Cardcaptor Thyme: The Second Tome

By Asclei

Fantasy / Adventure

Thyme and The Last Cards

Thyme woke up from the prophetic dream with the help of The Sleep and The Dream. He told Helios that his images were more clear and he could identify some of the mystery surrounding his dream. First off, he started with the location where he was. It was on top of a skyscraper building in the centre of the city. Then he described what the guy in front of him carried, one of them being the bell chakram that Kaho used. Finally, the disappearing Helios figure appeared as the giant wyvern who soared the moonlit sky.

"As you said, the future changes." said Helios after hearing the story.

"Which means we are just a step away from collecting all the Clow Cards."

It has been four months since the incident involving The Earthy. Thyme's body just recovered recently due to exhaustion and overburdening his organs. However, no matter how hard they searched, they couldn't find a trace or sign of the last cards. After counting the number of cards, Helios was certain that only two cards left, The Light and The Dark. Thyme, on the other hand, felt something was always strange ever since the incident. In order to confirm his hunch, Helios offered to do readings using Clow Cards.

"Okay...now close your eyes and place the cards in the following order. Five cards, top. One card, here…" instructed Helios.

Helios instructed Thyme to recite the spell, which invoked the magic circle as the magical readings being performed.

"Now open your eyes. Open the card one by one, I'll interpret the meanings to you." said Helios.

"The Cloud" said Thyme.

"Hmm..it appears that we don't have much clue yet of their whereabouts, but they know where we are."

"The Return"

"This has something to do with your past, memories, or old friends"

"The Mist"

"Hmm most odd combinations..Cloud Return and Mist. This means that the longer we wait, more dangerous they will be. However, the more we look for them, the more they will slip out of our hands."

"We still have more..let's see what this is..The Firey"

"Fourth card as The Firey. This has something to do with you. Something involving fire will happen to you and that will the starting point of everything."

"Not too clear, let's open the last one..The Mirror"

"..."

"What's wrong, Helios? What does it say?"

"Two sides in one. If we want to find them we need to go where you can see your own image in a place where light and darkness gather."

"Figures, another riddle. I guess we can't expect a straightforward answer from a foretelling." sighed Thyme,"Well I don't have time rummaging my thought with those right now. Have an exam in three hours."

Thyme headed out of his apartment to buy his lunch before going to the test. As Thyme was sitting in a cafe while reviewing his material with his tablet, a shadow casted upon him. Thyme could feel someone breathing above him and smelt the scent of rose perfume. He looked up to check but his face was brushing the person's hair. "Hi Thyme!"

"Mmmpfff…!" Thyme was caught in surprise and choked on his drink. He coughed then stood up.

"You guys!" Thyme said to Miaozi and Yuanzi. The Li sisters stood there carrying shopping bags.

"Why do you even need to study? I heard you got good marks." said Miaozi.

"Yeah yeah! I saw the ranking list, you were the top 5 of the university." continued Yuanzi.

"I was. Not until the Clow Cards business and you guys came into my life." replied Thyme as he coughed lightly,"Ahem, never mind that. What do you want?"

"We saw you over the glass and Yuanzi wanted to s…...humpph"

Yuanzi covered Miaozi's mouth with her hand as she smiled awkwardly,"Ehehehee…"

"So.." Thyme faced toward Yuanzi,"What do you want?"

Yuanzi's face blushed, she didn't answer Thyme's question but kept glancing between him and Miaozi. Thyme walked closer to see her face clearly, but Yuanzi immediately backed away while holding close to Miaozi.

Thyme sighed,"I guess since we're rivals we can't really share our information freely."

"There is nothing for me to share, though." replied Miaozi,"but she has"

"Stop it, Jie!" yelled Yuanzi as she attracted the attentions of people around them. She looked around then felt embarrassed,"Ahahaha...ha"

"Look if you just want to disturb my last moment before the exam, it's not going to work..bec-.."

"We don't have exams, we're exchange students." interrupted Miaozi.

"R-Regardless, if you don't need anything, please don't distract me…" said Thyme,"Oh hey, if you don't have anything to do, perhaps you could look for the last two cards, The Light and The Dark. Helios and I have been looking for them but couldn't find them. Of course, I'll be the one capturing them..heh. My techniques are much more better than the last time you saw me."

"Really? Do you honestly expect us to do charity work for you?" replied Miaozi coldly.

"Ssh..shut up Jie! Ah Thyme, it's not like that. We, I mean I, really want to help you but the thing is, we're not allowed to" replied Yuanzi.

"Thought so. It was worth a shot. Whoever finds them first will be the winner" said Thyme as he turned his back on them.

"W-wait..Thyme!"

"Don't even bother convincing me to hand over the other cards. Won't happen." said Thyme as he packed his stuff and went away.

Thyme walked to his examination venue and did the tests for half of the day. He got out as he saw the sun had already set. The sky was already dark, but the bright stars and a crescent moon illuminated the already bright city. "Now that's over, I don't have any work projects for the next month, time to hunt some cards!" he thought to himself as he stretched his body.

Thyme's phone suddenly rang,"Hello?"

"Thymey! I need your help, where are you now?" said someone over the line.

"Hey boss, I'm not on any project right now. Not working. By the way, whose phone are you using?"

"Very critical, Thymey! I forgot my phone and all my papers in the studio. I'm on my way for a meeting with client" said Teo.

Thyme sighed,"This late? Not my business but let me guess, you want me to pick them up and deliver to your location"

"Nah, I knew you were busy with your exams. I already told Yuanzi to fetch them for me, she's the one who told me you were busy."

"Huh..so? Why are you calling me then?"

"Well, the problem is..she is already there but I haven't gotten her a key to my office yet. I remember that you live the closest to the studio, so could you open my office? Don't worry, after that you can go home."

"Well, why haven't you gotten her the key yet? She's been with us for a while already" Thyme sighed,"Fine, I'll open it for her. On one condition, stop calling me Thymey!"

"Thanks Thymey..I mean Thyme. I'll give you bonus later." said Teo as he hung up.

Thyme turned back to head toward the studio. There he entered the building and found Yuanzi sitting at his usual desk, drawing something on the paper. "Hey..what're you doing there?" asked Thyme as he was curious what Yuanzi was doing on his desk. Yuanzi quickly flipped the paper down,"N-Nothing!"

"Anyway, come" said Thyme as he walked to Teo's office door. Yuanzi hid the paper inside her locker and locked it before following him.

Thyme unlocked the door and opened it wide to let Yuanzi in. "Be quick, I'm tired" he said.

Yuanzi nodded and she started looking for the items. A moment later, Thyme looked back in to check because she was taking her time inside. "Alright, I don't have all night for this...uh hey!"

Yuanzi was stacking boxes as she climbed them to reach a suitcase on top of a wall shelf. He couldn't imagine Teo put the thing so high even he himself couldn't have reached it. "What was he thinking?!" thought Thyme.

Thyme came inside and said,"You know, if you use magic, you can easily grab the bag...like this. RELEASE! Move!"

"I know, I just want you to come inside" she replied.

Thyme handed the suitcase over to Yuanzi. "What is she thinking?!" thought Thyme as he could never guess her attitudes that changed dramatically every time he met her.

"Not exactly my problem, but my business here is done. Get out so I can lock the door again." ordered Thyme.

"I said wait!" she suddenly raised her voice while holding Thyme's hand.

Thyme stopped as he looked back at his hand being held. He felt something out of her hands, warmness, fear, and insecurity. "I knew you have something on me. Ready to talk this time?"

Yuanzi nodded as she lowered her head, hiding her face. She didn't let Thyme's hand go even after Thyme said that. "You sure are weird" continued Thyme.

"You know, about this morning, I'm sorry I can't let you know because my sister was there." she said while still lowering her head and hiding her face.

"Something I shouldn't know, eh? Must be a classified Clow Card info"

"I'm not really allowed to say this, but I really really can't help you this time. It's...complicated."

"I wasn't serious. Do you really want to give up the chance to step on me above the two last cards? I don't think so. You guys were aiming for my Clow Cards anyway."

"Nooooooooo!" she screamed loudly almost as if she was in pain. Thyme startled and tried to shake her hands off him, but her grip was tightened. "Not so loud you idiot! You want the security to accuse me of molesting you?!"

Yuanzi finally lifted her face, that was full of tears out of her eyes. "Nuhh..alright, what did I do this time?" asked Thyme in panic.

The moonlight shone upon the room through the giant glass windows in Teo's office. The view of the city light was clear from above, so was the view of the big crescent moon. Yuanzi's tears sparkled as the moonlight entered the water particle, reflecting Thyme's image in her eyes.

Yuanzi took something out of her purse bag with her left hand while her right hand still holding Thyme. She handed it over to Thyme. "T-This is..Clow Card!"

"The Watery" read Thyme as he saw the fateful card right in front of his face.

"I can give it to you right now if I wanted to" said Yuanzi.

Thyme, as ruthless as he could be, still couldn't take the card off her hand despite the fact that she was defenseless and the card was right in front of him. He could feel his heart beating fast, nervously tried to hold her right hand. Thyme could feel her very soft skin, it looked very pale, especially under the moonlight. Her muscle was lean, her bone was small, almost as if her body would break even with the slightest force such as Thyme's strength. Thyme slowly touched her hand as he thought,"I never thought she is this fragile up close"

"But I won't. I can't. Don't judge me for this.." she embraced Thyme tightly. Even after using all her strength, Thyme felt he could still break away. Her hands reached Thyme's hip as she slid down to his card holster on his belt in the back. Thyme sensed it and broke away immediately. Yuanzi struggled, causing the box hanger to snap and the box ended up in her hand.

"I-I.." stuttered Yuanzi.

"How foolish of me." Thyme set a sharp gaze on her,"I let my guard down at the most important time. I wouldn't ask it back since I already knew the answer. Helios was right. You were just waiting for the very precise moment when I was at my weakest and I fell for it."

"No..it's not…" said Yuanzi as she cried.

"I take it that you finally show your true colours"

"Please, don't do this, Thyme!"

"We're not destined to be allies. You and I, we seek the same thing. There's only one answer to determine the victor." said Thyme as he backed away preparing a fighting stance.

"If only, I was not born as a Li…" she snobbed.

Thyme saw that Yuanzi let her guard down for a moment, he dashed in and extended his right arm toward her left hand holding the card box. Yuanzi's reflexes flicked her body away from him, however some of the cards were falling to the ground. Thyme quickly took out his brooch,"RELEASE!"

"Ah…"

Yuanzi picked up most of the cards, but Thyme could recover three cards at most. Thyme could see that Yuanzi didn't have her sword so he was confident that Yuanzi couldn't use magic. Glancing quickly at his three cards, Thyme formulated his strategy in his mind.

"The Sweet, The Create, and The Sword..not exactly a good combination. Not even a viable dual-casting combo. But this will do.." he thought then threw one of the cards in the air as he summoned the magic circle.

"Cards made by Clow, lend me the blade that will cut through my path, Sword!"

"You're unarmed, I hate to fight unarmed opponent. Yield now!" said Thyme as he pointed the sword at Yuanzi. Yuanzi didn't react to his words, instead she gazed deeply at Thyme then said,"The second time you pointed a sword at me, it hurts"

"Hmph..words are meaningless now. En garde!" yelled Thyme as he lunged forward.

"I-I..I won't let this happen, even if it means hurting you in the process!" she replied as loud. Yuanzi hung the box on her left pocket, then extended her right arm, pointing a fist and her left hand close to her chest. She stretched her legs and bent her left leg forward.

Yuanzi stopped Thyme's sword with her small bare hands before it touched her body. "Impossible!"

Thyme had put in quite a force and momentum into that lunge, but was stopped like it was nothing. "She wasn't this strong when I first fought her, dammit!" thought Thyme as he tried to release the sword from her grip. Then he saw something shining from inside her clothes. "Clow Card activation without a wand?!"

Bending her hands, Yuanzi twisted her body and the momentum threw Thyme off guard and eventually he let go of his sword. "Gahhh.. I remember..this is..The Power!"

Without the sword, Thyme was out of options because unlike Yuanzi, he couldn't cast magic without the scepter. "I don't like fistfighting against a girl, but I don't have much choice here.." he said as he clutched both hands. "Yaaaah!" yelled Thyme as he launched a quick blow with his right fist.

Yuanzi stopped it with only her little palm, then jumped to kick both Thyme's arm and left leg. "Ugh!" Thyme stumbled as his balance wavered. Yuanzi opened her palms and stroke Thyme on the side of his neck with a finger chop.

Thyme retaliated with his remaining strength to push her away and jumped high while lifting his right leg, preparing a jump kick. Again, Yuanzi caught his leg in mid air and pushed it downward to make him fall hard. "Urrrgh!"

"I'm sorry!" she said while running away from the building.

Thyme tried to give a chase but his wound delayed him. "Ugh.." he stood up slowly and took his phone out. "Yes Thyme, why aren't you home yet? I thought we're gonna discuss the investigation on the…-"

"Helios, we got big problem here! The younger Li sister got my cards...ughh.." he said through the earpiece.

"..."

"Hello? Helios? You there?!"

"YOU WHAT?!"

Thyme had expected the outburst so he lowered the volume beforehand. "This is no time for us to argue..we need to plan our next move". Thyme told Helios everything that happened, except the emotional scene part.

"You didn't believe me, that's why this happened. I told you long time ago, don't believe those sisters. I am your only ally, the one who got you into this mess and the one who will get you out as well." Helios sighed,"I don't even know what to do…"

"...I'm sorry..but this is truly not the right moment for lectures. As we are talking, she's getting farther."

"I suppose there's nothing I can do from my end, you got yourself into the situation, you should know the best way to get out of it."

"Wait hold on Helios, don't hang up yet! I'll need some inputs on your thoughts on my theory. Standby over the communicator as I track her down, I'll put the earpiece on." said Thyme as he set his communication protocol then followed Yuanzi's trail.

"Hmm..most interesting. The card activated by itself, almost as if it was still on loose. And you wrote your name on it as well. In theory, this shouldn't happen." explained Helios as Thyme shared his guess on the recent event.

"You sound like there's another way this could happen.."

"Remember Kaho Mizuki, the woman you met last time? She carries the Moon Guardian relic that can override Clow Card's power. There's a possibility that there's a relic that can do the opposite."

"You don't suggest...the relic acts as a proper wand? As in, a substitute key?"

"Exactly my point. But if that relic is here, then that person should be close by."

"Like who? Yue?"

"Not him..his relic is the Judgment Shell. I really have no idea, why don't you ask that woman? I thought you had her contact back then"

"Alright, standby Helios. I'm putting you on observer mode" Thyme stopped for a moment to establish another call. "Hello, This is Kinomoto"

"Hi, it's Thyme. Mind if I disturb in the middle of the night?"

"Oh hi, Cardcaptor-san. Not at all, I was expecting you to call anyway"

"...don't creep me out. Okay listen, excuse my informalities but this is an emergency situation"

"Hehe..I trust you have questions for me. Fire away, Cardcaptor-san"

"...one day I will regret exchanging our contact details.. Anyway, I'll just get to the point. Do you happen to know if there's a guardian relic like the one that you used, what's it called.. the Lunar Shell something with the bells. Is there something like that with an opposite effect?"

"I know what you are looking for. It's not a relic, but rather a charm. Belongs to Moon Guardian as well"

"Yue"

"Not Yue-san, but the other Moon Guardian"

"What do you mean 'the other'?"

"This will take long to explain, but if you want the condensed version..it belongs to the Moon Guardian of Eriol Hiiragizawa, Ruby Moon"

"You've gotta be kidding me..Mistress Sakura's Yue is already in my proximity and now Grandmaster Eriol's guardian is targeting me too?"

"Oh, you knew Eriol-kun?"

"Who doesn't? Half reincarnation of Clow Reed, hell even Helios worshipped him like the real Clow. He's the mastermind behind Mistress Sakura's ascension, I should've suspected much"

"Wow, your guardian must've told you lots of our past tales. Surely he knew a lot about my past too"

"Yeah, well we can arrange a tea time for that matter. Back to my problem at hand, if you please"

"Hmm..well okay, the charm is not permanent and should be embedded to something, like an item. This item contains magical storage that stores the charm. If you could snatch it away, then destroying the item should disrupt the circuit flow inside and eventually dispels the charm."

"Understood. Thanks for the info, I'm hanging up" said Thyme.

"Good luck out there, Cardcaptor-san. Please be careful playing with fire"

Thyme switched the call back to Helios and explained what she had said and also mentioned that somehow she knew everything that happened and read his mind. Helios warned him to also keep distance with Kaho.

Thyme found himself drifting further out of the city inside the woods. He realised that looking for a person inside a dark woods would be much more difficult, but he was already inside, so he thought he might just finish the job. With no source of light, he continued striding inside the woods with only his sense of tracking Clow Card presence as his compass.

Eventually he saw a glimpse of light and decided to pursue it. He got out of the woods and found a vast lake in front of him, where the source of light was coming from. He saw the reflection of the bright moon on the lake's surface and in the dark sky. He was impressed that the moon would look enormous from that location. Coming to his senses, Thyme detected a faint Clow Card presence in the area, but couldn't pinpoint the exact location. Strong breeze brushed his hair and suddenly everything went dark.

"H-huh..? What happened? My eyes..I can't see a thing" he said,"Li Yuanzi! If this is one of your tricks, I will find you eventually!"

No one answered. Thyme couldn't even see his own body. It was almost like his whole vision was shut down, but he could still hear, breathe, and move his body. "Could this be The Shadow's work?" he thought.

Thyme opened up the channel back to Helios,"Helios,I can't see anything as soon as I followed a trace of Clow Card"

"Thyme...it has started" replied Helios in a serious tone.

"What is?"

"I can sense it. You are facing The Dark as we speak now"

"How did you know? You're not even here.."

"It doesn't take long to figure out what's going on. Everyone's gone, I took a glance outside the window and everything is swallowed by darkness" explained Helios.

"The Dark...don't tell me The Dark has been right in front of our eyes this whole time?!"

"Yes. I'm afraid if you don't hurry, everything will eventually vanish. Lost in darkness"

"Then why does it only activate now? When I'm around the woods and a lake?"

"!" Helios gasped as something came in his mind,"I see, now I get it. It activates because you are going away from its boundaries"

"What boundaries? I've been in the city the whole time I capture ca-…." Thyme paused for a moment as he realised what Helios was trying to say,"Now wait a minute! You said that I stepped out of its boundaries, which means that if I get out of the city, then The Dark activates! The Dark, is the city itself!"

"Indeed. I have been fooled too. The Dark is actually right in front of us this whole time but we couldn't see it. But at least we can safely say that the first and third prophecies are fulfilled"

"Alright, let's go with our M.O. Weakness?" asked Thyme.

"Ordinary light such as The Glow and The Firey won't suffice. It can only be defeated by The Light, its counterpart. But never mind that, you only have three cards right now, it's not even worth mentioning any method"

"...you sound very calm for someone who's about to be swallowed into darkness" said Thyme.

"Now tell me, Thyme. Is there anything you can do right now? I say NO! You lost almost all of your cards and now fighting the strongest Clow Card, already trapped inside without me at your side! Yes we failed to detect The Dark, but you failed to fulfill your duty as a Cardcaptor! Your negligence brought this upon yourself. I can only wait and see what will the calamity brought us to"

"Despair..Helios, you can't abandon what we have achieved so far. We're too close to back out now! Come on..let's do this together!" said Thyme in desperation.

"I'm sorry Thyme, but I'm just a guardian. I keep on warning you, but you got ahead of yourself. The cycle repeats. Same with what happened to the witch girl"

"Helios, I know she was the one responsible for the scattered Clow Cards and me being Cardcaptor, but she has been….-!" Thyme paused as he saw someone inside the dark space, someone that was in the conversation just now. "W-W-WHY are you here?!"

It was a figure of a girl, about the same age as Thyme, wearing a dress covered with a robe decorated with sun and moon embroidery. She wore a pointed hat, covering her long silky brown hair. She was holding a scepter, the very same to what Thyme was using.

"Thyme, your voice is missing too. I guess the second phase has gotten into you, losing your other senses. I doubt you could even hear me right now" said Helios in disappointment.

It was just as Helios predicted, The Dark stripped Thyme's vision and now, his speaking and hearing ability. He could barely speak or listen the last words from Helios. The only thing left for him were his sense of touch and ability to think. In front of him, the girl stood still. Thyme was still surprised that he was seeing the most unexpected person.

On the other side, Helios hung the phone up as he thought there was no point talking to the deaf and mute Thyme. He glanced at the dark sky, released his power to create a source of light coming from his body, then flew outside. "I think the second prophecy is about to kick in. I can't do anything, but I'll see this to the end" he said as he set his destination toward Thyme's location.

Meanwhile, on Thyme's side, he was trying and simulating all possibilities in his head in order to escape The Dark. "Think, think..come on Thyme!" he kept saying to himself, even though he couldn't speak. The girl in front of him, walking slowly toward him. She raised her scepter toward him, and suddenly Thyme regained his speech ability.

"M-M-Mel…" said Thyme while stuttering.

"Look how you've grown" said the girl called Mel.

Thyme could hear what she said as he regained his listening ability. "What's happening here? I can't see my own body but I can see you with bright and vivid image. You...were supposed to be dead!"

"Hmm..isn't that a bit cruel to say? After I entrusted you with the book, you should be grateful" replied Mel with a stern look.

"No..you're just my illusion. You're not real. You're dead! This is The Dark's trick to erase my sanity" said Thyme in denial.

"... Look here, Thyme. Initially you didn't want to become a Cardcaptor, but now you seem more eager than ever to collect all the cards. Why is that?"

"That is none of your business, undead! Begone from my sight!" cursed Thyme.

"Stubborn as ever. Remember the first time we met, you were condemning me of using magic. And now look how you've become. What are you trying to achieve by capturing all the cards?"

"To avoid calamity to this world, such as you!" yelled Thyme.

"Na-na.." she waved her hand and shook her head,"The calamity is nothing more than an excuse. I can read your heart like a book, Thyme. How long do you think I've known you? It was originally my responsibility to capture the cards after all"

"Now I'm convinced you're not real! You were the one who scattered the cards, then left me with your dirty work!" denied Thyme.

"That is what you saw.."

"What I saw is the truth!" said Thyme.

"Alright, so be it then. Now, if I say I will relieve you of your Cardcaptor responsibilities so that you can return to your former life, what say you?" she grinned,"It's a nice offer to break free of this darkness and forget all the life endangering situations"

"...Mel.. Are you saying I can break free if I give up being a Cardcaptor?"

"Yes of course, Thyme. Being involved in magic causes you undue fear and unnecessary stress. You will forget everything that happened between you and The Clow"

"Then what'll happen to all the people in the dark?"

"The dark will be kept in the dark. They won't realise that they were inside the dark, same goes for you too"

"Are you suggesting...that we let The Dark trap all these people inside the veil of deceit?" said Thyme.

"Ignorance is bliss, Thyme. By knowing nothing, you will be less burdened and easily gain happiness"

"There is no happiness in submission! If you are the real Mel, you'd never give up!" yelled Thyme.

"I won't, but you will. There's no reason for you to continue, let me handle this. Just like the old times"

Thyme sensed something was off, he decided to prove his doubt by asking her identity, but she answered all correctly. He couldn't find a loophole to poke the truth out of her. Realising that he couldn't fight this with power nor Clow Cards, he decided to engage in battle of wits. His suspicions toward the Mel in front of him was backed by his logical and conclusive reasoning, thus he still couldn't buy the fact that the Mel in front of him was the real Mel.

Thyme collected all the facts in his mind and started looking for the truth as he thought,

"Let's review everything so far. Something is definitely off here, if I can find even the smallest contradiction, that could be my only way out. First fact, Mel is already dead. Now why do I come to that conclusion? I kept on denying her because of that, but it seems that all I have are my version of the story, this could be biased. I can't approach it from this angle, right let's look at the second fact. She knows everything about her identity, it means it cannot be a copy or an illusion. Third fact, although her identity is proved, her personality seems different. There's a gap here.."

A voice echoed in Thyme's mind as he was indulged in his deduction thinking,"Seek out the present, do not dwell in the past"

It was a woman's voice, not Kaho nor Mel's, a voice Thyme didn't recognise. He tried replying in his mind,"Who are you? Why are you inside my mind?"

"Don't worry, everything will be alright!" she said in a cheery voice. Afterwards, the voice is nowhere to be heard. Thyme tried to communicate again with her but to no avail.

"The present, and the past..what does she mean?" thought Thyme,"Hmm..it's another angle to work on, perhaps I should try this one"

Thyme tried to stall Mel by engaging meaningless conversation as he continued his puzzle solving in his head,

"The past and present, where do they differ? I need to piece everything that happened between past and present. Mel, Mel, first time I met her, that should be my starting point! Okay let's do this carefully. Mel believes that The Clow book is her responsibility because...no wait! She'll deny it assuming that was only what I saw. Hmm..she knows everything that I know, plus more. I can't base my arguments on past events."

"No matter what are you up to, I can read everything inside your head, Thyme" said Mel as she prompted an answer from him.

"I need you to answer me first. Have you found out the history of this Clow Book we're using?" asked Thyme.

"If that will make you submit, then I'll speak. Of course I do, I know that our Clow Book is a fake"

Thyme heard something very interesting just then. He realised that he was getting closer to the missing piece.

"W-What did she just say? The Clow Book is a fake! This is very interesting, how did she know that? Even I didn't know when we parted ways. Heh..heheheh..I think I might just about to uncover her real identity!"

"Why are you laughing by yourself? You've known that fact for a while now.." said Mel.

"Heheh..exactly! I just knew it recently myself, how did you come by the information? The Mel I know, she truly believed that her book is legitimate. Let's just make this quick, you said that because you only believe what you saw. In other words, you're just part of The Dark. You know because when the information was revealed, you were right beneath us observing closely as you concealed yourself as the city's entity"

"You're deluding, Thyme. I know because that's what you know as well. After all, I could get the information anywhere, network channels, research…" replied Mel.

"Still in denial, eh? You're not the real Mel. I just figured it out. The second prophecy, The Return. Helios said it involves someone from my memories or past, looks like it's been fulfilled. You accessed my memory and observed all my actions so far, then assumed the form of the most memorable person in my memory, but there's a hole that you cannot cover. I found the missing piece to your deception" said Thyme who regained his courage and determination to end the trial.

"...Stop acting tough, you don't know what you're talking about"

"Dark, if this answers your expectations, then I command you to end all this farce!" declared Thyme in a shout.

Thyme chuckled,"If you truly can read my mind, then you should know that I think my Clow Book is a real deal"

"That's nonsense..I checked it.."

"The fact doesn't matter right now, what matters now is proving your contradiction.." replied Thyme.

"There's no way I'd miss that.."

"Oh but I think there is. A short moment where you weren't able to see what was going on in the city where you've been lurking". Thyme glared at her intensely,"The moment where Earthy was captured. Kaho told me something interesting, that couldn't have been heard by you. Now why is that? Because….her relic dispels all Clow magic, not even The Dark could slip inside"

"...Splendid" Mel transformed into a lady with a black long hair wearing black frilly dress with a circlet on top of her head. Her voice also changed as she talked,"I thought I had you cornered"

"Heh..I must admit you almost got me. Now it's time to return to your original form, Clow Card!"

"I must decline" said The Dark.

"What?" blurted Thyme. Suddenly the darkness faded as The Dark absorbed all of it, condensed inside the tall woman's figure floating above the lake. "T-T-Thyme!" said Helios through the earpiece.

"Oh, it's finally reconnected. Helios, I've managed to find The Dark. But she refuses to be sealed" replied Thyme.

"I hope you remember your lesson this time, Thyme. You..are always reckless but prevail in the end, I don't know whether I should be glad about it. Now carry on and I'll be there soon"

"Hmph..I know what to do" said Thyme as he was reminded of Helios' words before which said that only light can balance darkness. "The Light must be somewhere nearby"

Thyme looked around carefully, only dark trees and black surfaced water. But then, his eyes were directed to the big moon above the lake which was the only light source. "Light, huh?" he murmured. Then Thyme grinned, as if he had something up his sleeve.

Thyme quickly directed his eyes upon the surface of the lake, particularly where the moonlight was reflected. There he saw the mirror image of The Dark, except the girl on the mirror side, was white haired and wearing white outfit. Her tiara had a different colour, and she shone brightly.

Thyme closed his eyes, breathed slowly, then raised his scepter and pointed it toward the center between The Dark and the water's surface, then said,"I will repeat my command. Return to your original form, The Dark and The Light, Clow Card!"

The Dark and The Light were absorbed slowly as they left their last remarks,"You truly are worthy to be our master. We are two as one, I am The Light, I am The Dark; we will accompany you through the Final Judgment"

Two cards appeared in front of the scepter. Thyme took them and looked at them carefully while saying,"If it weren't for that voice inside my head, and Kaho's actions, I wouldn't have captured them"

A voice from above startled Thyme,"Heyy..Thyme! Finally found you"

"Helios, you showed up at the worst time. Hmph..look!" said Thyme smugly as he shoved The Light and The Dark card in front of Helios.

Helios crossed his hands then slowly smiled,"Hoh hoh..I've been waiting forever for this!"

Helios' wing grew as magic circle appeared below him, then the wings enveloped him as bright rays of light penetrated the dark woods and sky. The light was too bright that Thyme had to cover his eyes,"Is this, the true transformation?!"

After a while, the wings slowly opened and spread. From inside the shadow, glowing red eyes were visible as Helios flapped both of his wings at once, causing gust of wind swaying nearby trees. This was the second time Thyme saw Helios' true form, but he still couldn't help but admire the great wyvern's figure. Helios landed both his feet as he turned toward Thyme then said in his heavy voice,"This is what I call...freedom!"

"H-Helios…" said Thyme who was still in awe. He stared at the magnificent and majestic form of the formerly annoying plush toy that constantly cries and very emotional. He imagined that he had to fight this giant creature during what he thought to be Final Judgment.

"With this form, I can get all the cards back from those Li thieves! Ha ha ha!" said Helios with a very sadistic laugh.

"C-Control yourself, Helios! They're just human, they will be no match for you anyway.." said Thyme hesitantly.

"I, am Helios, Beast Guardian of Ubiquitous. Ha ha ha ha! Thyme, I must thank you for all you've done. Now, I have the power to help you retrieve the cards you lost. No, let me rephrase that, I said let me handle everything from now on!"

"Helios..just what kind of power do you have?" asked Thyme while slightly cowering in fear before the great wyvern.

"You'll see. I intend to use it against the pests that are approaching us"

"Pests? But there's no one here. I don't even sense any Clow Card presence.."

Helios made a gesture with his head trying to show Thyme that there were two human figures floating upon the moonlight. Thyme recognised one of the figure in his dream because he was together with a woman with winged star staff and a winged four legged beast. As they drew closer, Thyme could see clearly. On the left, a man with pearly blue eyes, pale skin, long silver hair. On the other side, a woman with giant butterfly wings, pale skin, a crimson dark red long hair.

"It's not Clow Card's presence, it's….moon presence..similar to Kaho's presence" mumbled Thyme.

"Hop on Thyme. Let's greet our unwelcomed visitors!"

"Huh?" Thyme was startled by Helios' sudden voice. It appeared that Thyme was still not prepared mentally. "You don't have Fly card, do you? Now hop on my back, quick!" ordered Helios.

Helios flapped his massive wings as he departed upon the ground approaching the two floating figures.

"So..this is the notorious Guardian of Ubiquitous? What an unsightly figure. How could Clow Reed created something as ugly as this?" said the man.

"I was expecting him to be like Suppi, he looks different on so many levels" continued the woman.

"Yue..this is the first time we meet in person. And you too, Ruby Moon" said Helios.

"..this is the legendary moon guardian Yue and Ruby?! Careful, Helios, I sensed tremendous energy coming from both of them" said Thyme as he observed the two carefully.

"They sent us here just to meet this abomination and an excuse of a Cardcaptor? This is not worth my time, let's just get this over with, Ruby" said Yue glancing at Ruby.

"Uhh..but he doesn't even have a full set of cards, he only carries 5 cards" replied Ruby.

"More of a reason to erase them both" said Yue coldly.

"Hmph..now listen here, you pets! You've been insulting us to no end, just what do you want from us?!" blurted Thyme.

"Pets, you say? Heh.. what's so different than that monster over there?" Yue pointed at Helios.

"I've heard enough, Thyme. He is the opposite of Cerberus, don't expect him to be gentle" replied Helios.

"We are here to stop you from delivering Final Judgment. The book should be destroyed without trace, that is our order" said Ruby.

"Whose order is that?!"

"My master, Eriol. Obviously Yue will also listen to everything he says"

"..." Yue didn't respond to Ruby's claim.

"Well too bad, folks, I'm not the judge for his Final Judgment!" replied Helios.

"Huh? What do you mean?" asked Ruby.

"Helios, she's right, weren't you supposed to be my judge?" added Thyme.

"I never recall anything about it. Clow Reed never told me to. Nothing at all. Well, since there's no Final Judgment to deliver, your travel here is pointless. Go home to your masters!" said Helios.

"Do you think you can make a mockery of us?! Every cardcaptor should be judged upon completion of their set. The ritual shall be upheld, even though the rebellious guardian refuses to. As a legitimate Guardian of Moon, I invoke the right to deliver Final Judgment to this puny human!" answered Yue while pointing at Thyme.

"Y-Yue..is this alright? We...were supposed to stop them, not to help them do it" interrupted Ruby.

"Don't make me laugh. Sakura dan Clow would be disgusted to see this lowest form of disgrace! Do you accept my challenge, Cardcaptor?!" taunted Yue.

"Helios.." called Thyme.

"You're obviously no match for them, especially with just 5 cards. You'll definitely fail the trial. It's suicide, Thyme" replied Helios.

"B-But then if I don't accept it, the cards will be scattered once more"

"He can't do it. Most of the cards are not even in your hands right now. But still, his calamity punishment is a troublesome one. From what I've heard from Cerberus, he'll make everyone erases your existence"

"Yeah, I've heard that part as well. It's not nice being ignored by everyone. Solitude is a slow and painful death. Well then, what are we gonna do?"

"I have a plan, but we need to rely on each other. I know I've been an ass the whole time, but now since I got my power back, it shouldn't be any problem...listen closely….-" said Helios as he explained his plans quietly.

"Your answer? I don't have an eternity to wait" prompted Yue.

After a brief moment of silence, Thyme and Helios readied themselves in front of Yue and Ruby. "This is messed up..I guess I'll just watch from the side" said Ruby as she stepped out.

As soon as Ruby was out of the picture, Helios quickly flapped his wings to create massive turbulence. Thyme threw one of his card in the air and yelled,"Cards made by Clow, veil this world into the dark abyss, The Dark!"

"Attacking me with a card that is in my direct jurisdiction, how foolish" said Yue.

Although Yue and Ruby weren't affected, the environments were still affected. The bright moon was covered with a dark curtain.

"Where are you aiming, fool?" taunted Yue.

As the moon was covered, the sky became pitch black, then Yue and Ruby realised what Thyme and Helios were aiming for. Ruby gasped,"This is..an eclipse effect!"

Eventually Yue, with his authority over The Dark, reversed the eclipse and once again the moon shone bright in the night sky. However the situation had changed, Thyme was nowhere to be found!


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