It took me a couple of blinks to make sure I was awake and that the girl riding on the horse was not one of my dreams. It was her, even if she looked older, more…breathtaking. Long moon-kissed hair pulled in two buns atop her head. Just like I remembered. Pale skin, big sparkling cornflower blue eyes with long, fluttering eyelashes that held secrets, shock, curiosity…
"Dare, we should get going." Yaten said in an unsure tone, looking briefly back to the girl and then to me. The tall guy with the long brown hair was silent, glaring almost. What was his problem?
"Sure." I muttered and threw my leg over my horse and followed them. The girl rode in front of me, perfect posture, moving fluidly with the motions of her horse. It had been a while since the incident happened, but I remembered all to well. At night, haunting, passionate dreams had me tossing and turning, aching. I could still remember the smell of her hair, the coolness of her skin under my hands and her lips…so soft and sweet. Needless to say, I was having a terrible time sleeping because I yearned for her so much it was like a curse. Now I knew what the Lock Priests went thought when dark succubi entered their heads and brutally teased them into forbidden carnal thoughts and then eventually drove them to madness. The ride back was a testy one, full of tension.
"Stop." I heard her speak and abruptly pulled the reigns. I looked around the landscape alerted. I didn't hear anything, and scowled. Then I heard it, the pounding of footsteps. A horde of rode scum came spilling from the tall grass with rusted swords and dirt clothes.
"Serena move!" The long haired man ordered. So that was her name. Serena bolted off the horse and sapped its rear to get it running out of danger. Before the horse was too far off though, I saw her grabbing a sword from the side pouch. I felt someone pull me from my horse and managed to elbow them in the mouth. I fell heavily on the cold road, wincing. My horse skittered away with an annoyed neigh. To my left, two were coming after me and I barely had enough time to stun them in place. My sword had left with my horse and magic was my only weapon for now. The stun spell didn't last for long, but luckily Yaten intercepted their jagged swords and battled them back.
"Inferno!" The guy with the long hair called out and I felt a rush of heat to the side.
"Don't use elemental spells Nephrite!" Serena scolded him, running to his side as he wobbled on his feet. "Here, I can share with you." She gave him a slender dagger.
"And what am I suppose to do with this?" Nephrite demanded angrily. I watched as Serena gave him a little smile.
"Just make it bigger you dummy. That's not an elemental spell." Behind her, a road thug raised his sword, but I shot off a small mushroom shield just in time. They both stumbled apart.
In the distance I saw a small slight figure covered in rags chanting a low with his head bowed. These were not average road thieves if they had mages with them. Before I could even get close, a loud roar came from the distance. In the somewhat quiet far-off landscape a rumble of dust slit the middle of the ground right at us. The loud cracking ripped through the sounds of our skirmish.
"The land!" Yaten cried in distress as he was tossed on the parting roads. A huge crevice of darkness tore the earth apart under our feet.
"Serena!" Nephrite yelled. I saw that she was tossed to the ground and I was the only one closest to her. With a low curse, I killed the mage before he reeked anymore harm and then ran as fast as I could to where she was struggling to her feet. When she was steady beside me I looked across the massive gorge where Yaten and Nephrite looked at us in shock and helplessness.
"A bridge?" Serena called out. Nephrite looked up and down the large void in the land.
"Sorry Little Princess, my magic is weak and I would not want to put you in danger." He said in remorse. There was no way my magic would do it either. Besides, my magic was used to trick and create illusions…things that worked on the mind. Other magic I knew came from years of studying that my father insisted on.
"We'll meet at the Main House. Serena, you know the way?" Yaten called across. Serena nodded sneaking an unsure look my way.
"Good. You!" Nephrite pointed to me. "Keep an eye on her, should anything happen, you'll find yourself at my mercy as well as the mercy of the Shay Warriors." I smirked, but had a sliver of fear drop in the pit of my stomach. Just how helpless was this girl? She seemed to take care of herself well…
It seemed like we were walking for ages. My legs felt rubbery. My face burned as frozen winds races through the trees and my toes, they ached and burned. It was close to nightfall because the shadows in the forest were growing darker and bigger. There was no way we could go on without light. I looked to the sky and saw that the twin moons were passing the clouds.
"It's getting too dark to go any further." I told Darien, halting in place.
"Are you scared of the dark?" It was a taunt. I ignored that tone.
"We need some light if we're to continue forward. I don't want to get lost in this forest. Let me call my moon fairies, they'll light the way."
Darien was tense, his eyes narrowing slightly. "Moon fairies?" He asked me bluntly.
"Yes, the moons will be out and I can call them." He stood there, just staring like I had gone crazy.
"There are no moon fairies. They've gone extinct since Verdin overthrew his mother, Goddess Selenity." I frowned. I never heard such history.
"But—I can summon them!" I insisted. Darien shook his head in wonder and, dare I think, amusement? It enraged me to think that he thought I was just a silly girl. Girl…huh…he would think twice before he belittled me again. I felt my power wash over me, build deep inside and spread like warm water thought out my whole body. I couldn't stop it, my eyes widened when it flew from me. I let out a little cry, whether for warning or protest, it didn't matter. I heard him suck in his breath and give into a groan. I was panicked, truly I was because I didn't want that…not again. It hurt, made me feel guilty and this time I didn't have Nephrite to help me.
"Stay back." I managed to squeak, closing my eyes and trying to control my power. I felt it slither back to me, like a snake would a jar. Calm, breathe…just breathe. Then the power fled my body and I breathed a sigh of relief, smiling at my accomplishment.
"You spoiled little brat, you have no control do you?" He angrily said and I snapped my eyes open in mild interest. He was so pretty when he when angry.
"What do you mean?" I innocently asked.
"I felt it, your slip in restraint. So what was that night? Your powers going wild and I was just an unfortunate victim?" I raised my brows and let a smirk slip to my mouth. I felt the moon light shine on me, warm my skin and make my fingertips tingle.
"That night you were not a victim. I saw you, picked you and had full control of my powers. You were my first, my experiment." It poured from my mouth like an acid purr.
"An experiment?" He repeated.
"Yes." I held out my hands and gold and silver sands began filling them, falling through my fingers like sand from an hourglass. I blew them to life and little moon fairies sprung from my hands like a fountain of crickets. I gave a 'see-what-I-told-you' look to Darien but held my tongue. He looked like he was ready to faint.
"What's wrong?" Of course I was concerned. I didn't want him to run from me. One of the moon fairies circled him with an intriguing flap of her little delicate wings. Six more followed, circling him in curiosity. It was strange, I never seen them act like that before.
Strange, he is not human. One of the fairies whispered to me. He is beautiful Serena. Do you know him?
Just faintly. I replied back with a blush staining my cheeks.
Ah, I see. I did sense him on you and I sensed your lingering power in his blood.
It was just one time, how can you still sense it?
You have not been with anyone else and neither has he. Is this information pleasing to you?
I didn't answer and was glad that it was dark enough to hide my burning cheeks and twitching mouth. What is he if he is not human ?I quickly changed the subject before she dove further into my past and developing emotions concerning the dark haired man who was silent, warily watching the fairies as well as me.
Would you like us to find out?
You won't hurt him will you?
Does it matter?
Yes it does. I bit back with a little glare. The moon fairy just laughed.
It will not harm him, but you must summon more of us to see the truth. So I did what she said, and a small army of moon fairies began circling him.
"What are you doing?" Darien demanded, flicking away the fairies with an annoyed hand.
"I want to know everything about you." I told him and watched as the last fairy took her place. They were like a huge, golden ring, encircling him at his feet.
Only you can see, only you can speak…
"Light of the moons, power of my will
testing boundaries of fate, of lies
of secrets untold, stripping, to fulfill
my wonder my awe, my blinded eyes"
It was a simple chant, but with miraculous results. The ring of fairies started from his feet, and ended on the top of his head. He looked wildly around, perhaps looking for an escape.
Endymion Darien Lee Sheilds, Prince of the Sky Blue Fairies.
"A Fairy Prince?" I exclaimed in surprise and the ring of fairies scattered from him and floated back to my side. "What are you doing so far from your homelands?" I asked him with a hand on my hip. He only scowled.
A wander, trying to find something important.
"What are you trying to find?" I immediately asked.
"Why don't you ask them?" He sneered at me with livid eyes.
The Orb of Verdin. Someone stole it from Prince Jadeite and Prince Yaten. Prince Endymion was with them. He discovered it in the hands of a Brothel Mistress.
I snorted. "A brothel mistress?"
"It wasn't like that!" He protested angrily.
"Really? They tell me different. Who is Annabell?" I mused.
"Stop it. You don't know what you're talking about." He told me with deadly quietness that made me stiffen.
He is right Serena. We must let him keep his secrets. Just like you must keep yours.
I tried not to pout, but I knew she was right. "Okay, beside the point. Do you know who took the Orb?" I asked.
"I lost track of him a few days ago. That's why I sent word to Yaten. I thought that the Shay Warriors would be helpful."
"Where did you last lose him?" He hesitated.
Hallowtree, in the west. The fairy supplied when Darien waited too long.
"Hallowtree. I've never been there. How long is it to get there?" Darien muttered something I didn't hear.
"Look, we were told to go back to the Main House. That is where we're going."
Serena ignored him. Maybe that's why Raye sent her here. She thought it was rather strange…
"Serena, are you listening to me?" Darien demanded, shaking my arm.
"Yes, I heard." I smiled brightly. In the distance I could hear something steadily approaching us. Darien pulled me into his arms and told me to be quiet. I tried to concentrate on the sound instead of his warmth and woodsy smell. The snow crunched and I heard the distinct sound of a horse snorting.
Go and see. A couple of fairies flew from us.
Seems like luck is on your side. They returned with two horses in tow.
"Mercury!" I squealed in delight. He was a bit sweaty, but there was not a better sight to behold then the precious bundle on the side of the saddle. Inside of it was a tent and some food, not to mention a few magic stones used for lighting fires and growing small patches of grass for the horses to eat. Darien's horse was a beautiful stallion, hair as black as his owner.
"What kind of tent do you have?" He asked after we settled ourselves by a cracking fire and the horses were off eating.
"It will do for tonight." I said smoothly, repacking my dried fish and taking a final swig of water. Darien sighed and snatched a little square package from my side.
"A summer tent? Are you crazy?"
"Hey, I didn't think I would need it, and it was lighter to carry. It kept Raye from screaming about how irresponsible I was." I muttered with a yawn.
"You are irresponsible. You'll have to sleep in my tent tonight." Humm, what was he saying? I was too tired to really do or say anything.
"Whatever." His tent was nice and big and warm too. I fell in a heap on a soft pillow and dreamt of home and what the others were doing.
"Hallowtree." We were in the Library, going over our next journey when Mina spoke.
"What?" Raye asked, placing her feather pen down.
"I think we should go to Hollowtree. It's the last kingdom left on the contract. Besides, Goddess of the Heart came to me this morning and told me." Mina leaned back into her chair. Hollowtree? I knew this day would come, but so soon?
"Yes, Goddess of Might hinted the same. That's why she told me to send Serena to retrieve Yaten's friend."
"Is that all?" Mina asked her with a raised eyebrow. Raye stared at her for a second.
"I don't know why, but I had a strange dream about Serena."
"What was it about?" Lita leaned forward in interest.
"She was walking along side a lake and above her a lone male figure was watching her. She knew he was, and she beckoned him closer. She said something to him, I'm not sure what it was, but then they kissed and proceeded to do…other things." She said with a blush.
"When you say other things…" Mina asked cautiously and I smiled at her tense expression.
"Princess Serena is no longer a virgin." Everyone turned to see Goddess Hotaru enter the library.
"What?" Mina screech, turning bright pink.
"I speak only the truth." Hotaru said simply. "What Raye dreamed was a piece of real life. Soon, her abilities with grow and she will be able to witness the future."
"Really?" Raye asked in wonder. That was incredible. I wondered if all our abilities would evolve.
"You instincts were right in sending Princess Serena with Prince Nephrite and Prince Yaten. She needed to grow on her own. It will be a while before you will meet up with her again." Dead silence followed her statement. Panicked, I looked to my cousins.
"What do you mean?" Raye demanded, standing up so fast her chair topped backwards.
"I cannot be too sure. Perhaps you can see for yourself." Her pale face was impassive, as well as her dark, secretive purple eyes.
"I can't." Raye's voice steeled.
"You know there is one way to make your abilities soar." She ignored Raye's dangerous sneer and narrowed eyes. "Join with Prince Jadeite."
A blush stole up my cheeks as Raye was taken back. She said it so casually like sex was nothing to be concerned about.
"That's not going to happen." Raye was a bit calmer now.
"Anytime soon." Mina added with a gleeful twinkle in her eyes.
"So where is Serena now?" Lita steered them back from Raye's personal life.
"I feel she is safe." Hotaru said.
"You feel?" Raye folded her arms with a frown.
"I cannot tell you where she is unless I go and see for myself. But my sister has told me that Diamond has put a tracing spell on me and if I use my transportation powers, he would find me. We do not want that."
"So we go look for her?" I asked.
"Your journey would only take you away from her. Go to Hollowtree. She will find you there."
"Why Hollowtree?" Lita asked.
"It will lead you to find one of the orbs."
"We should start packing then!" Raye insisted, pounding the table with a loud thunk.
"Not now. Wait until nightfall." Hotaru's voice was soft and demanding all at once.
"Why?" Mina asked in an exasperated tone.
"You will see when night falls." She bowed and left us. I watched as the door closed with a soft swish.
"Why does she always do that?" Lita seemed bored now, and Mina was lost in her own world.
"She is a solemn person." I murmured with a little smile. My heart pounded inside of my chest faster than I would have liked. I tried to tell my nerves it was because of the orb, but I could never lie to myself. I always wondered who my…comrade (I refused to think of any other name to call him) was like, and why the goddesses chose him for me. Every…comrade seemed to play on each of our weaknesses. Kunzite serous while Mina was airy, Lita calm while Nephrite angered quickly and Raye so uptight while Jadeite was easy going. I was not one to analyze my own weaknesses, I just hoped whoever he was, he wasn't stupid.
AN: I didn't know what else to put into this chapter without it overflowing into the next chapter. That's why it is so short. Hope you all are having a great week. REVIEW kisses :muh: