Thyme's Hunting Season
It was a moonlit night, the duo Thyme and Helios were engaging a card incarnation inside a construction site. Both were running on the sandy grounds toward the foundation.
"It's going up, Thymee!" yelled Helios as he flew up following the shadow.
Thyme took out his brooch then lifted it in front,"Guardian of Light and Dark, grant me the power to this sealing key. I, Thyme, under our pact command thee, RELEASE!"
Thyme quickly took his scepter that had transformed from the brooch, then continued to run while his left hand reached a small box attached to his belt in the back. He flipped the box's lid, took something with his two fingers. It was a Clow Card that Thyme threw it in front of him as he directed his scepter toward it. "JUMP!"
Thyme jumped from one pillar to another to reach higher places with a very fast speed almost looked like he bent the gravity. As he reached the top where Helios was, the card finally showed its true form. It was a tall figure wearing a white cloak. They could not see what was inside due to the dark shadow.
"The Shadow.." said Helios.
"Exposure to light.."
"Hmm, what to do?" thought Thyme as he looked around,"Ah!" Thyme glanced at the moon.
Thyme's left hand reached his card holster in the back, took another card then quickly summoned it,"GLOW!"
Floating particles surrounded the area, as the Shadow shrunk slowly. Thyme summoned another card,"Sword!".
"Thyme, sword attacks won't work against him!" warned Helios.
"I know" replied Thyme as he reflected any light that came through the sword and directed it at the Shadow figure. "Now's the time"
Thyme casted another card, The Rain to summon light drizzle right below the moon showering the battlefield lightly. As the moonlight and Glow Card lights refracted against each other and with the water particles created sparkling effect. He could see the Shadow seemed writhing in pain. With no time wasted, Thyme immediately sealed the card.
"Easy peasy, Thyme! You are so much better than before!" cheered Helios. He realised that Thyme's magical affinity had grown stronger than ever, the Clow attachment to him was significant. He also had better physical reflexes and quick decision making for tactical advantage. His image of Thyme went further when Thyme decided to invent the card holster box which has inner partitionings to sort the cards by their utilities. This made Thyme able to draw any card he wanted without looking at it first, a lesson that he learnt the hard way before. It required a great memorisation of the card's order and sensing using only his left hand while he focused his attention toward his opponent.
"So, where's the other one?" asked Thyme.
"Huh?! Heh?" replied Helios in confusion as he lost in thought. It took a moment until Helios realised they were chasing two cards back then, one ran this way and the one went to the other direction. "Ahhh..ahahaa sorry I got overexcited! I remember it went that way." he pointed to the graveyard across the street where the construction site was.
"Let's chase it before it went too far.." Thyme jumped away from the top of the construction site, summoned the Flower to cushion his landing then ran as fast as he could.
Helios stared at Thyme for a moment, thinking,"You've grown so much in these four months, not only physically, but also mentally." then he flew down following Thyme.
Arrived at the graveyard, the two looked for the card's trace.
"The presence is diluted with other aura.." said Thyme.
"You can sense it too? It's the death aura..it's graveyard anyway. Other than that, you have developed magical awareness. I never thought it was possible with a commoner." replied Helios.
Helios theorised that due to extensive exposure to magic, Thyme's body adapted to it, hence building magical cells which were only available to sorcerer's offsprings.
"This hide-and-seek is gonna take forever. I have an idea." Thyme took several cards from holster and summoned them one by one. "SHADOW...GLOW...SILENT...JUMP!"
"Whoa whoa wait a minute there! You're trying to pull that stunt, and you will collapse after the cards resolved. Only Clow the creator is able for such feat." warned Helios but it was too late. Thyme's body possible couldn't handle the stress of extracting multiple magical energy at the same time due to his inexperience and capacity. As expected, Thyme suddenly knelt on the ground after Jump card resolved.
Helios sighed. "You're so reckless..now how do you plan to capture it if you can't even walk?"
"Ughhh..It's like I'm being sleepy and tired, times hundred!" said Thyme as he wobbled around trying to stand properly while holding his head with his left palm,"But the show must go on.."
The Shadow spread throughout the graveyard easily due to dim environments, then suddenly they stopped hearing noises. Helios and Thyme looked around, but still couldn't find the culprit.
"So Thyme, what is the plan? If you can't move, I'll at least track it down for you." as Helios spoke his body started to glow very brightly. "Eee..eeeeh? What's happening? Is this...glow card?"
Thyme put his finger in front of his lips signaling Helios to be quiet, followed with a smirk. Helios realised what was Thyme's plan. The silence continued for some moment, until eventually one of them had to give up. Thyme saw something glowing on top of a tree to his right. He carefully walked slowly, inspecting the tree from afar. The glow shone brighter as the tree's noise got louder. A sudden force propelled Thyme's body upward toward the tree's location. With his last strength, Thyme pulled out another card and summoned it in mid air. "SWORD!"
Thyme's scepter transformed into a long sword that cut the tree in half. "Ahhhh..it's the Woody Card!" screamed Helios as he followed Thyme from behind. Thyme landed right in front of the tree barks that transformed into a beautiful woman figure.
"All righty Thyme! Now seal it quick!"
"Urrrgh..Return to your original form..Clow Ca…ughh.." Thyme collapsed right before he could raise his hand wielding scepter. Helios supported him with his tiny body, eventually collapsed along with him.
"No you can't Thyme..wake up..oomph.." said Helios in desperation after Thyme's unconscious body fell on him.
The Woody woman approached them, squatted down and gently said,"It's all right.. He has proven himself to be a worthy master." she smiled. Helios looked at her dumbfounded. "I wasn't sure that a commoner like him would make a good master. But now, I think surpassing master Clow is just a matter of time." continued her as she transformed herself into a Clow Card with a label 'The Woody'.
"The cards...they're acknowledging him." mumbled Helios,"But still, I don't know if he can make it to The Final Judgment [Saigo no Shinpan]."
"The calamity is not worth his death. As a commoner with no innate magical ability, he will probably struggle thousand fold than that Cerberus' master." Helios sighed,"Why did I pick him in the first place? A Clow Reed descendant would be perfect, but still..this man, has something that sorcerer lacks the most, a mindset that no magicians could ever have."
It was very dark, Thyme found his body floated in an empty space. There was a tall figure, groomed long haired man, wearing a strange garb and a monocle. Thyme tried to swing his limbs to move closer taking a better look.
"Who…" whispered Thyme.
The man smiled earnestly, before the darkness shroud covered everything pitch black. Then another figure appeared in the silhouette. This time, there were three figures. The left figure, was a four legged giant beast, with giant feathered wings. Its eyes were glowing bright red. The right figure, was a tall human shadow, long but a bit messy hair, with similar feathered wings. The figure in between, though, did not have feathered wings. Instead, it looked like a woman, wearing a robe, garb and dress underneath. Her shoulder length hair was fluttering even though there was no wind. In her hands, was a long staff with a star shaped core above a sun and a moon, with wings on each side. Again, as Thyme tried to reach them closer, the darkness came back.
This time, Thyme could see himself, surrounded by floating Clow Cards. In his hand was his trusty scepter key. It looked as if he was in the middle of a combat, and in front of him, another man with strange robe, holding a broadsword in his right hand, and a chakram bell in his left hand. The darkness started to fade, revealing the surroundings. Thyme was standing on top of a tall building, and the other side of the building was where his opponent was. To his side, he could find Helios flying, with a stern look.
"Uwaaaaaaaaaah!" Thyme yelled while covered in sweat.
"Wawawawawa….!" Helios jumped out of startle. He found Thyme had woken up and suddenly changed his expression.
"My buddy, Thyme! Welcome back to the world!" cheered Helios.
"How long have I been asleep?"
"Ugh..I still feel tired.." Thyme brushed his eyes.
"Seriously, that stunt was uncalled for. What were you even thinking? Sure, you are smart but your methods are reckless. Your safety should be the first priority above anything else." lectured Helios,"Even Woody had to carry you back to your room. Good thing nobody saw us that night."
"Can we skip this for later? I just had a weird dream..hmm"
"What weird dream?! Stop making excuses and listen to what I say!" Helios intended to continue his rant but held onto that thought when he saw Thyme's serious expression.
"Fine fine..tell me what did you dream then?"
Thyme told Helios everything in detail, but Helios had no idea what to make of it because he had not seen it firsthand.
"Could it be, that one of them is the legendary sorceress Sakura?" asked Thyme.
"According to your description, a big star with sun and moon. Yeah could be, star magic is her specialty after all. But for the rest, I can't think of anyone yet." answered Helios.
"Mistress Sakura, eh? Her tale sounds ridiculous in the first place, but everything went as Clow Reed had planned before his death. As for us, Clow Reed never had anything for us, we have to solve this ourselves. Well, nothing comes out of sitting still here. I need to recover quickly to get back on hunting." contemplated Thyme.
"Thyme..are you still worried about the catastrophe?"
"Hell I do..sure I don't have much friends, but I still care for this world as it is." Thyme got up and went outside his room to grab some food.
"That's not the case, Thyme. The catastrophe, is nowhere near what you imagined. Even now, I don't know if the calamity might be worse than that." said Helios which was ignored as Thyme was already outside the room.
Three weeks passed, Thyme had recuperated, and back in action. Each night they hunted the card, one by one until they gathered more than half of the original deck stack. As Thyme's ability progressed, so did his battle tactics. The time came when he had to face the card that left the most impression on him, The Fight. Ironically, Thyme and Helios had cornered her back in the gym hall where Thyme was beaten to a pulp, except it was repaired.
"Ah.." Thyme stopped before going inside in hesitation.
"Don't worry. The current you are more powerful than before. Both your magical abilities, physical abilities, and combat strategies have improved greatly. Your chances are much higher than before." cheered Helios.
"Right!" said Thyme in resolve. His eyes were focused and sharp. He went inside without any hesitation.
"I'll stand by outside to prevent her from escaping again." said Helios as he flew above the building. Thyme nodded.
"Sweet revenge, baby! Bring it on!" said Thyme as he held his brooch in his right hand facing the Fight.
Without any warning, the Fight charged toward Thyme at full speed as if she was desperate. She must have sensed changes in the old naive boy that she had beaten before had changed into a powerful adversary.
"Game on! RELEASE!" Thyme quickly grabbed his newly formed scepter with his right hand and his left hand grabbed two cards from holster. He instantly threw them in front and had his scepter activate them.
"VOICE..MOVE.. Let's do this!"
Both cards transformed into thin aura that enveloped Thyme's card holster.
"Jump!" said Thyme without holding any card in his hands. The Jump card, responded due to the Voice card, then flew out of the holster and floated in front of Thyme due to the Move card. Thyme only had to touch it with his scepter to activate it.
He successfully evaded her charge, however this put him vulnerable in mid air. The Fight took her chance by leaping high to strike Thyme in mid air as he couldn't have dodged it.
"Not happening twice! Shield!" he said as the Shield card came out of his pocket to the rescue, successfully blocking her strong jump kick.
"My turn...Sword!" he yelled. As the Voice Move combo enabled him to use Clow Cards without occupying his left hand with cards, Thyme could use both hands to hold the scepter/sword.
A swift uppercut slash was swung as Thyme landed before the Fight did. She blocked it using both arms, but the impact blew her back in the air before she landed on a higher platform. "Dash!" The Dash card responded and floated around Thyme where he slashed the card to summon it. The combination of Jump and Dash leap brought Thyme back to melee range. A strong swing using the momentum and wind force was still blocked by the Fight. To his surprise, Thyme thought he had enough strength to overpower her. "Mmmph.." Thyme leaped back to rethink his strategy.
"Help me..Power!" he added The Power card into his sword strength before rushing in again. "Hyaaaaaaah!"
The Fight realised the amount of power in each sword swing, thus evaded it. A massive force from the missed sword strike torn the wooden floor. As she realised that she couldn't engage him in close range combat, she maintained a safe distance to wait for the right opportunity while Thyme went on rampage exhausting both his body and power.
"You're not running away this time! Arrow! Shot! Burst her down!" He called in The Arrow and The Shot in order, with both continuously aiming at The Fight.
However with quick reflexes that The Fight had, she either evaded or deflected most of the shots fired at her. After getting her busy with the Arrow and Shot, Thyme took his chance by leaping high toward the her to land a powerful blow.
Thyme had her cornered against the wall thus his strike will either connect, or she will be shot down by Arrow and Shot if she evaded Thyme's sword. The Fight however, known for her martial arts skill, stopped Thyme's hand then landed a double kick to his stomach before he could even respond. "Urrk!"
"Fucking kung fu..I'll bash you down!" raged Thyme,"Mist, create a corrosive shield around my body."
The Fight tried to get a better positioning by wall jumping from the corner to a spot where The Arrow and Shot couldn't reach. "Like I'll let you! Woody, bind her!"
Thyme slumped down after summoning The Woody. Panting, he knelt on the ground using the sword as a support. It appeared that he exhausted himself by continually draining his energy using dozens of cards.
"Not yet..I'll get you for sure, this time..heh" he exhaled and tried to stand back up.
"Sha...dow… Bind her on the ground." he said as he summoned Shadow. Woody successfully bound The Fight in mid air, while The Shadow bound her from the ground.
"Arrow, Shot, finish her!" he ordered as both were aiming at the immobilised target.
Thyme had gotten back up, returned his scepter form and summoning magic circle below his feet.
"Return to your original….fo..rm.." Thyme was still weakened, but he braced himself and gave everything he had,"Clow CARD!"
The Fight was absorbed into a card, followed by the other cards returning to their forms. "Move, put this card inside my holster." he ordered before falling to the ground.
Meanwhile, Helios sensed that The Fight's presence had disappeared. "Did he succeed?" he said as he flew inside the building. Helios saw Thyme laying on the ground, surrounded by broken wooden floor and walls and windows.
"What a reckless man! I knew it was going to be like this. Hmm what's this? The Silent? That's why I didn't hear anything from outside..hmm and The Return?" said Helios as he picked both cards from Thyme's hand, looked around as the broken building was returned to the way it was.
"At this rate, it won't be long before you collect all the cards, and I will return to my true form. Then, final judgment.." he continued while staring at Thyme's sleeping face.