Chapter 1: Sunshine Raindrops
It was the first day of summer vacation. Sakura slowly opened her eyes as her alarm rang loudly above her. Her mind was clouded and fuzzy as it usually is on any morning. She had set her alarm to remind her about something, but what? Kero calmly glided into view, covering his ears.
"You're going to be late Sakura!" he shouted while trying to shut off the bell. It clicked off, filling the room with silence.
"For what?" she mumbled while rising from bed. Her eyes just didnt seem to want to open completely.
"Don't you remember?" Kero questioned. When she shook her head, he proceeded to explain. "You volunteered to help clean the school now that its over. They have a shortage of cleaning staff, now do you remember?"
"Oh yeah!" she glanced at the clock. "Oh no, I'm going to be late!" Sakura dashed around her room getting dressed and grabbing her rollerblading gear. "Hurry Kero! You can come too if you promise to be quiet."
"Alright!" he flew after her, down the stairs. Luckily, Aiden wasn't home at the moment.
"Good morning Tori", Sakura chimed as she swung into her seat. He placed a dish of eggs in front of her and then sat down himself.
"Running late are'nt you squirt?" he asked while sipping a cup of coffee. Kero glared, forcing Tori to bring another plate of food to the table.
"Right!" Sakura hastily gobbled down her food then dashed towards the front door. Kero followed along with Tori. She strapped on her skates speedily and hurried outside. Tori mounted his bike and kept pace with her.
"Julian said he was going to meet us. There he is," he waved as Julian came into view.
"Hey! How are you guys?" he too paced the rest of the group.
"Well I am in top condition," Kero gloated, puffing his chest and flexing tiny muscles in his arms. He flew closer to give him a better view. "Yep, never been better."
"I'm sure you havent Kero. What about you Sakura?"
"Oh I'm fine." She looked forward. The school was just appearing in their line of vision. Suddenly a weird sensation filled her body. Sakura, Julian and Kero all stopped trying to figure out what was going on. "Do you know what that is?"
"No, but whatever it may be, its certainly unusual," Kero spoke softly, brow furrowed in concentration.
"Yeah," Julian agreed. They all resumed moving although much quieter. In a matter of minutes, the group had arrived.
"Hey Sakura, glad you could make it in time," Madison called as she approached. Li, Eli and many of her other classmates followed.
"Hi Madison, isn't the school open yet?"
"Not yet but I think Mr. Terada hasnt arrived." As she spoke, the doors opened, as if on cue, and the large group moved inside. Li and Eli moved closer to Sakura as they made their way to the designated starting point.
"Did you feel something unusual a little while ago?" Li whispered.
"Yeah, something strange. Kero and Julian both felt it too," she answered quietly. I wonder what it means?
Several hours passed slowly by as, room by room, they cleaned the school. Each of them, except maybe Julian, was regretting ever agreeing to this tedious chore. Soon, Sakura decided to take a breather. She walked outside wiping her forehead with a clean rag. The once blue sky was now masked by numerous pinkish clouds. Wow, they sure are pretty. She sighed happily watching these fluffy clouds. A glowing white snowflake drifted swiftly and landed at her feet. It snuffed out, disappearing for good. She felt a large surge of energy from above. "Huh?"
Julian and Li appeared behind her looking skywards. "What's going on Sakura?" Li inquired as another shimmering flake fell to earth. Another wave of power rippled through the air and, without any warning, thousands of the glowing particles began raining downwards. Sakura reached out to catch one, expecting a feeling like snow. However, this was not snow. A jolt of pain hit her like a searing brand, causing her to retract her hand quickly.
"Ow! That hurt!" More and more hit both her and the others. She tried to shield herself but the pain was overwhelming.
In a bright flash of light, two angelic white wings enveloped Julian. They parted, revealing Yue who promptly ran to Sakuras side. Using his wings and body, he prevented any of the glowing drops to touch her. A grimace of suppressed pain contorted his face.
"Element fire come to my aid!" Li shouted releasing his sword and sending a blast of fire through the air. Nothing was affected. "Hurry, back inside!" Li turned around and pulled at the doors. They would not open.
The small puffs became drops of glowing water, falling in streaks of light. Yue cringed as the amount of falling rain increased. He began to buckle yet still clutched Sakura close.
What is going on? Why does this beautiful rain cause so much pain? I have to help Li and Yue, but how? Oh, there are too many questions. I wish I had brought the cards with me. I feel so useless. Oh, Yue Im so sorry youre in pain because of me. This is all my fau-
"Sakura snap out of it!" Li shouted snapping her out from amidst her thoughts. "We need a plan or were all done for!"
"Right Li," Sakura closed her eyes and thought hard, trying to figure something out, anything. If only I had my staff and the cards.
Eli peered outside, watching his cute descendent, Sakura and Yue. If Sakura wanted her cards and staff so much, well who was he to stand in the way? Well Clow Reed for one, but that was beside the point. He concentrated briefly and her wand appeared behind her along with the Star Cards. "I hope that helps you Sakura." Eli looked skywards, wondering what was causing this.
"Huh?! Where did these come from?" Sakura exclaimed holding her belongings.
"Who cares? Just hurry up and use them!" Li shouted, staying close to the wall.
"Right! Storm card, create a tempest to drive away the clouds! Release and dispel!" she shouted while twirling her staff, finally bringing it up to touch the card.
A small sprite with tangled hair appeared and began to weave the wind. A strong mix of gale and thunder swirled before her hands before streaming out face the shining shower. It began to disrupt and push away the opposing storm but suddenly became stuck.
"Huh? Its not working!" Sakura cried desperately. Why wont this work? She tried to think of another solution but came up empty. Without warning storm returned to its card and the shimmering drops renewed with higher intensity. A swirl of wind created a veritable cyclone of light, which enveloped Sakura. Agony wracked her body straight down to her soul. She screamed out uncontrollably.
Eli reached out a hand and focused his energies on the pink cloud. In a sudden flash, it burst into millions of fluffy particles. The pillar of light holding Sakura dissipated and she fell. Luckily, Yue caught her gently. As she dropped into his arms, Yue collapsed from strain and exhaustion. The wings returned and Julian reappeared, unconscious. Sakura flopped to his side, tears streaming down her cheeks. "Oh Yue, Julian, I'm so sorry." Both she and Li carried him inside for first aid.
Chapter 2: Night Skies
The events of the luminous rainfall had not completely left Sakura's mind. It was now the afternoon several days later. She could not bring herself to call Julian. Whenever she tried to pick up the phone tears would arise forcing her to stop. She felt it was all her fault that he had gotten hurt. Even Kero was down, after all, he had been there but wasn't around to protect Sakura. The week went by slowly and sadly.
"Alright, thats it! You have got to call Julian, you'll feel better if you do," Kero patted her shoulder.
"But it was all my fault, he got hurt because of me," she sobbed into her hands.
"No, Yue is meant to protect you. He did his job, more than I did."
"Oh Kero, you would have helped if you could, don't worry about it."
"Well, call Julian, for me"
She looked dejectedly at her pink cell phone, unsure whether or not to dial. In one fluid motion, Kero flew over, picked up the phone, pushed the speed dial and dropped into Sakura's hand. She listened nervously to it ring a few times before Julian answered.
"Hello?" he asked.
Sakura couldn't bring herself to say anything, she just sat listening to the silence.
"Hello? Is anyone there?" Julians voice sounded puzzled yet not annoyed.
"Oh for Clow's sake Sakura," Kero mumbled before raising his voice. "Yo, Julian, this is Kero. It's Sakura calling but shes nervous so isn't speaking, maybe you could help?"
"Sakura?" There was a pause before he spoke again, this time in a different voice. "Mistress, what distresses you? I have not heard from you in some time and sense something is bothering you. What is it?" Yue spoke softly.
"Oh Yue, I'm so sorry. I couldn't help you or do anything. Even when the cards appeared I couldn't stop it. You got hurt because of me, can you ever forgive me?" she wept, tears beginning to stream down her face. "Can you?"
There was a slight moment of silence before Yue replied. "Sakura, you did nothing wrong. It was my duty as your guardian to protect you from harm, at any cost. Do not worry Mistress, I forgive you even though there is nothing to forgive. Please do not be sad." His voice seemed to calm Sakura, giving her an overwhelming sense of peace. She stood for a moment, too happy to speak, before replying.
"Oh thank you Yue, thanks so much. I won't let you down next time, I promise." She was now crying tears of happiness and relief. Suddenly a wave of strange energy hit her senses and Sakura nearly fell over in surprise. "What was that?"
"I am not sure but it may be dangerous. Stay close to Keroberos until I arrive. Do not worry, you shall be safe," he answered quickly. The line went dead before Sakura could say anything.
"Yue's on his way Kero, in case that weird power is dangerous. Let's see if we can find the source while we wait for him," she explained turning off her cell phone.
"Well wait just a minute Sakura, shouldn't we stay here and wait? If it is dangerous you should have as much protection as possible."
"I'll have you and the cards for protection Kero, besides, Yue said to stay close to you until he got here and I will. Come on!" She dashed out of the room after grabbing the deck of Sakura cards and her staff. Kero glided reluctantly after her still unconvinced but unable to change his Mistress's mind.
The two stepped outside cautiously and looked down the street. It was beginning to get dark and very few people were out, none currently in Sakuras neighborhood. It was eerily silent as the pair began to walk down the street towards Penguin Park. Sakura's eyes were half closed as she followed the force of magical energy. Soon the large slide came into view.
"This is where the force is strongest but there's nothing here Kero. Can you pick up anything I can't?" she asked her guardian while peering around the gloomy deserted playground.
"No, just very strong magic. Be careful Sakura, whatever this is may attack you. Stay sharp and keep your eyes open." Kero's brow was knotted in concentration as he tried to discern more about this new power.
Silence echoed endlessly as they looked through the park and around the adjacent streets. Nothing was moving in this spooky stillness. From behind her a shadow loomed and reached out for her shoulder. At the last moment Sakura turned to face this new person, staff raised in defense. "Who are you?"
The figure stepped closer and was revealed. It was Li who quickly calmed Sakura down, "Whoa, its just me Sakura. I felt the weird energy and decided to walk over to your house. The power was really strong here so I decided to investigate and here you were." He smiled reassuringly.
"I'm glad youre here Li. Kero and I are waiting for Yue to arrive and were also trying to find the source of this mysterious power." The sky grew darker as both the sun continued to set and clouds began to roll in. "Wow, it sure is getting dark." A hush once again fell within the confines of the park. The clouds thickened and a sudden blackness startled the three. Before they could say or do anything, the unknown might suddenly began to grow intensely. Something was coming from above.
Chapter 3: Promised Destiny
Without warning, Sakura felt a surge of energy descend towards her and the others. She pushed herself into Li and knocked him to the side, hoping Kero could get out of the way as well. They fell in a heap and the energy fizzled out into nothingness where they had stood. However, another blast was on its way.
"Shield, protect us from these attacks, star card!" Sakura shouted while releasing her staff and drawing forth a card. She felt a bubble form around her, Li and Kero just as the next blast hit. It bounced away harmlessly. Her mind was racing as she tried to figure out what to do. Beside her, Li had drawn his sword and was trying to find the direct source of the power, the attacker. "Light, illuminate the park, star card!" A blinding flash emanated from the tip of her staff and everything came back into view. The slide and sandbox still remained dark like ghostly shadows.
"Up there, look!" Li pointed towards the dark, cloudy sky. Illuminated against the bank of shadow floated a girl. She was sending forth bursts of magic towards them, seemingly unaware that Shield was in place. Kero looked up at her from his bubble, a look of confusion upon his face.
"I've seen her before, but where?" he mumbled under his breath. She gathered power and sent it forward in one concentrated discharge. The beam closed in on the three companions and somehow Sakura knew Shield would not be enough.
"Watch out!" Sakura hurled herself once again into Li, moving him out of the way just as the beam penetrated Shield. She turned to face the attacker. "Who are you and why are you attacking us?"
"I am Serriva, daughter of the stars. I was taught by Clow Reed himself and promised to be the next Cardcaptor. You have stolen them from me and must suffer!" Another surge of power streamed downwards. Just in the nick of time did Sakura escape it.
"Now wait just a minute! I am Keroberos, guardian beast of the seal of the Clow Book and the appointer of future Cardcaptors. I was not told to appoint you as next Cardcaptor and I have the final say in the matter," Kero called to Serriva. She scowled and sent down several ribbons of power, each coming from a different direction. Sakura would have to do something.
Which card would help me here? she wondered, thinking as quickly as it was possible for her. "I know! Erase, wipeout the streams of magical energy, star card!" The spirit appeared and began to perform its task. One stream slowly faded and was gone. Another began to fade. The other two, however, were still straight on target towards her and Li. Sakura searched her mind frantically but the energy was too fast. She was going to be hit. Li would be hurt too and it was all her fault. Sakura closed her eyes, awaiting the inevitable.
Suddenly, Sakura felt something hit her from the side and wind was now sweeping past her body. She slowly opened her eyes and saw that Yue had arrived and had picked up both her and Li. They were saved. Unfortunately, Yue was now the target of the attacks.
"Even the judge sides with this insubordinate whelp? Fine, I'll eradicate all of you and claim my rightful destiny," Serriva shouted angrily and doubled her efforts. Yue weaved around the waves with seeming ease. None of the attacks seemed to affect him in the slightest which only aggravated the sorceress further. "Enough! I will collect the Clow Cards one way or another. You cannot be with your guardians all the time and when the opportunity presents itself, I will return." She vanished with a sprinkle of glowing dust and all fell silent again. Sakura sighed with relief.
"Thanks a lot Yue, we would have been dead if not for you," she smiled up at him.
"I did tell you to wait for me before embarking on anything," he glanced at Kero, "foolish. You are welcome and do not worry. It is more important that we find a way to protect you right now."
Sakura nodded and stuffed Kero into her sleeve to prevent him from starting an argument with Yue. They walked homewards and Sakura slept the rest of the night away.
Chapter 4: To Guard a Star
Kero lay curled up in his drawer in Sakuras bedroom as she breathed evenly in her sleep. He couldnt bring himself to fall asleep since so much had happened in the past few hours. So many questions plagued his mind as he stared into the gloom. Why had Serriva recognized Yue and not him? Was she telling the truth about being promised the Clow Cards? If so, why hadn't he been told anything? Nothing made sense to him any more and now Sakura's life was in danger. It would be up to Yue and him to protect her. They would have to guard a star. And yet, Serriva claimed to be the daughter of the stars. Maybe Eli would know something about this matter, maybe. Kero decided to ask him in the morning as he slowly drifted off into an uneasy sleep.
Sakura's alarm hadn't been set so Kero was able to leave without Sakura knowing he was gone. He glided down the stairs without making any sound, one advantage to having wings.
Nearing the bottom of the stairs, Kero heard two voices coming from the kitchen. Tori and Aiden were up making breakfast and talking about the upcoming day. Tori paused in his speech as if sensing Kero was hovering just around the corner. Kero dismissed the thought for he knew Tori had given up his magical powers to Yue. At least that's what he thought. He waited until Tori resumed his conversation before swiftly darting past the kitchen entrance. The window in the living room was open partly to let the morning air in providing Kero with an exit. The small yellow lion squeezed out and disappeared down the street, flying as fast as he possibly could. From another plane Serriva watched these events through a magically spelled mirror. She need only occupy Yue with some trivial curiosity or other such distraction before the masquerading star would fade forever. With one final glance, she began to prepare for the next step in her plans.
Sakura awoke to the smell of pancakes fifteen minutes after Kero had left. She sleepily got dressed and headed down for breakfast. Her brother and father were already up and both sat down with her to eat. No one had much to talk about so the meal was fairly quick and silent. Sakura washed the dishes and decided to go out to skate for awhile. Tori was headed out at the same time she was and the two bumped into each other at the door.
"Wherere you going squirt?" Tori seemed a little concerned.
"Oh, just out for a skate. I might visit Penguin Park or go see Madison. Nothing too exciting. What about you?" Sakura seemed oblivious to Tori's worried look or the fact Kero hadn't popped up when she woke up demanding food.
"Oh nothing much, thought I'd see how Julian's doing. You sure its a good idea to go out alone?"
"Yeah, its fine. Look, I'll take the cards if it'll make you feel better. You worry too much Tori." She stepped outside and rolled out onto the street. Before Tori could stop her, she was gone. He shrugged and mounted his bike. Neither seemed to notice that Sakura had forgotten her cards and her wand.