syaoran drew a line out of the star he had drawn. “Then, we go to our parent’s generation. There’s my father, a Li, your mother, Amamiya, and Miho’s mother, Mizuki Miara-san. The problem is… Sakura? Sakura? Hey, are you listening to me?”
“Huh?” Sakura’s mind returned back to the Li’s living room in the afternoon. It was after school and rather warm and muggy. “Yeah, I’m listening.”
“No you weren’t. This is important! How are we ever going to conquer the Dark Ones if you don’t even know the basic principles behind it? You’re Card Mistress, for heaven’s sake. Act like one!”
Staring down at her hand, Sakura remembered her dream and thought, I’m right… When ever he talks to me or associates with me, it’s always about business. It’s always been like that, even when we were rivals. If I weren’t the chosen Sakura Card Mistress, he wouldn’t even be talking to me. We’ll have nothing in common, and I’ll know nothing about him. He wouldn’t have even given a second glance to me. I wouldn’t be even staying in this house. Always, he’s been nice to me and looked after me, because I’m Card Mistress. He needs me for business. Well, there’s no other reason for him to associate with me. What are my feelings for him, anyway? I’m so stupid. He cares for Meirin because they’ve grown up together. There’s no business with Erika, but he enjoys her company. He even talks to Tomoyo often, everyone likes Tomoyo and can tell her their problems. Yet, the only binding I have to him is my powers. If it wasn’t that…
“Sakura!” Syaoran slammed his fist down in exasperation. “You’re still not listening to me. Are you in this or not?”
“Sorry. I just have lots of things on my mind, okay?”
“Well, you’re not the only one. But you can’t just shirk away from you’re duties. You’ve got to face them sooner or later.”
“Forget it! Just do it on your own. I’m just tired of all this!” Sakura bolted out of the living room, into the guest room and slammed it shut. Stupid Syaoran… Duties, contracts as a Card Captor… I’m just sick of it all. Yet, if I just return to an ordinary girl, what am I? Nothing. Syaoran wouldn’t even give a second glance at me. But if I escape from my duties, then who’ll look after everything? And if I escape from my duties, he will no longer be a part of my life.
“Wait, Sakura!” Syaoran pushed back his chair and ran after her, only to be greeted by a shut door.
Dryly, Meirin commented as she came out of her room, “What’d’you say to her now.”
“I don’t know,” Syaoran replied, falling back into the couch. Why does one girl confuse me so much, make my insides turn inside out?
“Did you hear? There’s an exhibition of the legendary Princess Rosa’s mirror at the Museum of Fine Arts,” Chiharu exclaimed at school.
“Really? You mean the one in Tokyo?” Rika asked.
“What’s with Princess Rosa’s mirror?” inquired Meirin curiously.
“You mean you don’t know the legend?” Takashi said. “Well…”
“Don’t make up lies, Takashi-kun. You promised,” Chiharu scolded.
“All right, all right.”
Smiling, Tomoyo brushed back her long violet hair and clasped her hands. “Well, long ago in a far off land, there was a beautiful princess. Now, Princess Rosa, as all princesses do had to live a stiff, royal life of politics and courtesy. Then, one day, she fell in love with a common mirror making man. Yet, since she was a princess, she couldn’t marry him. So, she asked the man to make her a mirror, a mirror which would show her not as a princess of one land, but as who she really was. After many days, the mirror maker finally finished the mirror and presented it to the Princess. And when the princess looked into the mirror, she saw herself not as a princess, but as a maiden in love with a man. So, Princess Rosa ran away with the man, and lived happily ever after.” *1
With huge teary eyes, Meirin sniffed, “That’s such a beautiful story!”
“Yes, and it is said that people seek to look into the Mirror of Truth, as it is called, to find their true selves and happiness. Of course, there was greediness as to who’ll possess the mirror as well. Others can’t face who they are, for the Mirror of Truth would reflect who you really are inside.” Tomoyo sighed. “I can imagine some people are shocked from their reflections.”
A mirror which will reflect who I really am. Not as Card Captor, or someone with powers, but as an ordinary girl, Sakura thought.
“I want to see it!” Meirin exclaimed, clenching her fist. “Syaoran! Take me to the museum.”
“Hmm… Tomorrow’s Sunday. Do you guys all want to meet up and go to see the exhibition tomorrow?” Tomoyo asked.
Rika commented, “I’m kind of scared to, actually. But I still want to go.”
“Count me in! I’m going to see what’s inside Takashi-kun,” Chiharu said.
“Hey!” Takashi groaned. “Isn’t it obvious?”
“Yup. Only lies, and more lies will be reflected, I bet.”
Raising an elegant eyebrow, Erika asked, “The Mirror of Truth?”
“That will be interesting,” Eron commented. “Wouldn’t it, Sakura?”
“Huh? Yeah. Yes, it will be interesting,” Sakura replied.
“Only those who are pure of their heart will see a satisfying result, though,” Syaoran said, gazing at the ocean blue stone of his ring.
“Why are you so eager to see the Mirror of Truth, Meirin-chan?” Tomoyo asked during lunch.
Casting her amber-red eyes down, Meirin said, “You know what’s so strange? All this while, I’ve been trying to stop liking Syaoran. Yet, I can’t help liking him. Maybe if I don’t see him all the time, it will be better. I don’t know if you heard about it, but he had another fight with Sakura. Shouldn’t I be glad when they fight? I don’t know why I invited her to stay at our house, anyway. But, I can’t make him like me by force. I’ve already given up. I’m trying to make myself believe it. Then I wonder, if, if he never met Sakura, would he have cared for me more?”
“It’s all right, Meirin-chan… Things will turn out all right.” Tomoyo said.
Sakura turned around and walked away from her friends. Accidentally, she had overhead their conversation. How selfish I am! Have I even stopped to think about Meirin? She’s been nice to me all this time, even if she likes Syaoran. I’ve just messed everything up for her, especially since I came to live with them. It’s all because of me that she was kidnapped by the Kaitou Magician. It’s no good. Why do I have such strange feelings for Syaoran? I’m just causing trouble for everyone else.
“Hey!” Syaoran caught up with her. “Here’s your lunch. You forgot to take it this morning.”
“Huh? Oh, thanks.” Sakura looked down at her feet. Could he see her face turning red as she took her lunch bag?
“Well see you later. You shouldn’t have run out so fast this morning without taking your lunch!”
“Okay.” Stop thinking about him!
“Are you thinking of someone?” Eron asked.
Sakura jumped. When did he arrive? “No. Hmm… What do you think will result from looking into the Mirror of Truth?”
Placing his hand on his chin, Eron replied, “Well, maybe reality and the facts of life, something that you must accept without any regrets, and keep the other feelings and hurt inside you. But most of all, it will help you decide what is the right thing to do.”
“Wow, it’s been ages since we went out together!” exclaimed Chiharu to all her friends as they gathered in front of the museum.
“I know! Let’s have fun today!” Sakura said, twirling around. Her pale green spring dress swirled around her.
“Your dress is very pretty, Sakura-chan,” Rika commented.
“Thanks!” Sakura smiled as they gathered to buy tickets.
“It’s one you bought in New York, isn’t it?” Erika asked.
“Yeah. I couldn’t wear it till the weather got warmer.”
“Hmm, that dress would look nice with that pretty green ribbon you used to wear often. What happened to it?” Tomoyo asked.
“Oh yeah! That was my favorite ribbon!” Sakura frowned to think. “I lost it last year, when…” When I went over to Syaoran’s house when he first came back and we found Ryuuren-san’s diary.
“Syaoran, why are you turning so red all of a sudden?” asked Meirin. Suspiciously, she remembered a green ribbon she had found in Syaoran’s drawer once, when she was snooping around.
“W-what are you talking about?” Syaoran exclaimed.
“Hoe! Look at the long line waiting to see Princess Rosa’s Mirror of Truth!” Sakura said. “We’ll probably have to wait all day.”
“We better look around the other exhibitions first,” Tomoyo replied.
“Look at that painting! It’s by that artist!” Meirin exclaimed. “Shing-san.”
“Where?” Tentatively, Sakura walked up to a painting where girl with long violet hair was on one side of a transparent mirror, placing her hand against the surface. On the other side was a chestnut brown haired young man, his sapphire blue eyes sparkling, and he placed his hand on the mirror, just like a reflection. The two people’s expressions were hard to decipher, almost as if they couldn’t see each other.
Reading the information panel beside it, Tomoyo said, “’Reflections’ is currently on loan by the Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts, and is by the phenomenal artist, Shing-san. This exhibition is complementary to the legendary Princess Rosa’s Mirror of Truth currently displayed at this museum. Oh ho ho. I think Shing-san had much in common with me. But I video tape things, while he paints them.”
While stepping back to observe the painting, Sakura bumped into someone. “Oh sorry—“ She gazed up at a young man dressed in a startling black attire, and sunglasses.
“It’s you!” Meirin exclaimed in recognition. “What do you think you’re doing here?”
“That’s the Kaitou Magician’s business,” he replied smoothly. “And please be more quiet. I can’t afford being caught now.”
“Humph. Do you thing you’re disguised?
Who do you think wears sunglasses inside a museum? I’m surprised you’re
not caught yet.” Meirin stuck her tongue out at him. Sighing, the thief
gave one last bitter look at Shing’s painting and melted into the crowd.
“I wonder what the Kaitou Magician is doing here,” commented Syaoran thoughtfully.
“Probably off to steal something again,” scoffed Meirin. Apparently, she hadn’t forgiven the thief for “kidnapping” her yet, or for attaching an unremovable bracelet to her wrist.
“Steal what?” asked Sakura.
“The Mirror of Truth?” said Tomoyo. “Oh dear.” Then she turned star eyed, “Another great opportunity for me to capture! Come, let’s see the Mirror, now.”
Finally, they entered the hallway after waiting hours, leading to the exhibition room after the long line had disappeared. The others had already went before them. It was a policy to enter in small groups. They had waited all afternoon to enter.
“Tomoyo-chan?” Sakura asked as they finally walked in. “What do you think you’ll see in the mirror?”
“Well, I don’t know. How about you Syaoran-kun?”
“Eh? Me?” Syaoran fingered the blue gem than hung from around his neck. “I won’t look in the Mirror. First of all, I don’t believe in the legend. It’s probably made up just to attract people. But if, if it’s true, I don’t want to learn the truth just by looking inside a mirror. I’ll rather find out the truth through experience and enduring through life.”
Listening carefully to Syaoran’s words, Sakura nodded. How different from Eron’s interpretation, though.
“How about you, Meirin? You really wanted to see it,” Tomoyo said.
Twisting her bluish black hair, Meirin remembered how Syaoran had said that he was most scared of the truth. “I don’t know. I’m really curious, too, but I’m kind of doubtful.”
Carefully, they walked into the room. Almost immediately, they were blinded by the brilliance of the mirror. As they approached it, they found that it was a circular shaped oval and the frame was elegantly wrought in gold. It was encased in glass, with thorough security system around it.
Their friends stood by the exit door.
“We’ll leave first, all right?” Naoko said.
“Okay. Did you look in the mirror?” Sakura asked.
“Yeah, we all did,” Rika said, blushing.
“What did you see?” Meirin questioned curiously.
“It’s a secret. Everyone’s own personal secret,” Chiharu replied. “Well, see you guys!” They waved and exited through the other door.
“So who’ll look first?” asked Meirin.
After what seemed like hours, nobody volunteered.
“So, why aren’t any of you looking?” asked a smooth voice from behind them.
They all turned back to see the Kaitou Magician at the back of the room, leaning against the wall with crossed arms. “It’s almost closing time.”
Surprised, Syaoran glanced at his watch to see that it was 9:00. “What are you doing there, anyway?”
“Waiting. Now go ahead and look in the mirror, then get outta here.”
“Why don’t you look in?” asked Meirin.
Giving a short, cynical laugh, Kaitou replied, “I already know enough of the truth. I have no need to look into a mirror.”
“The museum would be closing now,” came the announcer’s voice on the broadcast.
“Well, time to go!” The Kaitou Magician dropped a gas bomb, then disappeared once more.
“Hoe-e~ How does he do that?” Sakura said, coughing through the gas.
“He’s going to come back later on tonight, I know,” Syaoran said. “I’m going to stick around and make sure he doesn’t cause more mischief.”
“I’ll stay, too,” Sakura said. Of course,
Tomoyo stayed, also, and Meirin didn’t want to go home by herself. Then,
Sakura drew out a card. “Invisible! Make us invisible to all the guards!”
They could see each other fine, but when the guards came to lock the museum
up, they couldn’t see the four people who hid behind an exhibition stand,
waiting for the Kaitou to return.
Several times, Sakura felt tempted to look in the mirror. She also wondered what Syaoran’s reflection would show. Yet, it was none of her business.
“Ugh, I can’t stand it anymore. I’ve got to look—“ however, Meirin was interrupted by a figure dropping down from above.
“Shh,” Syaoran nudged Meirin, as they crouched in their hiding place to watch what the Kaitou would do.
Instead of heading towards the mirror, the Kaitou Magician swerved around at the spot where the four people were hiding and slashed out several darts in their direction. “It’s no use. Come out.”
Standing up, Sakura asked sweating, “H-how’d’you
know that we were hiding here?”
Raising an eyebrow, Kaitou Magician said, grinning, “You’re still here? Very persistent, aren’t you? Well, don’t bother my business. Oh, and I knew because of this.” He held out a pocket-sized computer, with a red dot blinking on the blueprint of the museum. “I can find where you are due to the microchip on your friend’s bracelet.”
“YOU!” Meirin glared angrily at the bracelet on her wrist, trying to wrestle it out.
Ignoring her, he slashed out several darts and broke all the hidden cameras. Then, he walked up to the glass case. “Hmm… They’ve set up an electrocuting system for the night security. How convenient.” Taking out a laptop computer that folded into pocket size, he sat down and began typing various codes to cancel the system. “There! Very simple. Next. I can’t believe they put a lock like this! What a disgrace to the police. They think they’re so smart.” From underneath his shoes, he whipped out a lock pick set and wriggled a thin wire into the lock, opening the lid of the glass case with ease. “Well, that’s that.”
However, as he reached to take the Mirror, a glare of brilliant white light spread out from the glass. They all shielded their eyes. As it dimmed, Sakura peered at it. She found Syaoran’s side reflection in it. He was gazing at another direction, not realizing that he was reflected in the Mirror of Truth. No, I can’t look in any further. I must look away. I can’t see what Syaoran’s truth is. It’s not honorable. Yet, she couldn’t draw herself away. It was as if invisible hands were gripping her head, forcing her to look in. A raspy voice whispered in her head, “See Cherry Blossom. See his truth. Aren’t you curious? You’ve always wondered, haven’t you? Now is your chance.” No. I’m not going to look. Sakura clenched her eyes shut. “You have to look, see the Little Wolf’s truth,” the voice persisted. Another white light flared, drawing Sakura into the mirror.
“Sakura!” Syaoran swerved around just in
time to see Sakura enter the Mirror, as if it were liquid. Then, too late
did he realize that he made direct contact with the Mirror and that he
gazed straight into his reflection.
Slowly, he emerged on the other side, in an empty void engulfing him. Where was Sakura? He walked through the pitch black until he came across a barrier. In front of him were three full length mirrors. The first one gave him a wistful smile.
The mirror reflected numerous scenes of young Nadeshiko and Ryuuren days together; when they first met, their fight in Clow’s house over the Five Force Scroll, encountering Moonstone, guardian of the Five Force Scroll, falling off the tree, Nadeshiko’s confession, their Christmas, Ryuuren’s hair sliced off, finally achieving their mission of finding the Clow Card Book, and all through the hardships, happiness, and time they spent with each other.
On the other side of the three mirrors stood Sakura, also enthralled by the images, unknowing that Syaoran was right across the barrier. Sakura gazed into the second mirror, which alone blocked her from Syaoran. A young man stood facing a girl, pointing his sword straight at her neck. Both had tears streaming down their faces, yet neither of them faltered. Behind them stood two shadowed figures with golden eyes gleaming with hatred and triumph. This image deteriorated, then showed an empty black, void.
Now, the girl of sixteen was running down a long, endless, foggy road in the black void, her long violet hair whipping behind her.
The same cruel voice said, “So, he left you without giving a second glance. He never cared for you or had any feelings for you. Doesn’t it break your little heart? Even after you told him you loved him, even after all you’ve been through together. How can he leave you like that after all the pain and hurt he has brought upon you? He was cold-hearted and selfish, always looking upon you as a little nuisance to put up with. You had nothing in common with him, anyway. The only connection with him that you had was your special powers. That was it. Now that it’s all over, the last connection you had with his is gone. Face it, he has his own enthralling life awaiting him back in Hong Kong. His mission here has ended; you’ve found the Clow Card Book. He has no place for silly old memories such as you. His world will go on turning without you.”
“NO! No, that’s not true! Stop lying to me! Ryuuren! He didn’t leave me! RYUURENNN!!! Come back!” She approached a cliff, reaching out with her hand before she tripped over a rock. “RYUURENNN!!!!!!”
The young man’s sapphire blue eyes closed, as he slowly dropped off the bottomless cliff with a taunting grin. Behind them was a full moon, and silhouetted by it was two standing figures with triumphant golden eyes. “Face it. Li Ryuuren’s gone from your life. He went willingly back to Hong Kong. He left you, abandoned you, scorned you.
“No. I won’t believe it.” Slowly Nadeshiko sank to the ground, slipping the star sapphire ring off her finger. Her emerald eyes were widely open, as if she had no tears to cry anymore. Then, she smiled. “If Ryuuren-san can bravely face a new life, I’m not going to disappoint him by sulking in past memories like a child. I’m a woman now, and I can bury my childhood and start anew.” Kinomoto Fujitaka… It was a different type of love, not hot and cold, unpredictable and dangerous, but a soft, glowing love that grew warmer with the sweetness and gentleness of a spring day, maybe a sign that she had matured. That was her destined future.
Sakura’s eyes blurred as Nadeshiko transformed
into an immature girl to a blooming young woman, leaving behind her past
love… How would Ryuuren just leave her like that?
Finally, in the third and last mirror, Syaoran found himself gazing at his own reflection. No, the reflection’s eyes were blue and his hair color was darker. Plus, he was slightly taller and a few years older. It was his father, Li Ryuuren. “Father!” Syaoran slammed his fist against the mirror, forgetting it was only an illusion. The scene returned to the period right before Ryuuren returned to Hong Kong after he found the Clow Card Book, and the misunderstanding with Nadeshiko occurred. Then, he watched his father gaze into what looked like another mirror. A raspy voice whispered to Ryuuren, “See the truth, brave one. See how the truth would hurt you. You love her, don’t you? Well, see how she’ll never be yours.”
Ryuuren bent over in pain, placing his hand over his ears and shouting, “Stop it! I don’t care! I don’t want to listen!”
“See it, Li Ryuuren, see it with your eyes. Her fate does not cross with yours. Ryuuren’s sapphire blue eyes widened as he looked into the mirror. He saw Nadeshiko fall off the tree into Fujitaka’s arms. He saw Fujitaka smile and say, “I thought an angel fell from the sky.” He saw Nadeshiko blush, and saw her deep emerald eyes. He saw their happiness and blissful joy as they married and bore children together. He saw how the daughter opened the Clow Card Book that he and Nadeshiko had retrieved. And he saw how he had no place in it.
“Don’t you hurt? Don’t you ache? You’ve been a fool. And this isn’t all. There’s more to it. Yet, such a minor truth causes such a deep pain in your heart.” The evil voice laughed.
“Shut up! I SAID SHUT UP!!!” Ryuuren slammed his fist into the mirror, which made no impact. “I don’t want to know more! I don’t care if she ends up with another man, as long as she’s happy and content. Do you think that it will make me love her less, or change my feelings for her? You’re the fool. You don’t know love. The reason I can’t say I love her is not because I’m afraid of the future! It’s because I don’t want to hurt her!” His sapphire blue eyes blazed with fire, as he held up his hand, which dripped blood from the impact.
“Ha! Does it matter what you say or what you feel? Now you know the truth. If you don’t want to hurt her, you have to leave her. Forever. Never clear that misunderstanding, never let her know your true feelings. That’s what’s best for her. Either way, you’ve lost. You have to return to Hong Kong without a second glance.”
“No. You’re wrong.” Ryuuren looked up and whispered, “I won. I’ve learned to love. She taught me to love, and whatever you do, you can’t take it away.”
A mocking laughter rang throughout the
void, knocking Ryuuren down.
A chord struck through Syaoran as he pressed
his hands against the smooth, cold surface of the mirror. So that was the
reason why his father left Japan and Nadeshiko-san so suddenly. The evil
ones had turned Nadeshiko and Ryuuren against each other. And before either
of them could admit their feelings amidst the hate and misunderstanding,
The Dark Ones had shown the Mirror of Truth to Li Ryuuren. They showed
him Nadeshiko’s future with Kinomoto Fujkitaka, her true love then. It
was destiny. It was no coincidence that Fujitaka was Clow Reed’s reincarnation,
or that the Clow Card Book, which Nadeshiko and Ryuuren had retrieved ended
up in their house for their daughter to find. The Dark Ones cruelly showed
how fate was already spun, so that Li Ryuuren could do nothing about it
but to return back to Hong Kong without clearing the misunderstanding and
hate with Nadeshiko. Yet, Li Ryuuren hadn’t lost.
As all the images disappeared, Sakura found that she was gazing at Syaoran through a single mirror. She reached out for him. Suddenly, the clearness of the mirror dissolved into chaos. Thousands of images of pained people appeared. Nadeshiko and Ryuuren’s death, a young Miho crying in front of her burning house, Mizuki Miara delirious in the hospital, another figure burying his head into his hands, sobbing, and dozens more. There was another image of Kaitou Magician with hundreds of spotlights on him with the police surrounding him, shooting at him with guns. Even as she clenched her eyes shut, Sakura felt the sorrow, hate, and pain of all the people rip her body apart as she tried to escape from the burden. I want to get out of here!
Then, a clear, distinct voice, different from the menacing raspy one that haunted her mind, shot through her head. “Sakura? Sakura? Are you in here?”
“Syaoran? Is that you?”
“Yes. Now stay calm, and open your mind. Don’t get sucked further into the mirror! Here, I’m on the other side. I’ll try to find you,” Syaoran said to Sakura’s mind.
“Okay.” Sakura took a deep breath and opened her mind. Another image clouded over the mirror. There was a glowing five pointed star inscribed in a circle. Each of the Great Five Force Magician stood at each point. At first, the image was blurry. Then, it cleared. Both Sakura and Syaoran watched from opposite ends with wonder.
At the first point stood the Magician Reed, English father of Clow Reed and power holder of the heavenly bodies. The tall man had deep blue eyes like his son, and glasses, with his pale hair tied back in Clow’s fashion. He was holding out a star sapphire ring in his hand, which emphasized the color of his eyes.
On the next point of the star stood the beautiful Chinese mother of Clow Reed, Li, also an ancestor of Syaoran and Meirin. She held the elemental power, balanced by the fire, water, wind, earth, and wood. The slender willowy woman had startling amber eyes, and long jet black hair that flowed unbound down her silken Chinese dress. There was a proud tilt of her head and a confident glint in her eyes, as she held a large, gleaming sword out, with apparent ease from such a graceful woman.
Next to her stood a handsome, lean man with golden brown hair, grasping a radiant diamond necklace that seemed to have the North Star embedded in it. Amamiya, powerful ancestor of Nadeshiko of Sakura was a man with a playful, charming smile that lit up his bright emerald eyes. Beneath it was a powerful mind holding the second sight, or the sixth sense, the ability to see and do things that no one else could.
On the fourth point stood Mizuki, a gentle looking lovely woman who’s glossy auburn hair clouded around her and her clear, level gray eyes reflected depth and moral. She radiated the power of contract magic. In her hands, she held a dazzling mirror with a golden wrought frame.
Finally, on the fifth and final point stood a captivating man with mysteriously flickering golden eyes and glossy blackish-violet hair. He had a pair of gleaming ruby earrings, the color of pigeon’s blood. His power was dependent on the light and dark. And he was the ancestor of the Dark Ones.
“Those are the five most powerful magicians before Clow Reed?” Sakura whispered. “Those Five Treasures, I know them. That sapphire ring, the Li clan sword that Syaoran has, my crystal— no diamond necklace, the Mirror of Truth… and I bet the ruby earrings are out there somewhere. That’s what Kero-chan said about the Five Force Treasures, each belonging to each of the Five Great Ones.”
Then, the mirror shattered, splitting the Five apart. Reed, Li, Amamiya, Mizuki, and the Dark One’s ancestor no longer formed the powerful union but into broken bits of glass.
Syaoran gazed in horror to see the powerful ones disintegrate, just like that. Then, he saw Clow Reed rise, taking all of the previous Five’s great powers and combining them to one, joining East and West magic and becoming the greatest magician ever.
“Have you seen enough, Little Wolf?” The same menacing voice which haunted him when he left Japan asked him. “You saw what happened to your parents. You probably realize what’ll be in store for you.”
Smiling ironically, Syaoran replied, “No, my father and Sakura’s mother chose what they wished to. Don’t think my life is just going to be a repetition of what happened to our parents and the past. No one’s going to decide or control my future except for myself. I make my own choices. I take life as it comes along.” Syaoran closed his eyes, then wondered if Sakura could hear him.
“Syaoran! We have to get out!” Sakura called to his mind.
Briefly, he walked through the empty void,
trying to feel for Sakura’s aura. Then, he found himself surrounded by
more than 10 mirrors, all around him. And all of them reflected Sakura
To Sakura’s surprise, she found 10 other reflections of her, all around her. Syaoran was in the center, looking around him. Pounding on the glass from the other side, Sakura shouted, “Syaoran! It’s me!” Then other of her reflections did the same thing. “Don’t listen to them.” This was repeated 10 times also. It was worse than when the Mirror card went around causing trouble. “Believe me!”
Warily, Syaoran swerved around him observantly at all the Sakura mirror reflections around him. Which one was Sakura? If he chose the wrong mirror, it was likely they’ll never escape out of the void.
Then, he blasted out raw power into one mirror, shattering it. Through it, Sakura emerged with relief. “How’d’you know I was the real one?”
“What do you take me for?” Syaoran grinned confidently. Thanking the Li clan Head Elder, his great-uncle, for teaching him the locating spell, he fingered a green ribbon in his pocket. The one he had slipped out of her hair when she was sleeping on his bed after a long night of researching. Basically, the spell worked by having a ‘focus’ object, which had belonged to the person you were looking for a long time. It made finding Sakura so much easier, not that he couldn’t find Sakura anyway. Truthfully, he added, “Well, I had help.”
“Well, you were the only one making a crack in the mirror from pounding on it so much,” Syaoran replied, shrugging his shoulders. “Your reflections were only reflections. You’re you.”
Outside Princess Rosa’s Mirror of Truth, Meirin, Tomoyo, and the Kaitou Magician waited outside, gazing into the mirror, which instead of reflecting light was completely dark. They could see glimpses of what was happening inside, almost like looking into a storybook. They saw each of the Five Magicians with the Five Treasures fall apart. Then, they saw a blaze of power glow from Syaoran and Sakura.
Immediately, Sakura and Syaoran both popped out of the mirror, landing right on top of the Kaitou Magician who was standing closest.
“Ouch!” He cried. “You stepped on my sunglasses in my pocket!”
“Are you all right?” Sakura said apologetically standing up from the crushed thief.
“What do you think! Hey, you, get off my leg!” The Kaitou shoved Syaoran off, who still looked dazed.
“Uh… You must think all this strange, I know. You’re just a thief and we’re, uh…” Sakura rambled on, twiddling her thumbs. How could she explain popping in and out of a mirror? “So… if you want an explanation about all this uh…”
The Kaitou Magician laughed sincerely this time. “Okay, I’m a thief magician, you’re a magician magician, who gives?” Forgetting what the mirror was, he peered into it to examine his cracked sunglasses. As he gazed in, he remembered that it was the Mirror of Truth. Quickly, he looked away, yet his face was pale as if he saw something he didn’t want to see. With hands not so steady as usual, he covered the Mirror with a cloth. “Well, this was delayed, but now, I’m off stealing this Mirror!”
“Hey, you can’t steal that! It’s the museum’s property!” Meirin exclaimed.
From apparently nowhere, the Kaitou drew out another replica of the mirror and placed it on the exhibition stand, then locked it in its glass container. “No one will know the difference,” he shrugged off.
“But that’s not the Mirror of Truth anymore,” Sakura protested.
“If you haven’t noticed, only people with powers can actually see in the mirror. And the mirror does not reflect the truth. No one in the world knows the real truth. Yet, the mirror reflects only what looks like the truth. Remember though, looks can be deceiving.” The Kaitou Magician stood back to examine his perfect handiwork.
“But people who looked in the mirror…” Sakura critically stared at the replica.
“They imagined that they saw the truth. Come on, most people can’t tell the difference anyway. Well, adieux! Today took far too long. Don’t think I forgot. I’ll steal the necklace and ring next time!” The Kaitou Magician prepared to leave with the Mirror of Truth.
“Wait!” Meirin called out. “Did you see anything in the mirror?”
Taken by surprise, the thief replied, “That’s none of your business, but yes, I did.”
“Hey, why are you stealing that mirror, as well as trying to steal the necklace and ring?” Syaoran asked suspiciously. “Is it by any chance—“
“If you must know, I’m gathering the Five Force Treasures. Don’t bother asking why,” the Kaitou interrupted briefly. “Good bye.” He jumped up to an opening on the ceiling of the roof.
“Five Force Treasures? What’s your name?” Sakura called out.
“Why should I tell you? I’m a thief for heaven’s sake, with a secret identity! Right now, I’ve got all of Tokyo’s police force chasing me, not to mention New York, England, Paris, Hong Kong, Rome…”
“Still. You’re a person before you are a thief. You must get lonely sometimes.”
“I’m just the Kaitou Magician!” He stated, gulping down a choking feeling in his throat.
“Okay. Hmm… I’ll just call you Kaitou-kun, then. Stay safe, Kaitou-kun!” Sakura said.
“Ho ho ho. How like Sakura. What a cute nickname. “Thief-kun…” Tomoyo zoomed her Sony video camera onto “Kaitou-kun.”
The Kaitou Magician sweat-dropped. “Hey, don’t video-tape me! If you show that to the police, I’m dead!”
“Don’t worry! Tomoyo-chan uses it only for her personal interest!” Meirin said. On a side note, she called, “Remember to eat your vegetables Kaitou-kun! Eating doughnuts and instant noodles all day’s not healthy for you!”
Sighing before disappearing, the Kaitou
Magician muttered, “This is embarrassing… And as if I’ll live long anyway,
with all the cops after me. I’ll eat what I want, do what I want…”
After he disappeared, Meirin exclaimed, “Oh no! I forgot to ask him to take this bracelet off me. Great, now, a Top 20 Wanted Criminal thief has access to knowing where I am, 24/7.”
RRRINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! They heard a ringing of alarms throughout the whole museum. Great! Sakura, Syaoran, Meirin, and Tomoyo all fled the room before guards came running.
Back at the Li’s apartment complex, Meirin and Sakura gulped down some of Syaoran’s delicious cooking including dimsum with various stuffing, stir-fried chow mein with beaf and vegetables, fried rice with shrimp, steaming soup, and a desert of apple pie. Who cared it was past midnight? They were starving.
Sakura sighed. The Mirror of Truth had confused her even more, yet cleared up some other details. Poor Ryuuren-san. He left Japan because he knew that Nadeshiko would end up marrying Fujitaka, her father. And they never cleared up their misunderstanding. Nadeshiko never knew Ryuuren’s true feelings for her, and that he loved her.
“Meirin-chan? Why do you look so somber?” Sakura asked, looking up from her plateful of food.
Meirin looked up, her reddish amber eyes sorrowful. For a moment, she paused, as if hesitating to say something. Then she announced, “I’m going back to Hong Kong.”
Sakura and Syaoran both dropped their chopsticks. “WHAT?!”
“Think we gave them a nasty little surprise?” Eron asked Erika, who was ripping the petals off a red rose, one by one.
“It could have been better,” Erika replied, watching the blood red petals drop to the carpet. “We’re too easy on them. Hey, onii-chan, what do you think of Small Wolf’s and Cherry Blossom’s feelings for each other?”
“What feelings?” Eron demanded, crushing
a goblet in his fingers, letting the glass collapse in his palm. “I thought
it’s obvious that they have nothing going on between them. Nadeshiko and
Ryuuren were a different story. These two, now, are just not meant for
each other.” Dropping the remains of the glass goblet fall to the ground,
he ground it into powder with his foot. “I’ll make her mine, yet.”
*1 The legend of Princess Rosa's mirror derives from a manga/anime, St. Tail, one of my first favorites. I enclosed a pretty picture below from it. Err... did the past just get more confusing? ~_~. Kaitou Magician's motives are unclear... Oh... and poor Meirin-chan. Don't you just hate cliff hangers? He he...
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Pic: showing Meimi not as the mysterious St. Tail, but as Meimi herself to Asuka, Jr.