Just A Friend
Night had fallen over Penguin Park. Sakura stared down at her battle costume made for her by Tomoyo. It was somehow different from the other ones, a bit more subdued. This time it was a flowing, pink robe, including a cream cord around the waist. It also included a pink cloak with a hood topped with rabbit ears. And with the Seal Cane in her hands, she looked like a female Grim Reaper. "Although I made a few changes to it, it's like the same thing I've seen for the past week," Said Tomoyo. "A guy in a robe and cloak, surveying the city." Kero-Chan seemed very silent, and even looked worried. "Please, in the name of all things sacred, let it not be it"
Tears of rage sprung into Kero-Chan's eyes. "Kami-sama..." he said, voice trembling. "KAMI-SAMA!!!!" he screamed again, almost as terror inspiring as the imp things laughter. "Is it a Clow Card?" questioned Tomoyo. Kero-Chan hadn't gotten over the outburst yet. "Hit it. Hit it again and again and AGAIN AND AGAIN!!!" roared Kero, with such sorrow that it worried the children.
"Okay then" said Sakura, who lengthened the Seal Cane and spoke the incantation to summon Fiery. The flaming elemental appeared, with a look of terror on its face, knowing it had to its job. The card spewed fire at the imp, who stood there, untouched, still laughing. The imp moved its hands, and spewed out a fire attack of its own, far more potent than its foes. It launched its fiery wrath at the children, scorching the hem of Tomoyo's dress. Syoran tried a lightning attack on the beast, which proved useless. The beast once again mimicked the technique to a greater extent, aiming once again at the powerless Tomoyo. "Stop!" called Kero still wracked with sorrow. "It won't work. The bastard keeps copying our attacks!" The imp was rather busy now; gather black energy in his hands creating a dark hole much like the one he stepped through. The demon cackled again, it's mission complete; the portal was ready.
"STOP!!" came a new voice, an echoing, and powerful one that sounded youthful all at the same time. Everybody's head turned to find the source of the voice. A robed figure swooped down. His clothing was a flowing, blue robe, including a black cord around the waist. It also included a blue cloak with a hood concealing his face. The cloak was fastened with a large brooch with a symbol familiar to Sakura. He held a katana (samurai long-sword) in his left hand, and took an offensive stance. "I'M TOO LATE!" he yelled above the demoniac din. "THIS HAS GONE ON LONG ENOUGH!" he yelled. Sakura was too intrigued to be irritated that he stole one of her catch phrases. The Blue Shadow leaped to a great height, attempting to smash the sword down on the imp's head. It was a brave move, by both the Blue Shadow and the imp, as the imp grabbed the blade and swung the "savior" in a great circle. He ended up smashing into the slide, struggling to recover. "Young Lavender!" Blue Shadow called to Tomoyo, "Please bring yourself here." Tomoyo, singed and shocked, ran up to the Blue Shadow. Why me? And why the name Young Lavender? She wondered to herself as she kneeled down to the cloaked one. "Take this,' he said placing an object in her hand, and continuing. "If you are the one, you'll know what to do." It was a tiny piece of wood with an inscription on it.
Tomoyo's eyes snapped open. She raised the piece of wood and screamed: GUNGINIR!!! The wood began to glow with a fierce light, and all around her appeared what seemed like countless Norse gods. Thor, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Freyja, Sif, Idun, Baldur, Bragi, Modi, Magni and finally, Odin. Allfather gave a stern nod, and Tomoyo continued the words that had been unleashed in her head;
Blue Shadow smiled at Tomoyo from behind the cerulean hood. "So you were the right one, Young Lavender." Said he, glancing at Gunginir, and Tomoyo's billowing saffron trench coat. She looked quite formidable, and every inch a savior. "Let's try a double attack. Extra force for extra damage!" Said the Blue Shadow to the holder of Gunginir. Tomoyo nodded, and as if they were one person, they leapt into the air at the same time and swept their weapons in a pincer like motion at the demon. "Jump!" shrieked the demon in a high-pitched voice. He then leapt to such an enormous height, one would think Sakura had summoned Jump. The pincer attack failed, as their weapons ended up clashing. The pair dropped to the ground, Tomoyo on one knee, still suffering the effects of electrocution. Then, an idea hit Tomoyo. She and the blue one could pull it off if he could withstand the demon's torment long enough. "Shadow!" gasped Tomoyo, trying hard to stand. The Blue Shadow stretched a hand out from underneath the robes. The hand didn't look old, and Tomoyo had a look at Li-Kun's hand, near the same. "I need you to hold that thing at bay. Keep it busy long enough so I can get a clear shot at it." Tomoyo balanced Gunginir gracefully on her hand, using her free hand to dab at her face with her beret. Blue Shadow looked intrigued from beneath the cloak. Gunginir certainly has had a powerful effect on Young Lavender. After studying these people for a week, I came to the conclusion that Young Lavender wasn't suited for the rough and violent powers of Allfather. But the Black Seal wouldn't have struck her if he didn't see a threat in her. So she is definitely the one to stop the Black Seal. If Allfather wills it so, who am I to say no? "What's a little pain to stop me?" asked the Blue Shadow, drawing the katana to an offensive position. Then unexpectedly, Blue Shadow screamed an unearthly battle cry, and lunged at the imp creature with such force he had no time to counter. It was a direct gash in the side, and the demon's lifeblood flecked Blue Shadow's robes. Eventually, the two were grappling hand for hand, struggling for their lives. All the time, Blue Shadow muttered the same chant; "Veni veni venias, Ne mori fascias"(Latin->English translation: Come come O come, don't let me die.) Tomoyo knew she had to act fast.
Sakura was still in a phase of shock. "This is odd. Blue Shadow can do physical harm to the imp. He can't be a Clow Card!" Kero-chan looked like he wanted to explain, but was still too upset to speak. Li-Kun looked outraged. "How come we can't harm it, yet she gets a whole religion and an enormous magical spear on her side?!" Sakura put her fists on her hips indignantly, yelling "Don't say that! Every time we've been battling the cards she's been there, offering everything she can, even if she had no magical powers! So think twice before you insult her!" Syoran stared at the pink robed Clow Mistress, keeping his mouth shut.
It was unreal. His hair: long, flowing and silver, coming right down to the upper regions of his back. His eyes were a deep, blood red, both eerie and beautiful at the same time. They seemed to contain the whole universe within them, with crystalline knowledge within. His skin was fair, but not too pale, and a small smile was spreading across his face. "So it was you all along!" said Sakura with triumph. "I knew I recognised the brooch on your cloak!" He began to speak, "Yes, it is me, little blossom. You are most observant of my family symbol brooch, which I carry always." His voice was indeed different from that of the Blue Shadow's, it was far more gentle, and very kind. Sakura's mind went back to a week ago, at the beginning of class."Kononanichi-wa class!" called Terada-Sensai to the class of bored looking eleven year olds. "Now today we have a brand new student joining us. Apparently he's from Iceland, and I want you to all make him feel welcome." Sakura looked bored also. Big deal, she wondered. A new student. Does it matter? The new student walked in through the door, his eyes surveying the class shyly. He looked strange in the school uniform, and it certainly didn't suit the boy. On the middle of his shirt was a large brooch, containing a symbol composed of lines, creating a glorious whole. Terada warmly shook the boy's hand, and placed a piece of chalk in it. The boy began to write his name on the blackboard, very neatly. He stepped aside, and gestured to his work.
"My name is Nicolai Orion Vanaheim. I don't care what you call me. A name is a name. I hope that we can all get along and enjoy our lives together, but most ambitous goals are hard to achieve. Now do you have any questions about myself or my past?"
A boy put up his hand and said loudly, with a hope to embarrass the new child. "Yo, how old are you, cause your hair is gray!" Nicolai frowned, and said his reply monotonously; "For starters, my hair is silver. Are you colorblind or haven't you learnt about colors yet? And I'm eleven, just like the rest of you. Anybody here not interested in insulting me?"
A few hands went down, not wanting to have their insults countered as fiercely as that. Yamazaki's hand went up into the air and he put his question to the young Vanaheim. "Is Iceland full of ice?" he asked, grinning. Nicolai grinned back, smiling warmly. "This is a common question. It is actually Greenland that is full of ice, and Iceland that is full of 'green.'" The class giggled, as more questions were put toward him. Eventually, Li-Kun put up hand up and asked; "what religion do you follow?" Nicolai's red eyes misted over. "I follow the traditional beliefs of the Scandinavian Pantheon. I worship the gods of Asgard, floating above the world of man, Midgard."
It was recess time, and Nicolai was wandering around the school like a decapitated chicken. (Pardon the expression. ^_^) He noticed some boys kicking a black and white ball to each other. "Vanaheim!" called out a boy, the same boy who had asked about his beliefs. "Wanna play some soccer? (Football to some people, but bear with me! ^_^") Nicolai looked confused. "What is soccer?" He called out to the boys in the field. "Let me explain." Said the boy, running over to Nicolai, sitting him down. "You're a good kid Nicolai, and it's nice to meet you. My name is Syoran."
(Note: If you've seen Nike's World Cup advertisement, and/or heard Elvis' song remixed by JXL, you might get the joke. Good luck if you haven't!)
After a little while, Nicolai picked up the concept of soccer and was ready to play. Li-Kun chose Nicolai for his team, and the game was off. Syoran booted the ball to Nicolai, who bellowed fearsomely, and charged down the field like a Viking warrior. Between he and Li-Kun, the team scored a crushing victory of 5 to 1. The opposition, led by Touji, the kid who laughed at Nicolai's hair in class, wanted a rematch, and put his face right up to Li and Nicolai's. "And this time, it's first to a hundred." He growled, baring his teeth. Syoran kept his pride, imitating Touji's action, and replied. "Fine then. 4pm, this afternoon." Nicolai chose to finish; "A little less conversation, a little more action, no?"
Everyone was there. Both teams were there, told to put on clothes of certain colors. Touji's team decked out in red, Nicolai and Li's team garbed in blue and green. All the cheerleaders were there, calling for the team of their choice. Sakura naturally chose Li's team to cheer for. Tomoyo was there too, with her cameras ready to go, and to film the pair in action. Touya and Yukito were there too, much to both Sakura's delight and dismay. Touya had said to Yukito earlier that day; "First to one hundred? Huh, that's something I've got to see!" Even the teachers had turned up to stop things going uncivil, although they too wanted to see the bold challenge.
And the game was off. Syoran booted the ball to Nicolai, who bellowed fearsomely, and charged down the field like a Viking warrior. (deja vu. ^_^) Kick for block, tackle for save. The game went on and on and on. The cheerleaders eventually gave up, but Sakura watched attentively, gazing at the boys, smiling. Tomoyo was in a fantasy land, taking pictures of all the excellent shots. SLAM!!
Li-Kun had just executed a perfect bicycle kick, slamming past Yamazaki, the goalkeeper. Nicolai, overjoyed, executed a few backflips across the field, yelling in Scandinavian. Touji folded his arms across his chest jealously muttering, "What does he think he is, a Brazilian?" Syoran jumped beside Touji, laughing; "Nope. He thinks he's an Icelander!"
It was 6:30. The game had gone on for 2.5 hours, an enormous amount of time for a primary school game. Almost all of the kids had fallen asleep, exhausted from the seemingly endless match. The only players left awake were Nicolai, Touji and Syoran, who were still very, very tired. "That's it!" screamed Touji, exhausted and angry. "I concede! I can't stand it anymore!" he then crumpled to the grass, fast asleep.
Nicolai walked over to the only lively cheerleader left. He smiled, and she frowned back. She said her name was Sakura Kinomoto, and that she was Tomoyo's friend. Sakura watched Nicolai's eyes mist over at the mention of the name. She ignored it. "I sense a great power in you, little blossom," said Nicolai, who knew the meaning of Sakura, which was cherry blossom. "I also sense a great meeting coming your way." Sakura became nervous. He couldn't know, could he? "I don't know what you're talking about!" Nicolai smiled. She had something to hide, and he knew what. "You should be going home for rest, Nicolai!" she continued. Nicolai bent his head down. "I don't have one to go to." "And that's where we come in!" said another voice. It was Fujitaka Kinomoto, Sakura's dad. "I offered to house Nicolai until he turns 18. He'll be a joy to have around the house." Sakura gulped. Seven years? And another person to hide from. Touya walked up to the three of them. "Hey dad. Hey kaijuu. Who's the silver squirt?" Sakura replied; "Nobody. He's just a friend." Fujitaka explained the details. END FLASHBACK.
Just a friend.
Sakura was shocked. "Him?! I had enough trouble with Syoran, but at least I didn't live with him!" Nicolai smiled. "I'm not here to provide you with rivalry. I'm here to warn you of an evil most potent. Here's the story, a story that Keroberos over there is familiar with"
"Long ago, during the heyday of Clow Reed, something most strange happened. He went mad. The brilliant Clow Reed reduced to a crazed shadow of his former self. This madness, this chaos, this strife, was perfect for the master of mischief, the sheik of strife, the crown prince of chaos, Loki. He came and took Clow over. It was horrible. He was dominant and cruel to Clow Reed. Finally, Allfather and his gods found Loki. They wanted payback for the twisted murder of Baldur, one of Odin's sons. With the help of Kvasir, Midgard's wisest man who was created from the spittle of all the gods, they sealed Loki within the darkness of the realms of Pandemonium. The Black Seal was an intelligent creature, with knowledge of all of Clow's magical powers. It was meant to guard Loki forever in the still darkness, but Loki had other ideas. The Black Seal was corrupted by Loki, and aspired to release Loki right to this very day. That demon was the Black Seal, and he has now released Loki into the world of man, who is ready to wreak havoc again. It was prophesied that when Loki was released, the end of the world, the Ragnorok, would come. I came to stop the Black Seal, but I was clearly too late.
Nicolai stopped for breath. "Loki shall arrive in nine days. Nine is the most significant number in the Norse Myths. You sensed this because Loki had attacked Clow and has gained knowledge of his powers, and you are linked to him. I will do all that is in my power to stop him, but I will need your help and your friendship to conquer him. Please help, for the sake of the nine worlds depends on it."
Tomoyo walked over to Nicolai and stood beside him. "I wish to live. So I support Nicolai."